Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The homo-mania now being experienced in
being highly criticized in this pre-Olympic era by most nations, including the . The uncomfortable truth that we wish to
ignore, is that institutionalized homophobia is still accepted here at
home. United States
The Boy Scouts of America are a perfect example. Only recently have they agreed to admit gay boys into the Scouts on a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. Gay men are still restricted from being Scout Masters or participating with their children.
This is one of those fact is stranger than fiction stories. General Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, had his own questionable peculiarities. Though finally married at age fifty-five, Powell was known for his hostility toward women and his derogatory statements about the female figure. He publicly declared,” A clean young man in his prime of health and strength is the finest creature God had made in the world.” Powell was known to have a passionate friendship with his aide Kenneth McLaren who he called “the boy.’ His favorite pass time seems to be watching and photographing his young scouts swimming naked.
On the record, I think that the Scouts are a fantastic organization for kids; but, when Scouting attempts to instill religious inspired bigotry as part of its program it takes on a whole new perspective.
Why the hell should you or I or the government or any organization have the legal right to discriminate on the basis of what consenting adults do in the privacy of their relationship? A person’s self image – and especially a child’s - is fragile. The very discussion of whether a person is gay should be considered social discrimination and an intrusion into a person’s right to privacy.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
WELFARE: LES MISERABLES
I recently read a blog about welfare queens or at least people milking the system and living off government hand outs.
There is a family I know that falls into this category. The mother and father are in their thirties. The father was overweight and had leg surgery and milked disability for a number of years. The mother has never worked. They have a preteen child, and for a number year they were totally supported by the state. The Father lost his disability and soon after the mother filed for divorce. After the divorce was granted the family income increased. They have their house rent paid, fuel paid, draw food stamps, and receives aide for dependent children. The day after the divorce the father moved back in. The father worked for a while and within a year was laid off so now draws unemployment. Recently the mother changed doctors because her doctor would not write her a letter saying she is disabled and unable to work: though she has never worked. They have two cars and cable TV and pretty much live a life of retirement.
I am certain that one, if not both of their parents have lived off the system and advise them.
Having worked for most of my life; just to be able to retire on a fairly meager income, I must admit that this scenario somewhat annoys me. However, unqualified congress persons drawing six figure salaries, with a six year retirement plans and total health care – trying to defund health care and social programs for the rest of us – bother me more.
I feel that the bloggers that rave about welfare recipients are somewhat disingenuous. Many of theses people are living on Social Security and have already drawn far more that they ever paid in. They get their health care from the VA or Medicare (A few years ago I had a stent placed in an artery – this procedure alone cost many times more than I ever paid into Medicare.) Many of these people have drawn unemployment –again receiving more than they ever paid in. They use the interstate highway system, and numerous government programs that protect them and oversee their quality of life.
We are all feeding on the government tit to some extent. I am more concerned with the people on the high end that are taking advantage of government programs than I am about people on the lower end.
There is a human trait that we all possess that urges us to look down on other people. Without having to defend our own worth we can elevate our position if we decry others.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
For years I use to fight with the stem end of the banana. I would twist it, bite it, cut it and maul it just to get it open.
Some time ago I was watching a nature video and a monkey picked up a banana tweaked the bottom end and unzipped it a matter of seconds. It was just that easy.
All these years I have opened bananas from the stem end and it has taken a monkey to show me the easy way.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I have often said on this blog that people deserve the government they get, because they voted in the asshole politicians that are deciding their future.
In retrospect, I couldn't be more wrong. Sometimes, the process of elections favors one unacceptable candidate over other more qualified.
This is the case with
’s governor Paul Le
’s last election there were two very
qualified candidates running: one running on the Democratic ticket and one on
the Independent. Then there was Paul Le
Page, a loud, obnoxious, successful but not to bright business man, running as
a Republican. Maine
Unfortunately the Democratic voters split their vote between their party and the Independent; and the ‘Working Men Vote Republican’ idiots, the Chamber of Commerce and the easily enraged Tea Party elected Paul Le Page.
PEP'E Le Page has an approval rating of 39% across the state – the 39% that elected him. Meanwhile, the upcoming elections could be a replay of the same debacle. The same independent that ran last election has declared his intention to run again. He is by far the most qualified, but I am afraid the Democrats that always vote a straight ticket (which last election included my wife and I) and Democrats that vote their conscience will again split their vote.
There is a danger that we could be in for another four years of PEP'E La Page.
I apologies for the State of Maine
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
|The Chicken Ranch: Best Little Whore House in Texas|
There was recently a massage therapist arrested in
Portland ( ) for
prostitution. She has be fined and
sentenced to ten months in jail. Sixty
men have been charged with soliciting sex from the ‘Portland Madam.’ Some have plead guilty and others ‘no
contest.’ Their names have been made a
part of public record and they are being fined.
There is something about this that slams contrary to the libertarian strain in me (and yes we all have a libertarian strain to some extent – affronts to personal liberties.)
If this woman chooses to engage in sex for profit and these men choose to avail themselves – it would seem to me to be a victimless crime – and should not be a crime.
Sex trafficking in this country is a deplorable reality. Drug addicted street hookers – purveyors of sexually transmitted diseases – manipulated by street hoods – pimps – patrol the streets at night. This is a criminal activity that creates victims and cost society.
The obvious answer is regulation. This could be a regulated service industry with licensed service providers. It could create a tax base, decrease prison populations and bring an end to a criminal enterprise as it now exists.
There is no logical argument against legalized prostitution. Our sexual needs are natural – not disgusting. Objections are solely base on religious moral grounds – those people who feel so pious that they must legislate the morality of the rest of us. Any freedom can be abused by an individual; but with controls this service could fulfill a need. I have no doubt that pent up sexual frustration leads to depression, suicide, crime, violence and child abuse.
Christian fear of sex and its outward disgust for the female human body has conditioned us to a knee-jerk condemnation of the natural urges of human sexuality
Men and women, who for any reason are void of a relationship, should be able to benefit from men or women who are willing to provide sexual intimacy.
Monday, August 19, 2013
At age eight, just before starting the second grade, my grandmother moved us from
to her ancestral home in the
Mississippi Delta. Kentucky
Just so you know - an eight year old is capable of experiencing cultural shock.
My grandfather had worked for the Illinois Central Railroad until retirement. My grandmother and grandfather were divorced, but my grandmother has a pass to ride the trains. We rode an old steam engine passenger train from
Paducah, Kentucky to Rolling Fork, . Mississippi
Rolling Fork is located in the center of
, which is located
in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.
The land is flat and hot – cotton country. The black people greatly outnumbered the
white people in the county, but this was segregation and black people didn't count. Sharkey
It is funny when you think about it: in the late 1940’s black people in Rolling Fork were considered inferior – just above field animals. Now, in the twenty-first century, the only thing Rolling Fork is known for is as the home of McKinley Morganfield: Muddy Waters.
The house we moved into was one side of a duplex; then known as a shotgun house because you could shoot a shotgun through the front door and it would exit through the backdoor – the hall went down the center of the house from front door to back. The house was built off the ground on brick pilings, as were most of the older houses because, before the Corps of Engineers built levies, yearly flooding of the
river was once common in the area. We had three rooms: two bedrooms and a
We shared the house with an older couple – the owners. There was a screened porch across the front of the house furnished with some wicker rocking chairs and a swing. During the summer, because of the heat, my grandmother and I and the old couple would sit on the porch at night until bed time. I would often fall asleep in the swing. There were screens on the windows and at night we slept with the windows open and an oscillating fan blowing air across the bed. I can remember many nights trying to get to sleep, sweating – with the sheet pulled over my head, as mosquitoes buzzed over the bed.
My entrance into school was not pleasant. I was from
and so the
students decided I was a Yankee. The
Civil War was the proud culture of the area.
‘The 4th of July’ was not celebrated because that was the
date that Kentucky
fell to ‘Grants army of northern aggression.’ Vicksburg
|Mississippi State Flag|
We had a telephone. This was before dial phones. Our telephone number was 26. My grandmother’s brother’s telephone number was 3. Numbers really didn't matter, because you could pick up the phone and tell the operator you wanted Claude Kelly’s telephone and she would ring it. The operators knew everybody in town, and it wasn't unusual for an operator to tell you that the person you were calling had gone to
and wouldn't be
home for a couple of days. Vicksburg
Note: I could not find a picture of a telephone on Google without the dial on it. Our phone was black with just a small white placard in the center of the receiver that had our telephone number printed on it.
School ran from 7:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. There were no spring or fall breaks – straight through until Christmas and then straight through until summer; I believe we did get Thanksgiving off.
Just before moving to
sister/mother gave me a J.C. Higgins, 26 inch, red and white bicycle. Mississippi
I rode this bicycle to school and back until I entered the eleventh grade. In the early days the bicycle was my get away vehicle after school. My bicycle was named Fury for the horse of Straight Arrow – my comic book and radio hero.
of each day began after school at
5 p.m. when I would sit on the floor at home, in front of the large Philco
radio, with a mayonnaise sandwich and a glass of milk, and tune into one hour
of kids programming. high point
For those of you that can’t imagine a time before television - radio was just as exciting – and perhaps more so than TV. Kids today watch television along with distractions; but radio took your full concentration. Somehow you became more a part of the program than you can with television.
The afternoon programming could be Sergeant Preston of the
and his wonder dog King; The Lone Ranger and Tonto; Tarzan; Roy Rogers; Rex the
wonder dog; Lassie – or others.
Saturday mornings were also kid’s time: I listened to Sky King; Flash
Gordon and Space Cadets. Yukon
My favorite Saturday radio show was Straight Arrow.
|In a moment Steve Adams rancher is gone - and in his place|
Yes Fury it is I Straight Arrow.
The mild rancher Steve Adams would be confronted by evil doers then ride his horse across the badlands and jump it across a canyon into a secret cave– there he would change into his Indian outfit and emerge as Straight Arrow riding his golden horse Fury. With his bow and arrow he would defeat the villains and then return to his persona as the mild rancher.
Nabisco shredded wheat included Straight Arrow Indian craft cards with its cereal. These cards were magical: they showed you how to build tepees identify animal tracks and make all sorts of Indian paraphernalia. I hated shredded wheat but ate it to get the cards.
I spent hours making war shields, tomahawks, spears, bow and arrows, and building shelters. When away from school I spent much of my time occupying some elaborate fantasy
My toys were simple by today’s standards. Along with my Indian outfit that I made, my other prize possessions (other than Fury) were two cap pistols and a cigar box of toy plastic soldiers. The soldiers entertained me for hours on rainy days in the house.
Now that I think about it, guns (toys or otherwise) have been a part of my life almost as far back as I can remember.
Kids today can not fathom life without electronics. If they aren't in front of a television or their computer then they are on their cell phones or being entertained with some organized activity – otherwise they are bored.
I also had electronics when I was a kid: I owned a flashlight.
On Saturdays my grandmother would give me a quarter and I would go to the movies. It cost a dime to get in – popcorn was a dime and a coke was a nickel. There was usually a western double feature showing on Saturdays. Black people could go to the movie but had to sit in the balcony – they had no concession stand.
The town was a safe place to live and since we lived three blocks from the movie theater my grandmother would sometimes let me go to movies at night. They always showed the horror movies at night. They scared the hell out of me but I loved them. I remember hiding under the seats during the scary parts; and after the movie I would run home through the dark streets so fast I don’t think my feet touched the ground.
When I was ten years old I got a Daisy air rifle for Christmas. Like the boy in A Christmas Story, I slept with the BB gun beside my bed. It was the greatest gift I ever received.
BB’s were ten cents a tube. I don’t remember how many BB’s were in a tube but there must have been at least a hundred. You would twist the cap on the end of the barrel and pour the BB down the loading chute. I must have shot thousands of rounds over a four year period.
When I was fourteen I helped an uncle pack a van with his household furniture when he moved his family to
. Just before he left he gave me a bolt action
22 cal. rifle (which I still have.) I
am not sure what happened to the BB gun; perhaps it got passed down to a
cousin. New Orleans
That gift pretty much ended my childhood.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
After retiring from the military my wife and I attended college together – this was early 1980’s. As part of a living history class we were required to interview and audio tape two people over seventy years old, collecting their reminiscence of their early days. Tapes from this class were to become part of an oral history collection at the college.
Thinking about this class I realize that I am now old enough to have been included in this collection.
This has me thinking about the changes I have seen during my lifetime.
My earliest memories are of a small town in western
where I lived with my grandmother (who I
thought was my mother) until age eight when we moved to the Delta of
Mississippi, which was my grandmother’s home.
memories are sparse; but, I do remember that behind our house was a coal shed
and my grandmother would bring in a scuttle of coal to feed into the fireplace
on cold days. I can remember when I
started school, standing in front of the coal fire as my grandmother dressed
The early 1940’s was war time and people hung small flags in their windows with stars for each son serving in the military. My grandmother had a flag with two stars on it, for her son in the Army and her daughter (my mother) in the Waves (as women in the Navy were called back then.)
I have covered this before: My grandmother raised me. She did not like my birth name or my birth date so she changed both of them. I was raised thinking my grandmother’s children were my sisters (including my mother) and brothers. I did not find out about any of this until I tried to apply for a birth certificate to join the military.
I can remember going with my aunt/sister
to the movie house
in the town. The show began with a
cartoon, there was a news clips about the war, ending with the warning that
there could be spies among us and that loose lips sank ships. The movie was a Crosby and Hope road movie. Odessa
There was a western movie my aunt took me to see, and during the intermission the western actor (can’t remember his name) and his sidekick Al ‘Fuzzy’
came out on the stage for a live performance.
The cowboy did fast draws and rope tricks and Fuzzy did pratfalls. I got their autographs on a popcorn box that
has long since been lost in antiquity. St John
My grandmother had a ration book, and you had to use ration stamps when you purchased anything that was considered necessary for the war effort. I remember she gave her son-in-law, my aunt/sister Carroll’s husband, her stamp for an automobile tire and coffee (she drank tea.)
When my grandmother went to the store she had to use ration stamps to purchase sugar and cigarette, and it seems to me that you could break down a penny using tokens. The tokens were plastic and some were made of a cheap metal. I don’t remember exactly how they were used; but, sometimes my grandmother would receive them in change or use them for purchases.
You had to be six before school started to enter first grade – there was no kindergarten. I did not turn six until a few months later so I was delayed starting school until I was seven. There was a family that would bring their children to school on a mule drawn wagon. The kids wore hand made clothes or hand-me-downs and were barefooted. I don’t remember thinking that they were unusual – this was a rural county. Their youngest boy was in my first grade. Later during the school year he fell off the back of the wagon and broke his neck. That was the first time I realized that children could die – that I could die - and it really scared me.
That pretty much covers my
Next post will be on a young
transition to the Mississippi Delta. Kentucky
Thursday, August 15, 2013
We liberals keep hoping for the miracle that will not happen. First of all miracles are not real: You can not turn a pumpkin into a coach; you can not turn a frog into a prince and you can not twang your magic twanger and turn water into wine.
We live in a world of hard physical laws that we refer to as science, and yet we keep expecting the impossible.
Probably fifty percent of the people living on this earth are bone ignorant and at least thirty percent are bat-shit religious crazies, and that number is not going to change – if anything it is increasing. At one time the really ignorant people were kept hidden by their families, but now they run for public office.
In my last post ELECTION 2013, John Oliver highlighted Australians running for public office and made the comparison with our 2012 candidates on the Republican ticket.
One woman running for office stated that Islam was a country and their people were followers of Huran law; and under Huran law Jews had their own religion that worshiped Jesus Christ.
You can’t make this up…the woman is obviously a moron, and she doesn't hold the patent on that condition.
no room to mock the Australians since we had an entire Republican candidateship
that proudly proclaimed disbelief if Darwinism and global warming. For the most part they are flat earth people
that believe the world is six thousand years old. America
I sincerely believe that if it were possible to pole everyone in the
at least half would
be unable to answer basic questions of history, science, math and
politics. Uninformed these people are
prone to believe outlandish propositions and are easily influenced and
manipulated by political factions and religious leaders. They
have banded together under the Tea Party banner and are systematically taking
over the government. Truly, the inmates
are now running the asylum. United States
The human race has been on this earth for a minuscule period of time and we are proving to be our own worst enemy. We probably will not inherit this earth for long. We have an over assessment of our own worth and our own place in nature.
Perhaps we liberals all need to lower our expectations and not let politics, religion and stupid people upset our daily lives – because it is not going to change.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Within the last couple of days there has been talk that Donald Trump plans to throw his hair into the presidential race of 2016.
It seem as though some of the same clowns from the Republican circus that aired in 2012 are returning.
Personally, I look forward to the remake: Republican Convention II (Not to be confused with Scary Movie II – my favorite of the Scary Movie series.)
In your wildest imagination, if you were writing a fiction novel about a presidential election campaign, how could you come up with come up with a more bizarre and ludicrous group?
Unfortunately, some of my favorites may not show, and they will be fondly missed for the comic relief they provided.
|I thought that red button was the intercom.|
Nuclear launch? Oooops!
|I still think that the National budget should be two pages long.|
But don't feel too depressed. There may be some new additions to add color to the spectacle.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Can you imagine the mental anguish of being a Democratic, liberal, atheist news person working for Fox News and being assigned to the egocentric, bullying, tyrannical Bill O’Reilly news team?
If you can’t you need to read AN ATHEIST IN THE FOXHOLE by Joe Muto.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Liberal radio and TV stations (the only ones I listen to) are constantly facing the conundrum of whether to support or condemn NSA wire tapping, and exactly where they stand on ‘whistle blowers.’
We no longer face the problem of a threat from hostile nations; but our real threat comes from small, scattered, religiously based groups abroad, wing-nut conspiracy groups or the lone nut-case within our own country.
It seems logical that the department of our government sworn to protect and defend would want to gather as much information on these radical, potential terrorist as possible. At one time this was done by planting imbeds in the suspected organizations; but today, in our new world of super communication networking we can more effectively monitor these groups from the outside.
Today we can vacuum information from every type of communication system in the world and narrow our search through massive computer programs designed to key off on certain words, numbers or phrases.
No longer do we launch our army and Navy to confront rogue nation; now we launch deadly accurate drones to strike individuals that pose a real threat to our country.
The new world order demands we update our Constitution to be relevant to our new time and place. Amendments like our Right to Bear Arms and our Right to Privacy need to be reviewed and updated to reflect the enormous changes and dangers of the 21st century.
Unfortunately, our Congress is not up to the task, so we are stuck with a document, which like the Bible, reflects the norms of a different time.
Recently, the news media broke the story that al Qaeda leader al-Zawahri and the leader of the
Yemen based wing of al Qaeda planned an attack,
possibly on our US Embassies in the Arabian Peninsula. This has resulted in embassies throughout
the region closing, and a news media frenzy to cover the story; along with a
renewed discussion on the legality of NSA ease dropping.
The right of the Fourth Estate to release news is again, a right guaranteed in the Constitution.
The American people have the right to know that there is a terror threat eminent in an area of the world and how our government is responding to that threat. The problem is that when the media released how we found out about that threat, they inadvertently notified al Qaeda that the communication mode they were using was being monitored and no longer secure, which compromised NSA’s ability to collect further critical communication on that particular link.
It is a new world. If we are to remain safe from nuclear suitcase bombs, suicide bombers, nut-case fringe groups, and religious fanatics we need to have the conversation about our realistic expectation of privacy and government overreach.
|"Good God, Ramon - I think you've nearly cracked it. "|
Of course, none of this is possible with the Republican-Tea Party Congress that spends its time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, with the single goal of nullifying President Obama’s legacy.
Have a good day
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
If we let Detroit go bankrupt: then what? What happens? Crime is rampant and only going to get worse. Does the city become a war zone? Detroit is unsustainable so what do we do?
Progressives, of whom I am one, have said that if the money spent in the
war had been channeled to Detroit to build an
industry base, then
would be a model city today. But the
problem is that if the government starts taking over the control of all major
cities in financial trouble, we become something other than a democracy;
something similar to the post Russian revolution. Detroit
And, do we want this cabal running our cities?
I'm just asking.