Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Published Oct. 14th

It took me a while, years actually, to decide who drives the news in this wonderful country and after many years of watching these folks we now call the “media” I have to say, they do. And they’re driving us crazy while they do it. My favorite media person will always be Dizzy Dean, baseball announcer for NBC’s Baseball Game of the Week back in the day. He told it like it was, even when he used incorrect grammar or was occasionally “politically incorrect”. I always thought “slud” was an appropriate way after the fact, to describe a player who had slud into a base. I suppose I still do.  Regardless of how it came out of Ol’ Dizzy’s mouth, you knew the runner had arrived safely or not and was on the ground. Ol’ Diz put you in the seats for free and in 61’ that was all right. But I digress. The networks have spent hundreds of hours reporting on Ebola in America, when we have had, as I write this, two cases in our country and one of those came in on a plane. And what person in their right mind would get on a leaving for or coming from Africa these days? Now they’re pushing, “Are we equipped to handle it?” 
Watch on and step right up! Be baited and switched in the most elaborate media scheme to hit our shores in quite a while. Find out who did what to whom and when it was done so we can get those folks lawyered up and maybe considering a book deal. “How Nurse Ratchet Destroyed My Life Because She Didn’t Know Nothing About Ebola.” Hello! Two out of three hundred million ain’t bad odds. But to hear them spew this stuff, it’s coming to a hospital near you. And so will the law suits. Why there’s not a lawyer in Dallas, Texas, right now what’s not drooling in his cocktail for a shot (excuse the pun) at representing somebody that got Ebola that shouldn’t have gotten Ebola. The television media, a shameless bunch I wouldn’t let babysit my dogs ,Megan Kelly excepted, are using this stuff to sell you and me more product, more ideology, and more of what we don’t need than the best snake oil pitchman of the 19th century. Now, before you go all off on me about the thousands that have died in Liberia and other African countries, let me say I’m sorry and I hope the troops we have sent over there can stem the tide and help those who are suffering from this terrible virus. But the truth is this manipulation of us began several years ago when someone had the ingenious idea of letting reporters interview each other to illicit information and opinion. So now what we have are reporters reporting on news and commentating on what it is they and others have reported. We have media “experts” telling us the “why” on the what (who, what, when, where) and they expect us to swallow it because one of them is interviewing one of them and the one of them that’s being interviewed is considered an “expert” because they reported on whatever “it” was. Opinions on current American diets, winning the wars and dealing with the economy are put forth by the likes of Brit Hume of Fox News, a man who can barely say his own name without incessant garbling (he sounds like he either lost his marbles or they ended up in his mouth) and most of the time he doesn’t even understand what he’s saying himself. 
Bring in social issues by the carload from MSNBC and sometimes CNN and you’ll hear about the virtues of same sex marriage or someone “coming out” and loving it. Additionally, the idea of a talking head thinking “it” knows more than say, a General Odierno when it comes to ISIS and boots on the ground, (Oops, forgot, we don’t’ have those) makes me want to dig a large hole in my back yard). When these media “experts” are willing to put their sons and daughters up for the draft that is surely coming, then they can relate to me. Until then, keep your opinion to yourself and just give me the “blues” er news.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Published Sept. 30th

If you don’t think we’re in trouble with this ISIS terrorism threat, consider this. Terrorists are as much like the fire ant as any enemy we’ve ever had and the fire ant continues to be a terror to southern homeowners, with no solution in sight. They came across our southern border at Mobile, Al., in the late 1930s, according to my research, which I learned how to do at the Georgia Southern library while flunking out and trying to pick up coeds at the same time. It can be done. But I digress. The fire ant will kill anything it doesn’t like or understand as will the terrorist, but there are some differences. While the ISIS terrorist appears to enjoy the company of many women as wives, the fire ant’s “wife” kills him after “relations”. There may be something to this.  So with the exception of praying and the “relations” thing and who knows what those devils are doing down in their holes, the similarity is inescapable. We’re coming to the close of a twenty year war here at my homeland against these homegrown thugs and, as I’ve told my neighbors who refuse to see the threat, “The fire ant is coming to a mound, rotten log or bed of weeds near you.” 
As a means of personally preparing for the war that must continue, I’ve been taking notes from our fighting forces in Iraq and Syria lately and am hopeful some of the techniques used in those wars will serve my family well here on the home front. I like the term “degrade and destroy” but prefer “stomp, squish and slaughter” with just a wee bit of revenge for all the terror. This all has to be done of course before they go underground, hide amongst their own kind and take over the whole yard. They currently have commandeered territory the size of a hot tub and are spreading toward my northern and eastern borders, Mrs. Smith’s place and Bret Ivey’s little patch of heaven respectively. We are a coalition of three but could use a few more folks. Problem is, unless they’re being terrorized directly, the neighbors don’t see the need to spend money on defending their yards. Plus they’ve told me if we just ignore them they will probably go away. “Don’t want to make them mad” is what I heard at the last driveway summit. Truth is, they stay mad and that’s probably why they’re red. It’s probably a blood pressure issue. Dropping a few off in the neighbor’s yards might encourage them to get involved but that would be unethical and probably not politically correct. But it would only take one of those “lone wolves” to help them see the need to get on board with the coalition of three. These things can swarm on you (think Mosul, Iraq) or strike as one and get your attention right quick. The truth is the coalition does not appear to be working and so this is going to be a unilateral effort by me. I’ve thought about a “shock and awe” strategy with gasoline and a match but quickness left me years ago and I could trip and blow myself up. Pinpoint bombing with hot candle wax is fun but ineffective as they’ll just dig out somewhere else. 
Then there’s the scientific method of using the ol’ laser through the magnifying glass technique but that seems cruel and unusual. I could use a “real deal” waterboarding method where I don’t play around but actually drown the suckers (well, after all, we’re not seeking information here) but the “sympathetic six”, the neighbors who refuse to join the coalition, frown when they see me with the hose because they know I’m not watering the grass and can be doing only mean things to the ants. Besides, the little weasels are very effective floaters, riding the water until their six feet touch the ground. I’ve thought about trying to change their ideology by inserting peace loving black ants in their communities but once the black ants enter the mound they’re either converted to radical red ant ways or killed. I suppose the only answer is the federal government. I wonder what Attorney General Holder is thinking about for retirement? Naw, as bad as this place is, it ain’t Ferguson. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Published Sept. 16th

We seem to have lost all sense of common sense as we see a huge debate raging on whether or not to practice the left hook on the wife and beat the living daylights out of the kids. Common sense would tell one that neither of those activities stands a chance of turning out well. I suggest potential victims put cameras in the home wired to a security company. If two folks are spitting and fuming on a public elevator only God knows what’s going on at the house. As for the Middle East, it’s like watching that old game show, “Who Do You Trust”. And while I was going to make a prediction on Israel vs Hamas for the Middle Eastern Championship it seems we have a winner, Israel, and a loser, Jimmy Carter. Seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. I don’t claim to have a degree in whatever one studies to be an “expert” in foreign affairs but I do know you do not mess with God’s people. As for the other issues over there, the only good news is watching the Fox News girls talk about it. “I have lusted in ma’ heart” but learned a lot about the price of oil. Well, enough of that. Let’s talk about something that affects us all, something closer to home and that would be the “floater” (s). Not what you think. A true floater is something that can wreck your confidence, your sleep, your marriage, and your sanity and I’m sure Middle Eastern folks have these things as well as seen through the burqa. 

Maybe that’s something we can have in common besides a love of rocketry and explosives.  The floater can appear at any time but prefers a little light with a little black background. When conditions are right, the floater can appear as a spider, ant, Uncle Bob, or Aunt Jesse. It can drift across the eyeball at a most inopportune time and disappear somewhere in the corner of the eye only to reappear when least expected. Floaters can appear as gnats or mosquitoes when you’re playing golf and about to drain the big one for a dollar. I once watched a reputable three handicapper swat a floater and miss a three foot putt in one of those fundraising golf tournaments.  He asked for a “do-over” on the putt and was handed a can of bug spray. But seriously, it cost him a dollar. The after bedtime floater can appear as a mouse on the venetian blinds or a large spider on the pillow. I’ve been sleeping with the same person for thirty-four years off and on with the floater only recently entering our boudoir, a place reserved for those special nights that one cannot remember without hypnosis. We generally sleep soundly after “Words with Friends” which we play against each other (she likes to keep four games going at the same time so she can beat me “really good”), separated by a pillow and whichever dog decides he/she can claim the middle of the bed. Sleep eventually comes and the floater enters my side of the bed around one or two in the morning, and hangs in the air above the wife and dog.

 I don’t have any idea how long this thing is hanging there before I sit up, drugged with sleep aids, but he’s large, agile, threatening and his web seems to extend to D.C. where I’m sure they have their share of illusions. I seem to be the only person/pet in the room that can see this thing and so I grab the wife and scream some incoherent nonsense while holding her down for protection (mine). If the thing is going to get anyone it’s going to be her and I don’t want her going anywhere. She then treats me like the fool I am for thinking there could possibly be a large spider hanging over the bed and asks if I’ve had a Tylenol PM or what! She knows when I take a couple of those on a full supper pre-bedtime, all bets are off. Throw in a glass of wine or three and Katy-bar-the door! Getting up to relieve the old prostate is a day at the beach compared to fighting the floaters on sleep aids.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Published August 5th

There is no doubt that sports dominates our culture right now. Tiger’s injured back, Farve’s jersey retirement, some NFL guy knocking out his wife. These things we Americans will definitely pay close attention to. It’s the first thing we click on when going to the internet while world affairs seem to take a back seat. So how do we get folks, particulary young ones, to become more interested in international goings on? Why just turn the goings on into sporting events! Something on which one can place a bet, make a predition, shed a tear when a loss comes or wreck some cars and break some shop windows when a team wins! It could go like this.  I was going to make a prediction on this year’s Israel vs. Hamas Middle Eastern Championship but it looks like it’s going to end in another dreadful tie, (think soccer), a winner never  decided. I honestly thought we had a chance of winning it all this year but as I write this today it looks like another losing season or at best batting 250. One could lose money for the next hundred years placing wagers on this thing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would love to vent an opinion about Israeli versus Hamas but I live in Georgia, USA and have never scouted either team. I do like the Israelis and in fact have a cousin who used to play on the Israeli team. She told me they begin training early for the championship and are required to do two years minimum on a local farm club (every town has one) to get ready for it. She’s retired now, raising three children, trying to make ends meet with her husband, who is a Presbyterian or something or other and doesn’t play. She said the Israeli teams of the past have been mostly defence oriented with self-defense, civil defense, CPR, and First Aid as the hallmarks of the coaching philosophy. This year’s team seems to be more offensive although I believe they’re about to pull their team off the field, as hard as that is to believe. Shoot, I thought for once we were going to actually see a winner over there. I think she’s enjoying not being on the team anymore, content to raise a family in a safer, less competitive environment. She still follows the team though and says she wishes there were more reliable scouting reports coming from Washington. That would make sense to me also. Seems like if we’re going to sponsor that team we need to be honestly informed as to our chances of fielding a winner. We’ve been through so many general managers since 47’ it’s hard to keep up. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy just to name a few. And as far as the coaching saff over there goes, I wish we could keep one for more than a few years. We’ve had twelve since 48’ with a few getting fired and rehired several times. No way to develop a winning franchise if you ask me. The Israeli team is beginning to bore a lot of assistant GM’s also and the Hollywood crowd is frankly ready to sell. I suppose you can’t blame them, with the cost of fielding the team going up every year and failure to produce a real winner since 1967. One has to admit that we’ve provided the team with the best equipment possible in the last few years, resulting in most other teams leaving our Isreli team alone. Probably a smart move on their part. When you’re the champ, sponsors are easy to come by and the money just rolls in. And you can’t beat that New York media.  I am concerned about the bickering that’s been going on between Coach Netanyahu and assistance GM Kerry. Kerry getting smacked around by the entire Israeli coaching staff doesn’t look good to potential draftees in 2015. Heads need to roll but where does one start? Let’s face it, it’s all about wining tradition and with Israel versus Hamas we have one of the best in history.  So let’s stop settling for ties in the game and do what we need to do to bring home a winner!

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 19th Published

I’m writing this from a safe, comfortable porch, surrounded by glass with a view of a calm neighborhood near the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and if I could, I would get down on my knees (they’re worn out) and thank God for a safe, calm place in which to work. I would thank Him for two parents who had opportunity and instilled in me the will/ability to become educated, think for myself, lead more than follow, guide others in thought, work with wonderful people and enjoy family. I could no more let someone with a bullhorn tell me what to do than spit across the Gulf. But it’s amazing to me how many of us are forced to do just that. I have a moral compass, instilled in me by a father who worked long hours as a policeman and still found the time to let me know I was loved and watched talked to and laughed with and watched again. And, if I listen carefully, which sometimes I do not, the compass he gave me will keep me on a true north path. He was the most ethical non-church goer I’ve ever known and the “still small voice” I hear comes as much from him as it does from God, which is important to know. But I digress. What we see in Ferguson, is a missed opportunity by people with no leadership. They are disenfranchised, leaderless, disillusioned, confused and very frustrated people with no hope. They get up every morning of every day in the same state of hopelessness and when something like the Brown shooting gives them the ability to be heard, they take it. They know that when all is said and done, when the police leave, when the trial is over (if there is one) when the positive remarks of Captain Johnson of the State Police are no longer there to be heard they will once again be in the same economic and educational state they were in before it all began.  Their lives are filled with fear of what tomorrow will bring, an uncertainty about their future and that of their children, a “heat” that only living in their environment can bring in August and constant worry about loved ones unprotected. They follow anyone with a bullhorn, anyone with an idea for a way out, temporary though that may be, it is a respite from what tomorrow must bring. The knowing that tomorrow will be as today is, filled with despair. They look for identity, a way to be different among the crowd they secretly cannot trust but must live within for there is no way out. A tattoo, a symbol, a way of dressing, anything to set them apart to say, this is who I am, I am different and not the way you see me. The mothers weep for their children, worry, anguish fills their lives as they see that generation after generation has seen no way out. Leadership comes but it’s not enough. Churches are filled but somehow the message is missed and what is that message?  Self-reliance is preached but somehow there is no help from an absent father who is seeking his own respite. And so it goes until the next incident when there is opportunity to once again say, “Here we are, we need help but from where will it come?” There is no MLK and there does not appear to be one on the horizon, only opportunists.  And so, in mass, they are confronted with police who have no choice but to follow orders to restore order and so-called leaders who feed them to the wolves for ratings and personal gain. The shooting of Michael Brown, justified or not, was an opportunity for voices to be heard, not sirens, fears to be assuaged, not increased,  hate to be starved, not fed , grievances to be addressed not addresses looted. The slogan, “No justice no peace” is as much a cry for attention for the young black male’s plight as anything else. It says, “You leave us no choice, no way out and we want to be heard.”  The most important single element in the life of a young male, black or white is the father. We thought we were smart when we said, “It’s not the quantity of time we spend with our sons, it’s the quality”. Remember that little tidbit of B.S.? Do not be deceived. A son needs to know dad is somewhere in the house every time he comes home, regardless of the hour, to put that still small voice in a young man who is unaware that, as President Obama told the Iraq’s, “The wolf is at the door.” Perhaps he should have saved that analogy for Ferguson.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It Only Takes One

Yes, we turned five guys loose whose sole mission in life is to kill us. We’re going to trust Qatar for one year as to where they are and what they are doing. But, not to worry, if they’re doing something John Kerry deems inappropriate he will simply have them eliminated. I’m fine with the last part of the deal but I wonder what we’re thinking turning these five loose in the first place. Will you explain to me what it is they do for a living? Will they go back to being plumbers, electricians, cab drivers or perhaps a teacher in a college classroom somewhere? What was it they did in the years before they were discovered plotting and in some cases carrying out crimes against humanity? How does one go from being a killer to once again fixing faucets? It seems as though the latter would be very boring after the former. Did they learn to love us while spending time at Gitmo? After all, they had dentists, doctors, nutritionists and others looking after their every need for ten plus years. Perhaps they changed their minds about us. 

Maybe they want to explore capitalism, democracy or some other American way. Is it possible that, after additional rehabilitation, a writing career or the lecture circuit is in the cards? Our retired politicians and those wanting to get ahead use this approach all the time. Maybe a stint as a political reporter or being a panelist on a news program would fill their desire to be more involved politically. Sometimes people such as these just want to be loved. Who knows…conversion to the Catholic faith, the missionary fields? How about working at the Carter Center? With a clean slate and the forgiveness available through the protestant church, building houses for Habitat for Humanity would put their carpentry skills to work not to mention their expertise with explosives when land needed to be cleared. No, the truth is they will have none of this because their mission, what really rings their bells and makes their day complete is the killing of innocents, and the controlling of every aspect of other peoples’ lives. Now that is something in which they can get excited. So when someone tells us that they will be good boys, going home and becoming productive members of society, I just cannot swallow it.  And if only one in three re-enter the world of terrorism, which one of those five will it be? Who will be the innocent victim of the “one”? Will it be the couple at the outdoor cafĂ©, the innocent little girl walking home from a day at the market, or a party of wedding goers celebrating after the ceremony?

 Remember, one of these guys will not turn and relishes the thought of once again bringing his brand of “justice” to those who will have none of it. It’s that one, the one for whom rehabilitation was just time spent eating more good food, the one who thinks he can change the world by blowing it up. He’s the one I worry about… 

The one who doesn’t understand the awesomeness of a sunset seen with family, three dogs whose love is unconditional and a grandson who enjoyed his little red wagon yesterday.  He’s the one, and it only takes one. But we all know he’s not the only one.  Yes, Mr. Kerry believes all but one of those sent to Qatar will retire to lives filled with love and humanitarian efforts on behalf of the world. His view is simply foolish and he fails to see that they know nothing but mayhem and carnage in a world we should be out of as soon as possible. I failed to mention that a cooking show might be an option for one of the four but…naw, wouldn’t work out. What could they possibly have on the menu?

Friday, June 13, 2014

What is Wrong Here?

Let’s be clear. I didn’t purchase a single one of the dogs we now have living at the house. They were brought here by the woman I live with and her daughter. One came from a breeder, one from a pet store and one from the pound. The breeder and pet store dog barked from birth, and then taught the pound dog how to bark. Now, having perfected the skill, she’s taken it to the “next level” (how I hate that term) and out-barks the other two. Bottom line, they all bark for love and attention. One of our family tenets is to be as supportive as we can and encourage self-expression, self-esteem, and selflessness, while discouraging self-indulgence, the mother of all ails, according to a monk I once saw on television while watching “Robin Hood”. So the barking, as a means of self-expression, is allowed except when the child is asleep. Once the dogs understand this, peace will, once again, reign at home. If this sounds too strict allow me to continue by saying, the woman and her daughter can and do, bark just about any time they feel like it. When they bark at me I bark back and at any given time we can all be found barking with the dogs looking up as if to say, 

“What in the world is wrong with you people?” 

If the doorbell rings while we are barking, we all shut up at the same time. Amazing and yes, we allow that look to be used, but only by the dogs. In the meantime we have other things to worry about .The pound dog, already loaded with security issues, running from the broom, the vacuum cleaner and rain, became even more insecure when the other two (the dogs, not the people) decided they preferred segregation (even though all are the same color and the pound dog is probably the smartest) and wanted to be in their own room and alone. This I discouraged, feeling that they needed to learn how to live with one another in peace and harmony and not bark when the small child is sitting in the floor facing away from the television. He cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to face the television as this would surely cause him to become obsessed with The Kardashians at an age when, well, his mother wants him to be able to feed and clothe himself eventually. Plus, the guy who used to be Bruce Jenner scares all of us. I’ve asked the dogs not to watch that show either, as it tends to disrupt the house training whenever the male feels compelled to “mark” Kanye on the Sanyo. This eliminates a major form of entertainment. 

It also requires one of us, the adults, to become the entertainment and once I get past babbling and gurgling that about does it. Next year we start tennis, golf or something with a ball involved. But I digress. I often wonder what caused the pound dog to be so insecure and afraid and I must conclude that she was indeed, abused. The interesting thing is that, of the three, she has taken to “Little Harmon” the best. Arriving on the scene the moment she hears a stressful cry or whimper, curling up by his bed, and doing other things to let us know she is a protector of something small and helpless. Something she was not privy to as a puppy. Well, you might say, “So goes the dynamics of the dysfunctional family.” But, sometimes, when watching our congress in in-action with all the barking, “marking” and crying I think, you know, these folks are not too different from us after all. I guess we’re all just looking for a little love and attention.