Saturday, December 31, 2011

My New Year's Resolution: Kill Political Correctness

My New Year's resolution is a continuation of one I made previously; to fight political correctness whenever I see it.

Political Correctness has garnered us the following:

A complete breakdown of our national moral foundation.  For example, for fear of offending Hispanics we must not be critical of their massive invasion of our country.  For fear of offending Hispanics, we must continue to allow the 14th amendment to be bastardized in order for tens of millions of illegal Mexicans to invade and drop their anchor babies here in order to secure free medical care, welfare benefits, Section 8 housing, free child care, free public schooling, free WIC  benefits and free Food Stamps.  We must never cite the explosive Hispanic crime rate as a problem because if we do we are racists.  To further garner Hispanic voter support we must provide a free national hotline so that Hispanics can file a "discrimination" suit against any law enforcement officer who, in the process of executing a citation, or criminal arrest, are deemed exercising prejudice against said illegal alien.

We must continue to allow Jessie Jackson to spew Jewish hatred while calling all whites racists.
We must continue to allow Al Sharpton to host a political show on MSNBC, even as he is indicted and convicted for tax fraud and continues to owe the IRS $1.3 million dollars in back taxes.  We must continue to allow Congressman Charlie Rangel to serve in Congress even after he was convicted of hiding over $10 million dollars in earnings from the IRS.  We must continue to allow all of the above to play the race card more than 45 years after the Johnson administration instituted raced- based racial preference program and generously handed out over several trillion dollars in welfare benefits.  After all, they are simply "victims".

We must continually believe that big government is the answer, even as big government has run up $16 trillion dollars in government deficits, committed ten trillion more in deficits over the next decade and amassed over $70 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  Any effort to stem this spending orgy will result in your being called a racist, uncaring "one-percenter".

We are never politically correct when we allow any mortgage holder to foreclose on a home, even when no effort has been made to make a mortgage payment in a year or two.  We must forego compliance with contract law and manipulate contract law to please the "big government" voter.

If we are to be politically correct we must never accuse any government agency of being guilty of waste, fraud and abuse.  Doing so automatically makes you an uncaring heartless demigod.

We must never criticize our black President lest we be accused of racism.

We must never be critical of labor unions (who contribute billions toward the re-election of liberal supporters) lest we be deemed an enemy of the working man.

We must never be critical of the explosive crime in the black ghettos.  We must never ask why black women have abortions at five times that of whites.  We must never ask why blacks draw welfare and medicaid at four times the rate of whites.  After all, they are victims of their environment.  Most of all we must never denigrate their "reasons" for any of these failures.

To achieve political correctness we must enlist in the army of liberals who have declared class warfare on anyone who is paying their bills on time, built a successful business, put some money in the bank and are obeying the country's laws.

So, as the new year dawns, I resolve to fight every aspect of the political correctness that is destroying our country.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Republicans Snatching Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

Barack Obama has to be the luckiest guy in the world.  Despite dismantling free market capitalism, ruining any chance for economic recovery, running up 5 trillion dollars in additional deficits in three short years, and committing the federal government to another 10 trillion dollars of deficit spending over the next decade, it looks like he's going to get re-elected.

Last spring I wrote of the dearth of viable Republican candidates, and the plethora of idiot Republican candidates, and forecasted then that Obama is likely to get re-elected.  First we had the Donald Trump run, then we had Michelle Bachman's rise and fall, then Rick Perry's explosive rise and immediate fall when they heard that George Bush twang and inarticulate rants.  In the last few weeks we've had Newt Gingrich's surge and fall.  We have a Ron Paul who might carry Iowa but is quickly done soon after...a familiar pattern in his previous presidential runs.  Finally, we have Mitt Romney running as a conservative, and failing to instill much trust from Republicans.

I say if the Republicans lose they deserve it.  Republican voters are a dysfunctional group of people who are going through a revolution within their own ranks.  They are as divided as any group I've seen.  You have a Tea Party that is rudderless and leaderless.  You have a group of rigid social conservatives that demand nothing less than the harsh mandates of Old Testament constraints.  You have a group of political re-treads that profile themselves as "Washington Outsiders" when in fact they are tied to political action groups and lobbyists who are trying mightily to promote their own selfish interests, and not that of our country.

I can think of a handful of potential Republican candidates that are far superior to any in the field today.  Senator Marco Rubio is a fresh face, who articulates conservative values well and who could capture some of the hispanic votes.  Chris Christie is another.  Governor Bob McConnell from Virginia is a well spoken, reasonable alternative to what we have now.  Senator Thune form South Dakota is another.  Congressman Eric Cantor from Virginia and Paul Ryan are both far more skilled at explaining our current financial crisis and propose sound solutions for resolving it.

Defeating Barack Obama this coming year should have been an easy task.  Sadly, the Republicans seem to be able to offer a small army of bumbling, stumbling Presidential wanna-be's that just don't measure up.

The 2012 Presidential election will prove to be a "watershed" year for our country.  If we re-elect Barack Obama our country's move into the European Socialist Model will probably be irreversible.

Sad, Damned Sad.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Honda Motors

                                                     

I've been a Honda car owner for over 30 years now.  I fell in love with Honda way, way back when I turned the ignition on that early 80's Accord and it ran so quietly and smoothly that I wasn't sure it was running.

I admired everything about this company.  I read of the legendary Honda engine that still runs 24 hours per day at Honda corporate headquarters in Japan.  I loved reading how this little upstart bike maker in the 40's chugged its way to automobile dominance.  My family laughed at my weekend rendezvous with my Accord as I washed and waxed my prize Accord.

So accustomed to the fragility of American car lifespans, I made the fatal mistake of trading my first Accord in for a new one when it reached 80,000 miles.  Silly me.  I soon caught on that I could drive these Hondas for 200,000 miles...and did so.  When one of our late 80's Accords reached 185,000 miles we gave it to our college age son who put tens of thousands more on that odometer.  We soon became a multiple Honda family.

Then, sadly, a few years ago I began to see the cracks in the lovely facade of mighty Honda.  In 2005 I ventured out to the nearest Honda dealer in Peoria to buy a Honda Odyssey mini-van.  Having completed my internet research, to include getting the "fair" price selling price for an Odyssey I wished to purchase one of the last 2005 models as the new 2006 models were rolling into the showroom.  Alas, we ran smack dab  into one of those new car salesmen from the 60's.  After a long back and forth session between "Mr. Greaseball" and the sales manager we could not come to an agreeable price.  Our last offer was actually $500 dollars above what Edmunds was telling us was a "fair price".    This was a "no trade-in", cash offer.

The following weekend we were cheered to complete our purchase at the Avondale Honda dealership.  In fact, we were able to buy a 2006 model, with the same features, for less than was being asked for the year-old model at the previous dealership.  Happily we were out the door at the Avondale dealership in less than an hour.

Our faith in the Avondale dealership was further strengthened when we regularly took the Odyssey in for periodic maintenance.  Each time we brought the car in we were greeted with friendly service reps, fresh coffee and doughnuts and a crisp new newspaper as we awaited completion of maintenance.  Everything was fine in "HondaLand".

Then a couple of years ago I began noticing severe vibration and road roar when my Odyssey reached a cruising speed of 65 mph.  I took the van into the Avondale dealership, jointly rode with the service rep for a road test, and was told that the automatic transmission was failing.   The dealership said they would call Honda to get approval to replace the transmission under warranty.   I was amazed that a Honda transmission would be failing at four years of age!  I left the Odyssey at the dealership and went home and began to research Honda maintenance problems.  I was amazed to learn of thousands of owners who were experiencing similar problems.  I was also amazed at the number of Honda recalls as well as other Honda failures.

Soon I got a call from the Honda dealership and was told that it wasn't the transmission, but was instead a faulty wheel bearing.  They replaced it, but after reading all the scary internet postings on Honda problems I developed a wariness about the the manufacturing quality control of Hondas.

Sure enough, a few months later I began to experience the same type of road vibration and noise from the Odyssey.  I again took the van in, described the problem, and was told it was only "tire balancing".
After buying a new set of Michelin tires, and after paying a couple of hundred dollars for tire balancing, I drove away only to find that within a couple of weeks I was still getting steering wheel vibration when the Odyssey reached cruising speeds.

During this period my wife's Honda Accord Ex's dashboard began lighting up like a Christmas tree.  One maintenance light after another began appearing.  Then we began getting recall letters on her Accord.   The latest Honda recall came just this month on faulty air bags.

So, after limping along with our lest than trustworthy Hondas, we are no longer in love with once mighty Honda.  Worse, as the economy sank we began getting telemarketing calls from the Avondale dealership. I have had no less than 50 of them, despite emailing them and voicing our irritation at this cheesy telemarketing.

Now, we change our oil at Walmart, afraid to take our Hondas to a dealership with a real fear that a dealership lacking business might not be below pulling a wire or two to run up the maintenance bill.

Sadly, last week I read that Consumer Reports has failed to crown the Honda Civic as a "BEST BUY" because the company has dumbed down the model and citing the cheap materials used in the manufacturing process.  Honda has vowed to change out the model next year.

I say "too late".  Like the Toyota fiasco, once you have created doubt in the mind of the consumer, once a customer has been burned by a dealership, you have lost that "warm and fuzzy" comfort so necessary for maintaining loyal customers.

My wife's Accord is due to be replaced.  Rest assured, I'll be looking elsewhere as this 30 year Honda customer has seen the light....and too often it's the light on a Honda dashboard.




Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011; A Progress Report

                                                   

Merry Christmas World.  This is the season that normally brings out the best and worst of us.  How are we doing so far?  Well, from what I've seen, we need to applaud those who have chosen to listen to their better angels, and remind those who see Christmas as a time to "get" that "giving" will bring more happiness.

To Wit:

On the day after Thanksgiving we saw a Mexican woman in Riverside, California pepper spray her fellow shoppers because they were crowding her out from an opportunity to get a bargain on a gaming system.

Yesterday, at a mall in Atlanta, we saw a hundred plus urban blacks stomp and maim each other, while tearing off a mall door, in order to be the first to buy some Air Jordan basketball shoes.  A similar riot occurred in Seattle, Washington.  Police had to swing batons and use pepper spray to calm the mobs.

Early in December flash mobs broke out across Maryland as hundreds of urban blacks "mass-robbed" a number of convenience stores to score free Twinkies and Red Bull.

In Phoenix at least a dozen families had all of their Christmas yard displays stolen.  Numerous home invasions occurred and victims were shot and beaten to reveal where their valuables were hidden.

Yesterday afternoon a young man, out on a shopping errand, was shot in the hand as he was caught between two mobile gang wars.

Last week a young hispanic boy in Phoenix was sitting on his couch in his own home, playing an electronic game with his young cousin.  A gang banger drove by and began spraying the neighborhood with automatic gunfire.  One of the rounds came through the window, sped through the Christmas tree and lodged two inches from the young boy's heart.

At least a dozen Phoenix residents were victims of hit and run this month.  Some died and some were only maimed.

....And yet, there were grand displays of human kindness too:

"Lay-Away Payoffs" became the rage as hundreds of thoughtful people went into Walmarts and K-Marts and paid off lay-away balances for hundreds of families.   Some of the recipients were so overwhelmed by this kindness that they "paid it forward" by paying off someone else's lay away balance.

Yesterday morning a disabled Vet was provided with a home, thanks to an organization that is committed to helping the long term homeless.

A group of good samaritans carried on the Secret Santa tradition by handing out hundred dollar bills to the needy throughout Phoenix.

Though not publicized, thousands of people volunteered at hospitals, hospices and food kitchens.

One family here in Phoenix gathered around the kitchen table and discussed how they might better enrich their Christmas experience.  They agreed to forego all presents for each other and pooled their money to buy gifts for the needy.

My own contributions this year were modest.  I dropped by the nearest food bank and left cans of soup and part of my orange crop.  I sent the Humane Society a few dollars and I made my usual small contribution to St. Luke's Children's Cancer hospital.  It felt good.

As Christmas Eve dawns I have now watched what I believe is every Christmas movie ever made.  I eagerly await The Christmas Story 24-hour marathon which begins later today.

Since I'm alone this year my Christmas dinner will be a Marie Callendar Turkey Dinner, less than some will have but more than many others.

Merry Christmas World.






Friday, December 16, 2011

"Arizona Republic News; The New Pravda"

I just saw something ugly today on The Arizona Republic On Line Newspaper.  The Republic was streaming as one-inch  Banner at the top of the page trumpeting The Obama Open Borders Machine report on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's treatment of illegal invaders.

Yes, I knew that The Arizona Republic is owned by the ultra liberal Gannett Corporation.  Yes, I knew that the Arizona Republic has carried on a decade-long campaign in support of Illegal Amnesty and Open  Borders.  Yes, I was aware of the newspaper's active censorship of crime news to suppress reports on illegal criminal activity.  I also knew that this liberal rag hates Sheriff Joe because he is the leading national law enforcement officer trying to stop the invasion.

However, I did not think that the Arizona Republic would ever turn toward bastardizing their first amendment protections and turn into a total propaganda machine in order to champion illegal immigration and amnesty.  When I saw that huge streaming news banner on their news site this morning I realized that they have decided to abandon all effort of objective reporting.

That  big streaming news banner trumpeting Eric Holder's attack on Sheriff Joe recalled the old printing history of Pravda, the old Russian newspaper who published propaganda rot as the press arm of communist dictators.

I stopped subscribing to the Republic after writing them numerous letters attacking their failure to objectively report the news and offered them dozens of specific instances where they actually censored the news to present of more favorable impression of illegal invaders.

Just this week alone we have seen this newspaper fail to report on hispanic crime, close off their community comment to illegal crime reports and write, within the last three weeks, acres of news print  bemoaning the suffering illegals are forced to endure after invading our homeland.

Illegals continue to hit and run down our pedestrians and motorists, continue to drive without a license or auto insurance, continue to saturate our hospital emergency rooms, continue to rob us, continue to invade and burglarize and terrorize our citizens, continue to empty out food banks that are meant for America's poor, continue to use anchor  babies to get WIC, Welfare, Section 8 housing.  And they continue to sap the life out of our school system with their illegal kids who attend without charge.

Now the Arizona Republic is throwing a huge orgasmic party championing the phony federal charges against Sheriff Joe's efforts to run these illegal bastards out of our state.  That huge streaming news banner the Republic ran this morning signaled the total collapse of ethical and objective news reporting in Arizona.

For God's sake Arizona, boycott this liberal rag of a newspaper that is truly more like Pravda as each year passes!

For those who are not alarmed by these events, I urge you to read the following:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/255320/two-californias-victor-davis-hanson?pg=1



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apple Pie For Christmas

I was walking through Walmart's frozen food section yesterday, looking for frozen veggies.  Being a sucker for pies, I stopped to ogle Sara Lee and Marie Callendar when a price point for another pie caught my eye.  While Sara and Marie were hawking their pies for $7 or $8  bucks, a little bakery out of Washington state was offering a huge 40 oz Deep Dish Apple Pie for $3.48 cents!.  Certain that this was not priced correctly I was ready to abandon the pie at checkout should the pricing be wrong.  After all, you can't buy a "piece" of pie in a restaurant for the price of this huge pie.

As I checked out I was on high alert for a different price to pop up on the scanner screen.  But, sure enough, this hefty apple pie sells for $3.48 at Walmart.  I am always thrilled to get a bargain,  but  being skeptical of today's retail environment, I felt sure this pie would be made cheaply and would certainly not taste good.

When I got home I unpacked my groceries and once again marveled at heft of this 40 oz pie.  Since I google everything, I put the pie in the oven and set the oven temperature and  bake time per the package instructions, and set off for google land.

I was soon amazed to learn that these particular pies have attracted a cult following.  Entry after entry praised the delectability of these pies.  One pastry chef marveled that the crust was as fine as can be prepared by the finest   bakery chefs in the country.  Other boards lamented shortages of these pies in certain parts of the country and said they tend to buy five or ten pies at a time and hoard them against future shortages.  Many attributed the fineness of the pies to the fact that these pippin apples are picked fresh, sliced, and layered into the flaky pie crust with great care.  One frugal fan praised the bargain price of 8.7 cents per ounce of deliciousness.  Another post griped that this same pie could be had last year for only $3.00 even!

As I spent a good half hour googling and listening to the songs of praise for these pies, I began to pick up the scent of apple and spice emanating from my kitchen.    The combination of rave reviews and kitchen scents soon took the form of "culinary foreplay".   While pleasant I was soon lamenting that I must wait for this apple pie to finish baking, and to further torture me by the prep mandates to wait 30 minutes after taking the pie from the oven before slicing.

Finally, the oven timer  buzzed and I hurried to the kitchen and removed a lovely golden crust pie and set it out to cool.  I loitered around the kitchen just to drink in the aromatic ambrosia of apples and cinnamon, took out the pie knife and made ready for slicing.  I continued the "busy-ness" of waiting by setting out a pie plate and fork.  I carefully folded a paper napkin and set it beside the plate.

At long last the pie cooled to a slicing temperature and I cut a small slice for tasting.  I was fully prepared to add a dollop of Cool Whip on the next slice but wanted to savor this pie in its "native state".

So did the pie live up to all the ethernet praise?   You  betcha!  A delicious blend of tart and sweet assaulted my taste buds and the buttery flaky crust added immensely to this marvelous deep dish apple pie.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to run back to Walmart...hoarding is not always a bad thing!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Christmas Day In The Morning"

In an age where many of us parents would be grateful just to not be told to "go f*ck ourselves" you may enjoy reading of a time when parents were respected, honored...and yes, even loved.



http://www.allthingschristmas.com/stories/InTheMorning.html

Friday, December 9, 2011

"A Sexist Pig's Guide To Food Network Stars"

I have a love-hate relationship with the Food Network.  I really like that "Guy" guy who does "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives".  The spiked frosted hair, the shit-eating grin and his likable personality makes any show he does fun to watch.

I also like Bobby Flay, especially his "showdown" shows  because you're really watching the best recipes anywhere.  Bobby's approach is straight up and what you see is what you get.  He's also a graceful winner and loser.

Okay, now for the low-down on the female network stars.  Let's get Paula Deen out of the way right away.  Go to my blog search block and type in "Buttering Up Paula Dean".  That pretty much says it all.  Basically, Paula is really trying to kill you.  If you made her recipes for a month you'd be dead from a massive heart attack.  And take a look at her hubby (he appears on the show when anything deep fried is on the menu).  Her hubby, "Mud, Slud" or whatever she calls him, looks like he's getting ready to explode any minute.  Fifty pounds ago Paula herself was probably a pretty lady but her love for  butter has done her in.   That's all on Paula, "y'all".

Next comes the FD's darling, Rachael Ray.  When I first started watching "30-Minute Meals" I enjoyed it.  
Then Rachael got overexposed.  She started pimping cookware on Home Shopping Network, feigned gourmet orgasms on "$40 Dollars A Day".  Just watch her as she takes that first bite on $40 Dollars.  She always has that same mad look as if she's just had the orgasm of her life and you can see her squirming erotically in her chair as she takes that first bite of ambrosia.  Folks, let's face it;  being able to dine on $40 dollars a day is no big deal.  Hell, give me $20 bucks and I'll eat as well as Rachael...and without the drama.  Now Rachael has her own day time talk show.  I watched it for about a week until I reached the "cutesy" gag factor and switched channels.  As to Rachael's appearance, I'm sorry but the lady is built like  a 2 x 8 board and her trailer park outfits do nothing to enhance the image, much too tight for her wide frame.  When she goes the naked  belly, low rider pants route, well, that's just obscene.  I did note that Rachel got a make up lady when she began her talk show and her appearance has improved a bit.  Sorry, Rachel, can't watch you anymore...even for 30 minutes.

Giada....Ah, Giada.  She has the best rack on television and she knows it.  98 percent of the time Giada wears low cut  blouses showing cleavage that will make any man put down the remote.  Giada almost always uses a spatula for mixing which causes those wonderful titties  to jiggle madly and sends this viewer into ecstasy, hoping one day one of those boobies will pop right out.  Giada's hands are her worse assets; watch a closeup; her hands look like she's  been doing fish net duty on a commercial fishing  boat. That's okay; nobody's perfect and I'll keep watching just to stay 'abreast' of Giada's cooking.

The Barefoot Contessa..I have never liked her pretentious and snobby manner even before I learned that she had refused to honor a 'Make A Wish' to a child who wanted to appear on her program and cook with her.  She is severely overweight and her whole life seems to be centered on cooking and eating.  When she includes her height/weight proportionate husband on the show she seems to smother him with food, as if that were all she has to offer him.  Ironically, her photos of an earlier time show an attractive lady so it's too bad that natural prettiness is  buried  beneath 250 pounds of lard and miles and miles of snobbish arrogance.

Sandra....you know her...she's the one that mixes grocery store ingredients to supposedly prepare gourmet meals.  When she's finished preparing the meal she creates all kinds of party decorations to enhance the presentation of hamburger helper au gratin.  She's educationally ignorant and often tries to 'pass' by mixing formal speech with country cracker contractions.  She's had more DUI's than Mel Gibson and is clearly "trailer trash got lucky".

"Cooking for Real"....you know..the  black lady with the Dinel Wig that looks like it has never  been washed.  (If that's not really a wig I'm really scared!).  Her meals are simple and easy to prepare but I don't think I could eat her cooking; she looks hygienically challenged.  And, yes, I've seen her "double dip" with the spoon many times.

"Delicioso"...Ms Hoffman is a knockout.  A great grill and rear bumper!  The sexiest lips on televison.  I don't care what she's cooking, I'll watcher her boil water!

The wild looking broad on "Secrets of A Restaurant Chef".  Looks like the female version of Guy on "Diners".  I like her personality; happy go lucky and will tell you to go to hell in a minute.., lots of sass..

Happy Dining!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


                        The Holly Berry Christmas Tree

It was Christmas, 1956.  My dad had not left us yet.  As Christmas neared my sister and brother and I began chattering about Christmas trees and Santa Claus.  Our dad loudly squashed the idea of a Christmas  tree.  I can't remember why.  Despite our pleadings and my mother's urgings, my dad stood firm.

My dad was working at the time but his earnings often went for some new doo-hicky for his late model pick up truck.  As we grew older we were to eventually learn that a new truck took precedence over everything else with my dad. My mom was working at a Chinese restaurant in town, pulling in .50 cents per hour, plus tips, which were meager in our blue-collar little town.

The wonder of Christmas is that kids are more than willing to face the headwinds of reality and continue to wish for presents and Christmas trees.  We were no different.  My brother and I wished for Roy Rogers six-guns and holsters and my sister pined for a baby doll.

As Christmas neared, and no tree appeared, with no signs of presents, we finally began to accept the reality of a sparse Christmas Eve.  As we walked home from school we began peering into the windows of neighbors and admiring their Christmas trees with gaily wrapped presents around the tree.

On Christmas Eve morning arrived we arose excitedly because the local theater was presenting a free Christmas show for the city's children.  As we ate our breakfast oatmeal and talked excitedly about the free movies our mother hushed us, reminding us that dad was sleeping because he would  be working the swing shift at the cotton mill and was already in a bad mood.  We quickly quieted down lest he awake and quash our trip to the movies.

Our mother left for work on the day shift at the China Cafe and cautioned us again to keep quiet until we left for the theater.  We played outside and then about noon we set off for the theater.  Though we had no hope for a Christmas snow in our central California town, the fog had rolled in and we delighted in walking through the whispery fog.  Sounds of traffic seemed dampened by the fog as we crossed the busy highway on our way to the show.  As we arrived at the theater the fog was beginning to dissipate and a weak December sun struggled through the clouds.  We soon joined an impossibly long line of kids awaiting entry to the theater.   The smell of popcorn and chocolate candy permeated the theater lobby as we rushed to claim a seat.  For the next four hours we were entertained by a Tom and Jerry cartoon, a Bugs Bunny feature and two westerns; a Gene Autry flick and a Roy Rogers western.  As my brother and I watched Roy dispatch the bad guys we lusted after those pearl handled six guns holstered in magnificent leather holsters.

As the final feature ended the theater went dark and we began to rise to leave when all of a sudden we heard the familiar "ho-ho-ho" of Santa!  Soon a spotlight shone on the fat jolly fellow on center stage and he carried over his shoulder a substantial royal velvet sack.  Santa then beckoned all of us to line up on each side of the aisle and come down to the stage for a treat.  As my sister and brother and I lined up we were soon rewarded with a small satchel of candy and nuts.

We all happily began walking home with our Christmas treats.  Licking peppermint candy canes we were immersed in the pure joy of Christmas.  As we neared home the winter sun was giving away to the shadows of evening.  As we turned up the drive to our home we saw our mom's car was home and we hurried into the house, each of us bellowing with the tale of a magical Christmas afternoon.  Our mom laughed and hugged us and beckoned us into the kitchen.   As we came into the kitchen she waved a hand toward a two-foot high "Christmas Tree" perched grandly on a table at the kitchen bay window.

Our eyes shone with delight as we gazed at the beautiful little tree.  We oohed and aahed at the little red holly berries which subbed for Christmas tree lights.  Bright ropes of popcorn strings ran gaily around the tree and we squealed with delight at the magical apparition of a tree we had little expectation of seeing at Christmas that year.

The magical appearance of a tree now sparked anew our dreams of a visit from Santa.  As we ate supper that evening we told mom about the wonderful Christmas show and Santa's visit to the theater.  Soon dinner and dishes were done and our mom wrangled us reluctantly to bed.

The next morning we awoke to the scent of morning coffee and mom's traditional cinnamon rolls.  We leaped out of bed and ran to the kitchen tree to see if Santa had visited.  Our hearts leaped with joy as we looked upon the beautiful Holly Berry tree, now made more lovely by brightly wrapped presents which surrounded it.  With mom's blessing we leaped at the presents and madly tore the wrappings to see that Santa had heard our wishes.  My brother and I had our six guns and holsters and enough cap ammo to keep the neighbors alert on Christmas Day.  Our sister received her lovely baby doll.  Throughout that Christmas Day we were joyous and grateful to Santa for such a wonderful Christmas.

The next day I was running around outside, pinging off bad guys with my Roy Rogers guns, when I stopped to look at the Holly Berry bush which grew just outside the kitchen window.   I noted a gaping hole in the bush and soon surmised that our "Christmas Tree" arrived only through the good grace of our mother.  I turned and went back into the house and walked over to the tree.  Peeling  back the aluminum foil at the base I saw that mom had planted our "tree" in an old Folgers coffee can.  In seeing this, some of the magic had diminished from the Christmas Eve wonder that my eyes had beheld only a couple of days before.  Then, intuitively, for that is all an eight year old can understand, I felt a great love for my mom's kindness in giving us a Christmas tree.  I went over and gave her a hug which prompted the question "what was that for?"  I gave no answer and ran back out to play.

At that tender age, I still credited Santa for my present.  But, as the years have gone by,  I have thanked my mother for all the gifts she gave us...but, most of all, I have blessed and thanked her for keeping the dreams of childhood alive for another year...and for reminding me that the joy of Christmas is in giving... even when there is so very little to give.





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"No Redemption"

                                                       
I know a fellow who has been on a quest for redemption for the past twenty years.  A man who loved to sing, who had sung every day of his life, suddenly realized that he no longer had enough joy in his heart to ever sing again...and he has not, leaving the art of song to others.  Upon the realization that joy had deserted him, he began to take a good long look at his life.   His quest began, at first, with a thorough reflection of all that had gone before, the road of life he had travelled in the previous years.  He looked at his failures and successes and weighed them, each to the other.  Just as a ship's sonar will ping against an object on the scope, his mind pinged out toward all of the relationships he had built throughout his life.  He tried mightily to evaluate the level of hurt or joy he might have brought to each of those relationships and carefully measured the distance of the gaps which must be traversed to heal where the hurt exists and build a bridge that might grant easier access toward a more joyful and harmonious link to each heart and soul.

To do so he knew that he must first find peace within his own soul, for he longed for peace and tranquility above all else.  The task was arduously difficult,  for peace within one's soul can only truly be achieved when redemption for one's mistakes is granted by those who might have become affected by his actions.  Alas, the fellow learned that redemption is sometimes just not achievable.  No matter how this fellow pleaded for the grace of forgiveness there were those who refused to grant it.  His mistakes and failures were too often tossed back to him and his soul remained adrift.  No matter how many times he raised his sails to plow forward, the headwinds of the old angers and resentments of love ones left him stranded and lost on an angry sea. 

This fellow often set out on distant journeys to loved ones who gathered for all the grand occasions that cry out for familial reunion.  On these occasions, simmering just below the level of quiet conversation, or intermittent familial joys, there still brewed the bitter resentments, ready to flare up at any breach of understanding.  This made any future efforts toward a rapprochement of loving relationships fraught with tentative and frightening possibilities for further hurt.

I know this fellow well.  He has now sadly realized that redemption can only be granted, and not necessarily earned.  He now knows that any redemption to be achieved must come from travelling different roads and encountering different faces where the slate of one's relationships are pure and clean and free of unforgiving memories. 

Until death takes him....and grants him the final redemption, he must be satisfied with half-full glasses, lonely roads and unfamiliar faces.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Food Stamp Fraud"

Did anyone notice the news yesterday on the latest Food Stamp fraud?  American taxpayers were cheated out of $500 million dollars this year alone by secondary grocery stores like 7-11 stores paying out 30 cents on the dollar to food stamp holders, then redeeming the full value of the food stamp cards.  Huge profits at our expense!  Obama's Attorney General and the Agriculture Department went aggressively after the businesses but not the food stamp recipient.  After all, the food stamp recipients are just "victims", aren't they?  Never mind that they apparently didn't need the food; after all you can only buy your drugs with cold hard cash.

When Food Stamps were introduced in the late 70's, as part of Jimmy Carter and the Dems unrelenting efforts to reward their electorate, were actually paper stamps.  Within a year the drug culture in Chicago, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles were using Food Stamps as the currency of choice to buy their dope. 

Rather than address the core issue; whether or not a particular person was deserving of this benefit, or whether program "need" was actually being properly audited, the government decided that Food Stamp cards would be preferable.  First, it would completely eliminate the shame that a Food Stamp recipient might feel in the grocery line.  Secondly, it would be so much more efficient.  After all, how could a food stamp recipient cheat with a food stamp credit card?  In recent years, while tax-paying American families have had to forego a night out at a fast food place, the Food Stamp crowd are now approved to enhance their obesity and diabetes just by swiping that Food Stamp card for those Supersize Big Mac combos.

                                                   
We now know:  Never underestimate the ingenuity of a "victim class" that has developed a sense of entitlement unrivaled in our history.  Many states have now opted to do away with welfare checks and simply re-boot the welfare recipients credit card.  Alas, now we are learning that these welfare folks are now using their welfare credit cards in casino slot machines across the land. 

My mom was on welfare for about a year when I was a kid.  She and we hated it.  In addition to a very small welfare check we were invited to the county welfare office once a month.  We would pull up to a dock in the back of the building and go in and get a box of excess agricultural commodities.  Within the box was a bag of flour, a bag of sugar, a block of cheese, dried beans and a sack of potatoes.  We were also visited at home by a welfare worker who walked through our house, ask us questions about parental care...and embarassed the hell out of us with that state welfare car out front for all our neighbors to see. We hated it and got off of it as quickly as we could.

That's what we need today.  We need direct government supervision of benefit programs, active audits, and we need to have welfare recipients to hate it, and want to get off of the program as soon as possible!  Instead, we have three generations of Great Society "victims" who demand more and more from the taxpayer.

At the very least, let's make a deal with this "victim class".  Let's cut out the shady 7-11 store owner "middlemen" and offer these welfare suckers 30 percent on the dollar in cash in lieu of Food Stamps that they apparently neither want or need.  We could balance our budget in a year

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Goodbye Daily Reader

                                                  
Good Morning Dear Reader,

Today will be the last entry for my daily blog.  I will continue to post to my blog periodically but no longer on a daily basis.  I would like to thank those who have visited me almost daily.  I'm appreciative of your visits as well as your comments on all the many issues I have written about.

I began my blog on the 17th of January, 2011 and have tried to post on a daily basis.  My goals were to entertain with personal stories, educate on our national concerns and motivate readers toward being more responsible citizens.  If I have given even a few of you a thought to ponder...or a laugh...or a feel good moment then I will consider my efforts to have been worth it.

As of today I will have posted 256 blogs entries and have attracted close to 40,000 visits during the last ten months.  That count is more than many but not nearly enough to consider this blog successful and viable.  I have written of such national concerns as illegal immigration, a corrupt and ineffective government and have lamented the apathy of our citizens toward addressing these concerns.  I have written of those I love and those I greatly admire.

I have also written of personal life experiences and have enjoyed the writing of them immensely, especially when I receive comments from readers who relate similar experiences.  Sometimes I have used humor to poke fun at myself or to illustrate some of the government's folly in trying to govern.

Should you care to visit my blog and read, or re-read any of those 256 blog entries, they are there for you to peruse.  To Crystal and Jo and Grenadavet and Just Bob and Pammie Jean, and to all of you "anons" out there that came to visit every day, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Should you wish to be notified of any new postings I urge you to sign up for email notifications on the front page of my blog so that you'll be alerted of any new postings.

I'm not saying goodbye...just "see you later"....look for me around the corner...

Monday, November 14, 2011

"A Curmudgeon's Nostalgia"

                                                        
Good morning folks.

Today I'm going to talk about all the things I miss.  I've found the list of things I miss gets longer as I get older.  I addressed a bit of the fast paced frustration we all face these days in my earlier blog "Futureshock is Here".  This blog addresses the things I miss from a simpler time.

I miss "Service Stations" where I would go to have my gas filled up by an attendant who would also check my oil, my wiper fluid, my tire pressure, then wash my windows.......then announce "that'll be two dollars, please"...(22 cents a gallon gasoline). 

I miss ten cent coffee, with free re-fills.

I miss two for a penny Tootsie Rolls.

I miss drinking from a garden hose in the heat of summer and never knowing that garden hoses cause cancer.

I miss Dodgeball, and Red Rover and Red Light-Green light and lightening bugs.

I miss the golden era of fast food, before microwaves, when you went to a drive-in and they were forced to make your burger fresh and served to you sizzling on the bun.

I miss going to a Taco Bell for the first time and paying a dime for Tostadas, Tacos, Encheritos and Burritos.

I miss going to a movie and a quarter would get you a ten cent movie ticket, a bag of popcorn and a package of Neccos.

I miss my first car, an aged 52 Hudson that had seats more comfortable than any living room sofa, had a walnut dash and a radio that played Elvis with deep rich tones. 

I miss my second car, a 1952 Candy Apple Red Buick convertible that ferried my friends and I to innumerable drive-in movies.

I miss drive-in movies where you and five friends could go and see "Attack of The Fifty-Foot Woman" and "The Pit and The Pendulum" for "a dollar a car load".

I miss the original Sean Connery James Bond movies.

I miss listening to the Rock Top 40 and being able to understand the words.

I miss the time when a loaf of bread in 1960 cost you a quarter...and it cost a quarter in 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65..because we had no inflation.

I miss when large extended families got together for every holiday; you got to compare the cooking skills of all the aunts and grannies and learned to put up with a nerdy cousin or two.

I miss going to school, having a class of 35 kids and all listened to and learned from their teacher..else you went to the Principal's office for the dreaded leather strap.

Don't get me wrong; I love many things about today; IPODs, my Kindle E-Reader, My Microwave Oven,
beautifully stocked grocery stores, more reliable automobiles, the convenience of the Internet and Diet Sodas that really do taste like the sugarized version.  (Anybody remember Tabb?, ugh).

But, I do miss many things from the "good ole days".  I'm lucky though; I can travel back in memory to re-visit those things; hell, I can even do that while reading my Kindle or listening to my IPOD!

Pardon me..gotta run...gotta go up to the gas station and spend $75.00 bucks to pump my own gas, check my own oil and wash my own damned windows!

                                                        

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Life Goes To The Movies"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1The last time I went to a theater to see a movie, the showing was "Forest Gump".  I think that was about  1994.  I don't like the cracker box theaters, $7 dollar boxes of popcorn and, if I wanted to hear cell phones ringing, I could go to the nearest mall.

However the biggest reason for my non-attendance has been the dearth of good movies, or at least movies that have some interest to me.  I do not enjoy computer enhanced car chase action, massive explosions or, in another vein, movies that exploit and degrade the human condition.  Even Disney, in the aftermath of the great Walt, has sold out to purely stupfying commercialism.  I cried when Bambi lost her mother, was enchanted by Snow White, enraptured by Cinderella and mesmerized by Fantasia.  But "old Walt" would not be happy with Pochahantas or most of the other computer animated films without a soul that came after. So many Disney films these days are like wax people, attractive to look at but lacking heart.  The Harry Potter series is much more appealing.

Ironically, I absolutely love movies!  I'm sure a little of who I am emanates from models of behavior that I've seen in movies.   I love the old movies and first thing every day I turn to Turner Classic Movies to see what the fare is for the day.  TCM is pure class.  By contrast, if you watch AMC you are surely watching the sixth showing of a Stallone or Eastwood action flick...and it'll take you three hours to watch it as you wade through an hour of commercials dispersed every five minutes or so.

A good movie, to me, will have a good solid story, meaningful dialogue and plot and will touch my heart or stimulate my mind.

I learned about social justice from watching "The Ox-Bow Incident", "A Few Good Men" and "12 Angry Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Heat of The Night"

I learned about love from "An Affair to Remember" and "Ghost" and "Rome Adventure" and "Charade" and
"Pretty Woman" and "It Happened One Night" and "Gone With The Wind" and many more.

I learned what a great teacher was by watching "Stand and Deliver" and "To Sir With Love".

I learned about history by watching "Roots" and "The Winds of War" and "The Civil War", and not a bastardized account of the Vietnam conflict with "Hamburger Hill" and "Appocalipse Now".

I learned about compassion from "The Ice is Blue" and "Philadelphia" and "Of Mice and Men" and "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington".

I learned to laugh by watching Oliver and Hardy and "Some Like It Hot" and "Blazing Saddles" and "Tootsie" and "The Odd Couple" and "When Harry Met Sally" and "Bull Durham" and, thankfully, many more.

The best movies provide pathos, laughter, spiritual richness, escapism and the inspiration to be just a bit better as a person. 

Gotta Go now...American Graffitti is coming on and I don't want to miss a minute!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Oprah, Where's My Kitchen?"

I love Oprah Winfrey.  She's smart, well-spoken, funny, and has a kind heart.  Although I don't watch her every day, those times when I do I find the show quite interesting and entertaining.  I do have one problem with Oprah and that is her "screening process" for those oh so wished for home re-models that she occasionally sponsors.  Most irritating are those kitchen re-models.  I have watched many of those "before and after" shows and I can barely sit still in my battered old recliner as I watch some yahoo proclaim that they have the ugliest kitchen in America. 

Not true.  These supposedly "ugliest kitchens" do not hold a pot holder to mine.  I live in a house built in 1960 and no where is this more evident than in the kitchen.  How bad is it?  Well, first, you've really got to watch re-runs of The Brady Bunch to get an idea of the decor; then you have to imagine that Brady Bunch kitchen 50 years later.  My kitchen counter tile is kind of a yellowish-brown tone, made more hideous by years of coffee stain and food sediments which have settled nicely into the grouting.  The "decorative" back splash tiles have imprints of quaint little coffee pots that were the rage during the Eisenhower administration.  The stove top is ancient and was made by a company that went out of business fifty years ago.  A few years ago I was so desperate for an upgrade I bought a wall oven to replace the 1960's model.  The "new" model was manufactured when Nixon was directing break-ins at the Watergate.

But folks, it is the kitchen cabinets that bring this kitchen to the ultimate hideousness.  They are the original 50's cabinets that probably nicely accommodated a 1960's household where the state of the art appliance was a four slice toaster.  When I first moved into this house I made a futile attempt to stain the greased stained maple cabinets.  I scrubbed and sanded and tried mightily to apply an even coat of cherry stain to the old wooden cabinets.  Alas, being the oaf I am, the stain is splotched and uneven and is not much unlike those young men you see walking around with dual-toned brown and blond-frosted hair tones.  Really ugly.  The cabinet doors do not close, the door clips having long ago given up the ghost.  So the cabinet doors stand half-open at all times, inviting the kitchen visitor to see stained oil cloth kitchen shelving. 

Tried my hand at painting too!  I painted the kitchen walls yellow to match the counter top tile.  Ugh!  My kitchen lighting is a five-foot florescent light fixture that glows brightly and serves to highlight the quiet desperation that is my kitchen. 

Every time I walk into my kitchen (on shit-brown linoleum floor tiles) I am discouraged and disgusted.

So, Oprah, when you choose those folks who are "suffering" under the antiquity of 90's style maple cabinets and simply  must  replace that ten year old tile floor, you have badly chosen. 

Oprah, can you even imagine the stark contrast of MY "before and after" kitchen re-model?  Choose ME and my kitchen and win the praise of home re-modelers everywhere!  Oprah, you owe me a new kitchen! 

Gotta go now....I think I hear my dishwasher dribbling.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Through A Child's Eyes"

Good Morning Everyone,

Can you remember back, when you were a child, how everyday things appeared to you back then?  Can you close your eyes and remember how big grown ups seemed to you?...and they seemed to be even bigger, depending on their level of authority!  For instance, my mom when she was mad at me, and coming at me with a switch, was huge and scary!  With few exceptions, I always put my teachers on a pedastal and they seemed so big and wise...but they didn't compare to our school principal, who was a very large man whom we held in awe!  He was "the enforcer"; you never wanted to be sent to his office, for his spankings with the leather strap were legend!...and most probably, exagerated. 

Even mundane things back then appeared larger in the eyes of a child.  I still remember our school cafeteria trays; they were made of a strange combination of cork and melmac or something and served as both plate and tray.  As we lined up in an orderly fashion at the serving counter our "hair net hostesses" (usually someone's mom or grandmom that we knew) would dole out white bread in one pocket, jiggling jello in another, then we moved on to the mac n cheese or meatloaf or fish sticks or whatever...and sat down on low tables that, for us, we're just the right size!  But those plate/trays seemed huge to me back then.  Even a brown bag sandwich from home was something we had to maneuver with two hands!  And those little half-pint cartons of milk were just the right size.

As I get older, I have the luxury of time to recall those child hood years and it is such a delight to re-visit them!  Does anyone remember when we made shoe-box theaters?  We would bring to school a shoe box and were shown how to cut a circular hole at the end of the shoe box and a similar one in the lid.  We would then make stick figured people and little trees and bushes using plants or materials from the yard.  At Christmas time we would make shoe box nativity scenes and then thrill to the scenes as we viewed it through the hole at the end of the box.  More spectacular were those little Viewmaster slide machines with the little round disks of pictures of the Roman Colleseum or the Eifel Tower or little dutch people standing next to a windmill.  I loved those viewmasters; they magically swept me away to distant lands and peoples! 

                                                
I wish, when I was raising my kids, that I had the luxury of hindsight; the luxury of time given me now that affords me a better understanding of what the world looks like to a child.  I wouldn't have been so tough on them.  Perhaps, in an ideal world, grandparents could always be around to temper the harshness that a child faces every single day, whether from a harried parent trying to make a living for his family, or marital discord, or taxing schedule, or for the harshness that comes from a school bully or the frightening real world events for which the child has so little comprehension. 

Thank God, I have wonderful children who are wonderful parents.  I don't live near any of my grandchildren now so my visits to them are pretty special..and memorable.  Although I've never told my kids this, I often look at my grandchildren's photo on Facebook and focus on their eyes....and I try to imagine what they are thinking and seeing at the moment of the camera click.  I was also fortunate to visit two of them at Christmas time; it was such a joy because I can now more clearly see what they are seeing....thanks to my own visitations to a child hood I hold so dear.

Like a child peeking through the hole of that little "shoe box theater" I now have the freedom to filter out all of life's distractions and see the magic and wonder that can only truly be seen through the eyes of a child.

Life is good.                                              

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"The Goat Lady"

                                        
Good Morning Folks,

There is a lady who lives up in Utah named Kazia Hancock.  She lives out in the country with her dogs, her ducks and geese and her goats.  In fact, she is known as The Goat Lady.  When you look in her eyes you see the sparkle of a bright shining soul looking back at you.  Her face reflects an aura of peace and love and contentment.  It should; her part time occupation is that of "peacemaker". 

Ms Hancock has attended no peace conference nor does she hold official credentials as an Ambassador, though ambassador and diplomat she is.

Ms. Hancock is a renowned artist.  Her work is captivating and eclectic...and superb.

But Ms. Hancock's best work is reserved for only a select special few;  she paints portraits of every serviceman and woman who have given their life for our country.  Using a photograph, Ms. Hancock paints an original oil portrait of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and presents it to the service member's family.  She says she falls in love with every warrior she has painted.  She loves to quote Father Denis O'Brien of the U.S. Marine Corp:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag
.

           
                                             
As the war toll has risen Ms. Hancock now enlists the help of three other cooperative artists who formed "Project Compassion" to insure every surviving family has a portrait of their loved one.  The families love her and speak of the immense comfort this gesture of love and respect gives them.  Service members write Kazia and say such things as "thank you....we cannot think of a better example of who we're fighting for than you"..

Yes, Kazia Hancock is indeed a peacemaker.  She is the Ambassador to the Human Heart.  She is the official liaison between the fallen soldier and his family, giving them, through her portrait, the last whisper of love from the noble heart.

And May God forever bless our dearest Ambassador.

Note:  Should you wish to write and thank this wonderful lady for her service to our country, you can email her at ProjectCompassion@manti.com.

"Music Doth Soothe The Savage Soul"

My earliest memories of music was the sounds that emanated from a five feet tall wooden monstrosity that sat in prominence in our living room, a solid but ancient Motorola radio.  My folks were Okies and loved that four-four beat and the nasal twang of a Webb Pierce or Ernest Tubb singing of forsaken love and honky-tonk heartbreak. 

I couldn't relate to those singers but, between radio broadcasts of Roy Rodgers or Hoppalong Cassidy, an occasional song would stir my innocent soul.  The first singer that captured my attention was Hank Williams; his songs were melodious, or funny, or achingly sad, and, though I couldn't identify it then, I sensed a genuousness to ole Hank's music.  Hank would sing honky-tonk and you just knew he was enjoying himself in some Alabama beer joint off the main route someplace.  And when, he sang of heartbreak, my heart would ache a little myself.

A decade later I would join the army of teenagers walking around with a red plastic Japanese red transistor radio growing out of our ears.  While we all held vigil until Elvis could be released from the prison of military service, we listened to Roy Orbison and Ray Charles and Ricky Nelson and two stunning new sounds; the fantastic notes from Mo-Town and Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound".  You couldn't listen to that music without tapping your feet or rising into a mad dance of glee.   And when our young hearts were aching from unrecognized or forsaken or broken love, we could turn on the radio and listen to others singing out expressions of our angst.

As I grew older my appreciation for music expanded to other schools.  I found classical music to not be "long hair" at all and could be soothing or dramatic, by turns.  I learned to appreciate the sincerity expressed in good gospel music or the gutterly sexual joy or amplified torment expressed in jazz. 

Music is truly magical in that it is probably the strongest means to instantly bring back the memories of a particular time in your life.  I can hear a song from my youth and instantly be transported to time and place and circumstance!  Music is like little "place mats" that allow us to sit down to another place and time and sup from the richness of past. 

When music is meaningful to me I can feel a stirring of my soul, the chill bumps appear and I am in ecstasy!  And it can happen with all forms of music.  When Brian Wilson is singing "In My Room", I am in that teenage room with that old record player, a school pennant and a "Top 40" radio flyer pinned above the bed!  When I hear John Phillip Souza I am marching on that parade field on that USAF Officer's school graduation!  When I hear Canned Heat or The Greatful Dead or Big Brother and The Holding Company I am in a bunker in Vietnam.  Music is better than any time machine; it transports us to a meaningful past in the comfort of the present.

Music is universal but intensely personal.  While I can't stand today's music (just as our parents could not stand ours), I am absolutely sure that today's music is as meaningful to today's generation as ours is and was.

Our world is plagued by great troubles and great struggles and pain and heartbreak.  And yet, our world is blessed with great beauty as well; the painting arts, the written arts and yes, the beauty of music.  Art, and particularly music, becomes the means to express all the life experience.

We must truly give thanks to our creator for giving us the strength to endure all that life throws at us, while giving us the gifts of music and art to express our frustrations and the comfort that they provide.

gotta go now...Chuck Berry just came on...and I gotta get up and dance!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Buttering Up Paula Deen"

Last night my daughter emailed me to recommend a Food Network link to a Paula Deen recipe for English Peas.  The recipe called for 1) an appropriate sized pot, 2) two cans of English peas 3) a quarter pound of butter.  Basically it was "select pan, turn on burner, open two cans of peas, add cube of butter, enjoy".  The recipe was so clearly simplistic that it drew a host of very funny reviews. 

Let me first say that I love Food Network, have long enjoyed Giada's cleavage as she makes pasta dishes "sexy", really enjoyed Rachel Ray until she became as overexposed as a Britney Spears limo exit, and love to see Bobby Flay get "whooped" by a southern chef with a killer barbecue recipe.  However, I've always been a bit put off by Paula Deen and her orgasmic delight on adding huge gobs of butter to every cooking recipe.  I'm also always a bit uncomfortable when she has her two sons in the kitchen with her and, as they prepare an old family recipe, like buttered butterbeans, she reminds her sons on air that she bought them their palatial homes.  This is so "Y'all will know how sweet she is".

However, at last night's reading of the English Peas recipe, I have fallen madly in love with Paula and want to be her business manager.  I can take Paula to new heights of success, far beyond the Walmart Carrot Cake and the pots and pans business.

I am proposing that Paula apply her love of butter toward a host of additional endorsement deals:

I will first have Paula endorsing a national brand of real butter.  She will be dressed to the hilt, divinely coiffed silver wig in place, and endorse the joys of cooking with real butter, as opposed to the leading tub of margarine; all she need do is curl her lip and point to that yellow tub of margarine and say "I know damn well it ain't butter".,,,:and "y'all know it too!"

The next endorsement will have Paula smack dab in the middle of a Home Depot aisle and she'll hold up a can of WD-40 while in her other hand she holds a tub of butter.  All she need say is "To lubricate those rusty joints and stop those squeaky doors, I prefer mother nature's own remedy, Y'all". 

Next I want to see Paula stepping out of the shower, dripping wet, scoop out a gob of butter and begin slathering her Reubenesqe body with this versatile product and say "Hey Y'all, Cleopatra enjoyed milk baths but I've never enjoyed a more luxurious moisturizer than what Elsie the Cow provides".

Finally, we'll shuffle Paula over to the late night audience.  We'll bring in her hubby, Slud, or Mud, or whatever she calls him.  We'll have she and hubby cuddling in a huge heart-shaped Hollywood bed, lights low.  Paula will give Mud, Slud a big kiss and reach back to the night table, cup her hand erotically and dip out a healthy helping of butter as she gazes passionately  into the camera and whispers "Slud, Mud just loves the pleasure and intimacy good ole butter brings to our passion sessions...camera fade-out, with Slud, Mud smiling devilishly.

Paula!  Y'all call me, hear!


Note:  Folks, if you enjoy these blogs, let me me know through the comments section just below.  And mark me in your "favs" and come back and "set a spell".

Monday, October 31, 2011

Obama's "Leading From Behind" Controversy

                                                 
Last week the White House was in a frenetic tizzy over a report published in the New Yorker regarding his leadership style.  Considering the dearth of any Main Stream Media who dare to criticize the anointed one, the liberal New Yorker story was quite remarkable.

The news article that stirred the war of words between the New Yorker and the White House was in referenced to a White House advisor leak which characterized Obama's foreign policy strategy in dealing with the Libyan uprising was to "lead from behind".  Apparently Obama wanted the U.S. to take a back seat to Nato and allow French and British forces to take the lead in providing military assistance to the Libyan rebels.

I found this little liberal tiff a bit amusing.  Most of us already know that this Community Organizer "led from behind" since January 20th, 2009.  After all, it was Reid and Pelosi who packed all of that liberal pork into the $870 billion dollar stimulus bill that created no jobs.  Once Harry and Nasty had all the earmarks loaded into the bill they marched up to the White House and told Obama "sign here".  Same thing with the Obamacare bill.  Likewise with the debt ceiling talks.

In my fifty years of following politics I have never seen a President so lacking in leadership skills.  How can that be surprising about a man who has been coddled his entire life, whether by his white grandparents or the overly generous minority scholarships that provided for his "Community Organizer" training.

The only thing Obama has ever achieved is being deft at campaigning from behind a teleprompter.  Having failed as a leader he has decided to enter campaign mode early in a last desperate bid to win another four years of "leading from behind".

Sad,  Damned Sad.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"How To Survive The Coming Financial Collapse"

First, I want to say that I am not, nor have I ever been, one of those wacky "survivalists" who are carving out caves in Idaho, stockpiling weapons and C-rations, in anticipation of the Armageddon.  Having said that, I am very concerned about our country's future and how both national and world events will impact our everyday lives in the very near future. 

I truly believe that the current "recession" is much more than that; I believe our present state of the nation is caused by a confluence of events occurring over the past three decades.  During this period we have seen the collapse of our manufacturing base, and the accompanying collapse of the middle class who were able to earn a living wage, fund our social safety net requirements, and contribute to our nation's growth.

Secondly, we have seen the total failure of K-12 education as parents struggled to earn a living and disengaged from parent-teacher participation in school performance.  Compounding the problem has been massive federal intervention in school management as well as the ballooning of costly and cumbersome school administration bureaucracies at all levels of government.  However, the most damaging impact on our school system has been the liberal court mandates that orders us to build more schools, hire more teachers and administrators and buy educational equipment to educate tens of millions of illegal children over the past three decades.  Consequently, student learning has declined, graduation rates have plunged and America finds itself on the losing end of Asian countries who are realizing rapid gains in math and science advantages.

Third, America continues to act as if we are the policeman to the world, spending trillions of borrowed dollars to fund our foreign wars.  Even more insane, we continue to attempt to fund a massive social welfare system without the funds to do so.

Finally, while we cope with our own massive domestic problems the world is rapidly changing.  The two most populous nations in the world, China and India, are rapidly industrializing, gaining wealth, developing a rapidly expanding middle class and placing explosive demand on the world's resources.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that oil, precious metals and food prices will experience explosive price increases. 

So where does all this leave us? 

It puts we Americans in a pretty precarious position.  With a decline in a "system-supporting" middle class, a lack of discipline in asserting reasonable government budget management, a declining educational knowledge base we are faced with falling rapidly in the rank of nations.

As this national decline develops how does the "average joe" in America hope to survive?

Well first, you pull your head out of your ass, stop spending much of your time posting inanities on Facebook, give up a little of your "Glee" and "American Idol" watching and learn what the hell is going on in your country and in the world.

Let's figure this out:  First, as our debt to foreign nations increase, the value of the dollar will decline.  So hold on to your gold and silver jewelry, if that's all you can do.  If you, after the government takes half of your income in taxes, still have money to invest, invest in gold stocks, oil companies and agricultural stocks; these companies will thrive as the demand for precious commodities skyrocket. 

Next, go down to your Home Depot and buy vegetable seeds; you're going to need to plant a garden and grow your own vegetables.  And finally (and tragically) yeah, you're going to have to buy a gun.  As the social safety net collapses and three generations of welfare folks no longer have access to the government tit, you can expect a soaring crime wave.  Having never learned to provide for themselves, or ponder the future, they'll be coming after what you have.

Finally, to stave off  the "bad times"as long as possible, get involved as a citizen and try to vote for politicians that are truly aware and committed to solving our problems. 

Yeah, I'm sure a good percentage of you think my "doomsday scenario" will never come true.  To those I will only say "may God prove me wrong and you right".  I'm not betting on it and neither should you.

Gotta go now...gotta get back to my planting primer on how to grow tomatoes and cucumbers...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Bush, The Democrat's Best Friend"

In the ten years since George W. Bush came on the national scene I've tried hard to figure him out.  Though he proclaimed himself to be a "compassionate conservative" I've always wondered what he really is.

Let me make it clear; I don't believe that Bush was responsible for the recession following 9/11.  If anyone is responsible I would place more blame on Clinton for9/11 occurring. Clinton's complacency in dealing with two huge terrorist elements that were strengthened and grew bolder under Clinton's watch are borderline criminal.  Doing little of nothing for the 94 WTC attack, not retaliating after the USS Cole was bombed and failing to authorize the CIA strike of the Al Quaida and Osama Bin Laden camp only emboldened the terrorists.

I also don't blame Bush for the financial collapse in 2008; it was Chris Dodd and Barney Frank on the House Banking committee who ignored Bush's warnings to clamp down on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and stop the bad loans to unqualified buyers.  And most Democrats refuse to talk about what brought about the banking crisis; it was Clinton's, and the Dem's cancellation of the  Glass-Seagul Act which allowed banks and financial institutions to merge business interests and strike down a banking law that had protected us from financial calamity since the Great Depression of the 30's.\

What I do blame Bush for is the hard-headedness which took us into two extended major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite state department council that warned against trying to "democratize" Muslim countries who are capable of a benign theocracy at best.  In fighting these two wars for a decade now we have expended trillions of dollars that we don't have and have sacrificed countless American lives in the process. 

If Bush had wanted to "avenge" his father's failure to drive into Baghdad during the first Gulf War, why in hell didn't he just go in, take out Sadaam and his sons, and get the hell out?  What was the purpose of staying?  Democracy?  Aint' gonna happen in countries where religion is the overriding influence in every phase of their lives.

With respect to Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Quaida are in Pakistan, not Afghanistan!  They fled!  Now what?  Do we continue to spend $2 billion dollars a week to fight a war where the enemy has "left the building"?  Afghanistan's government is ripe with corruption and the enemy have fled!  By all means, let's fight terrorists, but let's do it on our terms!  We don't have to have our troops tromping all over the desert, being blown up, injured and killed by terrorist guerrillas!  Didn't we learn anything from Vietnam? 

Should we now invade a nuclear-armed Pakistan for god's sake?  Enough.  Bring our troops and all the equipment home.  Use the money saved to beef up our harbor security, put our troops on the border and stop this massive invasion of illegal immigrants and spend that trillion dollars here!  Hell, it might even pull us out of recession!  And if or when we are ever attacked on our soil we have the means to know where that attack originated from and we can do what's necessary to take the threat out.

In 2008 the American people, weary of an extended and pointless war, and alarmed by explosive spending by Bush and the Republicans and Democrats, had finally had enough.  We elected a socialist President and we elected a horde of socialist Democrats who have been having an orgy with our checkbook.

When Republicans complain , the Democrats respond with the mantra, "Bush did it too"  So what we face today was caused by a hard-headed Texas-Macho free-spending Bush who claimed to be conservative and was anything but.

Why did Bush perform so badly?  Well, take it to it's roots.  The elder Bush lost an election when he wandered into a department store in the middle of the 91 recession and marvelled at the bar scanner! Scanners had been around for a decade but Bush doesn't have to shop for himself.  Always a rich man, he just couldn't relate to the average joe.  George W. has fared no better in understanding the electorate.  He certainly didn't understand the word "conservative".

So what is Bush's legacy?  He was the Democrat's best friend.  For the next decade or so, he'll be the excuse the liberals use when they are criticized for those spending orgies they love.  Bush and a number of recent Republicans did more to damage the conservative cause than anyone I know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Obama Is Taxing Our Patience"

                                              
The latest iteration of Obama's "Tax The Rich" speech is now on the road.  Apparently, he has chosen just to ride this mantra right into the next election.  It matters not that the top 20 percent of wage earners pay 70 percent of all income taxes.  It matters not that, even if Obama's tax the rich plan were passed, it wouldn't raise more than ten percent of the additional $460 billion dollars he wants to spend to "stimulate" the economy (read preserve union jobs and pay vig money to the "victim class" who supports him).  It matters not that the Obama/Reid/Pelosi regime's $787 billion dollar pork-laden "stimulus" program created no jobs.  It matters not that Obama confiscated $537 million dollars for his solar pal, Solyndra and watched our tax money go down the tube in a company bankruptcy.  It matters not that millions of that 2009 stimulus money went to a Chicago Water Park subsequently busted for hiring illegal aliens to maintain it.

Obama now knows that his only hope for survival and re-election is for him to demonize the Tea Party and conservative Republicans for cutting off his "Chinese-funded" allowance.  He will have to do the greatest sales job in his long "community organizing" career because he has proven that he cannot lead us out of recession.  He now knows that his "hope and change" theme just won't work anymore so he's going to to have to rev up the old Chicago-style political smut campaign to have any hope for re-election. 

I believe Obama's campaign thugs took a look at the polls after his grand "performance" before Congress and saw that they did not receive a bump up in the polls and decided they must stop spending time on "governing" and revert to pure politics for the next 13 months.  Had Obama been sincere about his Jobs Recovery Act he would have sent his staff down to the Capitol and worked with Congress to hammer out a program.  Instead he chose to use the grand stage of the House and the public airwaves to make a political speech in a desperate effort to save his hiney. 

Support in Congress for Obama's latest Jobs Recovery Plan as well as his deficit reduction proposals are nearly non-existent.  Even CNBC and CNN has been reporting that Obama doesn't have Democratic support in either the House or Senate for his proposals.

So, Mr.Obama will tour the nation trying to sell himself once again.  He will appear at specially staged Town Hall Meetings with liberal groups who won't dare to pull a Joe The Plumber and challenge him publicly.  However, I suspect even this tactic won't work.  The majority of the American people have lost patience with Obama.  They have stopped listening.  This community organizer thought he could get by with campaigning instead of leading during his entire term of office.

The American people have had enough.  He has taxed our patience to the max and now he is paying the price.  However, the price he has paid is nothing compared to the price 30 million unemployed and underemployed have paid while waiting for a recovery.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Are Donating To Obama's Campaign Fund

                                               
Hey Republicans, Conservatives and Independents!  Whether you know it or not you are donating to Obama's Re-Election Campaign Fund.  You may not be doing it willingly, but you are.

Obama has, in a last act of desperation, begun to show his true colors.  Having failed miserably to resurrect the economy, thus losing the support of the center right American electorate, Obama has retreated to his true base; tit suckers and college students and is promising them more free taxpayer hand-outs to curry their favor.

During the past two weeks Obama has begun circumventing Congress, and democracy again by issuing "executive orders" to force banks to void contract law and re-finance home loans for folks who foolishly paid twice what their home was worth.  Already deeply in the red,  and bleeding tax payer money at $125 billion dollars per quarter, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now prepared to absorb a few trillion dollars of toxic home loans.   Obama, having made the housing slump longer and deeper through Dodd Frank legislation and an all out assault on the banks, must now try to revive housing by having the taxpayer pay for bad housing decisions.  In effect, every taxpayer, regardless of political persuasion, is now funding Obama's catering to his political base.

This week begins the second round of "fundraising".  Obama has just decreed that folks who took out a trillion dollars in student loans no longer have to make full payment.  Beginning in 2012 student loan borrowers can now make only partial payments to reimburse taxpayers for these loans.  Why?  Because Obama's economic plans have been so horrible that college graduates no longer have jobs to go to after securing their "Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies".  No jobs equals no student loan payback.  What should really anger all of you is that, when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress they passed legislation that totally forgives student loans if they are not paid back within 25 years.  Yesterday Obama shortened that period.  Now, if they haven't paid back their student loans within 20 years, Obama says "that's okay; don't worry about it; we'll just forgive the loan. After all, it's not my money!"

So, be prepared for more federal give a ways as Obama's reelection campaign heats up.  Obama can't win re-election based on his job performance so he has chosen to buy it...with your tax dollars!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Macro Economics and The Blame Game

                                                 

Despite the constant blame game going on between Dems and Republicans, when one looks at the facts, America has been in economic decline for more than fifteen years.  The decline actually began with the erosian of America's manufacturing base. 

When one looks back at developments over the last thirty years we see that the first crack in our manufacturing armor occurred in the early 1980's when Japan began to clean our clock in auto manufacturing.  While Detroit was building 20 feet long gas guzzlers Toyota and Honda began turning our stylish and fuel efficient cars for the America market.  After one looks at the built in costs of overly generous unionized wages and Cadillac health care programs in Detroit it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Japan, and later the Koreans, would win the war.

Our manufacturing decline was offset by the explosive rise of our technology prowess in the mid 90's as Microsoft and Intel and Cisco and IBM began providing products and services that provided a healthy economic base.

Then came the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Signed into law by President Clinton, NAFTA opened up trade opportunties.  Unfortunately, the trade opportunities were for Asia and Mexico.  The U.S., with our built in labor rules and manufacturing costs, could not compete with "dollar a day" Mexican workers and Chinese prison manufacturing labor.  Tens of thousands of American businesses collapsed, to include American clothing factories and any number of small and large tooling and manufacturing concerns. 

Since NAFTA the American economy has been in a tailspin.  We have tried mightily to offset losses in manufacturing by boosting the service sector of our economy.  However, in the last few years, even the service sector businesses are migrating to countries with more favorable corporate tax structures and cheap labor.  When you call the 800 number of an American business these days you are more than likely will be talking to a customer service representative in Mexico or India. 

Another factor in our economic decline has been our big corporations complete loss of civic and community responsibility and the emphasis on the "bottom line" over love of country.  Despite all of Obama's faults, he is right on in pointing this out.  While he rightly points out that we must reward U.S. companies who employ Americans, his liberal policies are achieving the opposite actions; he is driving more U.S. companies out of the U.S. due to crippling federal mandates with everything from labor union favoritism to the effects of Obamacare on operating costs.

If we are to reverse this long term trend in our economic decline it is essential that we eliminate corporate tax loopholes while lowering corporate tax rates.   We must then defeat Obamacare and back off of big government's interference in labor relations.  As Obama proposes, we need to reward companies who employ Americans and punish those who don't.  Finally, we must either work to tweak NAFTA, and all other future trade agreements, to make them more equitable, or we must begin to impose a tariff on all foreign made products.  This is not a new and novel idea.   For more than a century of our history foreign trade tariffs were the primary source of government revenues.    We cannot hope to compete with Mexico or Korea or India or Chinese prison labor under the current trade regulations.

America has a plethora of problems to work through, to include our massive federal debt, the fraud waste and abuse in entitlements and meeting our current and future energy needs, but our macro economic model has been askew for three decades and must be reformed if America is to ever again prosper in today's economic climate.