Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A University Grant To Concoct A Social Security Scam


Hmmm. Just had an interesting read about how the Feds are trying "save" Social Security. As you might know, 2019 is the first year in which the total Social Security taxes collections is not enough to fund the payouts to current retirees. And you might also remember that it was in 1965 when Lyndon Johnson and his Democratic majority in Congress chose to integrate the hundreds of billions in banked Social Security savings, and sweep the money into the General pay for both Johnson's Vietnam War and his grand government gravy bowl called The Great Society.

Since that time every Social Security tax surplus has been swept into one pile of money, to pay for our ever growing government gravy bowl.

Well, since we can no longer steal what's no longer available the government is now being forced to come up with some hard and fast fixes.

Accordingly, the U.S. government recently handed out a grant to Boston College's "Center for Retirement Research", hoping a collection of Eastern eggheads could come up with a few ideas to keep the fund solvent.

Well, they did. And here's a few of their ideas:

1) Remember when you got ready to sign up for Social Security and you walked into your nearest SS office? Well, they consulted your career earnings from the bowels of their computers, checked to see how much Social Security taxes you paid in, then proclaimed what amount of pension you would receive.

Proposed Boston College fix: If in the future you want to apply for Social Security you would be asked to appear before a Social Security panel to explain why you need that Social Security pension. They will not care that it is your money, paid in, as demanded by the government. They'll want to know if your mortgage is paid off, how much money you have in an IRA, how much you have in your savings account.....and if it is substantial they will ask why you are trying to suckle at the tit of Social Security. In other words they suggest you be means-tested to get any money back that you paid in.

2) Given the growing number of American citizens who do not work, and live off the generosity of city, state and federal welfare checks, and given the number of stay at home unmarried baby breeders, the eggheads at Boston College say something will have to be done to support these people in their old age. They suggest that a healthy portion of YOUR pension be withdrawn, then given to those who paid no Social Security due to their impoverished condition. As precedent they cite the current Social Security practice of giving green card holders without income a poverty driven payout of $1,000 a amount that exceeds payouts to our own elderly citizens. Brilliant, huh?

In the government grant awarded Boston College the Social Security Administration essentially said "these baby boomers are becoming a real drag on our ability to pay them what we promised we would". Again, brilliant!

3) The most intriguing egghead proposal was to try and tempt those who become eligible for Social Security into taking a lump sum up front, then surrendering their rights to ever again come to SS for more money. The Social Security administration asks the eggheads if SS pensioners might be bought off for as little as $50,000. Again, brilliant.

Be afraid, boys and girls, especially you 50 something whippersnappers who might have to prove you really need the dough you paid in.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Exploitation For Fun And Profit


I've been thinking hard lately about how it became possible for Blacks to game the system for more than 50 years now.  Charge me of overthinking this issue if you will.  But hear me out.

First of all, anyone my age will attest to the fact that Blacks have made huge strides toward the advancement of their race.  (No, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying the 21st century version of Black oppression.)  There are far too many Blacks holding down high positions in this country to claim they are victims.  From the Congress, to the hundreds of municipal, county, state and federal bureaus Blacks populate those government hives in droves....well over representing their relative percentage of the populace.  They were almost always awarded those positions through a quota preference system that has long outlived its usefulness and fairness.

Blacks are also well represented in our most prestigious universities, of both the multiracial oasis of the Ivy League as well as their own Black colleges who pretty much accept only Blacks......a reverse discrimination that they get by with through the employment of the race card.

And on the religious front we have Black "Elmer Gantrys"...charlatans all, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and the Reverend "God Damn America" Wright, and good ole Louie Farrakan who longs for another Jewish holocaust.

And in the urban jungles of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, South Chicago, and Cleveland, and newly deemed "thugville"; Milwaukee, Black thugs rule the night streets, wreaking havoc on humanity and, when caught are nearly always given three or four "get of of jail passes" by liberal judges, before they finally go to prison, where they are well represented......constituting 50 percent of the prison populace from their miserly 15 percent of their ethnic representation in the general populace.

This society's elevation of Blacks to sainthood has always had me perplexed.  And I've given a lot of thought as to how they achieved their prosecutorial immunity.  And I've come to believe that a nearly perfect climate of opportunity came along that allows Blacks to achieve success with less effort than Whites, how they are continually forgiven for a multitude of sins, and how they have now convinced half of the American populace that they must bear the burden of  "White Guilt.

Let's chew on a few things here.  Let's first go back to post Civil War America.  Oh my, did Blacks have reason to bitch back then.  The North fights and wins a war for your freedom, and Abe signed an Emancipation Proclamation, and all kinds of federal laws were put in place to assure you your rights....and damned if the KKK and other miscreants didn't oppress the hell out of you in your "freedom years".  That must have hurt.  That must have stirred up a great deal of resentment......resentment so strong it was passed through your DNA to your off spring.  But you persevered.  Your children attended inferior schools, you couldn't eat or drink or even go to the bathroom in facilities reserved for Whites.    So let's an old car with a water pump problem, the steam was ready to blow off the old radiator cap.  And it should be noted that, just as America rallied together after Pearl Harbor, and 9/11, Blacks were unintentionally united behind the idea that they had something coming from a hundred years of oppression.  

So in the 50's came Malcolm X and his Muslim minions.  And on a kinder, gentler side came a Martin Luther King, who preached for peaceful change...but change never the less.  And in the midst of King's preachings came a pretty boy and his pretty wife from Massachusetts, and the Kennedys were Camelot, John the once and future king.  But, alas, there was an "Iago" lurking behind the scenes.  A lout from Texas who attained public office through ballot stuffing, who was ugly, who was mean as a snake, who probably wasn't even really loved by his wife and children.  

So, when the King died LBJ sauntered into the White House, and he sat at the Churchill desk, drinking cowboy coffee and eating Texas barbecue, and pondered on his condition of being unloved by anyone.  So even though he had been a "nigger hater" all his life, he called the Speaker of The House and he said "let's do something for the niggers".  And he came up with a series of programs called the Civil Rights Act an admirable one), and then he coaxed Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to rule favorably on racial quotas for jobs and education, and then he brewed up a mix of programs that ladled out government gravy like it had never been ladled, aimed it straight at those "niggers" and called it the War On Poverty.  

And damned if that did not set off the next half century!  As Lyndon Johnson once said to his House Speaker "By god, these programs will have niggers voting Democrat for the next hundred years."  And so they do!  Blacks will give 90 percent of their vote to the lowest snake in the den if they have a (D) behind their name on the ballot.   And during this last half century every Black has been given a gold embossed race card to play when he runs into any opposition, or gets in trouble.  And Black men were freed to father six or eight babies, his name on the birth certificate with six different women....with Johnson's War On Poverty picking up the check!   And the pre-War On Poverty rates for families with a man in the household dropped from 80 percent to less than 25 percent today!
It seems to me that LBJ bred three generations of less than noble, game playing, race card bearing Blacks who not only rule the societal roost, but dominate the entertainment media, large pockets of government, boss the urban mean streets, of all....have convinced half of America that they must carry White guilt as readily as they carry a wallet.

So is the exploitation of others for fun and profit just a Black thing?  Hell no!  George W. exploited our post 9/11 patriotism to invade Iraq!  30 million illegal Central and South Americans are now copying the Black model and demanding equal favoritism.  They have joined the Blacks in their crusade to make Whites feel guilty if they want a protective border.  Gays long ago joined the fray and say if you oppose gay marriage you are homophobic.  And of late Socialists have joined the crusade, proclaiming that they deserve half of what a Blue Collar worker makes...and all of what a rich man has.  Add them all up, boys and girls and you now have a majority of America claiming victimization, each interest group citing their own personal and specific struggles for social and economic nirvana.

And why not?  Exploitation means never having to take responsibility for anything.  And it is more profitable than the margins Howard Schultz rings up on a single cup of his cappuccino!    The finale to this exploitation extravaganza has now arrived with bells and whistles and a 100 piece band, ushering out more than a dozen politicians who say they too are victims of exploitation.....Warren with her Indian headdress, Sanders for his age, Hillary with pant suit haters, Kamala Harris for her adultery with a man old enough to be her grandfather, Corey Booker for his race, and the Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota whose catching flak for wishing for this century's Jewish holocaust.  And all of those politicians seek to be your champion for even more exploitation of those who are just trying to live and make a living in a world where no quotas for them are available....nor race cards to pull out when they fuck up.

Exploitation for fun and profit!  It's the latest's designers the Blacks who once swore they only wanted equality.  But when they got a taste of "immunity from fault", with a glittering sprinkle of sainthood, well, who can resist?  So, sadly, now everyone wants to get into the game!

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Friday, February 22, 2019

On How Trump Won The 2016 Republican Nomination


I've been giving a little thought lately as to how Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for President.  Not the general election; I believe the Presidency itself was won because so many people disliked and distrusted Hillary.  Even among Democrats, they either didn't much like her arrogance that led to her basement email server, or they didn't believe she and Bill could accrue two hundred million dollars in personal wealth without her Secretary of State shenanigans.

No, my thinking has been more along the line of how a quirky fellow like Trump could win out over a dozen polished politicians.  Trump was an inarticulate blowhard whom many in the party considered totally unqualified for the office, both academically and in temperament.  So how did The Donald wrest control of both the party, and send so many old political heads into withdrawing from the race.

Having thought about it some I think we have a larger, overreaching factor to look at.  I believe those fellows faded because they are representative of a weaker breed of human than we have seen in politics in previous years.  Rand Paul was "Ron Paul II", a version of maverick that could never connect with the great political middle.  Jeb Bush was the weaker dilution of the two previous Bushes....paled eyed, pale faced men who were never up to the intellectual challenges of a world peopled by Americans who didn't inherit money, didn't advance in their careers based on name alone.  Jeb was a sob sister who said illegal immigration was an act of love and that conservatism is only good if you don't offend anyone.

Kasich, as he has proved since, is a Republican In Name Only RINO who cares far too much about being liked than he does in holding to conservative principle.  Marco Rubio was some sort of Hispanic cross-breed between Bush and Kasich....a well spoken conservative pretender.  (No conservative would push for expanded child tax credits for stay at home breeders as Rubio did in the last tax cut plan.)

Except for Cruz, the rest of the candidates were fringe players, at best.  

So one wonders what Trump's seemingly easy defeat of these otherwise accomplished politicians does to signal the arrival of a far larger, more serious problem.  Are we now breeding the weakest stock to lead the conservative crusade?  Unlike the Democrats, who would offer their own mothers for slaughter if it meant a win, we in the Republican party seem to be breeding milk toast men and women who cringe when confronted with anything hard.  Witness this latest fight for Trump's wall.  We had Republicans at least swallowing hard before supporting the President on an issue that ought to be considered a serious national threat.  Many went past the fringe state....both our Senators from Alaska and Maine crying crocodile tears over a government shutdown.

So, if we are indeed facing the future with such poor breeding stock, what are we to do?  Will we continue to shuttle out half mad, inarticulate mavericks like Trump.  Is there a dearth of Reagan-like, principled strong men for those future battles?  This worries me a great deal!  Other than Ted Cruz, and perhaps the soon to be retired, articulate ex-prosecuter Trent Gowdy, I don't see anyone in the party capable of giving us strong principled leadership.

I believe we are in serious trouble, boys and girls.  Hell, we may have to wrestle a 90 something Clint Eastwood off his horse to represent us in the next go around.  


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Why You Are Finally On Your Way To Being Educated When You Realize How Much You Don't Know


The other day I heard a small snippet of an old Steve Allen-Jayne Meadows's "Meeting Of The Minds Show". For the 90 percent of you who have never heard of the show it was usually aired on a late weekend night, in a time slot where huckster Ron Propeil would be hawking a "set it and forget it" oven. Meeting of The Minds featured Allen and Meadows playing historical characters, usually sitting around a table and discussing various events in their lives that showed up in the history books.
My first viewing of the show, back in the 70's, produced a mixed reaction. My own college education in early bloom, I though it noble that these two entertainers were trying to bring a small measure of knowledge to viewers of Gilligan's Island and Three's Company. And, honestly, I detected just a little arrogance in the Allen-Meadows to a yen to show off their own intelligence to the masses. (Allen was a Mensa genius). 
However, last week's sampling of the Meeting of the Minds dialogue proved that Allen and Meadows dared not go too far in educating the public. For example, when Ben Franklin appeared in this 20th century setting, Jane and Allen simply re-raked Franklin's most commonly known facts....his electric experiments with a kite, his Poor Richard's almanac, with its wise quotes, and Franklin's admirable effort to bring the Continental Congress together long enough to declare our independence.
Those were all good things for an educated public to know. And Allen-Meadows should be applauded for their effort. But my reaction to their efforts this week, after my own four decades of scholarship, was that their efforts were superficial, barely scratching the surface as to who Franklin was. Do we have to know more? Well, yeah we do. We have to have far more pillars of knowledge about Franklin if he is to stand up against...oh, say a liberal challenge of his historic worth. We have to convince people that, though failing human, one of our founders served nobly. And the only way you do that is to know his frailties. After all, it does no good to leave old Ben stuck there on the page of history. We have to walk about his world a little to understand he and his times.
Let's look at old Ben's failings. Ben was a womanizer of the first order. He treated his wife shabbily. He was disenfranchised from his own son. And during his time in Paris, trying to coax France into aiding our revolution with troops and money, Franklin spent 90 percent of his time bonking old French his diplomatic partner, John Adam's, disgust. Eventually Ben's bonking the French ladies won us a French allied effort that led to our independence.
Why do we need to know Franklin's sins? Again, so we can give him a bit of slack. So that we understand he was flesh and bone just like us.....making his contributions to this country ever more meaningful, despite his sins!
And, boys and girls, that's what education is. The more you learn the more you realize just how much you do not know. An education keeps a person from being an ignorant ass whose brain can never be penetrated...who can never surrender his own ignorant notions for a few splinters of truth!
The most tragic misinformation campaign of late has been much of America's willingness to tear down statues of Robert E. Lee. Good lord! If America only understood the nobility of the man! If anyone took the time to study the man...and learned how he was heartbroken to see his native Virginia secede. Or if America only knew how even Union troops admired that grisly old general! One gets to know Bobby Lee and one feels a bit ashamed that they will never be as admirable a human being.
So thanks Steve Allen and Jane Meadows. Thanks for giving me fodder for thought in these winter of my years, when I have attained sufficient education to understand just how much I don't know. That is the only level of education that is worth a damn!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday At Bernie's


Well it's official.  (Whew!)  On Monday Bernie Sanders officially announced his candidacy for President for 2020.  Feeling the heat, a dozen of his socialist pals having already declared their candidacy, Bernie said "hey, I can ladle out government gravy with the best of why not go with the "original flavor".

And Bernie, just to show he's steadfast, has included his support for doubling the amount of welfare checks, expanding Medicare for all, the government picking up the tab for $2 trillion in student loans, and making a university education free for all.

Bernie said he believes he has a leg up on his competition because he owns the digital addresses of some ten millions of folks who never asks how much those giveaways are going to cost.  I just don't know.  Senator Kamala Harris has been generating her own lists of "cost plus zombies" and since California has moved its 2020 primary from June to March she believes she can front load her campaign with a victory in her home state.  She may be right.  Bernie will no longer be able to collect victories in those little piss-pot Midwestern states to build momentum.  He's going to have to go to California often if he hopes to win that state.

Perhaps Bernie can promise California that he'll prevent wildfires and mud slides, and build a huge, beautiful revolving door at the Mexican border........the better for the folks from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to come through without being hassled.  Perhaps Bernie will offer the Feds taking over California's half trillion dollar shortfall in their pension system.   And if things get really nasty he might declare that, between he and Kamala, he's the only one who didn't sleep with Mayor Willie Brown to get ahead.

Bernie has yet to explain how he'll pay for free college tuition for 40 million young people.  Or where the $2 trillion in student loan forgiveness will come from.  Or the trillions more for a doubling of the welfare checks, or to foot the bill for 350 million people entering the Medicare rolls...without ever paying a dime into the system.  

But then being a Democratic Socialist means never having to explain anything.  It's enough that the goodies are promised.  Maybe Bernie can recruit his cabinet from Venezuela.    I hear they're not too busy these days.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Clarifying A Few Liberal Lies


On Clarifying Some Liberal Lies This Week

For those of you who haven't taken the time to look deeper I'd like to identify three big liberal lies this week. I do not expect the liberal lemmings to listen but surely those fair minded will get it.

1) Amazon paid no taxes this year: Actually Amazon paid out 600 million in state taxes and $1.6 billion in foreign taxes. They did not owe a federal tax for several reasons. For more than 15 years Amazon operated in the red as the company plowed everything they made into expanding their business. Those losses are allowed to be claimed on their taxes, with each annual loss allowed to be carried over into a year when they were finally profitable. Secondly, Amazon's various businesses hired hundreds of thousands of people who DID pay taxes....income taxes that would not have been collected if Amazon had not given them a job. In 2016 Amazon finally did realize a profit. And paid out nearly $3 billion in state and federal taxes. This year Amazon again reinvested in new distribution centers, new cargo processing equipment and expanded their cloud services, all of which allowed them to claim tax credits to offset income when they file their corporate returns. And again they created jobs that did generate income taxes! So when you see liberals claiming Amazon didn't pay any taxes, look deeper. How many liberals were crying for Amazon in their first two decades of money-losing operations? Did any liberals step up to tell Jeff Bezos they'd help him out with his debt? Didn't think so.

2) Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz helped to kick Amazon out of building a headquarters in New York City this week, claiming that Amazon doesn't pay taxes. See 1 above. But also remember that Amazon had pledged to hire 25,000 New Yorkers, all of them at salaries of at least $150,000 dollars per year. And you might also consider that an Amazon business in your city creates thousands of additional jobs....from taxi cabs to lunch caterers to contributing to the power grid. Liberal lies. Liberal idiocy.

3) In perhaps the biggest lie (and easiest for liberal lemmings to swallow) was that, because taxpayers were getting smaller tax return checks this year, Trump and his tax cuts were lies.
Get out your calculator boys and girls. If for the last twelve months you made more money than before the tax cuts isn't it reasonable to assume that you'll pay more taxes (8 percent) on an average 20 percent more in income than you did the previous year? And how many liberals adjusted their tax withholding to synch with the larger paycheck? Ask your liberal friends if they want to go back to an economy before those tax cuts took effect. Ask if they are willing to surrender their higher pay and company bonuses!

Lying Liberals!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Political-Media Incest


Did anyone catch CNN's Democratic Presidential poll they put out yesterday?  CNN allegedly conducted a totally objective poll of the current crop of candidates.  If you did not know of political-media incest you would believe that Senator Kamala Harris leads the field by a wide margin.  Because they had to, CNN did mention that good old Bernie Sanders, who almost toppled Hillary Clinton, came in third.  And they did say that crazy Joe Biden still has the love of Obama-ites, so has some support.  And to give their poll some credibility they had Corey Booker and Liz "Pochahantas" Warren bringing up the rear.

But then I found something interesting on that same news day.  From a non-political reporting site I found that Kamala Harris's biggest supporter, and the entity giving her their largest donations is Warner Media.  Does this ring any alarm bells, boys and girls?  It should.  Warner Media owns CNN, the news entity naming Harris the winner before a single vote has been cast!

If you don't know about this sort of political incest you would tend to believe, whether the poll is accurate or not, that it is at least being accurately reported.  Alas, there are more sinister factors in play....and for high stakes.

Is this political-media incest something new?  Of course not.  Just a couple of years ago I published my research on how many media personalities were either married to, or related to scores of folks who populated the Obama administration.

What can we, as citizens, do about this incest?  Not a whole hell of a lot.  But we can be ever watchful, ever skeptical, about anything that comes out of the mainstream media.  "Created truths" are liable to pop up anywhere, even in a news article that would appear to be benign.  

Don't be fooled.  It is a cancer of the worst kind.

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lying Out Their White-Suited Asses


I was running errands the other day and had my radio tuned to National Public Radio.  Their Here and Now Program featured a European Socialist who said the U.S. is insane not to return to the 50's era  91 percent top tax rates for the wealthy.

The first thought is the guy's a total fraud.  Assuming he had a basic education in economics he knows that that 91 percent tax rate was pure myth.  Literally no one paid that kind of rate because the tax code had so many loopholes even a basic garden variety tax preparer could hone that rate down to 42 percent....and that was for all municipal, state and federal taxes, unlike today where that holy trio can hit you up for 60 percent of your income if you're not careful.

When I got home I wandered over to the Tax Foundation to look deeper into those mythical 91 percent tax rates.  In fact, when you just consider federal taxes by themselves you find that there is less than a five percent difference in what the extreme wealthy pay today, vs the 50's.  But if you count municipal and federal taxes you find today's millionaires are paying out far more.  In fact the "1 percent" pay 80 percent of all taxes due and 50 percent of taxpayers pay nothing at fact they get thousands back in child tax credits and other anti-poverty incentives.

Now those 43 White-suited Democratic Socialists who just go elected say they are going to be kind.  Let by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, they say they will only insist on a 70 percent tax least to start.

Well, if you want to see the markets crash, and if you want to see the largest wealth migration in human history, just let the Democrats do that.  They will stay in office for whatever remains of their terms and then be turned out.

The continual resurrection of that 91 percent 50's myth just shows how fraudulent Democrats are.  They know the truth and just hope like hell that you don't!

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Democrats: We Can Only Hope They Stay This Crazy


The far left crazies who now occupy some 44 House seats, and a dozen in the Senate are a new thing only in the sense that their numbers have increased of late.  There have always been seats in Congress held by people who, in the real world, could not hold down a job as garbage collector.  Once, wondering why that was, I wrote my local congressman and asked him about how folks as dumb as Sheila Jackson Lee, or as corrupt as Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters could achieve such high office.  His response was quite frank.  Shunting aside niceties, he said our Congressional representatives are only as good as their constituents.  He pointed out that leadership, for ill or good does not emerge from a vacuum.  If Blacks are content to elect, then re-elect again and again, someone like Charley Rangel, who nearly went to prison for tax fraud, there seems little hope for a moral resurgence of that community.  Same principle applies for Maxine Waters, who has never done anything for her ghetto dwelling constituents, lives in a mansion outside her own district, yet continues to win re-election.

Yet despite the historical precedent of our government always having a few bonafide idiots and scoundrels, I am worried that we are getting more and more of them in important government offices.  And even when I shunt my politics aside it seems to me that the vast majority of the loonies come from the Democratic party.  From the top echelons of the party we have folks like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who espouse openly Socialist policies.  New advocates are arriving on the scene every day...from Senator Corey Booker who failed miserably as a Urban New Jersey mayor, to California's Kamala Harris whose only claim to fame is that she slept with men forty years older to win a position of power.  We have Texas's Beto O'Rourke whose resume includes a hit and run conviction and aspirations to legalize as man drugs as possible to reduce drug related convictions.

The newest crop of crazies were elected on the heels of the MeToo Movement, a coalition of women who believe that abortion is a viable form of birth control and conviction by accusation ought to be enough to destroy a man's reputation.  Among those are radical Muslims from the Midwest, who openly scream "Fuck Trump" to New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who makes Nancy Pelosi look like a right wing nut job.  Even as I am writing this Cortez is leading a door to door campaign to nix Amazon's placing one of their headquarters in New York City.   Despite Amazon's contractual pledge to hire 25,000 employees, all of them to be paid at least $150,000 a year, Cortez opposes the project...alleging that New York didn't hit Amazon hard enough for sweeter goodies.   In light of the proposed Amazon boycott, Amazon is now saying they may withdraw from New York.  

But even if we set aside Cortez's arrogant flamboyance, and just look at the policies she advocates, she is a scary thing indeed.  If Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez gets her way she could more than double the national debt in less than a decade.  She's dangled more free government goodies in the face of her constituents she makes a carnival barker look staid.

I may be wrong but I have to believe the latest sweeping into office of so many crazies had to have been spawned by a bunch of angry women suffering bouts of temporary insanity.  I have to think that, women things calm down a bit the American people will see these far left nut jobs as all hat and no cattle.  And if the current crop of left wing Presidential candidates stay consistent with their socialist agendas I just can't see the American people buying their long laundry list of government giveaways.  The average voter knows enough math to know none of it adds up.

So, to my conservative friends, let's hope the far left get even crazier.  That may be Trump's only hope to win re-election and for Republicans to reclaim control of the house.  And Trump, given four more years, can surely select a couple more Supreme Court judges that will finally nullify John Robert's vote, and purge the district courts of liberal judges who abhor reading the Constitution.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

His Mistress


John Archibald Marmaduke Friend.  His name far more majestic than the 5 foot 6 inch, 130 pound man who almost filled size six work boots.  Born in the Missouri Ozarks on a soft September evening in 1885, he took a bride shortly after century turn, and migrated to the red plains of Oklahoma.

When the Great Asiatic Flu Epidemic arrived in 1920 it carried away his wife and left him to raise six children, all under the age of ten, the two youngest under the age of four.  No one knows how my sharecropping Grandpa could have plowed the fields for several years, while nourishing toddlers.  He was eventually rescued when his widowed father came to live with him.  And the two bachelor fathers would tend the borrowed land, and scrape out a living for a time.  

He must have been enamored by the name "Myrtle", his first wife bearing the name, his second "Myrtle" arriving eight years later, two of her own children in her wake, widening the gyre of family to brood numbers.  He loved both his Myrtles but his mistress would always be the land.  Old John needed nothing more than a sharp plow blade and a good mule to produce sufficient bounty to keep his brood fed.  He would walk through stately rows of corn and admire his harvest and he found nothing more beautiful than walking toward home at sunset, a waist high field of wheat caressing his belt buckle as he looked on the golden hue of his handiwork.
He was not a churchgoer.  He was too quiet and unassuming to take to Southern Baptist tent revivals and all that shouting.  His Myrtle had to be the disciplinarian of the children.  He never raised his hand to a single one of them, but when he spoke, his words came so rarely they landed with more commanding impact.  His only sin was the corn whiskey he kept buried beneath the smoke house, where the wild turkeys and hogs were smoked....hidden from a Baptist wife that would not have tolerated the consumption of demon rum and its distillations.  

When the Great Depression arrived he managed to hunt for game, his wife husbanding chicken and hogs and a cow for milking.  And his Myrtle canned fruits and vegetables that saw them through the long winters. And he kept growing corn and wheat and, an honest broker, turned over half his crop to the land's owner.  

In winter, when there was no sugar, nor money to buy it, he would trod out to the snow blanketed fields, and gooble walnuts laying a foot below the snow.  He would then walk into town and trade those walnuts for a pound of sugar.    And when game was scarce the family ate squirrel and rabbit and, in the worst of times, the poorest offering of fried sparrow.

On April 14th, 1935, Black Sunday arrived with great fanfare to the Oklahoma plains.  A dust storm five miles high roared across the land, leaving livestock dead, their stomachs bulging from the inhalation of two pounds of dust.  Men too, caught out in the storm, would be found days later, having died from suffocation.

And on that April day, my Grandpa, turning 50 years old that year, must have surely despaired.  Having courted his mistress for most of his life, she left him, her top soil blown away to distant realms.  But, as tens of thousands of Okie migrants deserted that ancient red soil, bound for the fields and orchards and vineyards of California, my Grandpa could not leave his unfaithful mistress.  He stayed, even as sisters and brothers departed in ancient Ford pickups, their mattresses and washtubs hanging perilously from the back pickup bed.

Grandpa stayed.  And he moved on to find another sharecropper's field.  And maybe the times shook him a bit.  Perhaps he raised the gnarled old sharecropper's hands to his chest, and prayed for a merciful God sometimes.  Or maybe, as he plowed the fields he sweet talked the wheat and corn stalks into bearing the fruit of their womb.  

By the 1950's, when cancer and old age forced him out of the fields, he finally deigned to visit that California, where so many of his siblings and children resided.  He came.  He embraced his children and grandchildren, and not once did he reprimand them for their desertion.  Not once did he say you traded the red clay of home for the cracked, alkaline cotton fields of Bakersfield, or the vineyards of the Central Valley.  He simply came to see what all the fuss was about, then went home to die.
But one thing that never died.  His legacy was one of great gentility, of honor, of pride, and his great love for his red clay mistress.  And of the huge clan of Friends and Paynes you found not one who had a bad word to say about John Archibald Marmaduke Friend. Indeed, anyone who knew him could talk only of his being such a great man in a very small frame.

And if nature truly speaks, out there in those Oklahoma plains, there must still be the whispers of his mistress, longing for his loving and tender care.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Blinders For Those Who Shall Not See


Whenever I'm reading the history of the early 20th Century's social movements I always come across literary passages....from John Dos Passos's USA Trilogy, from Sinclair Lewis, from Theodore Dreiser's detestation of the monied class, or even a few bon mots from monopoly-busting Theodore Roosevelt.  I have always loved the study of only because it helps me to understand the times I live in, but it also serves as an advisory that we shouldn't repeat our same tired mistakes.  

Alas, man is foolish and man does continue repeating the bad habits of his forebears.  To cite an example that applies today, I remember reading about the American 30's when folks really believed that Communism was the answers for fixing our faulty republic.  I remember reading one literary passage where two gentle and lovely old rich women were conversing over tea and crumpets out on their Victorian front porch.  One wealthy lady said to the other "Gladys, how much more do you suppose we'll have when Communism gets voted in?"

Sounds silly, does it not?  Those two wealthy dowagers had no idea that the chief pogrum of socialism was a top down forced re-distribution of wealth.  Let's not fault those two old ladies though.  Millions of Americans were equally ignorant and equally wistful for a communist takeover of our temples of wealth and the money changers who dwelled within.  

Alas, their naive hopes were shattered when Stalin and Hitler signed their mutual defense pacts.  Communist wannabes ran around screaming that they didn't know...and should have been told!

Until the modern internet arrived in the mid 1990's I always believed that a lack of information caused those otherwise redeeming 30's and 40's dreamers to wish for something that might prove ultimately bad for them.  In other words, ignorance of the facts was a perfectly rational explanation.

Then came the internet and a world of information opened up to what Karl Marx called "the masses".  Through the auspices of AOL and Google and Yahoo the world's citizen could learn everything there was to learn....from the physics of making a nuclear bomb, to the recipe for Granny's strawberry jelly.

Yet here we 2019...and we still have a wide swath of Americans who believe the Venezuelan economic model just needs a little tweaking.  They despise those who have accumulated wealth, even if it was well earned.  They have come to believe that benefits previously thought to be bestowed upon earning it, should not be given to everyone as a "natural right".  As many as half of America now believe that free healthcare is a right, that food and shelter are rights, that those who breach national borders have a right to, and that the wealthy and the worker bees have only one right; to shut the hell up and pay for it all.

So, here's still another thing I've learned from my study of history.  No matter how much information is afforded a human being, a good portion of those humans will don that no small inkling of opposing point of view is allowed to distort their narrow little view of how man should be governed.

And when someone yanks their blinders off they cry and scream in front of the Supreme Court, or in the halls of Congress, or out in America's mean streets, their invective always carefully crafted to distort the truth.  

Thomas Jefferson feared we would lose our Republic if her citizens ever collected in such numbers as to vote themselves benefits.  John Adams said again and again that Democracy, in man's entire history, had never endured because there were simply too damn many ignorants given the right to vote without a corresponding knowledge to make an intelligent choice.

Both Jefferson and Adams were right.  We have now reached an age where we are being governed by unprincipled plow horses, blinders in place, capable of only aspiring to a path that will eventually destroy us.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

An Important Alert For My Blog Readers -2nd notice


Dear Loyal Reader,
For reasons not fully explained Google is doing away with Google Plus beginning April 1st.  While that will not effect the existence of my blog it will present a few problems for those who navigate here via Google Plus, as well as those who signed on as "followers" via Google Plus.  First, my "followers" logo, positioned to the left of my blog will go away.  Secondly, any comments from those who are linked to the blog via Google Plus will be rejected.

Google has apparently jumped the gun and, as of today, removed the Google Plus logo from my blog, thus eliminating my ability to send Google Plus signups an email announcing the arrival of a new blog.

Accordingly, I would advise that, if you still wish to both read and comment on my blog, you do so via Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.  (There are a couple more links whose logo I do not recognize).  

Again, why is Google doing away with Google Plus?  Some experts, who assuredly know more than I about such things, say it is because Google is embarrassed that their Google Plus ap has only a couple of million users (versus hundreds of millions for Facebook and Twitter).  

Google has chosen not to do away with Google Blogs because they profit from blog ads that appear on those blogs.  So, for now, my blog is safe from elimination. (Although I hear that comments from readers who wrote them using Google Plus affiliation will be eliminated).

Please don't ask me to explain this stuff.  I am neither a web designer nor an expert on blog layout.  I may have to someday elicit professional support and set up my blog elsewhere (Go Daddy or Word Press, etc) but for now, like you, I'll just have to wait and see how well Google will continue to support my blog in the future.  From what I've heard one of the first supports to go is my ability to send out an email to you, announcing a new blog entry.  I do not know that for sure.

If I hear any more about this I will keep you posted.  And I will try to run this alert a few times, to give everyone a chance to learn about these changes.

To all of those who have been with me for years I thank you for your loyalty and support.  Hope to keep meeting with you here  in the future, God willing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Saints Hard To Find


In 2011, immediately after the release of FBI files on Martin Luther King, the liberal Washington Post released an editorial, asking Americans not to judge Dr. King as a saint, but as a man with flaws.  The Post says it is totally understandable that Dr. King was drinking and smoking more, given the pressures of his ministry.  And it was perfectly okay that Dr. King had several mistresses, including the one who stayed with him the night before he was assassinated.  Those were not rumors.......His aide, former Ambassador Andrew Young confirmed the stories in interviews twenty years after King's death.

The Post's polishing up the King image is but a continuation of the national trend to forgive any number of Black trespasses.  A jury of O.J. Simpson's Black peers declared him innocent of murder, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Life long thug Rodney King was elevated to Ghandi status.  Convenience store thief Michael Brown was made a martyr, as was Trayvon Martin, teen burglar and blossoming thug.  

Al Sharpton is a tax cheat, as was Congressman Charlie Rangel, and Jessie Jackson both bred a master thief who is preparing the taxes for his fellow inmates these days, and called New York "Heimie Town" for the proliferation of Jews in that city.  Barack Obama's cocaine use was passed off as teenage hi-jinks, proving again and again that, if you're Black, it's all good.

In this age of Black pampering, and the "Church of The Me Too", it seems that only Whites must pay their dues for past sins committed long before Millennials were born.  The news this morning leads off with the continued drum beating for a resignation by a  governor whose chief sin might have been a black face photo from four decades ago.  Two TV weathermen stumbled over Martin Luther Coon on air, one of them losing their job.  TV "newsman" like Don Lemon have declared White men the terrorists of our age and no less than half a dozen Black academics have called for the mass execution of White men if we are ever to achieve racial equality....all offered without repercussion.

I think racial equality is already here and the pendulum has swung way too far.  Blacks are given a lifetime pass against punishments, a permanent "get out of jail" card in the game of life.  Whites on the other hand had better watch their step.

The pygmies who now rule the national conversation will no longer tolerate an iota of mistakes.  Liberal god, Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never have been President.  He had two mistresses and Black stone jockeys on his front lawn.  Eisenhower had his British mistress to keep his bed warm and John and Bobby Kennedy were the Energizer Bunnies of philandering.  A series of Republicans were kind of boring, then came Slick Willie Clinton, America's first serial rapist President.  

"No Mas!"  Admittedly Obama was such a lousy President that America elected a crotch grabber but I wouldn't count on future success if, man or woman, had committed any of the newly defined sins...sins so minor they make The Ten Commandments look like a cake walk.

The only folks I see getting elected, and remaining in office, will be Franciscan Monks who've sworn an oath of celibacy and never again opening their mouths, less some utterance offends the so easily offended.  Ideally, our next leaders will be transgendered Blacks with an attitude.

It seems that the only acceptable speech these days come from the hate-spewing of the far Left...or any Black who believes he has something brilliant to rap about.    Let's see which one of them can successfully run the gauntlet to win the White House next year.  Going to be some interesting times ahead of us as the Pygmies assume the roost, looking for saints who aren't there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

It's Nearly Spring...And That Means Baseball


Football is over.  The thugs go rest their knees from those weekly National Anthems..and to beat up on their wives for awhile.  In one week pitchers and catchers report for baseball spring training.  A week later position players report.  Six weeks later the official season begins.  They'll walk out, stand for the national anthem, then go about their business of smudging those four alabaster bases, sprinkled over a sea of emerald green.

Baseball has always been my favorite sport....even before Field of Dreams came along and reminded me why.  And the game's durability is such that, even in an era of the grand half billion dollar money grabs, they can't seem to ruin it for us.

My childhood and young adult loyalties belonged to the San Francisco Giants, with Mays and McCovey and Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal, and the three Alou brothers, battling the evil Dodgers for National League prominence.   Alas, the Giants became paid gladiators for the Silicon Valley crowd, for the Knob Hill royalty, for the LGBQT community who evince a bit too much enthusiasm for staring at Barry Bond's crotch (though I hear that shrinks quite remarkably after taking anabolic steroids).

Living in Arizona now, I began following the Diamondbacks a few years ago.  After their semi-miracle 2001 season they've been fairly mediocre.  The only thing that kept me watching the Diamondbacks was the 2011 arrival of a kid from the Houston suburbs who looked like a full back and lives his life like a Boy Scout.  In seven years with the Diamondbacks the kid averaged a batting average of .300 a year, 30 home runs, and a hundred runs batted in.  And he fielded his first base position at a steady .995 clip and won a parlor full of Gold Gove Awards.

In 2014, when it came time to pay up, the Diamondbacks talked Paul Goldschmidt into signing a five year contract for a "hometown discount" at about $20 million less per year than his peers with similar talents were getting.  The kid signed.  Then he and his wife began visiting sick kids in Phoenix Children's Hospital, filling their rooms with wide smiles and stuffed toys...and big checks.

Then, last winter the Diamondbacks, not seeing how they could pay Paul Goldschmidt what the open market was willing to offer, traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals.

How do I feel about that?  Let me put it this way; remember when you were a kid, and you felt like your parents had treated you unfairly in some way, and you imagined they weren't your parents.....that a finer set of parents once gave you up for adoption?  Well, that's the way I feel about Goldschmidt and The Cardinals.  He belongs there.  I don't know how St. Louis achieves it, but their fans are the best, kindest, most respectful fans in baseball.  Don't ask me how they do it with 50 percent of St. Louis made up of Blacks who, these days, don't much care for baseball.  Outside the confines of that baseball stadium lie the mean streets, none of which I'd walk down after dark.  Yet, like some miracle, the folks who occupy the seats of Cardinals stadium are angelic and adoring of the game of baseball.

And Boy Scout Goldschmidt is gonna fit right in at first base.  The Cardinals have the most beautiful uniforms....I always said so....even before Goldschmidt.  Even when Bob Gibson was firing at the heads of opposing batters.  And especially when the great Stan Musial roamed the bases.

Though St. Louis has Paul locked up only for this year, there's no doubt they'll sign him to a long-term contract.  And Paul will clobber another 300 plus homers, and win a few more gold gloves, and edge out the Cubbies for a few division titles (Goldschmidt's average against the cubs is like a cool .500 or something) and will go on to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  And he'll wear a Cardinal's uniform...that beautiful red cardinal perched atop an oaken bat across the pristine white chest.

So, play ball!  But I'll have to cast at least half my allegiance to the St. Louis Cardinals this year.  I've always been a fan of baseball and boy scouts.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Whew! We're All Glad That's Over!


Well it seems that Elizabeth "Pochahantas" Warren made a pilgrimage to Tulsa, Oklahoma last week.  She came bearing apologies....for taking a DNA test...and for borrowing from her one tenth of one percent Indian heritage to score preferential racial quotas and a $300,000 dollar per year job at Harvard.

As usual the Cherokee nation was gracious.  Their tribal Secretary of State accepted Warren's "mea culpa" but warned others that a few drops of Native American blood does not make one a card-carrying member of the Cherokee, or any other Indian tribe.

Reporters weren't sure if they heard correctly when current Cherokee Secretary of State, Chuck Hoskin Jr., stepped down from the stage and whispered to a fellow tribal member; "white man always speak with forked tongue....politicians especially".

Following her meeting with the Cherokees, Warren's contingent moved over to a rally in downtown Tulsa.  There she stepped to the podium and denounced wealthy financiers and oil barons...then took up a collection from the Stetson and Llama Boot crowd to the tune of a million bucks.  Warren then climbed into her long black limousine, the tail pipe spewing fluorocarbons, en route to a climate change rally.

Senator Warren then plans to hurry back to Massachusetts, where she will again pore over her DNA test to make sure she doesn't have any family that came over on the Mayflower and quickly began hanging witches.  One never knows what one will find in those pesky DNA tests.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Putting Today's Super Bowl LIII In Perspective


Well today's the big day, huh kids?  The Super Bowl!  Not nearly as much fun as it was when Bart stumbled for half a yard against Dallas, right?  Nor are we likely to see anything as exciting as Montana's Drive, or even Seattle's gift to Belichek and Brady from a couple of years ago.  And with the "knee-taker boycott" not met with as much good cheer as in past years.  It doesn't matter.

The Super Bowl is now much more than football.  In fact it has as little to do about football as Christ at Christmas.  The Super Bowl is the opportunity to keep the Budweiser folks in the black, for Pepsi and Coke to sing the praises of corn syrup, for Betty White to attribute Snickers Bars for her longevity, and for at least three automobile companies to pimp their ride by showing the latest models careening off multi-level parking lots, into the mean streets below.

With the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots as participants you have probably 80 percent of viewer noses who don't give a shit who wins....their teams relegated to the ash heap of history.  But since the Super Bowl is no longer about football even the teams don't matter.  What matters is gathering a group of friends together and, like Thanksgiving, filling your gullet with as much beer, booze and junk food that your poor gut can tolerate.  Also like Thanksgiving, Super Bowl is kind of like the Christmas office party....a chance to eat lots of those little brown wieners in a sweet sauce.  (And, no, in the age of widespread gender diversification, I ain't going any further with that).

Super Bowl day itself is rather exhausting.  If you are of the devoted sect your pre-pre-pre-game coverage begins at sun up on Sunday.  So, if you don't have a hangover from Super Bowl Saturday Night, you arise with the rooster and turn on your set, and prepare for ten hours of the most inane pre-game commentary you are likely to hear...until the next national political convention.

By game time the game itself is something of a let down.  Nervous players will fumble the occasional kickoff, one of the coaches will ratchet his arm forward and okay a 4th and four yard effort while still at their own 39 yard line, and the team that realizes first that it's just a game will be victorious.

The game itself will be played in a stadium that costs as much as the combined Gross Domestic Product of 80 third world countries.  That has become NFL tradition.  Whichever city's populace are dumb enough to shell out a cool trillion dollars for a new stadium goes immediately on the list to host a Super Bowl in the very near future.  And that host city will inevitably lose a hundred million dollars in safety and security costs.  And the Atlanta cops will be pulling double shifts as they roust America's thuggery gathered for a week of debauchery.

I saw this week that Homeland Security, the FBI, and Georgia state and local law enforcement held a press conference to announce that $124 million dollars in phony tickets and merchandise was purchased by Atlanta denizens last week.  That is definitely a no-no and the NFL integrity of selling you a $200 dollar football jersey will not be tolerated.  Nor will they allow any riff-raff with a purloined counterfeit ticket to enter.  Ya pay your $7,600 dollars for the 50 yard line, or $4,000 for the nosebleed seats, or you don't go in.

I see this year Hollywood is urging their fellow entertainers to boycott participating in the half time show.  And many a diva are complying.  There will be no Lady Gaga hanging from the stadium rafters, or Janet Jackson baring a breast, or Green Day trumpeting the redeeming value of saving the planet from floracarbons.  Doesn't matter.  Half time is usually a period of 30 minutes when some 200 million Americans take a half time dump and send ten thousand metric tons of raw sewage flowing through America's crumbling sewer systems.  

And when the game is finally over, and Lombardi Trophy awarded, ten tons of confetti will come billowing from stadium rooftop, half of the players attributing their victory to God's being on their team, the other half praising their agent for scoring them a hundred million dollar guaranteed contract.

By the time the hoopla is over it is midnight.  Your big screen TV has been tuned in to the festivities for some 18 hours.  You will stumble drunkenly to bed.  And the next morning you'll try to remember which team won.  

That's the Super Bowl, boys and girls.  Happy Super Bowl Day!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Where The Fuck Is Jesus?


Most of us remember the biblical passage.  Jesus comes upon the crowd ready to stone Mary Magdalene for her sins.  Jesus stands there, like Clint Eastwood in a Spaghetti Western, bends to pick up a stone, then proffers it to the crowd, saying "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Well, let me tell you, the Big J is playing hooky these days.  And the crowd is getting crazier and crazier.  This week we have a mob of hyenas calling for the resignation of a sitting governor who, 35 years ago (35 fucking years ago!) donning black face and posing for a college yearbook.  

And this governor, a Democrat for god's sake, is not alone.  To the mad lemmings that command the national conversation there is no statute of limitations for past sins.  Politicians resign their seats for something they said thirty years ago.  Hollywood stars find their contracts drying up for something they said or did when they were in high school.  A couple of years ago a kid that was bound for a choice high draft pick sunk into oblivion after it was discovered that something he said when he was 14 years old was offensive to somebody........some black, brown, Muslim, or transgendered freak from the 3rd power.

It's all crazy.  In a world where there are no saints the mob demands the pristine perfection of political correctness that does not exist, and never has.  And the hypocrisy is such that someone like Babs Streisand, who really does live in a glass house, feels no compunction to throw down her own fistful of stones.

And since no one is without sin, every stone thrower lives in fear that their own misdeeds will be revealed and they too will be asked to don the crown of thorns and climb Calvary Hill.  

Things have gotten so bad these days that those with a bent for the politically correct just stand in a deaf and dumb Twilight Zone, lest they offend someone.  And, just as proven with this Virginia governor, it is not enough that you toe today's politically correct line.  It is not enough that you know all the right things to say, and the wrong things to keep mum about.  Instead you need to sort through every family album, delete everything you ever said on social media, and buy up all the school yearbooks you can get your hands on.

Well, you know Jesus must be really pissed.  He's taken a powder and let mob rule reign.  And the only real winners are those, like me, who don't much care who the hell we anger.  Why shoot for politically correct perfection when that path is fraught with only grief?

"A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together"...............

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Friday, February 1, 2019



20 December, 1968

The young man rose from his bed early....better to get out and issue his swan song to least  for awhile.  The weather on that day was indecisive, one minute the sun shining, the next fleeing behind a cloud.  The winter wind too acted like it had no place to go, first sweeping eastward, from over the coastal hills west to east, then whipping bare tree limbs and winter wash out on the clothesline as it sped back from which it came.  

The kid walked to the bathroom, threw cold water into his face, brushed his teeth, then slipped on the temporary adornment of sweater and jeans, and boat shoes.  His summer blues, speckled with a single "Enlistment During Time Of War" ribbon at the top edge of left pocket, his sleeves bare except for two lonely wings, denoting his low standing in the Air Force, hung morosely over the curtain rail of bedroom window.  In the corner of the room stood his green duffle bag, stuffed full of summer and winter weight uniforms, and olive green field jacket, and jungle cammies, and boots, leaving little room for any personal niceties.  But then he would have little room for niceties where he was going.
He walked into the kitchen, a sense of dread hanging over him like some medieval spell.  Conversation was a fragile thing that morning, everyone knowing he was bound for a war zone, no one much liking it, yet trying to rally for a Christmas celebration five days early....that he might have one at all this year.

The mother suggested breakfast as he poured his first cup of Folgers, the meal declined.  Soon the house, filled so with such melancholy, became just too oppressive.  So he grabbed the car keys, and headed out to Fresno, to the mall, to pick up two small gifts he had ordered earlier in the week.  

When he returned the stragglers of extended family began to arrive, bearing gifts.  In the kitchen the holiday table was laden with all of his favorite foods.  So they sat, and talked with a brittle care, and quenched dry mouth with sips of tea, and tried to enjoy a Christmas meal through the constricted, stifled sobs of sorrow.

When it was time to present him with his Christmas gifts....small things...stationary and stamps...they gathered around as he opened each of his gifts.  At some point in the ceremonial giving, the young man leaped from his chair, fled to the safety of bedroom, that they might not see the tears of half boy, half man.

All too soon it was time to crawl into his uniform, batten down his duffle bag, swing it over his shoulder and toss it into the trunk of his friend's car.  He then turned and kissed and hugged, then climbed into the car and headed west...out to Travis Air Force Base, north of San Francisco,  air terminal for 550,000 boys just like him, bound for war....bound for a place that would change a life forever.

3,000 miles to the east, on the morning of that same day, in New York City, an old man awakened in his luxurious 34th floor apartment.  And as he lay in his death bed he looked out through his ivory tower wall of glass, and watched the snow swirling out there.  Though the old gent was but 66 years old, this would be his last day on earth.  He had smoked too many camels, chewed on too many cigars, swigged an ocean of whiskey, and purple ponds of wine, slept with too many whores and too many ladies, and shared the world's gutters with the downfallen.  And his life was shortened as he had to live it, and live it again as he wrote about it.

And, my, could he write!  The literary champion for every Okie, every Filipino lettuce picker, every Mexican fruit packer, every sad drunk who ever peopled the bars and alleyways of Frisco, every regular Joe who picketed for a fair wage, and for every man and woman who got knocked down and struggled to their fight again.

He wrote with an elegant simplicity that made even non-readers want to turn the see what happens next.  He created great beauty from the human refuse of anyone who had ever lost something precious.  And wrote it with such integrity that his human creations leaped off the page and dwelled in the heart.

And just as the young man, 3,000 miles to the west, was gathering around him his loved ones, before setting off on the great voyage of his life, the friends and family of the old one began a death watch, he too bound this night for distant realms.

And that evening, just as the old man breathed his last, the young man sat his duffel bag down in front of him in that swirling air terminal madness, waiting to hear his name called for boarding.  And, with time to kill, he keyed open the Master Lock on his duffle bag, and plucked a paperback book riding atop his worldly possessions.  And then he opened the book, found the dog-eared mark of the page last read, then began to read of an Okie pilgrimage that traversed old Route 66, hoping to escape the dust bowl of home, and arrive at the land of milk and honey.  And with every page read the young man could see the faces of father and mother, brother and sister, uncles and aunts, and cousins, all of them toiling in cotton  field and orchard and vineyard, to win a day's relief from a growling stomach.  
That was the power of the old man's words....words made indelible in human mind and heart, even as the old man drew his last breath in an airy 34 floors high on a dreary December day fifty years ago.

And the young man is now an old man.  And he too is not too many years away from his own demise.  But, as long as he breathes, as long as he remembers, as long as the song of the downtrodden still echoes in his heart, he must say a prayer of thanks to a man who told the stories of those whom time might forget.  Two voyagers, one young, and one old, each bound for all the unseen tomorrows.

Thank you, Mr. Steinbeck.