Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To My Grandchildern

To My Grandchildren, I’m So Sorry

My beautiful grandchildren, the light of my life, as you look around this crude, violent and crass world, believe me; we never thought it would come to this.

The innocent childhood we owed you has been stolen by mass media and popular culture obsessed with making a buck using the lowest level of talent and the maximum of poor taste. Those charged with safeguarding you have sold out to the ratings God. You are exposed to films, Television and magazines produced by the midgets that should be scribbling on bathroom walls.

We never thought it would come to this.

The safe environment we owed you is replaced with a world where you must be watched and supervised at every minute. While struggling to swallow a gnat, the judicial system frees dangerous predators to strike again.

We never thought it would come to this.

The freedom we owed you to speak, worship and gather as you please is now a dangerous ground. One slip, one mistake and you are pilloried and shunned by a society afraid to speak out.

We never thought it would come to this.

We have compromised the safety we owe you. There are those who are afraid to risk challenging those who hate us and wish us death. The compromisers vainly seek to talk our way out of danger. In an age of atomic weapons it is folly.

We never thought it would come to this.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Regarding Ms Jane smith

Regarding Ms Jane Smith

Disclosure Note: I am not voting for the incumbent in the Senate District 37 race.

In any discussion with your friends and neighbors regarding the state of our State and Country, invariably the subject of career politicians comes up. The existence of a permanent ruling class is seen as the greatest threat to our country and our children's future. But how to rid ourselves of these determined hangers on?

In Louisiana the people voted for term limits. That is, a cap on the number of years a person could serve, making way for new blood and new thinking. As is usually the case many of the characters in our political universe attempt to circumvent the will of the people by retiring from one branch of the legislature to seek election to the other chamber. Not to worry, that august body, known in bars and hunting clubs the state over as the Louisiana State Supreme Court, has ruled that changing chambers is perfectly legal. Never mind the will of the people, these boys and girls know what is good for us.

This brings us to today and Ms Jane Smith. When Billy Montgomery was term limited in House, he decided to run for the State Senate. I am a determined supporter of term limits. I happened to call in to a local, politically oriented, radio show when Ms Smith was being interviewed. I asked her why long serving politicians hung on, refusing to yield. " I don't know" replied Ms Smith, " maybe its the lifestyle, it is very hard to give up for some people."

Now, the time has come for Ms Smith to yield the lifestyle. Proving that it is hard to give up, Ms Smith is running for the Senate. If she was not in office when tem limits was passed, she was well aware of the will of the people when she ran for office. Ms Smith has been raising money to run for the Senate for months. This is not some last minute change of heart brought about by a popular cry from her constituents.

Has she done a good job? Yes. Didn't the voters send her to Baton Rouge to do a good job? Yes. Is arrogant to think that you are irreplaceable? Yes.

Just as Billy Montgomery was unable to translate his long service into a Senate seat, hopefully those that truly believe in term limits will continue to vote their beliefs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

one Nation

One Nation

Now that 911 is past it is time to take the flag down. Put it back in the closet. We now return to current America. Patriotism is to be ridiculed. America is an embarrassment. Diversity is the watchword now.

In the far past, in the black and white world of World War Two movies, the Americans were portrayed as a united country of diverse peoples welded together in a quest to defeat the forces of Fascism the World over. The Southern rube, the slick New Yorker, the devout Jew and the Polish emigrant fought as one. Proud to be Americans.

Today, our fighting is done by a few with no sacrifice from the majority.

Today, the quest of many Americans is to drop out of mainstream American life. The Federal Government has a program for you if you can prove you are not one of us. In an effort to atone for past wrongs, a system of rewards is now in place for anyone deemed needing a thumb on the scale to achieve success. Minorities have set asides for many programs from Government purchases to Magnet Schools. Prove that your Grandfather was a Cherokee, you get a ten percent advantage in Government contracts, the list goes on. The category of "minority" is long and ever growing. Gender, Sexual preference, Religion and others now have a special niche along with race. Not content to punish crimes as such, harming any of these groups is regarded as much more serious and punished accordingly. Assault the wrong person and you get added jail time.

America is no longer the home of the challenge to be all you can be. The place to strive, be on your own, a independent, free to speak your mind Citizen.

No, Daddy needs to help you. You can't make it by your own effort, you need a Government program because America is fundamentally unfair and evil. If you doubt this just watch the nightly news.

Monday, September 5, 2011



When I was a young boy I read a short book about an Alaskan native boy who carved a canoe with passenger. The canoe had a brass plate attached to the bottom. The plate was engraved “put me back in the water, I am going to the sea.” The boy then released the little boat in a nearby stream. The book detailed the trials and travails of the little boat as it made it’s way over the following years. The animals and people the little boat encountered and the adventures involved its finally reaching the Gulf of Mexico.

I enjoyed the little book as a boy reading exotic adventures. Many years later the real meaning of the little book came to me. As I carried my infant son from the hospital room I was already dreading his fate at the cruel hands of the world. I cringed to think of the taunting of childhood, the anxieties of teenage and the fast buck artists awaiting a young man starting out in life. I wanted the characters who would make up my son’s world to put him back on his path without damage, help him along his path as he made his way though life.

Alas, I know that life is a mixed bag of joys and heartbreaks which steel the character and callous the feelings. The process is painful but a necessary part of the human condition. We cannot shield our children from life’s hard knocks.

Though this runs the essence of the human experience, Time. Now when I see my grandchildren I see them as little boats sailing into the far future, a future that I will only partially share. Not knowing the world, they sail happily from one happy Time to the next.

They Can't Hear Us

They Can't Hear Us

Watching the uprising of people power sweeping the Middle East one is struck by the apparent disconnect between the rulers and the ruled. Decades for mismanagement, corruption and repression have finally boiled over as one by one the despots are stepping down.

The apparent tin ears of the powerful are astounding. How can they mistake the public discontent?

We should not shake our heads in wonder, our country is ripe for the same revolution.

No one would deny that our current political system is broken. Positions of power are passed from father to son or daughter, as in

any third world tribe. Oh, yes it is all done by the ballot, but there is a thumb on the ballot scale. Political Action Committees, powerful monied interests, special interest groups give large sums of money to keep their candidate in office, buying their fealty. Our public servants have grown satisfied with a life in office, never to return to their home state, moving on to the lucrative world of lobbying or service on corporate boards. They move along the halls of power greeting their old friends still in government service. Sometimes they snag a good position in an new administration , moving back behind the desk instead of in front of it selling some juicy contract. Staying in power for decades on end, away from the hazards of everyday life of the average citizen, our legislators become part of another society, one which protects its members, not the people who sent them to serve.

Our two political franchises, Democrat and Republican, are as distant from the citizenry as any Middle Eastern potentate.

Our Senators and Representatives posture and orate hours on end to avoid attacking the real problems of our country. They buy us off with our own money, or money borrowed from nations who are not our friends.

We have mortgaged grand children's futures because they do not have the courage to dare us to sacrifice. Fear of losing office is the overriding driver of Washington.

President Obama's stunning victory on the left, the rise of the Tea Party on the right should be warning enough, but the Brahmins of Washington have tin ears, they are dancing on the deck of the Titanic.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

school daze

School Daze

America is at a crossroads. The world is changing faster than a teenage girl can text. In changing times nothing is harder to give up than position and power. Entrenched position and power always loses in the end,however. Nothing can withstand the changing tides of history.

It is generally accepted that in today's world education is the key to competitiveness and advancement, yet is also generally accepted that the American Educational System is failing.

America is still teaching in the Eighteenth Century. A teacher stands in front of a classroom, reads a book that the students have already read, then tells them what he or she just read. Six weeks later they are tested on the material. Never mind that the latest data on the subject is available at the click of a mouse on the Internet.

In primary Education, the schools are taxed with too many tasks not directly related to education. Social solutions, sex education, fairness, equality are all taken to be a part of education in today's schools. Many times the pursuit of these ends actually hinders the acquisition of a good education. Fear the one group may be slighted by recognizing the excellence of another group discourages the striving for and reward for outstanding performance. "Team Work" solutions are favored, individual initiative discouraged.

If it was decided to design a perfect educational system for today's world, not much would remain of the current system. However, if you have ever attempted to change anything in your local school, you know that it is nearly impossible. From the Teachers Unions to the Janitorial Staff there is a "dig in the heels" mentality to keep doing things as usual. With a fifty per cent drop out rate and grads that cannot add, subtract or read the mill grinds on. Just as in the old Soviet Union, we keep producing shoddy goods that are out of date and no one wants.

Will there be a revolutionary movement for change?? Fraid not, like our Federal income tax system, there are too may barnacles encrusting the ship to ever allow real change. The speedy Clipper ships that are China and India may soon pass us by.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Waiver

The Waiver

As a young, fresh from college, wet behind the ears, United States Air Force Second Lieutenant of Supply, I heard Golden Rule Number II tumble from the lips of a grizzled old Lieutenant Colonel. We were discussing a seemingly impossible situation, outlined at length in the Manual of Supply, but totally unworkable in our real world.

After exhausting all possible avenues, the Colonel leaned back in his chair and said, " You could always get a waiver." Stunned, I asked what a waiver was. "You just ask for the Reg to be set aside." he answered. Then he added, " You can always get a waiver for anything."

Golden words indeed. For the past forty years I have always worked under the premise that no matter the problem, there is always someone getting a waiver, that is ignoring the rule, law or regulation. I have endeavored to always be among those on the waiver whenever possible.

The thousands of pages of Air Force Regulations, public laws, corporate guidelines mean nothing when the mice are at play.

Consider, my supply function was responsible to see that pilots were issued very sexy sunglasses. Naturally, everyone wanted a pair. My job was to see that only authorized personnel received them. The issue was clearly laid out in many pages of regulations. However, every Major or Captain in Personnel had a pair, all Senior Sergeants wore them. You see, a friend in Personnel could be very useful, thus a waiver.

Carry this system over to our everyday world. A tactually placed phone call to the right person can produce miracles at City Hall, The State Capitol or the Sheriffs Department for the connected person. Pesto! A waiver or trashed speeding ticket!!

Rules, Laws and Regulations from a speeding ticket to counterfeiting are meant only for the obedient masses. Not for nothing did our ancestors carve "It a'nt what you know but who you know," in the cave walls under the mastodon paintings.

So whenever the clerk at Albertsons tells you that it can't be done, ask to see the Supervisor, get a waiver