Our President With No Name 6

picture of a donkeyDid you ever think of a song that describes someone you know? Well, this morning I was thinking about our dear President, Barack Hussein Obama, and realized that prior to coming to office he had never made a name for himself. He has no scholarly works that were published in the Harvard Law Review when he was president of that publication. He never held a job of any responsibility. He had achieved nothing in his professional or personal life. He had not made himself a name.

Take your choice of what that name should be, but he has now earned himself a name.

The old song, A Horse With No Name, came to mind as a parody of our President’s life.

 

(With Apologies To Dewey Bunnell’s  “A Horse With No Name”)

To Washington we sent a man with no name
It was good to have a black as the man
In Washington you can’t remember your name
For there ain’t no one for to give you no blame

da da da da da da da da
la la la la la

In his first term he kissed a Frenchman’s ass
We were all sickened and aghast
That our President was so foolish and lame
Then the world turned evil and he took no blame

da da da da da da da da
la la la la la

We remember now the man with no name
And how he never was taken to task
After all the sliding and crabbing and faking
Now he has made his name and it’s ass, ass, ass!

da da da da da da da da
la la la la la

 

That’s all, folks!

Who’s Your Friend? 7

picture of US and Israel flags hanging side by side

Symbol of Friendship

We attended a high school sports event between a Christian high school and a Jewish high school. Both are upper scale, suburban schools and the event was held at the Jewish school’s gymnasium. The facility is fairly new, and was built on land located in one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the Atlanta area.

After we entered the gym, I noticed right away the American flag and the Israeli flag hanging side-by-side from the ceiling. At this point in time, especially this year when Israel is under attack by Palestinian terrorists it seemed an appropriate gesture.

At first, I took it as a symbol of solidarity between two allied and friendly nations. I felt good about that.

Prior to the game, The Star Spangled Banner was played. We all stood at attention with our hands over our hearts.

Then the Israeli national anthem was played, and I felt a bit uncomfortable. Many in the crowd were apparently there supporting the home team, and stood at attention with their hands over their hearts. I simply stood  respectfully and wondered what was going on.

Were the Jewish home crowd putting their religion and race ahead of being citizens of the United States of America? Were they showing their support for their Jewish brethren in Israel and all they were going through?

I noted the equal height of the national flags with the USA flag was on the left. That seemed OK, and it turns out that this is within the protocol of flag placement according to several organizations that are concerned with things like this. However, the timing of the national anthems was not. It is traditional that the American national anthem be the last played at events where multiple nations are recognized with their anthems.

My final decision is that any breach of protocol was not intended. The event was a friendly sporting exercise pitting Christian kids against presumably Jewish kids. It was a girls volley ball game, and I assure you the kids were not thinking about religion, but it was all about spiking the ball

The parents and spectators cheered for their kids, and applauded respectfully for the other team. It was a genuine American event.

Bacon, Bacon, Where Is The Bacon? 8

picture of a slice of bacon

The Epicurean Delight

Ah, yes. Bacon. My five year old grandson’s favorite vegetable, the favorite garnish of salad lovers, the historic common man’s breakfast, and the most savory meat in history. That’s bacon.

Bacon is made from many meats, but I am talking about pork. Pig. Hog. Porcine. Forget that turkey bacon stuff. It’s for wusses. Sometimes you will see vegetarian  bacon on the shelf at the store. Forget it. Veggie-bacon is a sin against nature and our self-awareness. Once you go over to the dark side of vegetarianism, you have lost your humanity and zest for life.

Bacon defines our internal drive for life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Bacon may be forbidden in Jewish and Biblical laws, but there is no hiding the fact that everybody loves bacon as part of their morning meal, breaking their night-long fast with a food that is  zesty, tasty, and full-of-energy.

So, what in the world brings me to write about bacon? I was born into a poor family with a seemingly unlimited number of siblings with whom to share meals. The bacon at home was of the paper-thin sliced variety. This was an economic necessity, and we all viewed bacon as a tasty treat.  Mom’s biscuits, eggs, and homemade preserves made up the bulk of our morning meal. That was the traditional Southern Breakfast. But, we were left wanting with the life-long rationing of bacon at the breakfast table by an economizing mother.

If you were lucky enough to live in the country, you could get homemade, farm cured, smokehouse country bacon. Oh, my! What a treat! You almost had to know somebody to get that kind of bacon.

Cheer up, friends. The Internet has come to our rescue. One of my favorite blogs to read everyday is Instapundit. A University of Tennessee law professor, Glenn Reynolds writes this blog, which is a daily collection of links to interesting articles and blogs on the internet. I will be forever appreciative of Professor Reynolds for the mention and link to one of the best sources of country bacon and ham in the Volunteer State, Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams in Madisonville, Tennessee.

butcher's diagram of a pig

Pig Bacon Is The Best

Being a native Tennessean, and lover of bacon, I could not help but place an online order for a sample of country ham, and four pounds of possibly the best country bacon in the world. WOW!

The country ham, served with biscuits and red-eye gravy, makes some of the best eating in the world.

The country bacon is so good it will make you slap-your-pappy, plow the back-forty, and kiss your neighbor’s hound dog. It’s that good.

I am not employed by the Benton folks, nor do I expect any remuneration for my reference. It is from the goodness of my heart, and the certain knowledge that additional business to the store will increase the product availability that I do this good deed.

Maybe I’ll get some of that karma stuff, or maybe some free bacon for my unabashed praise.

 

Something Is Going On Out There 11

picture of Barack Obama playing pool

President Obama at Work

You can call it destiny. You can call it magic. You can call it prophecy. Whatever you call it, there’s some real stuff going on.

The President of The United States is talking about being impeached. Since he is the only one talking impeachment, does that mean that he has secret guilt?

The Congressional House of Representatives is threatening to sue the President. The Senate is not doing a damned thing.

The Russians are messing with the Ukrainians. The President of The United States refuses to give aid to the Ukrainians. They are not afraid to fight the Russians, and with a little help in arms and intelligence, they can beat the Russians. Where is Barack Obama? Wazzup with this?

Islamic terrorists are still murdering people. Muslims around the world don’t care.

The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant) terrorist group, a derivative of Al Qaeda, has managed to take over most of Iraq since the United States military left that country. ISIS is funded from a number of sources and is ideologically much more extreme than Al Qaeda. They have announced that Christians are targets, and either must leave the country, convert to Islam, or die. Who is there to prevent this from happening?

The US economy is not improving. The employment rate has increased, but the number of full-time jobs has decreased. More people are employed part-time than ever before. We know Obama likes to mess with the economy, so, why is everything he does wrong?

Central American illegal immigrant children are welcomed with free food stamps, free schools, free medical care, free transportation to relatives homes, and free legal support. Africans, Europeans, Asians, and South Americans have to spend thousands of dollars over many years to gain legal entry into the United States. Why do you suppose this is?

US citizens are the most spied-upon populace in the world with the NSA, IRS, SEC, FCC, and FEC monitoring private email, private telephone conversations, political contributions, and shopping habits. If you sponsor a non-profit, conservative educational group, the President of The United States has approved your financial and regulatory harassment.

Just ask Lois Lerner.

Yes. There’s something going on out there. Or, not.

Something is missing in this world, allowing chaos to dominate where once there was leadership within and from the United States of America.

There is not a leader in the White House, and this a major domestic and world-wide problem.

  • Where is our leadership we need in tackling economic problems?
  • Where is our leadership when it comes to bringing a decent resolution to immigration and border problems?
  • Where is our leadership when it comes to working with a fractured Congress?
  • Where is our leadership when it comes to challenging the hegemonic designs of totalitarian leaders like Vladimir Putin?
  • Where is our leadership when it comes to fighting international Islamic terrorism?

Indeed, where is the President of The United States when so many problems bedevil the nation and the world?

Say no more. Just look at the pictures in the news. Campaigns and parties are on the President’s agenda. Work? Not so much.

A World Without People 16

The show is named, “Life After People“.

I don’t know what possesses a television network to run programs based on this idea. Just what does a world without people mean? Why would anybody be interested in a world without people? What’s the point?

Certainly, embedded in this meme is the thought that humans are bad for “nature”. People are not “natural”. Mankind is destroying the earth.

Who cares? Logically, if humans are suddenly gone from the face of the earth, why should anyone care what things would happen? If we are dead, let us stay dead. The earth can take care of itself.

For some unfathomable reason, certain people firmly believe that humans are bad for the earth, and everything we do is not natural. How does anyone come to the conclusion that humans are not natural?

picture of beaver dam

Natural Beaver Home

People are as natural as ants, beavers, bears, lions, tigers, and sloths. Our houses and high-rises are just as natural as beaver dams and ant hills. Have you seen the damage beavers can do to the environment? Those are tough little buggers.

People who believe humans are not natural are the same people who firmly believe that mankind is the result of millions of years of very natural evolution. If we evolved alongside other predators and prey, why are we not considered natural?  I have imported a couple of pictures from Wikipedia. One is of a beaver dam, and one is of the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

wikipedia picture of skyscraper

Very Tall Skyscraper – A Natural Human Construction

Beavers cut down valuable trees along the banks of creeks and rivers. Mankind mixes concrete and manufactures steel beams to build magnificent buildings. Some people buildings are beautiful, and some look like beaver dams which are hard to differentiate from accident locations.

Those who complain about forests being cut down may have a point about the degradation of rain forests, but don’t forget how much land is damaged every year by fire ants in the American Southwest and Southeast. If people were to disappear from the earth another species will become dominant, and will do its part in changing its environment to suit.

Come on, people. What’s the point of all this humans-are-bad stuff?

 

Mrs Garmin Messes Up 4

pictureof Washington Monument

Washington Monument Easily Identified From Mrs Garmin’s Route

Our Garmin GPS device is one of those that talks to you, letting you know when to turn, or when to go straight. One of those things about the Garmin I bought is that I get new maps whenever they are available, and the price is included in the base price of the GPS device.

One of the features of course is a feminine voice that can give you directions as you drive. I believe the instruction book calls the voice, Jill. I give my GPS’s voice great honor by calling her Mrs Garmin.

Occasionally, Mrs Garmin will pick a horrible route to a destination. On this trip, I entered the address in the Baltimore area for the wedding we were going to attend. With my brother and our wives in the car we were counting on Mrs Garmin to navigate us through the North Carolina and Virginia countrysides, and to find a way to dodge the crushing traffic in the Washington, DC area.

We were moving along pretty well, with Mrs Garmin estimating our arrival in Maryland at about 4:30 PM. Hoping to miss the rush hour traffic in the DC area, we decided to delay our arrival for a couple of hours by doing some shopping.

The Potomac Mills Shopping Outlets in Woodbridge, VA are known far and wide as some of the best. We pulled off I-95, parked at the huge outlet mall, and shopped for a couple of hours. I bought a pair of New Balance shoes, and my wife found more clothes for our grandchildren at Gymboree, a famous store for kiddie clothes.

Getting back on I-95, we soon figured out that Mrs Garmin was taking us through the middle of Washington, DC. The traffic was still in the rush hour phase, and we started and stopped pretty much all the way through DC on I-395. It was brutal. The only redeeming thing was being able to see the Pentagon right next to the freeway. From that vantage point, the Lincoln and Washington Monuments were easily seen, too.

Expecting to eventually find our way back to I-95 we were disappointed. Mrs Garmin routed us to Baltimore on the Washington-Baltimore Parkway. This was the long way.

To make matters more interesting, my brother pulled out his ten year old map of the area, and was constantly arguing with the signs as we passed opportunity after opportunity to change our course. I was caught in the middle of an argument between my brother using his ten year old map, and the recently updated maps of Mrs Garmin. My brother of course was right even with the ancient map, but I would not give him the pleasure by admitting it.

Somebody told me there would be days like this. Thank God it’s over. We are now safely encamped at a motel in Maryland having arrived at 8:30 PM. We are looking forward to the festivities this weekend.

 

“Some Days Are Diamonds…” 5

picture of diamond ring

Diamonds Are Good

So says John Denver in his famous song, “Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stones)”. His sentiment may have been about lots of things. You can make this song mean anything you want. The message is quite clear. Some days are better than others. Lots better.

Last night while driving in the wilds of North Carolina on the way to my brother’s house, I was listening to an Audible book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, “Fooled By Randomness”. This may sound like an uppity title, but be assured it is understandable by almost anyone.

Mr Taleb talks about signal and noise. The task is to not be fooled by the random occurrence of information.  It is kind of like the diamonds and stones of John Denver. You see, you want to get the “signal”, or real value out of all the news, information, and chatter going on in the world everyday. Everything else is just noise, or stones if you will.

Just like the song, you are looking for the diamonds, or value in your everyday dealings and information flow. There is no reason to look for the stones. Usually somebody is throwing the stones at you.

Under the current conditions in the nation today, most of the stones are from the Federal Government. One of those stones is the new health care regime. Another is the catastrophe taking place at our southern border. Another stone is our government’s spying programs. It just never stops.

Somehow in our stoney lives, we have to learn to live and prosper in spite of our government. It is getting harder and harder to find the diamonds.

I suppose we have to learn to be thankful for the few diamonds coming our way. Shield yourself from the stones, and don’t pay attention to the noise, or mixed metaphors like this one.

For your entertainment, John Denver.

Sunday Blessings Reply

picture of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

St Johns Episcopal Church, Ocean Springs, MS – A Blessed Place

Being grateful for our blessings just on Sunday is not the message I want to deliver. Because today is Sunday, and I happen to be watching a popular television preacher preach about our blessings, the subject just seems to be appropriate. Indeed, it is appropriate anytime.

Today, as always, the sun rose and the world turned to gold. Sunrise is the most beautiful sight in any location. With the sun, our feelings rise and we feel good, ready to face whatever comes in the day ahead.

Recently, we were blessed with a visit of two young men, one of whom is our great-nephew. He and his partner have stayed a few days with us for the second year in a row as they attended a business conference in the Atlanta area. Joe, the nephew, is in the fitness business, and is always looking for ways to improve his business in exercise approaches, marketing, and management. It is refreshing to see a young, ambitious man tirelessly pursue his dream.

Being around these two is like a tonic. Sure, we had to prepare for their visit, but even though they spent most of their time at the conference, we really enjoyed them.

As a person ages, life changes. One’s body changes, but our Joe makes a business of helping senior citizens extend their active days. When around people like Joe, you just soak up his enthusiasm. It is catching.

So, today I thank God for the wonderful extended family I have, and for God’s work in our family. Soon, we will go to a wedding of one of Joe’s cousins. We are looking forward to celebrating life with our loved ones.

We have showers of blessings.

 

Freedom Is Not Cheap 11

picture of American Flag

For the Fourth of July holiday season, the American Heros Channel is presenting a series on The Revolutionary War. There are several episodes, presenting the American Revolutionary War in an historical accurate fashion. Former CBS newsman, Charles Kuralt, narrates the series, and viewpoints of historians are included throughout the series to give additional background on the events and people of that era.

It is amazing that our country was ever born. It took great men like George Washington to prevail in the face of problems like superior British forces, lack of support from the Continental Congress, and an inexperienced officer corps and citizen army.

picture of North Carolina market at Valley Forge

Memorial Marker for The North Carolina Regiments at Valley Forge

Times were never easy for the Continental Army. There was never enough food. Uniforms were an occasional thing. Shoes were hard to get. At the Valley Forge encampment more than two thousand men died of sickness. Of that two thousand, more died under hospital care than those that stayed at their campsites to tough it out. Medical science was not a science.

During the Revolutionary War, more men died on British prison ships than in combat. Of the five thousand Continental soldiers surrendered to the British at Charleston more than one fourth of them died while on prison ships in Charleston harbor.

There were patriots in my family that were Continental soldiers in the Revolution. Two were at Valley Forge in a North Carolina regiment, and others served in militias. During the War of 1812, family members saw action with Andrew Jackson on his campaigns, including the Battle of New Orleans. In all cases the American Army was never fully equipped, and men from state militias formed the greater part of the forces.

We cannot take their sacrifices for granted. When we forget these lessons of history, we may be compelled to repeat them.

Many families can point to similar patriots in their lineage. Our citizens have always had the courage to face threats to the nation. Several times, our nation has gone to war when the battles were fought on another continent.  Threats can take different shapes from the possible invasion of our country, to threats to the nation’s welfare and economy.

Our soldiers, today, are just as brave as men have ever been. They are much better equipped and led. The US military has a steadfast focus on the quality of force, the strength of these forces. the ability of these forces to face threats across the globe, and the health and welfare of those people who volunteer for duty. There are no finer military in the world.

Today, July 4, 2014, we thank God for the courageous and proud men and women who not only won our freedom in the early days of our nation, but those who face threats to our nation across the globe.

We have a lot for which to be proud.