Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twitter

Well, it is a good month, that December. I got a good hat and found Twitter quite useful for those short comments. Follow me at: Upinyears if their little search thing works. Got the url http://www.twitter.com/upinyears

Where was Homeland Security?

The talk concerning the recent terrorist attack is all about a report that was on a desk prior to the failed attack. It was my understand that Homeland Security was suppose to be the one body that put all the information from all the agencies together. It was a clear failure of failing to fulfill that mission.

Why do terrorist pick such a time of year to attack? I think because someone thought 'it could wait until after Christmas'. That is unacceptable in that type of work. It should be a time of high alert when every bit of information is taken seriously.

It is not the agents in the field who are to blame. They are producing the information. The problem, as usual, is in Washington DC. Political appointees just do not get it. They cannot just sit there because they are buddies with the president. They have a job to do.

I think it is time for the administration to take terrorism seriously so the terrorist will take this administration seriously.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Those Young Terrorist

It is difficult to find sympathy for a young man who would strap explosives to himself and try to kill hundreds of innocent people simply because they live in a certain country, in this case, the United States. Like the citizens of any country, all our citizens do not agree with all the decisions made by our government. That is not, however, the point of my discussion.

I'd like to zero in on the young man with the bomb. Most who have had their story told are discouraged with their life in some way. They apparently feel like losers. They feel like life has given them a raw deal and so they search for someway to get back at the world. That is not the way for a man to go. It is a cheap way out. The manly thing to do is to take life by the horns and deal with it. It is not necessary to take some action on the world stage to be important in this world. I think the most important people in the world are those who serve their family and community in obscurity for their whole life. They are the backbone of any society. They exist all over the world. They keep plodding on while governments do what they do. They will be around after governments are dissolved.

So for the young man who searches for those terrorist groups so they can make a statement, I would say make a statement, but by not being used by thugs who are too big a coward to strap a bomb on themselves. They must seek out some vulnerable young person to die just so they can be the head of some outlaw gang. Young person, you do not have to die to prove a point. Educate yourself on the subject and lead people toward peace. Words can sway more people than bombs. Of course, bombs hurt. Bombs take away parents that would be there for young people just like you had the bomb not taken them away. If hurt is all there is, then we as a species are lost.

Yes. Young people are being used to do the dirty work of terrorist leaders who hide in the cracks of society. In the end, they crave power and are quick to let their own people die to keep it. Don't be a dork, or what ever the proper term is for someone being used, these people seek you out or are on the alert for discouraged people to use. Don't let them. Your life will end and they will keep spreading their message of hate.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Flying

There may be sometime in the future when I have to board an airplane and go someplace but I doubt it. These people are suppose to be so smart, yet flying gets more complicated all the time. I know we can't blame airline management for terrorist but we can take exception with them for not having better security. They have the government at their beckon call and more money than you can shake a stick at so why don't they just get it right and fix the problem. It seems that the average citizen is put through the wringer while terrorist can just make themselves a walking bomb and go anyplace. Maybe I am not being fair. I do not know if I am or not.

One thing that stands in the way is the fear of racial profiling. We want to get along with all people of the world and do a pretty good job of it. So, in our effort to do so, we are careful not to offend people traveling from places where terrorist breed.

There is also the fact that when no terrorist attempts are made for a while, things just drift back to the same old way of doing business.

Doing strip searches for all to see is not the answer. What is freedom and liberty if you have none. 'You have the right to take off your clothes or let a computer see your skin or you have the right to let a strangers feel you all over.' Flying is just not worth it. There are still some people who want to keep what is private that way. There are still some people who would take offense at having a stranger feeling of their wife all over. That is plain but that is what a pat-down is. 'So ma'am, are you wearing plastic underwear for your trip today?" Really, just blow me up, you've destroyed my dignity anyway.

Well, to put aside the 'bare facts' for a moment, there might be a way to let people have some privacy and still protect them. I was thinking of redesigning the airports. The first section would take the baggage and such that will not be carried on board. The second section is the security check with private rooms for necessary stuff. Then a boarding area where people must wait without leaving the area until they board the plane. That is a simple version but it would eliminate the 'in front of the world' embarrassing part. Planes should be redesigned without greed in mind. I know they got to have certain design factors to fly but there could be some stuff put in to separate the passengers better. I just think putting a hundred people in an open area is asking for trouble. Why not make seating compartments like the old train cars where each riding area could be reinforced.

These are just off the cuff ideas. My main point is that airports and planes will have to be redesigned to handle this terrorist threat. It cannot be just such things as 'don't bring your shampoo aboard.'

People may have to just find another way to get there or evaluate if they even need to go. In the day of technology that we live in, many trips could be eliminate if folks would use the flying money to improve other ways of communicating. The reduction in flying traffic would give the airports more time to concentrate on their jobs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Things I Wonder About

It is probably me just getting old and grumpy. Things make me wonder though.

You take healthy eating: Salads are good eatin'. I bought one the other day at the grocery store. It was a small one and my wife and I split it. Then, I got to wondering...did they wash those vegetables before they made the salad? Did they wash the container they put it in? They wear gloves, but just what all do they do with those gloves on? I have seen them brush their hair back and then go back to the food with the same hand. I don't get mad at them for it, they are just working folks. These hand actions are so involuntary that I doubt they even know they are doing it, but still a healthy salad can become unhealthy real quick.

And what about the meat? Is that good looking piece of beef really beef or some other animal that wondered into the pasture? I know generally what beef taste and looks like but I have to be honest, I do not know what giraffe meat looks like or buffalo for that matter. I am also suspicious about some of the tricks they might use to make the meat have that special color we all like. Don't let me turn you against it, I was just wondering.

Just a little hint. I have been in the warehouse of a grocery store and it made me start washing the tops of all our can goods before opening them. I won't explain but you should wash your cans. When you open the can, where does the lid go before you fish it out? Right. Right in the top of the contents.

Now on to something else I wonder about. Why is it that people who never want to talk or listen will suddenly want to do both when you are writing or reading? Maybe it is because they suddenly realized that we are intelligent because we are sitting there giving advice to the world or soaking up information. I am not mad at them. I was just wondering. I think it is the nice thing to do and listening to others should take priority over personal endeavors but what about the rest of the time when you could not get their attention by beating a kitchen pan with the broom?

Also, If I was a child and believed in that sort of thing would Santa Claus be putting up a tree every year for his family? I mean, he is gone anyway. Does he bring back presents from all over the world? Does he ever get mixed up in apartment buildings? I think our blessings come from an entirely different giver but it is a cute story anyway. Now Frosty the Snowman is another matter. He is a sight, that fellow. I wonder if he eats snow cream for nourishment or if ice cubes are his popcorn.

You may not have the answers to all these questions, that's okay, I was just wondering.

Monday, December 21, 2009

End of the Year

Let the year end just any time now. I am ready. I like the Christmas season and the reason for it all although I am afraid many forget the real story.

It is the end of the year buzz that bothers me. Taxes comes just before Christmas. Those telemarketers try to beat the last of the year quota by cheating on the 'do not call list'. All they want is a slight 'okay' and there comes the stuff you don't have to keep but send it back in the same package and call this number.... etc and etc. Please hang up, I'm waiting for a call. Then, besides property taxes (did I mention it comes just before Christmas) there is the annual water bill increase and the county talking about the budget. We all know what that means. The option of cutting out that project, we will only hear about sometime later, is off the table so raising taxes is the only thing that is left.

Too, we can all stand in anticipation of whether we will pay more federal taxes or get a dab back.

All the stores are trying to get the last dollar we have with black Friday, cyber-Monday, super-Saturday and those items that are really suppose to be $80 bucks but they are giving them to us for a mere $9.99.

I understand, I really do. I like some of the people who work in these stores and I know they do not make policy and such and what we spend helps them keep their job. BUT it is enough. I am tired of being sold. I just want to get on past the end and start over next year. Maybe, it will be better. Maybe, it will be more peaceful. Maybe, there will be a jubilee year and governments will declare a no tax year. Maybe, I'll be 25 years old again and my military service will be finished and I get a fantastic job with a wall street proof retirement.

Well, maybe my ears will get a rest for a few months until they put up the Christmas decorations again and start advertising the first sale.

I wish the terrorist would just all decide that they got it wrong and go plant a garden and feed their families.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

President

Well, I get pretty wordee with the president but it wouldn't do for other countries to take my loyalty lightly. We have a system for electing officials and it is peaceful. I like peaceful. He has his ways and his agenda and some of it I don't like much. We are, however, Americans and we support our leaders when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Our troops are our boys and girls and they do a fine job of protecting us. We don't believe in going around killing people just to prove a point or impose our beliefs on others. We will, however, get tough when we must, to protect ourselves.
It should be presumed that we are together on the main stuff and will argue about the rest but when it becomes the law we will respect it whether we like it or not. That is how it is in a peaceful society.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Television Shows

I must confess I watch a few shows on television. I watch the news although I know it is bias. By listening closely to see who or what the media is promoting, I can decide more clearly that I disagree with what ever it might be. Besides the news, I like the old shows too. You know, Andy and Barney. Some of the new shows intrigue me as well. I like science fiction and solving crimes, so, NCIS, Criminal Minds and Fringe caught my attention.

It bothers me, though, that writers throw in these lines with double meanings that have nothing to do with the character speaking the lines or the plot of the story they are telling. It is as if they are trying to include that segment of society that speaks and hears only with a gutter mentality. You can tell that even the characters are uncomfortable with saying what is written for them. Then, of course, there is the hidden agenda where the producers of the shows try to squeeze in their own political or other orientations. Thinks that would not even be allowed on a job application.

The worst are those series where the actor makes so much money that he/she can now insist on directing or producing the show. I have never seen a good movie where the actor directed himself. It just does not work well. Maybe some can pull it off but not that I've seen.

We have watched Smallville since it first started. It was a nice story about the younger days of Superman. Then, the children got out of school and the writers did not know where to go with them. They could have just let them grow up but then they would have lost the younger crowd that followed them and the advertisement revenue that went with them. Now, with no place to go, the stars have gone to bed and they seem to not be able to get out and do anything. It just ruined the show and we no longer watch it. I guess Superman will have to learn to fly without us.

I must not forget those reality shows that are so cheap to produce and provide a good excuse for not doing the work and spending the money for something that is truly entertaining. Viewers will probably change without the knowledge of the producers and regular television will turn into just another infomercial that only the sleepy-eyed watch.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Glitter and Glamour

We are in one of the worst financial situations our country has ever been in. Yet, governments still act like there is nothing wrong. Oh, there is talk aplenty. They run the numbers at us every day. This is up, that is down. People, they say, will just have to endure some hardships before this thing is over.

Tell me. What about governments from the White House to the state house? Do you see them cutting back on their parties and purchases? Do you see them staying home to conserve?

What you see is business as usual. Go here. Go there. Use that expense account. After all, the money has been allotted to us!

There was recently a big deal made of a couple who sneaked into the White House. Well, they should not have done that, of course. The real scandal is that that party could have paid off several mortgages for people who are probably now in a shelter someplace. Those fancy SUVs for every one and their cousin, those political jobs for friends and relatives could pay a few mortgages.

The government is living like the folks who bought above their means and are maxed out on all their credit cards, but are too proud to admit it. They will not lower their living standards. They must keep up appearances. The whole world knows that the United States is in hock up to our eyeballs. We could at least, at some point, admit it and start making good on our debts and tightening our belts a little.

I believe the primary reason that the American people are in such financial stress is because of taxation and fees placed on them. We just do not have enough left to spend on things we need and things we would like to have. Those needs and likes are what keeps the economy going. So long as the government takes more than their fair share of the spending money of the American people, things will be stressful.

For the sake of the country, I wish governments would cut down on their runaway spending. Does everyone in DC have to have an assistant to carry their coat? It cost millions to run the president's aircraft and he is going so much I bet they just keep the motor running. It is not just the president though. Where is your representative sneaking off to this holiday season on the taxpayers dollar?

Foreclosures

My wife and I have managed, so far, to hang onto our spot of land and mobile home. I suppose we could have a brick home if we put our mind to it but we are so thankful for what we have right now. It is still fresh in my mind how we pulled onto this property in our little red car. There was nothing but red slate rock and trees. Our stuff was in storage. We parked the car and started over from nothing but our love for each other.

I think that is the case for many people. Banks see real estate and value and fluctuations in the market. Real people see a home where long hours and sweat have forged a place to call 'our place'. You cannot sell that on the courthouse steps 'for a song'.

I do not usually read the legal section of our local paper. I am not really interested in people changing their names, new corporations or the legal double-talk there. This week I did look closer. I was amazed at how many foreclosures there were. Ten and a half pages of legals and most were foreclosures. Our county is not densely populated, nor is it a rich county. (Well, except the government acts like there is a lot of money here.)

As always, people will figure out a way to make money off other people's misery. So have they done with the rash of foreclosures. I see it like this: people struggle to keep their home, they get behind and plead with the bank or mortgage company to give them enough time to get back on their feet. They pour their heart out about how they have three children, they have just gotten a new job and can get back on track with just a little time. The company listens with cold attention. When the homeowners soul is lying prone on the desk the answer comes. "NO."

It may be that there are some companies that are making sincere effort to let people keep their home. After all, we have been in extreme circumstances. You'd think we would all be pulling together. It did not happen. The government took tax payer money after the banks cried their eyes out to Congress and the president. They took that money and rebuilt their companies without regard to compassion for the very people who put up the money for their bailout.

It may seem unfair to make such statements but I feel that they are justified. All you have to do to prove it is drive up and down the road. Look at the signs and check out the legals.

When a person is kicked out of their home, the story does not end. They will be hit with all kinds of fees and perhaps even have to pay some of what they owe on the home they no longer have. They will be beaten until no more blood comes out. It is just not right. I know, in the past, there have been deadbeats who lost their homes because they were just to lazy to work. Our recent, current situation is not the same.

The old adage that "you can only borrow money when you can prove that you do not need it", is still true. I do not see banks and mortgage companies returning the favor showed to them by our government and the American people. It is still checks and balances and how we look on the stock market. People are pones in the game of money marketing.

Say, I am mean. Say, this does not sound like the speech of a kind person. Well, I cannot help it. I have a home but many people are 'who knows where' because they did not get any compassion. They do not have an internet account so they can speak up for themselves. They are out there trying to rebuild their lives, no thanks to all this money that is going everywhere except where it should go.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A deer, a Tree and Me

I wrote this in response to Leeuna Foster 's story about her husband's hunting skills. She is so understanding, all the way to the mall in fact.

There once was a deer and a tree
the one in the tree was me.
I had a gun and was having fun
Until those sad eyes looked at me.
I threw down my gun and started to run
With the deer close behind.
I climbed over dead trees and
jumped some stumps.
Then fell in the creek
getting soaked to my ….
Lo and behold when I finally looked up
there stood the deer taking a sup.
We stared and stared with nothing to say
until the deer started to run away.
“Wait a minute,” I said, He stopped and waited
“don’t tell my wife this happened.”
“Oh, I won’t,” the deer said, “trust me.
My friend on your wall won’t either.”
I thought about that, picked up my hat
wondering if I should go get my gun.
When across the sky like a streak of light,
a sleigh passed, short one reindeer.

Norway

Norway sounds like a pretty nice country. It is said to be one of the best places in the world to live. They have a centralized government but delegate authority to local governments as they see fit. They are rich in natural resources, i.e. oil and gas. Things are going pretty good for them.

They legalized same sex marriage which I think is a black eye for them. They support the UN, EU and help out in war by supplying some troops.

I expect we are one of their biggest customers.

Usually, people get awards after they have done something but if you want someone to do something, giving them some encouragement might help the cause. So, President Obama has gotten a go-ahead from Norway.

I am trying to think of a speech that I can write and repeat over and over. Perhaps, I too will get a million dollars. It would help me with the water bill and property taxes and I need some tires for my 1996 Escort.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Health Care Bill

I have been pretty rough on Congress concerning the health care bill that is wobbling through their halls. I have tried to understand some of the stuff. It is not easy. Most of what I have read leans one way or the other and it is difficult to understand the real meat of the bill. The fear that always stalks me is that what ever good there is will have parasite amendments attached to it which are dangerous even though the original intent may have been good.

The media does little to help me understand.

The main thing for the Democrats will be that they 'got it done'. They will probably say that others have tried and others have fought against us but we did it. What ever comes out will be a joint effort although the majority will have their way.

Ours is a republic. We elect people who become our official doers in Washington. I suppose we will have to trust them. It is somewhat like being led in the dark though. I do not know which is which but for those who are sincere in their efforts to help the American people, thank you. For the others who are using their office to serve some personal agenda, shame on you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Big Ideas and Our Government

I just got filled in on Obama's approval rating and it has really gotten worse. His White House spokesman double-talked around them by saying something about a child with a crayon and his heart doctor. That is about as plan as the talk gets from the White House these days.

With Americans disapproving of Congress as well, it can be described as nothing else but running roughshod over the citizens when they go ahead and do whatever they well please. Makes me think they don't care what we think. Well, you will hear them talk over loudspeakers come election time about all the good they think is in 'the bill' but will not mention the bad. They will tell us how they had a big mess and are trying to clean it up.

We are being railroaded toward socialism by the present administration and the Democratic controlled Congress. It is a good thing we are all a bunch of good-natured folks out here in the trenches. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We need to build a fence around Washington DC and give them some monopoly money to play with - then start a real government someplace where our Constitution can be honored. Now, don't go looking for me in some camp in the mountains. I'm right out here in public trying to keep my utilities paid and some beans on the table. I just think the people ought to have some say so over the government. That's not a new idea.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Clips


We had a little snow in North Georgia (US) this past weekend. It was a little. It was pretty. It is all gone. As one who lived through the blizzard of '93 and the deep freeze of the 60's, that is enough for me. Come on spring time.
Sawyer leaving ABC GMA. Well, okay.
Troops leaving for training, then the war right here before Christmas. With all the planning, I cannot see why they did not let them wait another month. That's the top brass of the military. They think the more the troops suffer, the better job they are doing. Obama should have considered that in his orders. To put it out there again, they waited all this time to do something, why not wait one more month.
On that girl in Italy who just got convicted, it seems they don't have much respect for evidence but I don't know the whole story. It should be a lesson for parents sending their children off to foreign countries. Maybe it should be a lesson to tourist as well. I wonder what sort of political payback this is.
Editorial: One thing about going off to war...you get to carry a gun and protect yourself. Around here you just grab a stick and take your chances.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Water Bill

As a reward for using less water, our water department is raising our monthly rate to compensate for the lost revenue. That is how government rewards people for being conservative. They don't really, really, really want conservation. Gasoline tax, for example, is a prime source of revenue for the state. It really whacked our state budget when people changed their driving habits. You can believe one thing, they will get theirs if they have to saw off your arm to get it. It is like shooting the horse that plows the corn. Stores need our money to keep the economy going - hint - taxes.... but if government keeps jumping in front of the horse and getting the money before we can spend it at the stores, they are just cutting off their nose to spite the voters. Something like that.....

Chopping Cotton

Has anyone out there ever chopped cotton or hoed cotton? I did as a youngster. We all had our own hoe and were responsible for keeping it sharp and putting it up at the end of the day. A sharp hoe was absolutely necessary. It would zip through weeds and grass and even the soil easily.

I remember those long rows of cotton. The plants would be up about three inches. When they planted them, they were as thick as grass. They did not produce well like that so it was our job to go down every row and thin them out. We'd leave two or three stalks in each hill. We learned to swing the hoe with a rhythm back and forth over the row of cotton. Each time we came down on the small plants we would cut out a space the width of the hoe. Then if necessary we would pull out enough to make it 2 or 3 per hill. Sometimes we'd pull a little dirt around them to make them more comfortable. All this was done with quick easy strokes and we did it over an over from dew to dusk.

There was one thing you never did or never should do. That was prop your hoe against the side of the house, especially near the corner of the house. You know when children or adults are on their way to the outhouse, you are always in a hurry. The last thing you need is to turn a corner and step on the blade of a hoe. Two things could happen: if you were barefoot you could get a bad cut, if you stepped flat on the blade the handle would slap you across the nose. The hoes were designed just so when your foot hit, your nose was in the way. You could expect a real 'preaching' to when who ever it was got back from their business.

So, if you are out chopping cotton, come spring, please put your hoe under the edge of the house, even if you do have a barrel of wash water to draw from the well and two cows to milk before you go to bed. It is the right thing to do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Prayer

"Our Father, which are in Heaven,
Please watch over those I love today,
As we think about Christmas, help us to remember why we have Christmas,
Help me to not get caught up in receiving but to be generous in giving. Thank you for my wife and her devotion and sweet personality.
Please put your loving arms around those who are far away from us this year,
Our baby girl in New Jersey and her husband and family, Thank you for them and please give them what they need this Christmas and some of what they want.
Our son's (who is with you now) family, please fill the lonely spot in their home with your love and watch over them. Help them to keep loving You.
Our granddaughter in California, help us to somehow be more of a part of her life this year and please guide her life and help her let you. Watch over her family there too.
Our parents, who are still with us, are getting up in years, I pray that you would comfort them and let them know they are loved. Help me to be a good son to them. And please ease their pain some.
Our son at home with us. Please let him know he is loved and guide him these days.
Our country and leaders need your guidance and protection. May we not support the enemy that would destroy us if not for your love.
Our men and women in uniform who are away from home. Please give them protection and a reason to smile this season.
For those I have not yet mentioned, our friends, our churches and pastors, our other family which is quite spread out now, please care for them and give them true joy in their hearts.
And thank you for your Son. For the price that was paid for us. For the beautiful Christmas story that is so true. I love you. In Jesus name I ask. Amen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

President Obama's Speech

Since I have been quite critical of Mister Obama, I thought it only right to give credit where credit is due.

His speech, last night, was a good one. He laid out things very plainly. He is right that we need to finish the job. Those terrorist will not stop in their tracks, even if we left them alone. They are filled with hate and force is the only thing they will understand.

I was looking at the young men and women of West Point as the camera panned around. They are a fine looking group. I am proud that there are still so many young people who are willing to serve their country. I pray that they will all be alright.

So, now is the time to unite behind the troops afresh. In this one thing, we can agree that they need the protection of Almighty God. May this action mean the defeat of those who find hurting innocent people a way to their kind of victory.

American may be a little weak in the knees but we still got some fight left in us. We can use all the help we can get from our friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Afghanistan

Something bothers me about our efforts in Afghanistan. I have no problem with finishing the job. I do have a problem with our tax dollars going to a corrupt government. Their president does look rather prosperous for a country struggling with such a war. I do not know if he is a corrupt leader or not but if we knew it, why has he been getting our money for so long?

The real thing that bothers me, at least the one I was thinking about the last couple of weeks, is the news footage of the military units getting ambushed. They seem to always be on the lowest ground around with the enemy on the high ground. That is a violation of basic military strategy.
In every thing that I have read and in all the training while I was a member of the military, you are suppose to always take the high ground. Also, you do not trust your safety to the immediate camp but are to set up outpost so that you can see the enemy coming.

The way to protect the towns is not to make our military a target in the cities, that is where the Afgan folks can do the most good, but take the routes the enemy would use, i.e. the high ground. Anytime you go marching down a valley, you are inviting someone on the ridges and mountains around you to take up positions in a trap.

It looks good to have our military walking through the streets but that is false security. They need to be out on the trails stopping the supply routes.

Where did our generals go to school anyway? Or is it as I suppose, some civilian calling the shots?

My opinion.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stores and Prices

I do not get it. I am talking about stores and their pricing system. Well, maybe I do get it and just do not want to face it. For one thing, if you have your stuff marked down to the bare minimum already, how can you cut 30-75% and expect to make enough sells to get in the black (as in out of the red on the ledger). It makes me wonder if there is complete honesty in the first place or are they using a little mind/brain manipulation. I will give a little hint here that must be a well kept secret. Most people I know get paid throughout the year, a little here, a little there. Another, must be secret, is that most people do not save all year for the so called Black Friday. Who can save these days anyway with banks and governments 'fee-ing-ing-ing-ing' us to death?

My suggestion is that stores stop trying to take people for all they can get during the year, then maybe they would not have to have stampedes to make a profit.

I do appreciate the folks who run the stores. I'd hate to have to go to South America to pick something for supper or flag a ship to China to find a cheap shirt. We got a pretty good system going here. The problem is the greed should be spread out over the entire year and the savings, if you don't mind, so we can keep some semblance of a budget and maybe we won't notice that things are marked up multiple times before we see them.

While I am on the subject, I have a question. Why is it that when the price of gas goes up, businesses tack on increases to their prices to cover the increase in cost due to that, then when the price of gas goes down, the added increases just keep lingering for ions? What did you say?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Holidays

I hope your holidays are safe and happy. It is not how much we have but how much we appreciate what we do have. The things that I would wish for the world are not mine to give. I do hope that everyone has a good warm meal and a dry and warm place to sleep. Perhaps all we have to give is a smile or kind word. I've seen times when those things would have been priceless...like today. Happy Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas Season. I still believe that without Christ it would all be just a mas.......

Monday, November 23, 2009

Worse than Rude

I should not be surprised. It is just a reminder of why I hate going out in public to do anything. Shopping is the worst of the anythings that I hate to do.

With all the hype they have over special sales, it is no wonder people are knocking each other over to get the 'last one' of something. Some guy, with a pocket full of money, probably stays home just to keep from getting hurt. Not me. I just stay home to avoid pushy people. No pocket full of money here. I think they would make more sells if they would just have a pleasant atmosphere to shop in.

BUT the grocery store should be a slow methodical place to shop. You know. Look at the labels. Shop for specials. Turn the meat over and over to see if it has been sprayed with food color. It is not so anymore. People go through the grocery store like it was the last crop that was going to be harvested. You can forget that part about people pulling together if we have a national disaster of some sort. If peoples attitude (some people) is an indication of how they would act in a disaster, it would be the SUV syndrome: "I'm the biggest thing on the road and if any one dies, it won't be me." That attitude spills over into other areas.

My little story. I was at the ham cooler in the grocery store. Clearly there first and trying to take as little space as possible. THIS LADY came over with the meat manager and apparently thought she needed the whole side of the cooler (20 feet long or so). Of course, she had the authority. She had the meat manager with her. I thought I'd look anyway then her husband and three kids spread out along the side where I was. I couldn't even get my buggy past them and had to back out and around. The part that really gripped me was that they did not even know I was there. It was like they were pushing the bushes back while on a hike through the woods. They were dressed nicer than me. I didn't know they were having a special event. While she has the meat man to read the labels and move the hams around for her. Her husband stands close and surveys the crowd to make sure she has her space.

Thirty minutes later while we checked out without a ham, she was still back there having the meat man pick up the hams and then another and another, with her brood around her. Her husband ready with the cell phone in case someone else wanted to buy something. I was looking to buy several hams for gifts.

I saw them as I pulled out of the parking lot. They were rushing out in an SUV ignoring stop signs and turn signals going to their fancy subdivision probably to complain about the ham the meat man pushed off on them.

Being taken as just another obstacle and ignored as a human being is the worst of insults. It is worse than rude.

I visualize people like that being on the school board and raising the mileage rate so our tax bill will be higher. That's a little trick they use. One politician tells us the taxes will not go up, then the school board raises the mileage rate to balance their budget. It is like going in the back door at the bank to rob it.

There. I feel better.

Oprah

Bye.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Health Care Bill

The Health Care Bill that is creeping through Congress like the green slime is the most dangerous thing since Japanese subs crept around the Pacific Ocean during World War II. They're good folks now but then they were up to no good.

For one thing, if passed, it will most likely include the public option which gives the government control over health insurance coverage. That is socialism. That is another freedom taken away.

Secondly, it will most likely end up making abortion a part of the legal code instead of merely a supreme court ruling.

Thirdly, it will tax the American people into bankruptcy. Every dollar the government takes from private citizens to build programs, that they obviously cannot police, will take dollars they would other wise spend in stores, malls, car lots...you name it. When the price of gas went up, because the government let speculators run free, the economy stumbled because those were dollars that would have been spent at businesses which are now closed. People not having those dollars to spend leads to closings, layoffs and the mess we have been in for sometime.

Fourthly, the system is not broke, it just needs looking after. Doctors and hospitals raise their prices to cover law suits from people who just got sick and are looking for someone to blame. The government could fix things better by eliminating fraud in such organizations as Medicare, not punishing those who are helped by Medicare.

Fifthly and in the same vein. Our biggest problem in this nation is government involvement. Almost without exception, if the government is involved, it cost too much and money is filtered off for some idiotic program or individual wealth. Even if they came up with a perfect bill, it would be polluted by little paragraphs and pork spending just to get a vote from some congressman. In the end, all the tax I pay in my life would go to some playground for polar bears that will melt when spring comes.

The communist tried this universal stuff and it was a failure. Failure was the only thing universal about it.

Our Congress needs to shred this idea and go fix something that needs fixing.

Oasis of the Seas

They had the story of ABC today. The cruise ship with room for 6300 people (best I can remember). It is an amazing ship. I wonder why it was not big news before now. The Oasis of the Seas is almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall. It looks like one should have to have a visa to visit it. Maybe they do. Perhaps it is a precursor to cities on the sea like Atlantis in Stargate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Notes from the Past

When cheese gets its picture taken, what dos it say?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me..they're cramming for their final exam.

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

Why is the man who invest all your money called a broker?

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it did not zigzag?

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast, the mime next door went nuts.

Authors unknown

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin has burst onto the national scene in her own right now and instead of her strings being pulled by the Republican Party, she can and I think will emerge as the leader of the party or some party that will trump the Republicans. If that happens, I think the new party will embrace the values that all of us hoped would be that of the Republicans.

The Democrats have a problem too. Her is a woman who impresses other women. She stood up well to ABC 's hard questions and pretty much controlled the interview. I didn't see the others.

I liked the part where someone said that she was more qualified than Obama. I think after another year or so, the nation will agree. It will become apparent that he is all speech and travel and has no real plan for the nation except maybe to defeat it.

Go ahead Sarah. You are on the right track.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skunk or a Rose

I suppose it is possible to like a skunk. They look pretty good if you can forget the smell when you passed near them on the road. A rose is beautiful and has a sweet smell but you got to watch out for the thorns. I got nothing against either but I have to say I'd rather be around a rose, if I have a choice.

A skunk should never dress up like a rose and go around saying "I'm a rose." It will just cause trouble later when people find out the truth. Just as a rose should never leave the impression that they don't have some sticking points.

I think the key is for the skunk and the rose to just be what they are and let us love (like) them for what(who) they are.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow Globe Feeling

My daughter and her husband happened to be in Florida for a wedding and while they are there get to see the space shuttle take off. They're not rich, they just plan well. Anyway, my subject is the snow globe feeling.

Do you ever think about it? The world seems vast and traveling can be exhausting but how far have we really gone relative to the universe. The earth is quite a spectacle when viewed from space but when you point the Hubble the other way, the earth seems about like the golf ball those guys are looking for in the funny movies. I'm not downplaying the significance of our home at all. I find it very satisfying that the Maker of all the magnificence out there would concentrate so much effort on our little planet. I reckon we need the attention the most.

Just suppose you were out there someplace and got lost. You couldn't just dig out your compass and follow it north or south or east or west. You got a lot of north and south poles to consider. Even if you used the sun as a focal point, once you leave our solar system there are a lot of bright heavenly bodies to compete for your navigational attention.

So sometimes, I feel like one of those little flakes after a good shake. I can enjoy the ride but as far as knowing a lot about everything outside of my little space, it's beyond me. Then, if I did learn all there is to know about the little world I inhabit, what about the next shake that changes everything and what about the rest of it. You know, the stores, the homes, the ride to and fro. Where do I sit, on a store shelf or in a loving home?

So take off space shuttle, like a dragon buffing fire and smoke, you are a beautiful sight to behold. But know in the big scheme of things, you are but a firefly in the night and I can but float here in awe of the hand that holds me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where is the War?

We all focus on Iraq and Afganistan and those are real issues. Terrorist cannot be allowed to win whereever we play the game. Bobby Fisher knew that when he played chess during the cold war.

Unfortunately, much of our country is in a war zone. Just up the road the tally is up to 67 in one city for deaths, mostly among young people. It is turf war, over property they do not even own most likely.

Strangely, we are protecting a nation that is the biggest producer of heroin which probably has a direct relation to the 67 deaths in the city ... right up there.

You cannot defeat the terrorist when the policy changes after each election. The least one president could do is support his predecessor in things concerning terrorist. There needs to be consistence. The terrorist certainly are. I'm sure they appreciate the pause in our decision making.

So, Where is the war? It is all around us. You cannot put borders on it. My personal belief is that if drugs did not pay so well and the United States was not the biggest market for drugs, that much of the world's violence would stop.

I wish they would lace the dope with red food dye so we could see who all was using. They are promoting all this killing by using. Yep. Drug users are part of the conspiracy and have some responsibility for the killings back down the line to where it is transported and produced.

Drug users need to 'man-up' and get some help. Celebs need to donate the money they make off their tell-all books to programs to help children get off drugs or not write them at all. Make a million using enhancing drugs then make another million with a book about it, ought to be ashamed.

The war is all around us. The reason for these attacks is not some noble cause or religion. It is about money and keeping the drug routes open.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In His Own Words




I admit, I feel a little guilty for picking on the president but he just makes me so doggone mad with the way he is doing things. Oh well, three more years...how long is eternity anyway?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peace and Quiet


Peace and quiet, some people just cannot stand it. I think the teens call it being bored. I do not know what the older people's excuse is for disturbing it. If disturbing the peace is against the law, why are so many people still running free.

I'm not kiddin' (much), people just can't stand for it to be quiet. I'm sitting here typing this and the dumpster man next door slams down a big metal box. Reckon it's got to be done with all the trash and stuff. We sure have a lot of trash but that is another story.

I never heard the like. If anything bigger than a lawnmower backs up, you hear this irritating beeping sound. There again, it's a good thing, keeps people who are not paying attention from getting run over and it saves the driver from having to care what is behind him. I almost always walk around my vehicle before I back up. You know, kids play in the most unlikely places. Now, they better learn to duck and roll when they hear a beep.

Then, there are those folks who have a love affair with their car horn. They will pull into a yard and honk that thing like it was the fourth of July. Then everybody in the house comes pouring out, the neighbors come out to see where the fire is. The driver is oblivious to all the attention though. Their motto is 'if they put it there I'll honk it'. Then, folks going by on the road, honk, honk, honk. They honk at the neighbors on one side, then on the other side, then at the dog, at the car meeting them. Yet, these same people couldn't find a blinker if it was in their shirt pocket. 'Man, I blowed the horn, what else do you want.'

Sitting there after all the beeping, honking watching this really peaceful story on television. You hold back the tears and all the tension goes away, BAM! somebody wants to sell you something for $29.95 plus shipping and handling and they decline to tell you how much that is going to be 'Just give us your credit card and we will figure out how much to charge'. The volume in commercials is always twice that of the program. And I hate that cat on the Vlassic commercial. It cost me a good many years jumping from behind that curtain.

I haven't even left the house yet and it's a noise jungle. My guess is that all the fish that are caught around here are deaf. You remember being told to be quiet so the fish would bite. You'd have to yell these days to tell someone to be quiet. That don't make much sense if your effort to get peace and quiet is louder than the noise to start with. (Now say that backwards).

I heard a clock ticking the other night and couldn't get to sleep. We just are not accustomed to the quiet.

Now peace is another matter entirely. "Hey man, let's write us down some beliefs that tell us we can go blow up people and stuff." Really! Did half the world have traumatic childhoods? Did their mother make them wait until after supper for a sweet snack? The attitude (in reality) is if I can't have all the cake for myself, I'll just spit on it so no one can have any. We really should educate people more, there was a time when pirates were sort of looked at like good-bad guys now they are just bad guys. There was a time when killers and robbers hid in the woods and came out to rob hardworking caravan people. Maybe they called it tribute. You can't do that no more unless you build you a big building and wear a suit. This cloak and dagger stuff is out of date now. Get real.

Give me some peace and quiet or I will start slamming the door instead of turning the knob and pulling it shut gently. I'm warning you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

East Tenessee Almost

I could have been from East Tennessee...almost. I got hung up in the cotton fields down south of there. I can fish and squirrel hunt but I can't sing. If I had been from East Tennessee, I think I might even have been able to play the guitar. I got one and sometimes I do a few chords but getting a song out of that guitar and my mouth at the same time is a miracle I do not expect to see in my lifetime. I can change the oil in my car and a tire too if my breathing holds up but you try to put me out there square dancing and there will be a wreck. If I was from East Tennessee, I probably could high step it. I ain't jealous. Georgia ain't bad. We do say 'ain't' a lot even though we know better. We use to eat squirrel brains too, Kentucky ain't got nothing on us.

It must have something to do with the water in East Tennessee. I mean, when it comes to gospel singing...there they come...right out of the mountains. Are they cloning them up there? You know all the names so I won't mention them. We even got good looks in our neck of the woods. Even at my age, I can tell good looks when I see 'em. I can tell the others too but I don't have to hurt their feelings. But up there in East Tennessee, they must cull out the ugly ones and just let the purty ones off the mountain. Well, ain't none of my business. You know if they ain't got no song to sing, they'll just write one. Folks relate to their songs too. I don't mean they are kin to 'em. I mean they sort of understand what they are singing about.

Don't reckon everyone can be from up there. We do alright here in the foothills. We can jump over a ditch if it ain't too wide and do it with grace (or whoever we are running with). Most of the boys know where all the back roads are iffin' the law takes out after them. I stay on the big road these days...more room to wobble.

Just wanted you folks up there to be good to your neighbors, they'll probably be famous next week if they ain't already. Us flat-landers will buy us up some records and just be glad for the water in East Tennessee. Oh yeah, they are funny too when they get to talking or writin' stuff down. They got some stories to tell. Suppose they got some quiet places to do some thinking in. Sort of noisy around here.

That's all I got to say about you folks. I was braggin' on yu in case you didn't pick up on it. Next time you are down this way, bring your musical things, spoons, rub boards, you know, the usual and play us a tune. Don't do no modern dancin' though, we are particular about what parts of your person you wiggle. Lots of church people around here and some others you don't want to be showing off in front of...so keep it simple and try to ugly up some for your own sakes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Painting, A Book














The darker picture is of a painting I did, trying to show an open book. The story is of the Indian
and the cowboy. The brighter picture is of the same painting run through a filter to add more light. The real painting is someplace between the two. You will notice the Indians are standing outside the book. I think I had some idea for doing that but I will leave it to history.
PS: It's Leeuna 's fault I posted these, she said something nice about the other one. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Oil


I had been using acrylic paint for sometime and decided to switch to oil. It is a much different paint. I like it because it stays wet longer and is easier to work with in that respect. You really have to be careful so far as making a mess. Oil paint will just keep spreading out as long as you rub it around.
Well, that is not why I put the painting up. It was my first painting with oil. A strange thing happened when I took a picture of it. I always take pictures because I am prone to give my paintings away on a moments notice which often makes me wish I hadn't later but if they bring someone joy, that's okay.
In this picture of my painting, you can see two figures standing under the tree. They appear to be holding hands. Those images were not in the original painting and only showed up in this one photo of it. It could be me and my wife, the dimensions are compatible. We would have been holding hands in such a peaceful place. I just thought I'd show it. A mystery. Did we wish ourselves into the painting? Are we really there and all this is just a dream? Did the lens have dirt on it? Do I have people in my house?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

THE Holidays

We are coming up on a season that brings joy and sadness, work and play, hope for the future and reflection on the past. Some people get into the mood of the holidays and just smile and smile right through the New Year. Thank God for those people. They give us smiles and we sure need them. Others face depression this time of year for reasons they may not understand themselves. Some depression comes for valid reasons such as a loved one that will not be at the table this year, a terrible loss during the previous months, the list is endless.

My heart goes out to those who battle depression, my hope for them is that they will find a measure of peace to carry them through. There are a lot of cool sayings that could fit here but I will refrain from using them. They don't help. I often experience a feeling of gloom during this time of year. I can't give you a reason. It just happens.

Perhaps it is because it is the season for giving and we always have so little to give. Perhaps it is my acute awareness of the troubles in the world: of children suffering, of broken homes, lost jobs, lost homes and the ever present DUI's and family feuds. Every ray of hope seems to be dashed by such things as these. It is almost like I am afraid to be happy for a moment, afraid that it is my joy that brings on the opposite reaction of sadness for another. But I know that I'm not so important that I could cause such things.

In the midst of these feelings, I usually reach out and grasp a few moments of goodness. Where there is little to eat, we often invite someone to share what there is. Don't take that as bragging, we should do it more during the year. Where our home seems inadequate at times, give thanks that it is dry and warm where we sleep. Try to treasure the phone call even more when a visit does not happen. Rejoice that family is happy and going on with their life even if they are not able or are to busy to visit those who are growing old and cannot travel well.

Most of all and I think what brings me peace during these days is the fact that we are 'wonderfully made' and that being the case, we are not forsaken but rather watched over as a mother hen watches over her chicks.

Yea, it's a tough time sometimes but it's a tough time for other people too. We have to stop looking in the mirror and look to those others. We have to stop reaching out empty hands to receive and reach out a hand with something in it to give.

So hang in there this season, you are important. Someone needs you.

A Win is a Win - We'll Take It

In the cases of New Jersey and Virginia, a win is a win or two. We will not underplay them as the other folks are doing. If the win had gone the other way, you can be assured that the liberals would be up before daylight boasting of how Obama had turned things around in the election. Instead, it was said, that the president was not watching the election results. And of course, no one will watch football this weekend or NASCAR and a pig will fly.

I really hope this is the alarm clock going off for those who were asleep last November. Hot air comes to mind. Folks who work in factories around here in the summer time will tell you that those big fans don't do much to cool them down when they are bringing in 100 degree air from outside. It's just more hot air. We have had a whirlwind of hot air for a couple of years now. People cried 'change' but change for the sake of change is not always good. People may not have agreed with all of the previous eight years but one thing for sure, we knew who was in charge. We knew someone was in charge.

The frightening part of this administration is not just the bad policy making that is going on but that he and they are not capable of doing the job. It is not going to work, for four years, to sit up there basking in the glory and not make decisions that need to be made while they wait to see which way the political wind will blow. It is dangerous for our country and for our troops. While the world waits for Obama's decision on the troop level and support, the bad guys are regrouping and killing more people. When terrorist kill innocent people, they need to be punished. Their life should be made miserable every time they blow up a city block. How? Drop a few bombs on them. Confiscate a few of their ship loads of arms. Something is better than nothing!

Yes, this election was about Obama and the Democrats who are in charge, not leading, but in charge for now. It was just a matter of time before people saw through the masquerade party.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Come Out and Play

It is early. A voice says 'Come out and Play'. Through sleepy eyes I look around me. No one is there. I shut my eyes. That voice again 'Come out. Let's do something.'

I look out the window. A child is there. A very young child. 'Let's do something constructive.' 'You are only a child. How do you know such big words?'

I turn over and shut my eyes. 'We can get a lot of stuff done if we start early enough.' 'Later'. I say.

'I won't be back again. This is a one time opportunity. I am a blessing to you.' I turn over and drop off to sleep.

A voice somewhat deeper and more mature calls to me. 'We still have time to make things a little better or do something that will cheer our hearts.'

'You sure grew older fast.' I said.

'That's my nature. All my relatives grow older fast or so I've heard. I never actually see them.'

I was curious now and so staggered out of bed. The troubles of my life laid heavy on my shoulders. The cares of many yesterdays made me sad. I went outside, still dragging my feet.

'Think of all the things that could be done. The sun is shining. The temperature is cooler. The leaves are beautiful. The grass has stopped growing so fast. It is all so wonderful. And see, you are able to get out of bed and walk around.' The new friend was tall now and much more mature. I listened.

'Who are you anyway?' I said not so friendly.

'I'll give you a hint. I am one of a kind although I favor my family. I am liked more than some of my cousins that will come along later in your life. I have a short lifespan. I only have this one time to make you happy.'

'You certainly are persistent.' I said.

'I have to be.' The now fully mature voice said.

'I give up. Who are you?' I said.

'I am a day. This day. I started very early before you were awake. While you slumbered, I grew to maturity. While we talked, I grew older. Soon, I will fade away into the night, never to return again. More importantly, I am a day of your life that will never come again.'

"I see." I said.

'Well, it is not too late. We can still make the best of the time we have left. Together.'

'Good idea.' I said to my friend, a new day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Strangely Quiet

I would have expected more of an uproar over the attorney general's unilateral decision to ignore federal law and give those who would use illegal drugs a free 'get out of jail' card. Marijuana is still illegal. It is still harmful. People go to jail all the time for having it on them, loose their car, etc in many parts of the country. It is like this administration is trying to divide the country all over again. Look at the map where radical changes are taking place and compare it to the states that elected Mister Obama.

Now back to the attorney general. I believe it is true that he had to take an oath of office, as did the president, to uphold (and enforce) the laws of the United States of America. I understand that the president must have the authority as commander-in-chief to move the military forces around as he sees fit. The laws of the land are not under the authority of the commander-in-chief. They are under the executor of the constitution. The civilian president. The laws of the land were enacted using the guidelines (and demands) of the constitution. There is a legislative branch of government, there is an executive branch and there is a supreme court for entities to go to when they think the other two branches are wrong. You can't just make laws and arbitrarily make political decisions with them.

If the attorney general does not like the marijuana law, he is within his rights to ask the president to send legislation up to Congress to have the law changed. However, I believe it is a breach of his oath of office to just ignore the law and broadcast a statement telling others to ignore the law. Suppose tomorrow, he decides that meth would be a good way to treat the rest of the diseases that marijuana cannot help, will he tell everyone to go ahead and ignore those laws against making meth?

He has opened a can of worms. The problem is, though, there are so many other ridiculous things going on that illegal marijuana is dwarfed by them. The propaganda machine has been busy for years telling us of the terrible pain that marijuana relieves. I don't like pain either. I'm against it. Then, once the attorney general makes his historical decision to have people ignore federal law, we find out that a backache is sufficient reason to get a prescription for marijuana. Who doesn't have a backache, or nerve problem, or depression some days. Look at the shape the world is in. You either are affected by it or you are doped up. Even that is no reason to ignore the law. Without law, we have anarchy. You wouldn't like that.

So, he dumps it on the states. You folks do what you think is right. Yeah, we tried that once and got invaded. The feds allow states to govern themselves only when it suits the needs of the feds. In this case, it was the thing to do politically. It is a little security for the next election. Don't pull my leg...it hurts already. Besides I went through the teenage years with three leg pullers and I'm not all that easy to fool anymore.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing Washington

Changing Washington is my title and I immediately thought "Yeah, In our dreams." I will continue anyway.

If we ever expect to change Washington, I believe it will take a long term effort. Of course, many think we do not have a long term left. In case we do, those with conservative values must encourage children to go to law school and get into politics. While conservatives rested in the Reagan years and other conservative victories, liberals were getting educated (on paper anyway) and attained positions of power. They smoked their pot right into the House of Representatives, judge ships across the nation and other positions of power.

Encouraging children to go into politics seems cruel and it does require a strong personality to endure such a career. Some children should not be encouraged to do so. When I think of telling them to go into politics, I think of telling them to go play in the freeway. Of course we would not do the latter.

My point in bringing this up is that while voting right is always important, we have many times been reduced to voting for the lesser of two evils. Our vote will not count as much unless we have a quality candidate to vote for.

So, it is an idea that leaves us with years of 'more of the same' to deal with. All I can say is keep a backpack ready and the deadbolt locked. The road ahead is going to be bumpy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Could we do better?

There is still a lot of bad stuff going on with people. They are loosing their homes and jobs. We have heard a lot of talk about the government doing this and that but Could we do better?

I'm thinking of the national reaction that takes place when a flood or bad storm comes upon a community. The response is almost immediate. The red tape is cut through. People get help or at least there are officials on the spot to leave the indication of help.

Yet in this national crisis of foreclosures, the government has helped the banks but the banks have not passed on that charity to home owners. I admit that some of the people who lost their homes were speculators themselves and just got caught in the market. But there are many who have lived in a home for years and are part of the community who have just fallen on hard times and yet there is no help to keep them in their homes. I just think it could have been handled better with more action and less talk. I think banks could have made adjustments and given people more than the usual routine in helping them stay in their homes.

My thought is that foreclosures have become big business for banks or finance companies. You got people into the homes by collecting huge down payments and huge interest payments. Now interest has bottomed out and the quick cash has dried up so the most profitable thing to do is kick them out and start over with a new batch of buyers. I hope I'm wrong about that.

As for jobs, Businesses have to do what it takes to stay in business but I fear that many of the lay offs are so corporations can paint a pretty picture for investors. If they can show that they are streamlining their company, then the investors will read the story and perhaps sink some money there. It would be better if a quality product was how people made money.

Maybe I'm all confused. I'm reminded, though, of the old saying that 'one man's junk is another man's treasure'. Perhaps it can be said of these days that 'one person's loss is another person's gain'. I guess that is true but a little compassion wouldn't hurt, at least for a while, then they can go back to being sharks after the children get a roof over their heads.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good Weekend

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very nice weekend. I hope both of you are able to find a space of happiness with those you love.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Judgment Day

Based on history I have read in all kinds of books including the bestseller of all time - the Bible -, events that are taking place in our country cannot go without a day of reckoning.

You stack up your ABC blocks high enough and someday they will fall down, no matter how good a stacker you are. Too much is happening too fast. It is a blitz. The object of a blitz is to surprise. Do it before anyone has a chance to react, then do another play before anyone has a chance to cry foul.

A country is not a basketball that you toss around hoping it will score a point. To further use that analogy, no one man makes up a team. He can hog the ball for a while but winning the game is another matter.

I listen to the evening news, the one on ABC, and it is so blatantly bias that there is no question that it is a propaganda machine for the Obama administration. It appears that if they do not say good things all the time that they will be rejected by the administration as with FoxNews. I suppose they have this idea that he is president and won the majority that they can please the majority if they plaster his face on every segment of the broadcast and throw some favorable numbers at us. Don't explain the details of the survey or anything, that will be just fine, just do the percent. We get it.

Besides being disgusted, sad, upset, etc, I am afraid that this administration will destroy so much of this country that it will take years, even decades to rebuild. History tells us that there is a cause and effect. Of course, there are large segments of society that like what he is doing, destroying the innocent for convenience sake, spreading the use of marijuana, letting our troops down by not sending more support. The list goes on. What better way to get back at America than to get elected to the top spot and destroy it.

Yes, I am mad and no doubt this email will set off alarm bells in basements, all over the Washington area. Caution should not be directed toward an old man who is too far away and too tired to do anything much except write. Caution should be directed toward the one who has already broken his oath of office and failed in his duties as commander-in-chief. Some news outlets and certain thugs we call leaders of countries are the only ones he is pleasing right now and of course, those who go along with what they believe.

There will be a cost to pay for wasting the great gift we have been given. Freedom once gained and squandered will be difficult to regain.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gangs,Guns and Drugs

We could conclude that if the world would stop using illegal drugs there would be no market for drugs. By the same token, if the drug traffickers would stop sending out drugs, the use would stop too.

Those are only dreams though. There is too much money to be made for the pushers to stop and people are too bent on escaping their troubles to stop using drugs. At least, as a whole. The amount of illegal drugs used is proof enough of that conclusion.

It should be no mystery, by now, that there is a lot of money in illegal drugs. People are easily willing to kill to protect their drug selling territory. That is the heart of the gang problem in this country. With Afghanistan being the largest producer of opium, it is no wonder that the Taliban protects their territory so violently.

Basically, what we have are little gangs on street corners and the big gang in Afghanistan all doing the same thing which is protecting their drug turf.

That is not a solution, but I think it states the problem. I think, we would like to think that there was some noble cause behind the unhesitating killing of innocent people but there is not. It is just greed.

Good Friends Gone

Something happens as we get older, we loose friends and family like apples falling off a tree. Where we used to turn to the comics, we now turn to the obits to get our jolt of the day (or week in a small town with one paper a week). It is a far cry from the younger days when every time you batted an eye, someone was getting married or having a baby. That still happens on a regular basis, but there is a core group of people in everyone's life that grows up and grows old right along with them. You loose contact, meet again renew old memories, then go off again to scout the world until one day the phone rings and there are no more memories made together.

Suddenly, this life seems so fragile and temporary. The truth is that this life has always been that way. Everyday is a miracle. Think about it, how does this machine that we call a body keep going after all we put it through. Man could never duplicate this holder of our spirit and soul.

There is something that happens as we age. We become conscious that, as miraculous as our body is, it is not all of who we are. We are a person living inside this body of flesh. We are our dreams, our character, our love and that spirit of life given to us by our Maker.

In this we have hope, that our friends and ourselves do not end with the heart attack or the dreadful disease. These things are of our flesh and will pass. It is the hope of our friends and someday ourselves being in a 'better place' that allows us to carry on beyond the solemn visits of respect to the still bodies that no longer laugh or shed a tear.

Compared to our short time in this flesh, the rest of time outside of time is large and holds us in awe at times. When I loose a member of my family or a friend, it brings peace to me to know that they are well acquainted with their Maker.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is the Universe Flat?

Just a quick question since Columbus just discovered America after proving the world was not flat: Is the universe flat? Every picture I see shows a swirling mass of heavenly bodies all spread out in one dimension. So is it flat like that or is it more like a snow globe where you can go up and down and still find stars and stuff? If anyone has been out there or knows someone who has, please fill in this gap in my knowledge base.

Old TV Shows

I was getting on in years before we had a television, I guess nearly eight or nine. The first show I remember was Long John Silvers, not the greasy spoon, the story of a semi-pirate. I remember little about it except that Long John and a young boy were stranded on a boat and they ate their leather shoes. I have never tried eating a shoe but dogs seem to enjoy them.

I watched Fantasy Island until some guy said he was God and I threw out my television for a number of years. When I got another one, people were running around in towels and underwear. No doubt, the networks think they have improved things a lot. You can see bodies cut up right in your living room now and even witness the destruction of a bullet as it passes through a human body.

It was my mistake to think that remotes were made cheap. It is having to use them so much to change channels and blot out loud rude commercials that make them wear out before the television. My right hand is shaped like the remote now and my right arm twitches. I've tried the thing on the grandchildren but found that it does have its limitations.

Now the old shows have made a comeback, at least in my life. I like shows where you have to listen to what the characters say to get the story. There is no rush to get the story out there. You just ride along with the story until something happens. With the new shows, I can usually predict how they all will end. I think that is because they move plots from one show to another to save having to think up something new. (He is always the bad guy.)

The old comedies were actually funny. They didn't get to use ugly words and sexual innuendos to get a laugh. Like on Bullwinkle..."My name is Professor--------, I reckon you know yours." Now that is funny and I even heard the same line on Fringe the other night. It was the Walter character...now he is a funny man. He could just talk with his face without moving his mouth.

No, television is not better, writers and producers are lazy or do not have the ability to imagine. They put out reality shows to save money and to take up air space because a lot of viewers have gone someplace else. They focus all their effort on prime time where they look for supposed beautiful people to sacrifice their dignity for dollars.

I think Elvis probably had good cause to shot his television. You can turn it off and peace and stillness floods into the room like fresh air. I don't like it but I watch it. The three shows that I do like keep me tuned in, mostly I watch some of the others while I'm waiting and I sure don't want to miss that foreclosure commercial or the one about black tacos. Yeah man, give me one of the burnt ones!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Roman Empire, Termites and the USA

I am by no means an expert on the Roman Empire. Fact is, I'm not much of an expert on anything. I do try to keep an overview of present day events and to be a student of history. So in that light, I can see a parallel between the time before the fall of the Roman Empire and the 'goings-on' in our great country.

I cannot get the picture of how termites work out of my head. I use to be in the business of killing them, so I know a little. They live in the ground and cannot stand the light of day. They will come up through mud tunnels or towers or between concrete blocks. Anything to get to that wood. They like the house only because of what they can get from the house.

So you sit there watching your favorite television show, totally unaware that the little monsters are eating your house down around you. Someday you will slam the door and part of a wall will fall out in the floor.

We have those in our country who love the country but only for what it can provide for their own bellies. They care not about safety and security and shelter for those living within but rather only for the fullness the house provides them.

I sometimes wonder if the people even know what is meant when they are told that they are destroying the foundation this nation was built on. I can tell you it is not about letting some two-bit outfit defeat us. It is not about making friends with thieves and robbers and killers of women and children. It is not about taking money from our elderly and giving it to people who sneak into this country by bypassing the law and breaking it everyday they are here. You just can't go into a bank and rob it and make yourself the bank manager while you are there. You could expect to be arrested but that no longer happens with specialized lawbreakers.

Preserving our foundations is not about letting every little special interest group tell everyone else what they can do or what they can say. It is not about spreading all the money, in the country, out like a thanksgiving dinner for every lazy, wouldn't-work-if-I-could, person in the nation.

We are headed toward socialism, where the government takes everything and gives it to everyone. I think people ought to eat. I think children should be cared for (even if they are not born yet). I also believe in family and that Dad needs to get out there and find some money to feed his family, set some guidelines (a budget) they can live within and Mom ought to be there telling the children that money isn't everything and that you don't have to be rich to be a good citizen.

It is not about "give me, give me," and I will do. It is about I will do and you pay me for it.

The Roman Empire fell because they were eat up from the inside. Think about that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Politics of War

There is a lot of talk from people who know very little about the trials of war. If I wanted a good strategy for war I'd take that of General McCrystal with his chest full of medals over the speaker of the house with her 'Proud Grandmother' bumper sticker any day.

Politicians are again bringing shame to the United States by not going at the war in Afghanistan to win. We are there, the people want us there and there is a clear mission: to kick the Taliban out, so let's get it done and come home.

You save lives by having an overwhelming force against the enemy. Right now we are letting our troops take some whippings because they do not have the resources they need. It is a shame that the general has to go to another country to get support for American troops. Congress and the president should be ashamed instead of slamming the general. He cares about his troops and so should we.

Let the military commanders do war. That is THEIR job.

Snakes

Snakes were a part of our life on the farm, yet none of us every got bit by one.

I remember a black colored snake that use to always run across the road in front of me when I was going to the field. The tractor would go 13 MPH at top speed but I never got close to that snake and never saw it unless I was on the tractor.

There was the water moccasin that stalked us one night while we were fishing. It must have been a moon lite night for I watched it for a long time. At first, it looked like a stick coming toward us a few feet from the bank. The thing was, we were upstream from it and I knew enough to know that sticks don't float upstream.

I never climbed up in the old tree hanging out over the river that caused the deep swimming hole to form but many other boys did. They would wade through the water and tree limbs to get to a good place to jump off. They often mentioned feeling something brush against their legs and chalked it off to tree limbs. Later, someone decided to cut out some of the limbs (which ruined the swimming hole) to get a better place to jump. The story is that they flushed out a bed of snakes from the tree.

Once in our old house, the television sat with the back to the window so the antenna wire could go out easily. At times, we had to reach behind and shake the wire to get reception cleared up. One day I started to reach back there and for some reason on this day I looked first. Usually, we just reached back and watched the television to see when it cleared up. Today though I looked and there was a rattle snake plastered to the back of the television.

I don't much like snakes. I saw a man catch a copper head once but I refused to take it when he offered it to me. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Broadcasting

Does anyone know if they are really going to change the name of the Evening News to the Obama Show?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Afghanistan

Afghanistan - what's different?

Afghanistan is a land-locked country with Iran on one side and Pakistan on another. To the north there are the former USSR nations. We have to stay friendly with someone to just get troops in whether we fly them in or take them over land. In Iraq, there was a gulf to float all the heavy equipment in. Moving 40,000 troops to Afghanistan would not be easy. Getting their equipment there would be a huge logistics problem.

We have a new president with no military experience. He does not understand the cost of indecision in lives. It takes a good plan but it also takes action. You can't give the enemy the play book and expect to beat them.

America is tired of war. There is not the long term determination that we hear about in WWII. Americans, these days, like short wars.

Also, there is the trouble here, which would be 'back home' for the troops. People are getting kicked out of their homes, there is little money to spend and the government is taking more than their fair share out of what is left. My own property tax bill doubled this year. If the books were balanced right now, we would be in chapter 13 in our national treasury. Government knows no restraint when it comes to spending. To solve things they just add more burden on the taxpayers and consumers.

A decision must be made concerning Afghanistan. Troops are dying. We need to either get in with enough force to do the job or get out. We cannot leave our troops in harms way for three more years while politicians (with no war experience) make up their minds about what to do. Do it or don't do it but quit talking about it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Noise

Noise. Do you hear it? It causes the ears to tingle. It disturbs the thought process. It befuddles all of us who can't go out and sit on a deer stand or is it stand on a deer seat.

It is the noise of rogue nations trying to get attention. It is the noise of politicians trying to say something that will convince us they are actually doing something to make us more secure. That is, so long as the polls say it will not hinder them in the next election.

I wonder if it is finally true that the 'sky is falling'. Well not until it is suppose to fall, I'm sure.

It is the noise that fills our life. I can see why many people have tuned out. I don't think it is the right thing to do, but I understand it.

It is the noise of indecision. Of diplomacy. Of punishment being put off for another day.

You're in your bed at night. A man comes in and says he is going to kill you and rape your wife. There is a school of thought that would have you tell the bad guy to wait a minute while you turn over your gun to him. That you would say "I'm afraid I will get mad when you start doing all those things and I don't want to offend you." There is another school of thought that says that there are times when talking is just not appropriate.

I'm afraid we are in the first school of thought these days. We will just talk to them and change their radical ideas, then we won't have to hurt them when they go ahead and do what they were going to do to start with.

Well, I just can't talk about it......

Thursday, September 24, 2009

That Jennings Man - Czar


You can usually judge people by the people they hang around with and Obama has chosen the worst possible choice for a very sensitive job. He obviously wants to be thought of as one person and be another. His ideas are not American.

To pick a man who stands against everything our country was founded on to oversee the school system is the height of low. Jennings does not deserve to be in public service.
Parents need to grab their children away from public schools as they would if terrorist were on the loose there. This is very sad. Trying to clean up the school system would be like trying to clean up a hog pen while it is full of hogs. I know some teachers are trying to do the right thing but the monster in the house is too big for those who care about right. We need to pull out of the system and let it fail. Then it can be rebuilt from the ground up, if that is what seems right then.

Dad in the Old Days


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sumer

Sumer was an old old civilization in present day Iraq. I choose this name for my book which had little to do with the early civilization except to use that location for an important discovery (in the book). My theory (in the book) was that we did not come from a people who were ignorant of science but rather had advanced beyond our knowledge. They then were wiped out by the flood. When the discovery is made, it shows scientist just how far we have to go to catch up. Sumer Galactic Information Control Center by Milton J Southerland.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

Fall is a great time of year. It gets cool and the rain comes. Both cheer me up, although I must say that I am really really happy lately. The ground needs to be replenished and it sure has been getting it around here.

I remember one year, on the farm, when it rained so much the cotton never did open up. The river backed around the fields and was creeping toward our front door. The backwater was so high the rabbits had to stand on top of each other and that Coosawattee River was acting like the Mississippi. We could hunt the backwater from our front porch and fish in the corn field when the waters finally started to go down. The cows had to hold their breath to eat the grass. Did I say it was wet? That was before the dam was finished and they started regulating the water.

My 'burning bush' is turning red and some of the trees are starting to turn already. Get out those cameras. The roses are still trying to bloom but the blooms are not as full as they were at first.

I'm a year older that I thought I ever would be and politics still smells of deceit. I wonder where the next scandal will blossom from in the spring. But I'm staying off politics today. I just feel too good to spoil it.

Of course, I'm jesting some in this post but the water was very high.

At the same place, we experienced a very bad winter. I remember being caught out in a sleet storm and the burning on my face as I ran toward the house. The power lines sagged so much it seem they would surely break. I think I could have touched them in places. We kept our clothes on all the time then. At night, we could hear the wallpaper breaking loose from the wall. They have improved glue since then. The cows loved us during these icy days as we brought them feed or took them to the barn for milking. The old mule just got more stubborn. That's understandable though, he was a mule and that is how they act.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I have lost my Sense of Humor

Have you seen my sense of humor? I've looked and looked. All I found along the way were stories of an administration that is bent on destroying our nation. What's he so mad at us for? I mean we've made mistakes but we feel guilty and try to make up for it. Don't we? We help the poor and are loaded with charities that help people. It's been said that Americans are the givingest people around. So why is our president so made at the United States? Did it not give him the opportunity to rise to the top of the heap, even if he made Chicago his last choice for a residence. (Well, except for Washington DC.) He reminds me of the song 'I've been everywhere". Indonesia, Pakistan.... Well, you get the drift. We still are not sure if he was born in Hawaii or not. A date stamped birth certificate, where's the original? Doesn't Hawaii have a courthouse?

Pardon me for being so mean. Between playing dumb about ACORN and scrapping the missile defense system in Europe just because he wants to be buddies with the president of Russia, I lost my humor about the stuff he is doing. He always has something kool to say about everything but if it is a tough one he sends out his press secretary. As much as he likes to talk, you'd think his press secretary would have nothing to do.

I just cannot trust anything anyone says whose first decision was to allow abortion to go on freely which by-the-way is the taking of a little babies life. If someone cares nothing for an unborn baby, how can you trust anything he says?

If he were an executive of a company, he would already be before the board for ruining the company's reputation and they would be talking about severance pay for not talking anymore in the name of the company. I'm sick of hearing him. I don't like Biden because he believes a lot like the president but I've decided I am ready to give Obama a full retirement under the condition that he make no more presidential decisions and resign for personal reasons.

President Obama has been given the chance to make a good difference in this country but he has used the opportunity to undermine everything our nation stands for. Without ACORN, I wonder if he would have even been elected in the first place.

As a disclaimer because my words are so plain today. I in no way encourage violence and anyone who resorts to it are enemies of a civil society. I am saying that he should leave for breach of his oath of office. That's all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Acorn" Acorn - Not the Tree Kind

Acorn is one of the biggest scandals ever in this country, yet the mainstream media has basically ignored the story for a long time. When they start importing underage children for prostitution, it is time to show some interest.

We need to wake up to the fact that what they are calling news is nothing more than orchestrated propaganda. They pick out what they want to be news and make it the news. It in no way resembles what is happening in the world.

When the news media becomes an instrument of any party or administration or idea, it should set off loud alarm bells.

I am glad there are still some sources to get the facts from but, more and more, you have to search for those sources.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Awakening

I'm not sure but I think some people are waking up to the antics of our present presidential administration. It's just my opinion but I think Mister Obama is all about Mister Obama. Not a day goes by that he is not on the television. It is not because he is making news but because he is using his position to get in front of the camera. There are several people I like but I don't want, even them, in my face all the time. What we need is less talk and some of the sort of action that will help our country. In this case, perhaps inaction is the best thing because I have not like his action so far.

We all know that the office of president usually reflects the country. In some cases, we may get what we deserve, good or bad. We have not exactly held the banner of doing right very high lately. I suppose Wall Street should be part of a free enterprise system but I DO NOT think they should be able to dictate the actions of government.

It is obvious, with only a brief read or listen, that giant corporations have not learned their lesson. They are back to the big bonuses and salaries (if they ever quit) only now it comes directly out of the taxpayers pocket. We can all expect much more attention from the IRS to pay for all this giveaway.

Out in the real world, if a person commits a crime, they go to court and to jail. An example of a crime is someone taking money from someone else by force. A blue jean clad, pick up driver gets arrested and is carted off to jail. If he tries to say he is innocent, he is slammed to the ground for resisting arrest. Well, that may be extreme. Turn to the Wall Street, Washington DC crowd and they are brought before Congress and given 57 years to say they are sorry and a new identity if they will tell on their mother.

I'm reading a book entitled The Law by Frederic Bastiat who wrote of a similar situation in old France. He warned against the government taking money from the people and being in charge of everything. He also warned against using the law to enforce government sanctioned crime. Of course, the government did not call it crime. It is a program if the government does it.

France was turning to socialism. Bastiat told of how socialism would progress into communism. I would add that in our case it will neither be called socialism nor communism. It will have some necessary name such as health care or fiscal reform. The result will be the same and that is the loss of freedom.

Those who would lead our country down this road that leads to destruction are not in a real big hurry. They can work on it through several generations (have they not been doing just that) until people have forgotten what freedom was like. The problem with freedom is that for it to work, people must respect the freedom of others and that is the problem. Many want freedom to do as they please without regard to its effect on others. That is not the purpose of freedom.

Many years ago someone made the statement "my freedom ends where another's freedom begins". Said another way: One persons rights end where another person's rights begin.

So while there are real problems in our nation, Washington is surrounded by a thick fog. That analogy should explain itself.

Followers