Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Economic Justice - A Bedtime Story

"During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. "I've been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served," he told the group during their 99th annual convention in Cincinnati."

Once upon a time there was a little boy. He was a very good little boy and he always helped his Mother tidy up the house before Dad came home from working at the grist mill.

"They're always piling up more gristle for the mill. It never stops"
the little boy's Dad complained. "But I keep that ol' millstone a'turnin', that's all I ever do. I guess it's a job."

"There, there dear," the Mom would say. "Come in and have a nice supper. I've made homemade stoneground bread."

For the family ate a lot of stoneground bread since the man got a company discount.

As the family ate dinner the little boy said that he saw a man on the television that spoke to lots of people about somthing called economic justice.

He said,
"Daddy, what is economic justice?"

The Dad put down his third helping of stoneground bread and said, "Well son, what do I know? I work at a grist mill. Ask your Mom."

Well sir, the little boy's Mother was a very wise woman and a pretty decent baker. She said, "Darling son, I can tell you all about economic justice." "It's like this. Everyday you help me tidy the house and you clean your room so we can make our home a nice place to live."

"Yes Mommy" said the young tyke.

"And every Saturday Mommy gives you five dollars and takes you to the store so you can buy candy or a toy. That is your reward for being a good and helpful little boy."

"Yes Mommy. It makes me happy" the little guy replied.

"Well, economics is when you earn something for doing a good job, then you take your earnings and buy the things that you want to buy. Then the man at the toy store and the lady at the candy store get paid and they buy things that their families want. This is economics." Answered the Mother.

The little boy thought a minute and said, "If that is Economics, then what is Economic Justice that the man on TV was talking about?"

"Well son" said the wise Mother, "You may not know this, but there are children that do not want help their Mommy or Daddy. And they do not get any reward. These children have no money to buy the things that they want because they are lazy or they are used to screaming and crying until their Mom or Dad gives them money for nothing."

"Is that Economic Justice?" questioned the lad.

"Not quite." explained Mom. "Let's say you did your chores and cleaned your room and were a real good boy. I gave you five dollars on Saturday and we went to the candy store so you could buy a treat. Now imagine there at the candy store were ten children that didn't help their parents and they don't have money to buy candy. According to Economic Justice, you must give each of those kids some of your money. You must give each one of those children 40 cents and you can keep what's left."

"But Mom, those kid's didn't help me clean my room. Why should I have to give them my money that I worked hard to get? I get five dollars and if I have to give my money away, I only make one dollar for my reward" whimpered the disappointed young scamp, who didn't even have to use his fingers to do the math.

"That is how Economic Justice works young man" chimed in the Father.
"Economic Justice says that everyone should be entitled to an equal amount of money, whether they work for it or not. Everyone should be equal."

"But Daddy, why should I have to work hard and give away my money. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit" the boy said in an upset tone of voice. "Those kid's should have to earn their own money and buy their own candy. Economic Justice is not fair at all!"

The Dad smiled at his son and he said, "Son you are wise like your mother. I'm very proud of you."

The family finished their stoneground bread and went off to the living room and watched and episode of CSI.

After that the little boy went to bed and had Kafka dreams.

But they lived happily ever after.

St. Hugh DeBeaumont - Patron Saint of The Caucasian Community

There is not a week that goes by without someone on the radio or television making a comment about The Black Community, The Hispanic Community or The Gay Community.

This has got me to wondering where are these communities? How often do they meet? What do they do at their community meetings?

I know for a fact that around these parts the Jewish Community has a community center in Amberly Village. I've been there even though I am 100% goyim.

There are some Urban Centers downtown. Urban of course being a code-word for African American. But I do not think The Black Community actually holds it's meetings there.

But you know what? There is never mention of The Caucasian Community by the media. At least I've never heard nothin'. Well occasionally some white idiots start wearing sheets and hoods and start blabbing incoherently about the master race and whatnot and Local 12 shows up with cameras and they make the 11 o'clock report. But most of us caucasoid types detest that sort of behavior and recognize those guys to be a bunch of buffoons.
I mean we are all just people, even though we come in different shades and sizes.

Anyway, if there is a Caucasian Community and I assume there is, why am I never invited to the community get-togethers? Where do you meet and at what time? You could come over to my house. I'll make sandwiches, if you will bring the drinks.

In the event that I am invited to the next Causcasian Community Meeting then I would like to nominate Hugh D Beaumont aka Ward Cleaver mentor and father to Wally and The Beav and TV husband to June Cleaver as patron Saint of the Caucasian Community.

DeBeaumont exemplified fatherly leadership and understanding during a period of time when the world was a much calmer place in which to live. Especially on Wednesday nights from 8 to 8:30 pm eastern standard time and of course in reruns.

If he is not acceptable, my runner up candidate would of course be Andy Griffith.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Man, The Myth, The Slogan

Last Sunday I was watching TV and flipping through the channels and I came upon some talking heads on CNN having a discussion about the presidential election.

They were bemoaning the fact that John McCain would not be a good president because he does not have a slogan. Whereas Barak Obama has many slogans. Therefore this makes him the obvious choice for our country's next commander in chief.

Let us count Obama's slogans:

Obama in '08
Hope, Can You See The Answer?
Obama - Peace in 2009
Obama 08 - A Ray of Hope
Got Hope? - Obama 08
Obama - Believe It, Show It
Reclaiming The American Dream
And of course...Barak Obama - Change We Can Believe In

The main campaign slogan out of all of the above is Change We Can Believe In.
I think even the most stalwart Democrat would agree.

This has me concerned about John McCain, the poor sloganless Senator from Arizona. The Huffington Post recently accused Senator McCain of ripping off Obama's campaign slogan with the slogan, "A Leader You Can Believe In".

I certainly would not want Senator McCain to face this sort of accusatory remarks from such a fine publication and catbox liner.

So I have come up with the following campaign slogan for Senator McCain who is at present sans slogan.

"Talk is Cheap - Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

I hope John McCain will consider using this and perhaps it will give him more credence with CNN and the Huh-Huffington Post.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

On Being From The South - Part 2

For those of you not from the Glorious South, perhaps the following will help to explain us "Good Ol' Boys" a little better...

May I present the difference between the North and the South – clearly explained… at last.

The North has Bloomingdale's, the South has Dollar General.

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.

The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives; the South has Lee Press-on Nails.

The North has double last names; the South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races.

North has Cream of Wheat, the South has grits.

The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.

The North has lobsters, the South has crawdads.

The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt.


In the South: --If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same not buy food at this store.

Remember, 'Y'all' is singular, 'all y'all' is plural, and 'all y'all's' is plural possessive

Get used to hearing "You ain't from round here, are ya?"

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.

The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective 'big'ol,' truck or big'ol' boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

Be advised that "He needed killin" is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all watch this" you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush, green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.


If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners.

After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we ain't gonna call 'em biscuits.

On Being From The South - Part 1

Forty Things You Will Never Hear A Southern Boy Say

40: Oh, I just couldn't, she's only sixteen
39: I'll take Shakespeare for $1000, Alex.
38: Duct tape won't fix that.
37: Honey, I think we should sell the pickup and buy a family sedan.
36: Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
35: We don't keep firearms in this house.
34: Has anybody seen the sideburns' trimmer?
33: You can't feed that to the dog.
32: I thought Graceland was tacky.
31: No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.
30: Wrestling's fake.
29: Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
28: We're vegetarians.
27: Do you think my gut's too big?
26: I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.
25: Honey, we don't need another dog.
24: Who gives a Damn who won the Civil War?
23: Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
22: Too many deer heads detract from the decor
21: Spittin is such a nasty habit.

20: I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.
19: Trim the fat off that steak.
18: Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
17: The tires on that truck are too big.
16: I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.
15: I've got it all on the C: drive.
14: Unsweetened tea tastes better.
13: Would you like your fish poached or broiled?

12: My fiance, Bobbie Joe, is registered at Tiffany's
11: I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.
10: Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
9: Checkmate.
8: She's too young to be wearing a bikini.
7: Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
6: Hey, here's an episode of Hee Haw that we haven't seen.
5: I don't have a favorite college team.
4: Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.

3: You All
2: Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.
1: Nope, no more for me. I'm drivin' tonight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obama's Beacon of Light Commercial

Cincinnati was the host city for the NAACP annual convention this past week. The convention brought in over 10,000 delegates from around the country. Perhaps even from around the world.

Both presidential candidates were guest speakers at the conference. Barach Obama was in town early in the conference and as expected was warmly received.

Those of us that were not present have been treated to seeing the Senator's non-stop advertisement on the TV this past week. This is the one in which he is wearing a button down dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up sans tie and suit jacket. He is addressing a town hall style meeting of ethnically diverse folks that all nod in agreement with his words. He says, and I quote,

"We are a beacon of light around the world. At least that's what we can be again. That's what we should be again. The single most important national security threat that we face is nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. What I did was reach out to Sen. Dick Lugar, a Republican, to help lock down loose nuclear weapons. We have to lead the entire world to reduce that threat. We can restore America's leadership in the world. I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message."

The commercial facts are accurate. Lugar and Obama co-sponsored a bill that made it easier for the United States and its allies to track and interdict shipments to terrorists of weapons of mass destruction. It also included $25 million to finance the destruction of conventional weapons in the former republics of the old Soviet Union. The bill was folded into a State Department measure and passed the Senate by unanimous consent, instead of a voice vote in December of 2006. I suppose the purpose is to show that Obama can work with Republicans if elected.

Well the premise of the bill was very good, but the Soviet Union is no longer a threat. Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and Lebanon are the countries that seem to have the corner on the terrorism market. Iran is taunting the world by saying, "We are poor little lambs just trying to build a nuclear power plant. We would never build nuclear weapons. Please do not pay attention to that man behind the curtain providing weapons to Lebanon and Palestine."

Senator Obama cannot wait to become President so he can pull the United States armed forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe he is working with Dick Lugar on another bill to finance the destruction of conventional weapons in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

As far as being a beacon of light around the world, those are glorious words for a politician to say. It beats, "I promise two chickens in every pot."

Words like that might have worked for Jubilation T Cornpone and Henry Hill, but this is 2008. We want substance and action.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

If The Ocean Was Whiskey...

When I was a kid, my Dad owned a couple of small neighborhood grocery stores. He named them the Dixie Food Market. There was one in Latonia Kentucky on the corner of 45th and Decoursey Pike. He had a package liquor license for both businesses.

In the middle of the Decoursey store was a cage in which he kept the liquour under lock. Of course he was not afraid of it escaping. But he was concerned about theft. Every Sunday morning he had to put boards on the outside of the liquor cage to prevent it from being seen. It's a Kentucky law.

Mostly what he sold was whiskey. It came in all shapes and sizes of bottles and it had interesting names like Ol' Grandad, Crab Orchard, Old Crow, Heaven Hill, JTS Brown, Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Old Forester, Kentucky Tavern, Ancient Age, Rip Van Winkle, Four Roses. I could go on and on.

Today my wife and I went to the Party Store in Bellevue Kentucky to shop. I have never been a fan of whiskey, much less a drinker of alcohol. I confess to being drunk on only two occasions, both of which I have regretted. At the Party Store I decided to walk down the whiskey isle to see if those old brands were still being produced. It brought back memories. Because it was up to me as a lad of 11 or 12 to put up the whiskey on the shelves of that old liquor cage. So I knew most of the brands.

What I saw at the Party Store was a shocker. My dear Daddy would have been amazed.

As an explanation, the normal size bottle of whiskey is called a fifth, which means a fifth of a barrel. This is 750 ml. A quart of whiskey, 1000 ml, is slightly larger than a quart of milk, which is 947 ml. A fifth of Jack Daniels was priced at $44. The smaller sized bottle, 375 ml, sold for $24. Unbelievable!

The old favorite at my Dad's store JTS Brown was a mere $16 for a fifth. Most of the popular labels that I recall from my youth that sold for around two or three bucks were now in the $40 price range. I even saw some imported and domestic products that were selling for over $500 a fifth!

Those old railroad engineers that used to come into Dad's business to get a bottle to keep them warm on their long trips wouldn't have been able to afford whiskey at today's prices. As I remember a fifth of JTS Brown or Old Crow sole for $3.75 back in the day.

I'll finish my Brita filtered, pitcher-aged Newport Tap now.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Have Gun Will Travel

...reads the card of a man"

This was one of my favorite TV shows. It was in an era when the most popular television series were Westerns. The Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hickock, Rin Tin Tin, Maverick, Sugarfoot, Cheyenne, Wanted Dead or Alive, The Rifleman, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson.
I could go on an on.

Have Gun Will Travel stands out from the rest for several reasons. Each show was a morality play. It was probably one of the few shows to be on television before becoming a radio series. The main character is never identified by his real name. He is called Paladin.

Paladin is a name derived from ancient Roman times and was a high level government official or one belonging to Palatin Hill, the home of the emperor. It later was used to identify the 12 retainers or knights of King Charlmagne that protected him and did good works. It is from the latter definition that the character is named.

Oddly enough he is named in the first episode. To pay off a gambling debt, he is forced to hunt down and kill a mysterious gunman named Smoke. As Smoke lay dying of a bullet wound, he reveals that he was not a criminal gunfighter, but a protector of the helpless and disinfranchised. He calls his killer a "noble Paladin". Not only did the name stick, but Paladin adopted the all-black clothing that Smoke wore and became the avenging angel of those in need.

Paladin lived in The Carlton Hotel in San Francisco and lead the life of a dandy as he enjoyed the finer things in life. According to his history, he was a West Point graduate and an officer in the Union Army. He spoke many different languages and was well read in the classics. He was also a world traveler and had a passion for the law. He only killed when necessary. Frequently he would quip lines from classical works. You could also tell he was a military historian as he would strategize out his plan to overtake his opponent. When he was in his gunfigher persona he dressed in a black hat, black shirt, black jeans and black boots. His gunbelt and holster were black. He wore a black mustache.

At the Carlton Hotel, Paladin has a Chinese servant named Hey Boy that sets up his appointments, greets any guests, takes messages and does everything else required of a gentleman of leisure. Paladin charges a steep fee for his services. $1,000 plus expenses.

Paladin carried a Colt 45 caliber handgun in a fancy black holster with the knight head chess piece engraved in silver. The handgrips of the Colt were made of ivory. In his belt was a 2 shot derringer that he often had to use. On his saddle was a Winchester 1892 rifle with the logo engraved in the rifle's buttstock. Inside his gunbelt was a hidden Lady Derringer that he frequently had to use.

As impressive as his arsonal was his business card. A picture of it closed the show as Johnny Western (that's the singer's name) sings:">

"Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man.
A knight without armor in a savage land.
His fast gun for hire heeds the calling wind.
A soldier of fortune is the man called Paladin.

Paladin, Paladin Where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin, Far, far from home.

He travels on to wherever he must
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust.

There are campfire legends that the trailmen spin.
Of the man with the gun Of the man called Paladin.

Paladin Paladin Where do you roam?
Paladin Paladin Far, far from home
Far from home. Far from home."

The show lasted for five seasons and the main character was played by Richard Boone.