Wednesday, December 30, 2009


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

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


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


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?


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 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


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 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


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.