Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bubba’s Solution to Syria and the Arab Spring

Bubba thought he had the answer. After all, he had had plenty of time to think ‘bout it. The Arab Spring was now well over a year old and he hadn’t held a job in twice that time. He’d been laid off from his mower operator job with the City of Yazoo Mississippi well before Spring—giving him plenty of time to work on the big problems.

Bubba had sent in recommendations to the state fish & game local office, demanding a change to the hand fishin’ of Catfish—there just wasn’t anything wrong with Noodlin’ in Bubba’s mind; he’d done it since he was a kid. Most of the time he’d been with his Dad and Uncle Billy Bob, but had recently talked his cousins and best friend Sammy into taking a chance with him.

But, he had spent most of his time lately thinkin’ ‘bout nothing but solving this Arab Spring hoop-de-doo. Bubba didn’t hold much stock in the news papers; his eighth grade education didn’t allow much readin’ and writin’. But Bubba had studied and studied the news casts and commentary on the cable TV stations—this new fangled luxury had just recently been pushed into Yazoo City by a new satellite hook up to the house. Of course that came only six months after getting electricity to the ole homestead. This was no small feet to Bubba; he’d always wanted electricity.

He thought he had finally come up with the solution. If only he knew somebody in the Mississippi Air National Guard, he was sure he could make diplomacy work to his advantage and maybe make a little cash on the side. Ya see, Bubba needed the money to git married—he had a real strong infatuation on Cindy Lou and didn’t think he could hold out much longer..

Just last night, Bubba had heard ‘bout the French maybe going into Syria and cleaning house. The French, Bubba thought and then just burst out laughing. When had the French ever done anything through to the end? Bubba just kept recalling what Georgie Patton used to say: "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." “Just look what they had done over there in Louisiana—that was a mess ever since Katrina had come through and those French Quarters were still not worth a nickel. In Bubba’s mind He was for the Mississippi Legislature passing a law stating that if there’s ever another war in Europe, the looser has to keep France.

Bubba carried around in his pocket this picture he’d come across that he just knew proved his idea to be correct.

Bubba admired all those Arab fighters but thought they were being held back. They’d come across some mighty fine lookin’ shootin’ arms but so far hadn’t got them many of those tanks. Now tanks just might be the solution but Bubba thought he was on the right track and the cost would be a bunch less that a hundred tanks or so—of this Bubba was positive. He just needed to get the mayor to listen; he just knew that the mayor must know somebody in the Mississippi Air National Guard.

Ya see, Bubba had worked out the entire solution just by studying the photo he carried in his pocket. He take it out and show the picture to everybody he came into contact with: walkin’ down Yazoo’s Main Street, at Good Fellow’s Church on Sunday evening or at his favorite watering hole, the Suds and Gas.

Bubba would back his acquaintance into a corner and say: “See here. These guys heads are cold. I don’t know why beings a though they all live in the desert, but see right there” he’d say pointing at the picture, “they’re all wrapped up cause it’s cold over there.”

Bubba had reasoned it out one day laying on the creek bank after a tough struggle of noodlin’ with a hefty catfish—he was tired but his brain never shut off. His first thought had been a question: “Why did they wear those sheets on their heads?” He thought ‘bout it for a while and it finally come to him. They’re heads are cold. Then he thought: “Why wear sheets on their heads?” This question stumped Bubba for some time ‘till he decided to look at the question backards. Why not wear sheets. There just had to be more to it so Bubba kept on a’thinkin’.

Like a bolt of lightening it came to Bubba: there must be a real problem with theft over there in the Arab lands. It just had to be theft otherwise they’d leave their bed sheets at home when they went off to work in the morning. It wasn’t so much that their heads were cold; they were more worried ‘bout somebody stealin’ the bed sheets. So, if his supposin’ was right; how could Bubba solve the problem. He laid back down on the creek bank and resumed to thinkin’.

For some unknown reason, after a while Bubba’s mind wondered off to that trip he, his dad and Uncle Billy Bob had made to Atlanta a couple of summers back and the thrill he had a’watchin’ those Braves play the Dodgers—he still had the cap.

That’s when the second lightening bolt hit him square between the eyes. “That’s it! That’s the answer.” Bubba squealed. “That’s all it would take.”

After gittin’ home, Bubba took a pencil, a scrap of paper and wrote out his solution and added that paper to the picture he carried in his pocket. He also drafted a letter to the Atlanta Braves and sent it off the very next morning. Now all he had to do was locate somebody in the Mississippi Air National Guard.

A week later, Bubba got his answer back from the Braves. They were in if he could just arrange delivery. Now it was even more important to find somebody in the Air Guard.

The very next morning Bubba cornered the Mayor in a café down on main street and forced him to listen to his idea. “Ya see Mayor, if we can just get the Mississippi Air National Guard to fly over there and air drop a few plane loads of Atlanta Brave gimme caps all over the desert, there wouldn’t be any more need for those Arabs to wear their bed shhets on their heads all day long. They could leave them a’home and stop worryin’ ‘bout theft. They just need to stop the bed sheet staelin’. I tell ya Mayor, gimme caps is the solution!”

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fenway @ 100

On the 20th of April in 1912, Fenway Park opened its doors for the first time to Major League Baseball. Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of that occasion—that is 100 years for you that are numerically challenged. Fittingly enough, the Red Sox’s opponents on that day were the New York Yankees. Again, today’s Red Sox opponent will be the New York Yankees—100 years later. In 1912 the Red Sox won and the rest is history, right up to today.

I have never been to a game at Fenway—have always wanted to but so far the stars have not aligned—far too many armadillos in the back yard is my best guess. So, I’m guessing this desire calls for the formulation of that great American nostalgic undertaking—a Road Trip. Maybe I can talk my son into a short jaunt to the New England area in the near future. I would really like to take in a game at Fenway. I think my son may have already been there; he’ll probably let me know just as soon as he sees this peace. I was in town (Boston for those MLB challenged out there) one weekend when the Red Sox were in town, but was accompanied by a bunch of fuddy-duddies that were not baseball fans and the opportunity escaped my reach—I have been told that there are six or eight Red Blooded Americans that aren’t MLB fans out there some where.

How often do you get to be connected with history? The chance to watch and feel the tingle of a game (any game for that matter) being played in a stadium that reaches back into history one hundred years should not be looked on with the slightest bit of trepidation. If ya got the chance, take it,

I have encountered the opportunity to do so several times over the span of years I have been walking this Earth and have never regretted taking the chance any of those thrilling times. Sometimes it has to become a memory that comes back to you later when you realize that the chance of it ever happening again is now gone forever. Twice while stationed in the New York area in the early 80s my wife Patsy and the kids, Joe and Stephanie, had a like opportunity. A visit from my parents, Dutch and Anne from Texas, found us at the top of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty on the same day. Both of my parents are no longer with us, but Man, what a memory? The other opportunity that I will never forget was the trip the wife, kids and I took into Manhattan one weekend and rode the elevators to the top of World Trade Center #1. Walking out on that observation deck and realizing you were a quarter mile closer to Heaven was amazing—but never again!

Watching the news on CBS this morning, they had a segment on Fenway @ 100 and Erica Hill ( a self professed “life long Yankee fan”) said that she had attended school in Boston and her dad had reminded her not to root for the Red Sox, but her impression of exiting the tunnel to gaze upon the grounds at Fenway took her breath away. This also got me to remembering back.

I have written here in the past about my early trip to see the Cardinals play the Dodgers in 1951 and the thrill that was to me—eight future Hall of Famers on the field that day. On equal stance within my memory vault is another trip in April of 1979 that three of us from my Army days (Dick Ellis, Mike Longwell and I) stopping off on our way back to West Point at Yankee Stadium to buy a scalper’s ticket to see a Yankee game that evening.

Upon arriving on the scene of Old Yankee Stadium—not the New Yankee Stadium on today, the Old Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth built—we happened upon a group of cops who just so happened to be members of the same National Guard unit we had visited just that same day. They parked our van on the street right in front of the stadium and promised us it would be safe and there when the game was over—they watched it and it was there when we exited for our trip home.

But—I need to get to the memory—the best and most amazing part of the entire night was not the game, who was on the field or any specific play that night. No, the thrill was exiting the tunnel and first casting my eyes on the playing field of Yankee Stadium for the first time. Your breath departs your body or you forget to breathe; whatever it is, you are stopped dead in your tracks. I’m not sure you heart beats for a moment or two. It is a feeling you have to experience; one can not adequately describe. It has to be lived.

If you have the chance some time today, take a moment and dig into your vault of memories and dredge up a connection with history. See how it makes you feel. I recommend the trip. Leave me a comment describing your discovery. Your day will be the better for doing so. Take my word for it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Is the world overpopulated?

I got to wondering about the fear of overpopulation just the other day—not sure why my brain turned that direction but it did.

I went out on the internet—ya know that you can find anything on the internet. I don’t yet know how all that stuff gets there, but it’s there.

My research established these facts:

(1) According to Matt Rosenberg, at the website: http:/

90% of the population occupies only 3% of the land. Looks like we have room for many more people than we currently have populating the world; so why the concern?

(2) Land covers only 29% of the globe.

(3) .03 (people) x .29 (land) = .0087 = .87% Let's call it 1%.

(4) Therefore, if Mr. Rosenberg is correct with his data, I believe it's very safe to say that less than 2% of the Earth's surface is inhabited by humans. Again I ponder, why the concern?

Keeping Mr. Rosenberg’s facts in mind; here’s the facts prompting my thought process:

Every morning of the world—well, just about every morning—Little Gus, Otis and I take a walk around the neighborhood. It gets us outta the house and they both really enjoy it. You might even go so far as to say that they are fanatical about it—jumping around and barking as soon as I put on my ball cap. The fresh air most likely doesn’t hurt us!

About three weeks ago, I noticed an unusual looking weed along the sidewalk close to the park at the pipeline right-of-way. It wasn’t one I remembered seeing before. It stood out as really different from all those around it that had developed as a result of all the rains we have received this spring. I took the following photo of it and was determined to check it out. Well as things often happen; I forget and the photo sat on my phone for the next week or so.

I noticed the weed over the following weeks—nothing in particularly changing—and eventually had to go outta town, loosing track of my unusual weed. I had to see my Grandson’s initial soccer game. That was a real thrill. In doing so, I had no idea what had happened over the weekend while I was outta town.

Come Monday morning after breakfast, I donned my cap, the jumping and barking commenced and soon we were out the door.

Heading down the sidewalk, listening to the birds singin’ and generally paying no specific attention whatsoever; I was startled when I came upon the weed that I had completely removed from my mind. There it was. But to my surprise the ugly duckling was no longer a weed, but the beautiful flower you see in the following photo

Day in and day out for a week to ten days I admired this flower as the Pups and I passed it on our morning walks.

Searching the area surrounding the right-of-way park; I could not find another sunflower plant anywhere in the area.

The seed that brought this plant to my area had to have come by whatever means from a great distance off—not an easy task one would surmise.

What a wonder Nature is when it endeavors to replicate itself. This struggle is somewhat amazing.

Then came this morning. I again had that startled feeling when we came upon sunflower point, as the Pups and I had began to refer to it. The area surrounding the stalk was still promulgated with the assortment of weeds that had been there prior to the sunflower’s appearance, but everything-else was different.

I though to myself: “Those damn deer!” But then I realized that the deer hadn’t been in our area for as long as the rains have been pelting us. Maybe it was a dog? No, it couldn’t have been a dog. There was no evidence of rampage anywhere else in the area. The revelation about the number of people inhabiting the surface of the Earth came to me in somewhat a fit of rage. Right there on the spot, I decided.

Take a look at what I found as we trudged up the trail.

There’s only one culprit that could do damage like this. A human, only a human, would do this kind of damage and deprive the rest of us what Nature struggles to produce and just for the extremely short pleasure that the top of one single solitary sunflower stalk will bring them.

Our walk path is not on any beaten trail. There is only one answer to the question of “Who coulda done it?” It has to be one of my neighbors right here in my own backyard—so to speak.

Therefore, I conclude that it isn’t in Chinese or India where the population seems to the most of us to be outta whack. Both of the Pups thought I was crazy; they couldn’t understand my reasoning. No matter though, I am sure I’ve made the right decision.

No! There’s one too many humans inhabiting the Earth’s surface and that one is right here in Central Texas. Now we have to decide what to do about it!

I ask you, is this proof enough?