Friday, January 30, 2015

Love Simply Adorned

                                                                     

The other day my wife took her Honda in for maintenance.  I met her at the shop and picked her up and we went out for a little shopping and a quick lunch.  As I drove into the dealership my wife was waiting for me.  As she walked toward me my heart skipped a beat, just as it has done for more than four decades.  She climbed into the car and buckled her seat belt and we were off.  As I navigated the city streets I again looked over to my wife.  She was looking out the window and didn't see me staring at her.  She was wearing an ancient pair of gray woolen pants and a pink sweatshirt.  Her unkempt hair fell softly to her shoulders and she wore a mother of pearl barrette to tame her bangs....her dress today casual and appropriate for a trip to the car dealership and a fast food lunch somewhere.  If I had dared compliment her on her looks this morning she would have given me a Mona Lisa smile and offered a "this old thing?" sigh.  I remained mum, though I have often thought that my wife is most lovely when she's not trying to. 

I have never been enamored of my woman, or most any woman, when they are all "fru-fru", dressed to the nines...their hair stiffly coiffed, braids of hair snaking up and around their heads, tendrils of hair strategically falling on each side of the forehead.  To complete the formal look they wear stiff bodiced gowns that fall to their feet, the soft round of breast lost in half a yard of satin finery, their lovely legs hidden from my lustful view.  

No matter, I've become convinced over the decades of watching my lady dress, that women are not dressing for us....they are dressing for their ten year old selves as they stood in front of a mirror and dreamed of white knights and fast horses and castles high in the sky.  They're dreaming of ballrooms and glass slippers and handsome princes....we, their men, are simply courtiers of the palace, and when kind, our ladies deem us deserving of offering an opinion on their hair and dress and shoes, before they go out to make the grand entrance in "their public."

I've learned to live with the lady...and the little girl inside her.  And I can never tell her that her time before the mirror is wasted on me...I let her have her fantasies.  But there have been a thousand times when I have looked over at my wife, adorned in pajamas and wooly red socks and found her ravishing.  As many times as that I have laid on one propped elbow in bed and watched her sleep and the loveliness of her innocent vulnerability as she's lost in slumber has melted my heart far more than once.

I have watched her walk away from me a thousand times and admired the graceful swing of hips, the head held high...and felt "love-lust" just watching her walk to the mail box.

But, I love my lady...and part of my lady is still a ten year old girl gazing in the mirror and longing for ball gowns and glass slippers, so I accept her on her terms.  But if she only really knew how my heart turns over when her face is free of makeup and she is swaddled in soft gray pants and pink sweatshirts....if she only knew.




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Obama's "I" Problem

                                                               

A week ago last Tuesday night Barack Hussein Obama mounted the podium in our Capitol building and delivered his 6th State of The Union Address.   Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson was said to have sat in an aisle seat for nine hours prior to the address, just to make sure of a camera op when Barry came down the aisle.  Unfortunately, America was not as anxious to see or hear Barry.  Only 29% of America tuned in.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Unfashionable Honor"

                                                                 

The military honor code proscribes "I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do".  Former Army private, proven liar, proven cheat, and liberal writer Scott Thomas Beauchamp says the military honor code is outdated.  Further, his latest op-ed for the Washington Post recommends that our American Service academies should be disbanded and not a single tax dollar allocated to these outdated institutions.  Thomas argues that there are plenty of public universities fully capable of turning out graduates with far better attitudes and mindsets than are turned out at the West Point or the Air Force Academy.

I guess, to fully understand Beauchamp's comments, one has to understand who Scott Thomas Beauchamp is.  Beauchamp was an Army private who was sent to Iraq back in 2005.  While there, Beauchamp employed his modest writing skills to write about how contemptible he found his fellow grunts to be.  Under the byline "Scott Thomas", Beauchamp wrote about the American Army's cruelty in dealing with the Iraqi's....how America was the "bad guy" and wasn't worthy of citizen support.

Well, these kind of stories was right up the alley for The New Republic, the preeminent ultra liberal magazine, and "bible" to the Obama-Pelosi-Wasserman Schultz crowd.  They ate it up and published every story Beauchamp could turn out from the war zone.  Problem was, none of the stories were true.  As one after another of these stories were concretely refuted, the New Republic was finally forced to begin an investigation.  After two years of foot-dragging, The New Republic was finally forced to print a retraction for all of Beauchamp's fiction.  (I will not lie, cheat or steal...")

Still, in the liberal world, when the facts come in conflict with the fiction, print the fiction.  So Beauchamp still writes for both the liberal Washington Post and the liberal Atlantic Magazine.  

Thus, this past week, Scott Thomas Beauchamp wrote an op-ed calling for the dissolution of the service academies.  He argues that the military honor code is outdated and that the academies themselves turn out mediocre officers with an outdated set of personal ethics that have no place in today's world.

Pardon me if I disagree; we currently have a Commander in Chief who attended Columbia University and Harvard and I'll take the ethics set of our service academies over those of our current CIC any day of the week.  If the lack of ethics and the abject failure of leadership is what America's is shooting for, go with Obama...and those of Scott Thomas Beauchamp.   I think I'll go with an honor code that has worked pretty damn well for 230 years.




Monday, January 26, 2015

The Gospel According To Liberals

                                                               

The Gospel According To Liberals
Genesis, Chapter 1: In the beginning there was "work for sustenance". Mankind was required to toil for his livelihood. Nearly every healthy being was out working for a living...far too busy to whine, cry, riot, plead for the wealth of others. People, though not cared for from cradle to grave, had the supreme freedom to pursue their dreams and know if they worked hard enough success would come...but then how fun is that? So, JFK was killedand America gained a President with severe emotional disorders, and a god complex, and wanted to be worshipped. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

When "White Privilege" Is Okay

                                                                     

Who knew this "White Privilege" rally cry pre-dates the Michael Brown experience?  I was just reading a story about some rather indignant Blacks down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who felt Whites weren't feeling guilty enough....especially when it came to forking out higher and higher property taxes to rebuild schools that Blacks simply loved to destroy as soon as new construction was complete.  So the Blacks in urban Baton Rouge began holding White Privilege rallies in an attempt to raise awareness of just how guilty Whites should feel.

Well, apparently the campaign didn't work!  Whites in the southern part of Baton Rouge kept looking at their property bills and saw higher and higher increases in the costs to maintain their community; higher police costs, higher fire district costs, higher school costs, all attributable to the higher crime rates in predominantly Black neighborhoods.  Accordingly, the high crime rates, and the failure to properly maintain both commercial and residential properties led to an erosion of the tax base, causing the predominately White neighborhoods to bear a larger share of city wide property taxes.

So, exercising their "White Privilege" the Whites have decided to secede from Baton Rouge and rebrand their municipality as St. George.  Whites, outnumbered by Blacks in Baton Rouge, decided they'd had enough of bearing two thirds of the taxes, yet having minority voting status when it came time to decide how their taxes would be spent...or wasted!

Well, as expected, Blacks in Baton Rouge are up in arms!  Pleading their case at public hearings on the issue, Blacks are saying that Whites have an obligation to support Black neighborhoods because...well, just because they ought to have lots of White Guilt!  

The proposed 70% White residents of the new "St. George" counter that Baton Rouge Blacks "seem to feel we are evil and racist" except when it comes to footing the bill...then it's okay to be White".

All of a sudden the "White Guilt" rallies have stopped dead in their tracks in Baton Rouge.  Blacks are now saying the Whites aren't so bad after all and "can't we just all get along?"

Some lessons must be learned the hard way, I guess.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Liberal Fight For The Middle Class

                                                           

Still reeling from Barack Obama's fairy tale presentation at the State of The Union address Tuesday night, I've been overwhelmed with news about the Democrats grand plan to save the middle class.  Rather than implementing legislation that might grow a bigger economic pie, Barry is still gouging at the same old sorry little pie we've had for six years.  He grabbed a great big old hunk of it in January 2013 with a huge tax increase, and, like every big spending liberal whose ever come down the pike, he's back for more this year.

Well, I was thinking that, if Obama and his Democratic minions really cared about the Middle Class, as he professes to do, why doesn't he get his own house in order before trying to dig further into the taxpayer's pocket.  

On Wednesday I read that Barry's Health and Human Services folks flew first class to attend an event in Australia.  The costs: $14,000 dollars plus per ticket.  The coach fare was $2,300 dollars...but we can't have our bureaucrats flying like the rest of us do, can we?  If this were an isolated incident I might chalk it up to one arrogant party screwing the taxpayer.  However, such was not the case.  Seems Barry's gang does this all the time...with total costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  Maybe Barry ought to lend his gang Air Force One; after all, it only cost the taxpayer $7 million dollars for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii!  So, as Barry stood before Congress the other night and cried crocodile tears for the middle class on television, he doesn't have any problem screwing those same taxpayer folks.

And who is not a bigger champion of the middle class than Elizabeth "Hiawatha" Warren!  Alas, the Washington Post reported that, even as Liz screams about those wild Wall Street profits, she earned over $2 million dollars in stock market profits (to include investment banking investments) in the two years since she took office.  Liz is now worth more than $7 million dollars...and that ain't middle class, folks.

The grand "poobah" though has to go to Hillary Clinton.  The media has been digging for years, trying to find out if Queen Hillary's travel and speaking demands were true.  Folks have been talking for years about just how grand Hillary must be treated in order to get her to appear for a speaking engagement.  Well, recently the Washington Post went to court and, through the Freedom of Information Act, was able to secure information about Hillary's travel expenses and demands.
Here's an extract from the liberal rag, Slate Magazine:

The Washington Post used a Freedom of Information Act request to get an inside look at just what it takes to get Hillary Clinton to come speak at your university. First of all, there’s the matter of cash: a cool $300,000, which is apparently the “special university rate.” That is the answer UCLA received when it asked whether the public university could get some sort of discount. Undeterred by the price tag, the university moved forward with booking the former secretary of state. Yet the cash was hardly all the university had to put forward as booking the presidential hopeful involved a string of requests that kept organizers busy until she delivered he Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership speech on March 5, 2014.
The university had decided to award the former secretary of state the UCLA medal. But in a clear example of how carefully Clinton’s people stage-manage her appearances, they asked that the medal be presented in a box rather than draped around her neck. Other demands included:
  • On the stage: lemon wedges, room temperature water, a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer
  • A computer, mouse, printer and scanner
  • Spread of hummus
  • Chairs with two long, rectangular pillows and two cushions to be kept backstage in case the former secretary of state “needed additional back support”
  • A teleprompter and “2-3 downstage scrolling monitors”
  • A special podium (her team rejected the podium that had been set up for her use)
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Room-temperature sparkling and still water
  • Diet ginger ale
  • Crudité
  • Sliced fruit
  • Approval for any promotional materials
  • Recording is permitted “for archival purposes” and only a two-minute highlight video can be uploaded to YouTube
  • “Prestaged” group photos so that Clinton doesn’t have to wait “for these folks to get their act together.” The former secretary of state “doesn’t like to stand around waiting for people.”
That's your next President boys and girls!  Hold on to your wallet!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"A Public Defender's Experience With African Americans"


Dear Readers, this from American Renaissance Magazine.  If you've ever wondered what damage five decades of pampering Blacks has done, if you've ever wondered what species of human, or sub-human some of these people are, these "Confessions of A Public Defender" tell the story far better than anyone else.  Yes, it's long...but so very much worth it.
I am a public defender in a large southern metropolitan area. Fewer than ten percent of the people in the area I serve are black but over 90 per cent of my clients are black. The remaining ten percent are mainly Hispanics but there are a few whites.
I have no explanation for why this is, but crime has racial patterns. Hispanics usually commit two kinds of crime: sexual assault on children and driving under the influence. Blacks commit many violent crimes but very few sex crimes. The handful of whites I see commit all kinds of crimes. In my many years as a public defender I have represented only three Asians, and one was half black.
As a young lawyer, I believed the official story that blacks are law abiding, intelligent, family-oriented people, but are so poor they must turn to crime to survive. Actual black behavior was a shock to me.
The media invariably sugarcoat black behavior. Even the news reports of the very crimes I dealt with in court were slanted. Television news intentionally leaves out unflattering facts about the accused, and sometimes omits names that are obviously black. All this rocked my liberal, tolerant beliefs, but it took me years to set aside my illusions and accept the reality of what I see every day. I have now served thousands of blacks and their families, protecting their rights and defending them in court. What follow are my observations.
Although blacks are only a small percentage of our community, the courthouse is filled with them: the halls and gallery benches are overflowing with black defendants, families, and crime victims. Most whites with business in court arrive quietly, dress appropriately, and keep their heads down. They get in and get out–if they can–as fast as they can. For blacks, the courthouse is like a carnival. They all seem to know each other: hundreds and hundreds each day, gossiping, laughing loudly, waving, and crowding the halls.
When I am appointed to represent a client I introduce myself and explain that I am his lawyer. I explain the court process and my role in it, and I ask the client some basic questions about himself. At this stage, I can tell with great accuracy how people will react. Hispanics are extremely polite and deferential. An Hispanic will never call me by my first name and will answer my questions directly and with appropriate respect for my position. Whites are similarly respectful.
A black man will never call me Mr. Smith; I am always “Mike.” It is not unusual for a 19-year-old black to refer to me as “dog.” A black may mumble complaints about everything I say, and roll his eyes when I politely interrupt so I can continue with my explanation. Also, everything I say to blacks must be at about the third-grade level. If I slip and use adult language, they get angry because they think I am flaunting my superiority.
At the early stages of a case, I explain the process to my clients. I often do not yet have the information in the police reports. Blacks are unable to understand that I do not yet have answers to all of their questions, but that I will by a certain date. They live in the here and the now and are unable to wait for anything. Usually, by the second meeting with the client I have most of the police reports and understand their case.
PublicDefender
Unlike people of other races, blacks never see their lawyer as someone who is there to help them. I am a part of the system against which they are waging war. They often explode with anger at me and are quick to blame me for anything that goes wrong in their case.
Black men often try to trip me up and challenge my knowledge of the law or the facts of the case. I appreciate sincere questions about the elements of the offense or the sentencing guidelines, but blacks ask questions to test me. Unfortunately, they are almost always wrong in their reading, or understanding, of the law, and this can cause friction. I may repeatedly explain the law, and provide copies of the statute showing, for example, why my client must serve six years if convicted, but he continues to believe that a hand-written note from his “cellie” is controlling law.
The cellie who knows the law.
The cellie who knows the law.
The risks of trial
The Constitution allows a defendant to make three crucial decisions in his case. He decides whether to plea guilty or not guilty. He decides whether to have a bench trial or a jury trial. He decides whether he will testify or whether he will remain silent. A client who insists on testifying is almost always making a terrible mistake, but I cannot stop him.
Most blacks are unable to speak English well. They cannot conjugate verbs. They have a poor grasp of verb tenses. They have a limited vocabulary. They cannot speak without swearing. They often become hostile on the stand. Many, when they testify, show a complete lack of empathy and are unable to conceal a morality based on the satisfaction of immediate, base needs. This is a disaster, especially in a jury trial. Most jurors are white, and are appalled by the demeanor of uneducated, criminal blacks.
Prosecutors are delighted when a black defendant takes the stand. It is like shooting fish in a barrel. However, the defense usually gets to cross-examine the black victim, who is likely to make just as bad an impression on the stand as the defendant. This is an invaluable gift to the defense, because jurors may not convict a defendant—even if they think he is guilty—if they dislike the victim even more than they dislike the defendant.
Black witnesses can also sway the jury.
Rachel Jeantel: Blacks often make bad witnesses.
Most criminal cases do not go to trial. Often the evidence against the accused is overwhelming, and the chances of conviction are high. The defendant is better off with a plea bargain: pleading guilty to a lesser charge and getting a lighter sentence.
The decision to plea to a lesser charge turns on the strength of the evidence. When blacks ask the ultimate question—”Will we win at trial?”—I tell them I cannot know, but I then describe the strengths and weaknesses of our case. The weaknesses are usually obvious: There are five eyewitnesses against you. Or, you made a confession to both the detective and your grandmother. They found you in possession of a pink cell phone with a case that has rhinestones spelling the name of the victim of the robbery. There is a video of the murderer wearing the same shirt you were wearing when you were arrested, which has the words “In Da Houz” on the back, not to mention you have the same “RIP Pookie 7/4/12” tattoo on your neck as the man in the video. Etc.
If you tell a black man that the evidence is very harmful to his case, he will blame you. “You ain’t workin’ fo’ me.” “It like you workin’ with da State.” Every public defender hears this. The more you try to explain the evidence to a black man, the angrier he gets. It is my firm belief many blacks are unable to discuss the evidence against them rationally because they cannot view things from the perspective of others. They simply cannot understand how the facts in the case will appear to a jury.
Upset
This inability to see things from someone else’s perspective helps explain why there are so many black criminals. They do not understand the pain they are inflicting on others. One of my robbery clients is a good example. He and two co-defendants walked into a small store run by two young women. All three men were wearing masks. They drew handguns and ordered the women into a back room. One man beat a girl with his gun. The second man stood over the second girl while the third man emptied the cash register. All of this was on video.
My client was the one who beat the girl. When he asked me, “What are our chances at trial?” I said, “Not so good.” He immediately got angry, raised his voice, and accused me of working with the prosecution. I asked him how he thought a jury would react to the video. “They don’t care,” he said. I told him the jury would probably feel deeply sympathetic towards these two women and would be angry at him because of how he treated them. I asked him whether he felt bad for the women he had beaten and terrorized. He told me what I suspected—what too many blacks say about the suffering of others: “What do I care? She ain’t me. She ain’t kin. Don’t even know her.”
NoRemorse
No fathers
As a public defender, I have learned many things about people. One is that defendants do not have fathers. If a black even knows the name of his father, he knows of him only as a shadowy person with whom he has absolutely no ties. When a client is sentenced, I often beg for mercy on the grounds that the defendant did not have a father and never had a chance in life. I have often tracked down the man’s father–in jail–and have brought him to the sentencing hearing to testify that he never knew his son and never lifted a finger to help him. Often, this is the first time my client has ever met his father. These meetings are utterly unemotional.
WheresDaddy
Many black defendants don’t even have mothers who care about them. Many are raised by grandmothers after the state removes the children from an incompetent teenaged mother. Many of these mothers and grandmothers are mentally unstable, and are completely disconnected from the realities they face in court and in life. A 47-year-old grandmother will deny that her grandson has gang ties even though his forehead is tattooed with a gang sign or slogan. When I point this out in as kind and understanding way as I can, she screams at me. When black women start screaming, they invoke the name of Jesus and shout swear words in the same breath.
Black women have great faith in God, but they have a twisted understanding of His role. They do not pray for strength or courage. They pray for results: the satisfaction of immediate needs. One of my clients was a black woman who prayed in a circle with her accomplices for God’s protection from the police before they would set out to commit a robbery.
The mothers and grandmothers pray in the hallways–not for justice, but for acquittal. When I explain that the evidence that their beloved child murdered the shop keeper is overwhelming, and that he should accept the very fair plea bargain I have negotiated, they will tell me that he is going to trial and will “ride with the Lord.” They tell me they speak to God every day and He assures them that the young man will be acquitted.
Christians
The mothers and grandmothers do not seem to be able to imagine and understand the consequences of going to trial and losing. Some–and this is a shocking reality it took me a long time to grasp–don’t really care what happens to the client, but want to make it look as though they care. This means pounding their chests in righteous indignation, and insisting on going to trial despite terrible evidence. They refuse to listen to the one person–me–who has the knowledge to make the best recommendation. These people soon lose interest in the case, and stop showing up after about the third or fourth court date. It is then easier for me to convince the client to act in his own best interests and accept a plea agreement.
Part of the problem is that underclass black women begin having babies at age 15. They continue to have babies, with different black men, until they have had five or six. These women do not go to school. They do not work. They are not ashamed to live on public money. They plan their entire lives around the expectation that they will always get free money and never have to work. I do not see this among whites, Hispanics, or any other people.
The black men who become my clients also do not work. They get social security disability payments for a mental defect or for a vague and invisible physical ailment. They do not pay for anything: not for housing (Grandma lives on welfare and he lives with her), not for food (Grandma and the baby-momma share with him), and not for child support. When I learn that my 19-year-old defendant does not work or go to school, I ask, “What do you do all day?” He smiles. “You know, just chill.” These men live in a culture with no expectations, no demands, and no shame.
If you tell a black to dress properly for trial, and don’t give specific instructions, he will arrive in wildly inappropriate clothes. I represented a woman who was on trial for drugs; she wore a baseball cap with a marijuana leaf embroidered on it. I represented a man who wore a shirt that read “rules are for suckers” to his probation hearing. Our office provides suits, shirts, ties, and dresses for clients to wear for jury trials. Often, it takes a whole team of lawyers to persuade a black to wear a shirt and tie instead of gang colors.
Marijuana
From time to time the media report that although blacks are 12 percent of the population they are 40 percent of the prison population. This is supposed to be an outrage that results from unfair treatment by the criminal justice system. What the media only hint at is another staggering reality: recidivism. Black men are arrested and convicted over and over. It is typical for a black man to have five felony convictions before the age of 30. This kind of record is rare among whites and Hispanics, and probably even rarer among Asians.
Stats
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
At one time our office was looking for a motto that defined our philosophy. Someone joked that it should be: “Doesn’t everyone deserve an eleventh chance?”
I am a liberal. I believe that those of us who are able to produce abundance have a moral duty to provide basic food, shelter, and medical care for those who cannot care for themselves. I believe we have this duty even to those who can care for themselves but don’t. This world view requires compassion and a willingness to act on it.
My experience has taught me that we live in a nation in which a jury is more likely to convict a black defendant who has committed a crime against a white. Even the dullest of blacks know this. There would be a lot more black-on-white crime if this were not the case.
However, my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.
I do not know the solution to this problem. I do know that it is wrong to deceive the public. Whatever solutions we seek should be based on the truth rather than what we would prefer was the truth. As for myself, I will continue do my duty to protect the rights of all who need me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mr. "666" and Tonight's State of The Union

                                                               

Tonight Emperor Obama will hold his State of The Union Address.  He has two spanking new big government programs; 1) Free community college for everyone 2) A $340 billion dollar tax hike.  Let's start with the free college stuff:
Facts:
1) At just under $14,000 a year, per student, the U.S. outspends every other nation in the industrialized world.
2)Half of all high school graduates cannot pass a test at that grade level
3) If money were the answer to our education problems why do Charter schools do better than public at half the cost, and religious schools do better at one third of the public school costs?
4)Obama already has a College Remedial Education program; it's supposed to send high school underachievers to community colleges to qualify them for a four year college.  Obama has spent $147 billion dollars in six years on this program and it has failed miserably.  Only one in four every complete the remedial program after spending our hard earned tax dollars.
5) Money (and inflation) always follows government interest.  College tuition has risen over 1,000 percent, higher than any other segment of American society, and all because of overly generous, unaudited government grant and scholarship programs.  The government, while trying to buy votes, has actually priced millions of kids out of an affordable college education.
6) By throwing education money out there, and to millions who don't need or don't merit more free bad government education, you just end up throwing good money after bad...just as we do in the K-12 system.


And with respect to Obama's proposed "tax on the rich", he certainly has a short memory.  He just hiked taxes on "the rich" in January 2013..and now he's back for more.  First of all, Obama doesn't give a rat's ass about the Middle Class.  This is just Obama's way to impose more and more big government over the Republic.  And, worse!...he knows neither of these programs will pass a Republican congress...this is simply Obama's effort to demonize and divide.  No surprise from the most divisive President in this country's history.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King's Message Lost on Today's Blacks

                                                       

I read a sad thing last week.  Someone was doing a survey of Black urban youth and what they knew about Martin Luther King.  Sadly, when asked, many referred to a Martin Luther King Boulevard that exists in nearly every major city in the nation.  Others answered "he be the dude the honky's killed."  While some knew who King was, few could correlate King with his great "I Have A Dream" speech, or the historical "Letter From A Birmingham Jail."

 It's also sad that few Blacks today adhere to Martin Luther King's teachings.  After giving his own life to advancing the education of Black youth, what would King think of the 50% of Blacks who drop out of high school and never finish?  After asking for fair play in the work place what would King think about the three generations of Black victimhood?…the gaming of our social welfare system where a mere twelve percent of the population eat up .43 cents of every welfare dollar spent?  What would King think of urban ebonics, two hundred dollar Michael Jordan tennis shoes and Black adoration of Black rap thugs?  What would he think about Beyonce springing for a million dollar birthing suite to have her baby while millions of Blacks live in poverty?

But we have to congratulate Dr. King.  His birthday is now a commercial event.  As with those President Day sales, where no one stops to give a thought to either Washington or Lincoln, (too busy shopping), retailers are now exploiting King's birthday for the almighty dollar.  Just take a look at next week's coupon codes as internet retailers will sell you clothes, shoes, and cheap TV's if you'll just enter "MLKOFFER" at checkout!

Blacks, again, are not immune to commercially exploiting Dr. King.  Black oriented media are pimping Hennesey Cognac and all manner of commercial goods, all in the name of their modern day prophet.  No doubt, somewhere in America, someone is marketing a Martin Luther King Chia Plant, god help us all.

No, sadly the modern Black has no recollection of a Martin Luther King, or a Medgar Evers or a Rosa Parks…people who stood proudly on their own two feet and asked only for a seat at the table.  This is the era of Barack Obama, the man-child, the pampered Black, the "milk chocolate" Black who talks so pretty but is content to live off the generosity of others, the entitled one by virtue of his skin color, the "gamer" who incited class and race warfare to win a second term.  

No, this is an era where any Black who promotes the concept of personal responsibility is ostracized from his own race for daring to challenge ignorance, laziness and sloth and folks like Thomas Boswell or Dr Ben Carson or Allen West are labelled "Uncle Toms" for advocating for strong living and work ethics.

Happy Martin Luther King Day folks…even as he spins in his grave.

Friday, January 16, 2015

"Hold The Pickle, Hold The Lettuce..."

                                                              

"Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce...special orders don't upset us!"  Anybody over 40 ought to remember that little Burger King ditty back in the 70's and 80's.  The jingle was used to promote the theme that you could "have it your way" at Burger King.

Well, forty years later it looks like, in the world of fast food, the offer of special ordering is going to be true for everybody.    Thanks to the $15 dollar per hour whiners it looks like fast food franchise owners are getting ready to run an end around the losers who, after deciding a high school or college degree was "un-cool", then decided to demand burger flippers be paid career wages.  

Well, not surprisingly, these dummies are being replaced by "dumb terminals"....electronic kiosks that send your special order directly to the cook back in the kitchen.  No "middle-man" to screw up your order, no gum smacking teen with an attitude problem to ruin your day....just a few wags of the finger tips and your order is on its way.

While some fast food companies were said to be experimenting with the ordering kiosks, we learned just this morning that CKE Restaurants, owners of Hardees and Carl Jr's. franchises are going all out to immediately install Microsoft ordering kiosks in all their thousands of restaurants nation wide.  I listened to an interview with the CKE Ceo this morning on Yahoo Finance News.  After a demonstration video was shown the news anchor asked the CEO how many jobs could be eliminated with these kiosks.  The guy immediately began dancing around the question; first saying, "well, none at the moment as we move through the transition".  However, when pressed, he did admit that self ordering would significantly reduce employee costs...then said, the machines are even better at "up selling" than their teen human counterparts.  CKE says they anticipate the kiosks paying for themselves within months, not years.

While Burger King and McDonalds, with far more franchises, will take a bit longer to integrate ordering kiosks into their operations you can be assured electronic ordering is the wave of the future for the fast food industry.  

Perhaps the technology might have taken a little longer to develop had not the burger flippers not climbed on their high horse and demanded fast food owners subsidize their poor education and career choices....but the time has come.  The "47 percenters" and the "occupy" crowd can lay down in the parking lots all they want...it won't help...their jobs have been farmed out to a dumb terminal with about as much computer memory as an 80's Coleco electronic game.....and sadly, smarter than the 30 something child breeder who wants Mickey D's to pay for her mistakes.

Sad.  Damned Sad.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Out For"

                                                                 

This site down again....proprietor again down with the flu.  The old immune system just not what it used to be.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Mrs. Dinh"

                                                                 

Before 2014 becomes completely obscured in my rear view mirror, I need to take a moment and bid a fond farewell to our dear friend,  Mrs. Dinh (pronounced Zinn).  Mrs. Dinh was a Vietnamese refugee who came here with ready-made family in 1975.   As in so many refugee experiences, the story is complicated.  Our friend came to America with Mr. Dinh, a security analyst employed by the U.S. government.  Upon the fall of Saigon, Mr. Dinh was approved for immediate immigration because he would have surely been tortured in an effort to extract security information, then summarily executed.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Body Count"

                                                                 


My wife likes the house we have over in Surprise, Arizona.  The demographics are more attractive to her.   She likes the sound of bouncing balls and roller skates and scooters and trampolines whoops and back yard pool splashing.  And those five and six and seven year olds offset we "sixty-somethings" and hack the demographic age numbers quite a bit.

I don't care for the new home.  It's peopled with folks who fill up their garages with $500 bucks worth of junk and park their $50,000 dollar automobiles on the street...in clear violation of HOA rules.  And, at my age, if I had to tolerate a boom box blasting anywhere in my vicinity, I'd be likely to choke them to death.

Instead, I prefer the old 60's house, in the peaceful retirement community.  Where the old folks have long since shed the excess refuse of their life and put the damn car (or golf cart) in the garage where it ought to be.  I enjoy awaking to the quietude of singing birds and breezes shaking the last of the winter leaves from the tree.  The sidewalks are barren of portable basketball hoops, or abandoned kiddie bikes or fast food leavings.

Oh sure, I imagine there's some noise somewhere around here.  Perhaps an old man, resting easy in his 60's era barcalounger, with the TV turned too loud...in complete denial that he needs hearing aids. But I have no neighbors like that, so life is good here amidst the Geritol set.

That is, until we have a day like today.  As I'm getting ready to sit down for breakfast this morning I hear the dreaded sound of emergency sirens...and they seem to be right outside my door.  So I walk to the window and look out, only to see my next door neighbor is the latest casualty....the "body count" in the war on old age hitting oh so close to home.  Yes, I've seen this scene before.  The emergency responders leap from the truck, run into the house and wheel the gurney in, then out for the quick trip to the emergency room.  

No word yet from anyone in the neighborhood.  Sometimes they come back quickly, and sometimes never again.  Some of those I don't know personally give a clue only when the "Estate Sale" goes up on the front lawn, followed closely by "House for Sale".   My wife, no spring chicken herself, just doesn't like it.  I keep telling her dying is just the cost of living, but she won't buy it....says old people make her feel old.  If I wake up with a stiff back and am bent over a bit she goes into mild hysterics and tells me to straighten up my back...that I look like one of those poor hump-backed folks that frequent the grocery store on senior day.  

Though I don't admit it, and am fairly good at facing the prospect of death, I guess if I had to be honest I would have to admit I'd rather go while I'm still so damn good looking.  And the "body count" does get to me.  As I stand at the window and watch the elderly neighbor being carted off to the ER, the grim reaper is whispering in my ear....softly...but loud enough for me to hear.

Meantime, I'll be pulling for my neighbor.  Hope she comes home soon and runs off those damn sign people.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hurry! Raise the Gas Tax!

                                                               

As the price of oil has dropped more than half this past year it's time to finally consider raising the federal gas taxes.  Look, I hate taxes as much as anyone, but consider this; it has been nearly three decades since federal gas taxes were raised.  And we know the current $18.4 cents per gallon is not hacking it.  Remember the gas tax is what funds our infrastructure improvements, making bridges safe, repair our highways, etc.  The last time I looked road and bridge improvements were underfunded to the tune of a trillion dollars.  

So, we've got a tough choice to make; raise gas taxes or continue to see bridges crumble and gas eating traffic delays and severed tie rods from roads badly in need of repair.  And now, when gas prices are on a downswing, is the perfect time to do it.  The reason Congress has not acted to increase gas taxes in so long is because of the steady increase in the cost of gas through the years.  So, I think Congress should bite the bullet, show a little courage and double the federal gas taxes.  

Let's face it America; every time gas prices plunge you're going to have the same old players go out and buy themselves a nice gas guzzler.  Happens every time gas prices begin to get reasonable.  Well, it's time to get serious and quit providing incentives for these gas hogs.   And whether you agree with Global Warming or not, it's always good to have a little less pollution, with fewer miles driven when driving is not necessary, but seemingly encouraged the minute Americans consider gas cheap enough to waste.

Oil market gurus are predicting relatively low gas prices throughout 2015.  Indeed, even with increased gas taxes, we may see further declines in the overall price of gas.  And to enjoy affordable gas while at the same time fixing our crumbling roads and bridges is a good thing.

As to how those gas taxes are managed and spent, I would love to see the gas tax revenue handled by the individual states; it takes just a small bit of the politics out of the equation, and the lower management level you can achieve, the less chance for waste, fraud and abuse.  But that's probably not going to happen so we have to make do with what we can achieve.

And my final argument for the gas tax is this:  While I don't like taxes, if I'm going to be taxed I want it to be a consumption type tax.  How many of you have been in the checkout line at the grocery store and seen some yahoo pull out his food stamps and not been a bit resentful, knowing you paid for that food and knowing there are gamers galore who shouldn't be getting them....just as you resent people who shouldn't be on welfare, or drawing $2500 dollars a month Section 8 housing vouchers.  Well, when you impose a sales tax on a product or service even the cheaters are paying their fair share.

So, rather than funding infrastructure from the general fund, as Congress has been doing, let's put the onus on funding our transportation requirements on the folks who are most using the service.  Let's raise the gas tax and fully fund our infrastructure requirements.

That's my 18.4 cents for today.  Happy motoring!

Friday, January 9, 2015

"Dead Man's Switch"

                                                         

Damn it people!  You're gonna have to start checking in with me once in awhile!  If you don't want to make a long comment, just write in your little tag name and say "still kicking!".  Here's the thing; When you come on here and comment, and share a little slice of your life, I start considering you as friends.  So, of course I worry about you when I don't hear from you.  As an example, one of my most loyal readers when this blog began was a nice lady from California named Jo.  Jo visited and commented quite often...and she was a constant reader for the first two years.  Then, all of a sudden, no more comments from Jo.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Celluloid Dreams"

                                                             

The kid was doing technical work on a Francis Ford Coppola Sci Fi film.  That's where his interests lay.  He had already filmed a rough version of a Sci Fi film he believed in...but no one was interested so he put it on the shelf and went to work for others.  Then one day, on a hiatus from Coppola's film, Coppola walked over to the kid and challenged him to expand his horizons, to make a mainstream film that might attract a wider audience.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"The Princess And The Castle"

                                                             

"The Princess and The Castle"
I arrived at "the castle" at 1327 Barbara Street on a beautiful and sunny September morning in 1980. I loved surprise visits and here I was, taking a detour from making my way to Officer's Training School over in Texas, pulling into the drive of the aging Cinderella who owned the place. Someone had found the glass slipper and it fit her to a tee and, after 60 years of living in cabins and cottages, hovels and houses well past their prime, the princess now lived in this spanking new home. The sprinklers were showering the newly laid lawn and the flower beds were brilliant with multi-colored flowers.
As I walked up to the door the sweet scent of strawberries sweetened the air from the patch across the street. The front door stood open and I peeked through the screen and issued an "is anybody home?" and the princess sprang from her chair and with an "oh!" greeted me at the door with a kiss and a hug, along with a stern reprimand for not telling her I was coming.
So she poured coffee and asked me half a dozen times if I wanted breakfast, and then we settled into an ease of conversation I had been blessed to share with this lady for forty years. I looked with great admiration and pride at this spanking new home, clean, pristine, and welcoming. The paintings on the walls, the furnishings, all just right, all adding warmth to the place. She, having been forewarned about "prides before falls" was modest in receiving praise about her home, though I could see immense pride and happiness on her face.
The price had not been cheap....one day, two years before, while driving to work at the yarn mill, she had been hit on a country road. She suffered multiple lacerations and her knees had been crushed, and after multiple operations she was able to hobble around but would never again take a walk around the block. With the insurance settlement she had paid $72,000 cash for the "castle" and furnished it with the only new furniture she had ever owned in her life. So, here sat the princess on a sunny September morning, holding forth over the "castle" and I was as happy as Christmas morning that my mom could now live her remaining years in security and comfort.
Oh, she still lived frugally; her small social security pension was laughable....but for a woman who raised three kids on a waitress pay, who once divied up dollar bills and quarters in the "gas bill envelope" and the "electric bill envelope", she would make do with the tiny pension.
And for the next 20 years "the castle" and "the princess" was there waiting to meet me at the door as I came from overseas, and later commuted from San Diego for a day or two visit. And when she knew I was coming there would be a pan of enchiladas and a green salad and a pitcher of tea prepared for one of her "knights."
And when it was her time to go, I spent her final nights laying on a futon below her bed, listening to her talk to her angels, calling out one dearly departed family member after another...a chorus of them letting her know that they would be there to welcome her when she passed over. And in those last days she kept watch on us, urging us to eat, evan as she couldnt, expressing her love for us over and over, as if she hadn't already proved that over and over throughout the years.
So, on a beautiful summer day in October, 2002, the princess rose to look at her loved ones as they surrounded her bed and gave her permission to go, and she looked at them one last time from beautiful loving eyes, and as two glistening tears dropped to her cheeks, the princess took her last breath and was gone. After she passed we found her sweet and lovely letter, giving us instructions on who to contact for her already paid for funeral. As she had done all her life, "the princess" had done everything she could to make things easier for us....so the hardest thing we had left to do was to say "goodbye". And that was the hardest thing of all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Toad"

                                                                     

I earlier posted a story called "Tommy's Cafe".  In it, I related how my father ended a family dream, and left off with my Dad moving away to Missouri.  Although I had mentioned family desertion in my previous stories, I had never been as specific about the role my dad played in our troubles.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Tommy's Cafe"

                                                                 

"Tommy's Cafe"
I'm almost sure few from Selma, California will remember a little joint called "Tommy's Cafe".It didn't stay in business long enough to leave a lasting impression. But it was the one and only grab for the brass ring for my mother and grandmother. 
Situated on the corner of Thompson and then 99 highway, the joint was just across Thompson from Lister's Service Station, diagonally across the freeway from Jim Cropper's Used Cars. The whole building could not have extended more than 20 feet from the front door to the back wall of the kitchen, and no more than 15 feet wide. 
As I recall it had about five tables and a counter, with enough room left to house a juke box and pinball machine. The business had strange origins and a bizarre ending. When my grandfather died in Oklahoma in April of '55 my grandmother sold the family's belongings and moved to Selma, to be with our growing Okie clan there. She brought with her, her entire "estate" hidden in a tobacco pouch and stuffed in her bra. In the beginning she joined the rest of the Friend clan working in the fields. 
Then, one day my mom and grand mom were driving up Thompson Avenue and spied the little abandoned roadhouse, the refuse from some other unfortunate's failed dreams. They got out of the car, peeked through the windows and then and there decided that they could make a go of the restaurant business. I have no idea who owned the property but, as I recall, they got a favorable deal on the lease. So the two women scoured the thrift shops for old restaurant dish ware and cut a deal on some other stuff in a restaurant supply. 
The commercial coffee unit came from Farmer's Brothers? They supplied the coffee station if you bought the coffee from them. The only other thing I remember about the business end of it was that Mr. Capps did our bookkeeping and any excess from the cash register went into a little gray cash box kept under the counter and carried home for the next day's banking. 
So, on one fine day mom and grand mom threw open the doors for business. Granny did the cooking in the back, slid the plates through the open window, and mom served and worked the cash register. The bill of fare was home made Okie food; a full breakfast menu, burgers and fries for lunch, then chicken fried steak, or fried chicken, pork chops, or meat loaf and the like for dinner. The two ladies worked the place from 6am to 8pm and learned that restaurant work was every bit as taxing as a day in the fields. Still, the business thrived from the very beginning. Jim Cropper and his salesmen first began frequenting the place, for breakfast, or a mid-morning coffee and donut. 
Soon word got out to all the car dealers along old '99 and the place was packed all day. My five year old brother became a customer darling and often danced for nickels to Elvis' "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel". Customer traffic tailed off around 6pm, the only customers being regulars who took their dinner at our place. I recall one particular set of customers who drove my mom nuts. A man and his son would come in for dinner and order the bowl of beans for ten cents a bowl. They would then ask for bread and butter to go along with it and go through half a loaf of rainbow bread and a stick of butter before they were done. The ladies never made a cent of profit off of those two. 
As an aside, I don't believe any other business in Selma had the owners living in a dirt floor garage. Our family, having spent every nickel on getting the restaurant started, couldn't afford house rent, at least until the business got going. So we moved into a dirt floor garage just east of the restaurant property. We took our meals n the restaurant and bathed in a steel wash tub. I was just getting old enough to feel ashamed about that, especially when the Bentley girls, whose back yard was just adjacent to our little hovel, would come back and peer at the dumb okies living in a garage. 
Still, as bad as our living conditions were, there was hope that the little restaurant would some day pull us out of poverty. Alas,, as in all things with my mom, Tommy's Cafe had a sad and abrupt end. My dad, who wasn't working anymore, was lingering around Jack Hupp's car lot and heard that Jack needed more space to park his cars. My dad then and there put his X on an agreement and surrendered our property lease for less than a hundred dollars. My dad then took his ill gotten gains and drove back to the restaurant, stole the available cash from the little gray cash box under the counter, and headed out to Missouri, leaving all of us high and dry. When all of this was discovered at the end of the day my mother and grandmother were stunned and heart broken, their "brass ring" snatched from them with the greatest cruelty. 
But, for a few months back in the mid-50's the two ladies went to bed each night, tired, but full of dreams for a better future and I guess having the chance to dream is a fine thing to have, no matter how fleeting. 
Note: Some of you may have read my story; "Mrs Norman and The Water Biscuits", as posted here before. That tells what happened to us in the months following the end of a dream.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Man's Best Friend

                                                                 

Some 16,000 years ago a man was sitting around a campfire. Lonely, and alone. Out on the cold perimeter of the campsite sat a wolf, the fire reflected in its eyes. The wolf sniffed hungrily at the smell of rabbit or some small prey being roasted over the fire. Maybe he edged a bit closer. The man, warmed by the fire, but cold of heart, might have yearned for a little companionship. Perhaps, as he ate, he threw some meat scraps, or a fleshy bone out toward the wolf. Thus began the mating ritual of wolf and man. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Marching On Our Belly"

                                                                 
Military C-Rations

The other day our friend, Jerry, expressed his appreciation for my documenting some of the more mundane aspects of military life overseas.  So I thought I'd talk a little today about military rations.

Friday, January 2, 2015

"Bringing A Piece of Home"

                                                           

The other day I talked about how we G.I.'s serving overseas got our news.  I was a bit critical of some of the filtering of the news we got.  Lyndon Johnson didn't want us hearing "Hey, Hey, LBJ...how many boys did you kill today!"  And indeed we didn't hear...weren't even allowed to know what the death count for the week was.

But, aside from the news, I don't know what we would have done without Armed Forces Radio. (AFR).  We had Armed Forces Television too (the name evolved after TV into AFRTS.)  We didn't get time to watch much of Armed Forces Television but we sure listened to a lot of AFR.  We heard the bowl games, some championship fights and even a few of the pro games.  But most of us tuned in for the latest music from the States.  We'd get an hour of Casey Kasem, another from Dick Clark, even Wolfman Jack.  Of course there were no commercials (that's a requirement under copyright laws that allowed us to listen royalty free) so our "commercials" were usually some grunt broadcaster reminding us to change our socks daily to avoid jungle rot, brush our teeth, and, if we hadn't used a condom, to be sure to wash our weenie and take a pee if we had co-habitated with an Asian wench.  

Later on, on my subsequent overseas tours I was able to listen to a bit of radio AND watch some TV.  In Korea we'd get tape delays of the latest episodes of the popular TV shows and, after Satellite came in, we'd get to see some of the college and pro football games live, or tape delayed for those who were on duty at the time. Again, commercial free....usually the fill-ins by that time more civilized; they'd give you one minute on the benefits of shopping at the BX, or why you ought to re-enlist and get all that free lifetime government health care that we no longer have.

The history of Armed Forces Radio is fascinating.  Seems, at the beginning of WWII,  the government thought the boys overseas might appreciate someone bringing a piece of home to them.  So the military came to America worshipping movie director Frank Capra, ("It's A Wonderful Life", "Mr Smith Goes To Washington") and asked him to get the ball rolling.  Capra was already in charge of making war documentaries so AFR was just an offshoot of that effort.  So, at Capra's direction, the military started drafting radio station engineers, electricians, those with broadcasting experience, sent them through some technical training specific to the military's broadcasting needs, then brought them all up to the Fox studios for final training with the equipment they would deploy with.

                                                        

Well the first five broadcast teams were sent out to the Pacific, including a little island called Guadalcanal, a place you just might remember from battle lore.  They set up these little broadcast stations in Quonset huts, fought the jungle dampness and rats eating their power cords, and got down to business with their 1 kilowatt stations with a listening range of about five or six miles (for security purposes).  One of the team would interview soldiers who might have an interesting story, or a joke, while another team member would run a microphone down to the chapel and record the Sunday service.  

It was not until the "software" caught up with the "hardware" that the fun began.  First the radio networks jumped on the bandwagon and began recording an extra record disk of their latest radio shows and putting it on a military bird headed out to the Pacific.  Those disks would then be played at those little AFR field stations in Buttfuck, Egypt and Borneo, or wherever a G.I. was fighting.  Within months the G.I.s could listen to the same radio shows mom and pop were enjoying back home.  

Hollywood went huge for the war effort in those days.  In addition to the Hollywood Canteen, the stars would run out and entertain troops in military hospitals, on the thousands of military camps spread around America and anywhere else they were asked to show up.  Then CBS came up with a really unique radio program called "Command Performance."  With the CP show the G.I's would write in and request specific entertainers to appear on a radio show and perform a favorite tune, a favorite comedy gag, or a reading of a particular literature piece.  The show was a huge hit and ran till every G.I. got home from the war.

                                                                 

The key to AFRTS's success has been the generosity of Hollywood.  Unlike commercial broadcasts, AFRTS pays no broadcast or royalty fees....the only requirement being songs are played and shows are broadcasts without commercials.  Well, who the hell doesn't like "no commercials!"  So AFRTS is now, by my count, 73 years old.  And G.I.'s around the world are gifted because someone is bringing them a piece of home wherever they are.

I've had friends who have travelled around the world, and often.  They say, in a lot of places their only source of information is CNN International.  They tell me they'll start scanning the radio dial and enjoy listening to the local Armed Forces Radio station....that's pretty damn cool.




Thursday, January 1, 2015

Adultery At The Base Canteen

                                                               

After more than forty years I'm finally prepared to own up to a bit of adultery....of a kind.  You see, if men could be branded as "cuckolders", I'd plead guilty.  And I did it all just for the pleasure of eating the best grilled ham and cheese sandwich the world has ever known.