Friday, March 28, 2008

A Word About Faith

Comes now a sad story from Minnesota, i.e. Yankee land.

We’ll abbreviate this, as her parents did her life. A young girl in Minnesota went into diabetic shock, and her parents chose to pray for her, instead of calling a doctor.

God allows us knowledge, and this includes doctors. There is the apocryphal tale of the flood victim trapped on his roof. He waved off the chopper, shouting “God will care for me!” Later, when the boat came for him, he waved them off, shouting “God will care for me!”

When he eventually drowned and showed up at the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter balked him. “What is your malfunction?” Peter demanded.

“I trusted in God,” the guy replied.

“Yeah, and we sent you a helicopter and a boat.”

God allows us knowledge for a reason. We know how to build and detonate nuclear devices because it amuses God to see us toying with the means of our destruction. There won’t have to be some interstellar apocalypse; we have the means at hand, and God is laughing.

God sends us doctors. We are allowed knowledge of diabetes. This girl did not need to die. When I went into the OR for the second time, fully conscious, I was saying the Lord’s Prayer as hard and fast as I could remember it. Dying in my sleep will be a blessing, but I want to be armed for it.

This Minnesota thing is terrible. The girl is sick, so you pray? Hey, I’ll pray for hours. God knows what’s in my heart. I don’t think I want to test my faith with the life of my daughter. Abraham did all right with Isaac, but I thought that was the last time we have to test those limits. God doesn’t open the skies. Blinding light miracles just don’t happen. There are quiet movements, but the instant you question them, they are gone. God winks in many ways.

This Minnesota thing is terrible. I have absolute faith in God, but if my daughter is sick, we’ll call a doctor. Going back to the head of the post: God gives us doctors.

I don’t know how to address the Minnesota parents. Go to hell, or stand up for your kidlet.

You prayed. It wasn’t enough.

God gives us knowledge. Doctors know things. They are there for a reason. I have prayed, and seen my prayers answered. You shouldn’t have bet your child’s life on it. I escaped death, possibly through prayer, and traumatic circumstances. Whatever the mix, it wasn’t fun. God has kept me alive for a reason, and it may be simply to tell this cautionary tale.

It is somehow horrifying that you let your daughter die. If you had prayed and prevailed, you might stand as an example. God chose to take your daughter, and you are foolish.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"I used to be disgusted...

….now I’m just amused.” I have a tee-shirt with that sentiment emblazoned on the front.

Few things in life are more amusing than watching Hilllary—not named for Sir Edmond—tearing at Osama Bamalama like a couple of rabid wolverines. Early on in the primary season, I announced that we [conservatives] would screw around and lose this election.

Now we have the race card versus the gender card. No one on the Democrat side can come up a winner, so they all emerge as a pack of losers. I took a snooze in my easy chair this evening, and woke to a black reverend—J. D. Manning—calling Obama “trash” and his mother “a whore”. Even Sean Hannity is outraged, and I have to concur. I don’t like Obama as a politician, and don’t trust him as far as I can throw the sovereign state of Georgia, but I’m not going to wade into insults against his heritage. Black daddy, white mama, “typical” white grandma; that’s his family business, unless he tries to bring it to the table as some sort of issue. It shouldn’t be anyone else’s business; it’s irrelevant to the election…or at least it should be. I don’t care if Osama Bamalama’s mama was a possum, and his daddy was a junkyard dog. I care about where he’ll stand on the issues, and I am not heartened by his ultra-liberal stance on almost everything. The irony is that he is catching Hell from his own side of the aisle, and he didn’t even disavow the execrable Jeremiah Wright. “Street creds” my foot; we have a name for Obama here in Dixie: LOSER!

There is nothing I can add about Hillary Clinton. She is a known quantity. Her husband is a gigantic piece of baggage. I managed an office pool dealing with how long after she was sworn Senator of New York it would be before she divorced President Bill. It never happened; probably never will. I have endured a strained relationship for the sake of our children, but trying to imagine the bizarre relationship that Bill and Hilly maintain for the sake of potential power is beyond the pale.

So, we have these two candidates, both claiming to represent “the people”, going at each other fang and claw. The entire Democrat party is in chaos, and their own rules about delegates have come back to bite them. From a conservative’s point of view, it is to laugh.

I am not hide-bound to my Libertarian ideology. Dyed-in-the-wool Libertarians object to the war in Iraq; I disagree and say it should be pursued far more ruthlessly and brought to a swift conclusion. Forget rebuilding things, we need a Nazi scorched-earth policy, and move on to Iran. Enough of the good-guy, white-hat image. We need to remind the bad guys of the world that there is a dark side of America, what Admiral Nagumo after Pearl Harbor called “the sleeping dragon”. Our indigenous “Injun” people got a good, genocidal look at that dark side; it’s time the rest of the world got a glimpse. We are capable of a lot more than what we pursue.

I’m on record as declaring I will not vote for John McCain. I’m pragmatic enough to re-think this. When it gets down to the nut-cutting, I’ll vote Republican just to see the expression on the other guys’ faces when they lose. Meanwhile, Hildebeast and Osama Bamalama are providing so much grim entertainment it’s hard to keep up. Fangs, claws, and ripping teeth. Keep it up, kids. It’s better than WCW wrestling. The stakes are mortal, and higher than some overcooked belt, but an atomic elbow dropped by one Democrat to another is equally amusing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Preachin' to the Preacher

This is getting ugly. I have been spat upon by people who thought they were on the side of the angels, and I only lashed back once.

I am hearing the sound bites: “God damn America!”

I have been on both sides of the coin, but never in my life have I said such a thing with such fervency. This will get you cursed by God. Take my word for it; I labor through the last days of my life under such a curse.

I am a Christian of sorts; not a very good one. I have doubts. My so-called intellect leads me to doubts about what happens after we die. I am scared to death, no pun intended, and my preachers aren’t reassuring about what—if anything—might happen after death.

I have seen the hand of God at work on this tiny planet. Despite my doubts, I have seen God intercede in my life. One day, I saw His hand intercept bullets that I set on unalterable courses at a malefactor’s back. God none-too-gently eased me into disability later, and if I can’t walk today, I am alive and grateful. It wasn’t that bad guy’s day to die at my hand, and I am still blessed with life for an indiscernible purpose. When I see what I must describe as a huge fist scooping up bullets, I get written off as a nut case. I guess I wasn’t supposed to kill that fellow. I don’t miss; it was no accident. God said "No, not him. No, you don't." The fact that I am still alive speaks for God's inscrutable purpose. There is no good reason for it, but there it is.

I live a very benign life these days. I want the best for everyone. When I hear some one shouting “God damn America!” I have to run for the hills. Regardless of race, color, or creed, you start yelping that rubbish, and I’m out of here.

I am also cursed. Years ago, in a moment of extremis, I screamed from the bottom of my heart, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Unfortunately, I bear that curse to this day. God has left me alone, to my own devices. I have since recognized my own puniness, but I am not forgiven. I have never been forgiven for cursing God’s name. I got what I warn against: the Chinese proverb. Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.

You who are students of rhetoric may think this a device. I can promise you it is real. If you screw around with God, you will be “got” in the worst possible way.

I was a graceful ballroom dancer, back in the day. I have no problem with a black president. I want someone with the spine to kill bad guys. I don’t care about my lost dancing skills. Jeremiah Wright insults every white person who ever tried to do the right thing. I got my clue at an early age; something was wrong.

Reverend Wright! Calling upon God to damn anything is a huge mistake. Like the Chinese proverb, you might get what you want.

I don’t know what kind of bruising Reverend Jeremiah Wright is cruising for. I’ve never been an actor, and never played one on TV, but if I step out of character, I’d say that Reverend Wright is the Great White Hope. That impassioned preacher is doing more to derail Osama Bamalama than any number of sheet-wearing idiots. I was already frightened at the prospect of Bamalama as president; the notion of this preacher as spiritual advisor to the president makes me want to wear my sheets, instead of sleeping on them.

There are questions to be asked here. They will not be asked. Votes will be cast, based upon someone’s ability to dance well on MTV. Jeremiah Wright insults every white person who ever tried to do the right thing. I got my clue at an early age; something was wrong. Get off my back.

Reverend Wright, I have been on your side for longer than you know. By the words out of your mouth, I am against you. I am cursed by God for a casual comment. I am not a racist, but I swear by God that you are, and it will haunt you. I am cursed by God, so you’d best be careful of the language you use. Few people will take note of what I say here, but I will stand against you and denounce you as a Christian when those you married will not. There is a better way, but you don’t seek it. Keep it up; you will destroy everything you claim to stand for. I wonder if the next president of America will join such repudiation. I fear not; this is the way of the future.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bored Spitless

I guess I am in trouble. I put up the following post at ScrappleFace:

Eliot who? I am bored spitless by this story.

Where are the good ol’ days of Wilbur Mills cavorting with Fannie Fox, “The Argentine Firecracker”?

The longer I live, the more I become convinced that I am the only man in North America who never cheated on my wives.

A politician cheated on his wife? Wake me up when some real news, like the next Muslim-inspired attack/catastrophe, comes along. I like seeing tall buildings fall down; politicians fall every day. As Great Scott says, read the rest at
United Possums International.
It is to laugh.

[Link to ScrappleFace at right below]

I was commenting, of course, on the governor of New York, who apparently couldn’t keep it zipped.

I think it’s a yawner. It was a lot more fun when celebrities like Fannie Fox were jumping off bridges in DC rather than get caught doing a lap dance with presidential cabinet ministers. I am sure George Bush is somehow responsible for this latest faux pas.

Conservatives have always been associated with morality, so when one gets caught with his pants down, there is a greater outcry.

On the home front, we had a sheriff in Cherokee County who had a dalliance with one of his secretaries, who happened to be married to a deputy. I wish I had been a bystander when the deputy literally called the sheriff out on the town square of Canton, Georgia.

(Nothing happened; the sheriff was restrained inside the courthouse, the deputy was told to move along.)

I have had jobs that have taken me all over the place; I also managed to stay married for 24 years. It never occurred to me to cheat on my wife; what is some strange woman going to give me that isn’t waiting at home? Since this is a family-friendly blog, we won’t pursue those particulars. Maybe my testosterone is low, although I never hesitated to engage in a smackdown when someone insulted my interracial friendships, or other aspects that they thought “questionable”. It just never occurred to me to “cheat”.

(I despise the term; “cheating” is what I’ll do to you in a game of cards, but win or lose at the card game, my baby will still be waiting in the getaway car. She might be driving it, and laying down covering fire.)

Both of my ex-wives were million-dollar women. The first—a young mistake—liked guys too much. The second and I have quite a history, and children. It just never occurred to me to “cheat”.

My lifelong friend and early mentor, Zandy McLeod, put it simply as a Zen lesson. “Birds gonna fly in the sky; fish gonna swim in the sea.” That translates to people are going to follow their natures, and as long as their treacheries are relatively benign, they should be allowed to do so. In Governor Spitzer’s case, however, he has broken existing laws, and must take responsibility for that. Not all laws are good ones, but if you run afoul of them, it’s on you to pay the penalty. The Governor of New York is now the ex-governor, and I suppose that is how it must be.

My wife was of Sicilian extraction. She was quite vengeful in seeking a divorce for lesser reasons than my “stepping out” on her. I don’t know Mrs. Spitzer from Adam’s housecat—as the saying goes—but if I had cheated on my old lady, the odds are good that I’d be taking the dirt nap instead of writing this article. Spitzer orchestrated his infidelities like one of the sophisticated criminal enterprises he used to prosecute. As Rickey Ricardo used to say to Lucy: “You gots a lot of ‘splianin’ to do”…at least on the home front.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Doom 'n gloom

This is a pitifully small blog. I don’t reach nearly as many people as I’d like to; on the other hand, my bloviating may not be worthy of a larger readership. Few people read what I write; fewer still take me seriously.

I am in mind of the legend of a hypochondriac. For those of you who don’t know the meaning of the word, it’s someone who’s not as ill as they think they are. For everyone else, I apologize for insulting your intelligence.

It may be apocryphal, but allegedly on the tombstone of this hypochondriac, there was the inscription “I told you I was sick!”

For some years now, I have been making dire predictions about the future of America. After a while, I have begun to sound like a Looney Tune, even to myself. Maybe The World Trade Center fell on my head and knocked me senseless.

I don’t think that my predictions are an odds play, i.e. just because I keep saying something bad will happen, the odds will catch up, and something bad will happen. I don’t think anyone in America understands the temporal nature of the terrorists we face today. We have grown fat and sassy because the current Republican administration has bought us seven years of valuable time. John McCain—who still doesn’t get my vote—said something the other day about staying in Iraq for a hundred years, if that’s what it’ll take to make the war turn out in our favor.

John McCain won’t be here in a hundred years, and neither will I. The terrorists, however, will be, and they’ll wait a hundred years if they can reproduce the coup of bringing down the Twin Towers.

There is an odd theorem referred to as reductio ad Hitlerum. It’s pretty simple and straightforward: just because Adolph Hitler had an idea, is doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad one. The man had lots of bad ideas. Like a blind squirrel rooting for acorns, he may have occasionally stumbled onto something tasty and positive. No defense of Hitler here; my daddy fought his regime in War II. He was crazy enough to start a two-front war with nations that outnumbered him 10-to-1. On the other hand, John F. Kennedy didn’t show a lot of common sense when he shut down PT 109 in the midst of the Japanese fleet.

Kennedy was a hero. Hitler is the ultimate bad man. Both showed poor judgment. It’s a quantitative; Hitler killed a lot more people, and as we use it in a legal defense down South, “He needed killin’.” Dad certainly thought so.

I have to feed my terribly undernourished body. There is a shorter, edited version of this rant on ScrappleFace. One day, I’ll wake up, and like the cartoon character, I’ll he howling “I told ya so!”

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The nigger lover

Back in the day, I attended the only high school in Cherokee County. The populace was not that diverse; we had maybe a 4% black and 0% Hispanic population.

One of my fellow students was a girl named Gail W-----. She was tall, good-looking, and a certified genius. She was also black.

Gail played in the high school’s marching band, as did I. As part of a 12-person drum corps, we had traveled together, spent hours talking on the band bus, and shared college-prep classes at school. We were what you’d call “good buddies”, and there was never a racial issue to hang between us.

So, it was a typical Friday night. There was a home football game, followed by a “sock hop” at the high school gym. The band did its thing for the crowd in the bleachers. After the game, we dispersed to change out of our uniforms. Walking back to the far corner of the gym, I asked Gail if she was going to the sock hop.

“No, I hadn’t planned on it. Nobody asked,” was her reply. There were some black dudes at Cherokee High, but they were apparently intimidated by Gail’s intellect.

“Okay, get changed, and I’ll meet you at the door.” It came quickly, easily, and naturally. I didn’t even have lustful designs; I wanted to take my friend dancing.

Gail changed her clothes, and called her mom to inform her she was going to the dance, and I would bring her home before midnight.

Sock hops are so-called because of potential damage to the hardwood floors of the gymnasium basketball court by hard-soled street shoes. In my day, you had to take said shoes off and park them before you could go on the floor and boogie.

Gail and I did so. We got a couple of sidelong glances from the teacher/chaperones, but no one ventured a comment as we danced, and I bought her a Coke. The band was local, and good. Gail and I danced the night away to Traffic and Grand Funk Railroad.

About 11:30, it was time to leave. We retrieved our shoes, and headed for the parking lot and my ’63 Chevy Biscayne. The car was where I’d left it, but its characteristics had changed. The tires were slashed and flattened; the windshield and headlights were smashed.

No one confronted us directly. The act of cowardly vandalism was allowed to pass, and speak for itself. I called my father, who got out of bed, dressed, and picked us up. We drove Gail home, and I apologized to her as she apologized to me.

On the way home, I asked my dad if there was a problem here. “I have worked at the Post Office for 25 years, much of it with Negroes. There is no problem.”

For Dad, it was just a roadside rescue.

The next day being Saturday, we were up early in the morning to buy tires, so I could run the car to PeeWee Murdoch’s repair shop and have the glass replaced. By Monday, I was up, running, and street-legal. I drove to school, parked in my approximate space, and went to my locker for the books for my first period class.

Wayne S----. A big boy, who liked throwing his weight around, stepped up behind me. He slammed my locker door. “How’s it goin’, nigger lover?”

It was on. There was no confrontation; there was no exchange of words. I hit that SOB so hard I split his eye socket with the first blow, and then I sat on his chest and pounded his face into the floor. By the time they pulled me off of him, I had the reputation of a merciless, bloodthirsty bastard. I got three days’ suspension to cool off. Wayne S--- later blew up a bank in a robbery attempt. The bank was trashed, and he got 15-20.

(I learned something about fighting a long time ago. Just because the opponent goes down, he ain’t out. Using a weapon, shoot until he’s down. Hand-to-hand, beat him into the floor and watch for a twitch.)

I made my manners with Gail’s mama. She met my daddy. No one had any problems. Gail has gone on to follow some genius path, I’m sure.

I am a son of the South. I am a proud member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. I respect my heritage, but if you call me a racist because of where I come from, I’ll kick your ass.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

And for Mr. Obama:

It’s 0430 in the morning, and I should be asleep, like most of America. Instead, I’m losing sleep over border security and the future of the American people.

Like the weather, there isn’t anything I can do to change the future. America will have its first Black President, which may be an overdue phenomenon. I just wish it was someone with the spine for killing bad guys. I suppose I’m a New Age, Renaissance white guy; I’m a son of The Old South who rejects a lot of my “racial upbringing”. I don’t support interracial marriages, because they don’t work, statistically. I don’t support the “thugism” of rap music, either. The color factor is not a factor; it is people behaving badly.

I grew up in the old South of segregation. I saw the “separate but equal” bathrooms, classrooms, and cloakrooms. I was slapped by my grandmother for drinking out of a “Colored Only” water fountain at age six; that was my first clue.

Mother Mamie [Grandma] had a sharecropper. We called him “Do-jah”. His Christian name was probably “Dozier”. I never learned his first name. He served in War I, and brought home some medals for doing so. He was what was thought of in the 1950s South as “a good Negro.” He smiled a lot, he was always subservient, and he seemed to regard every day of life as a blessing. He knew a lot more than Mother Mamie or I put together, but he didn’t “let on”.

(When I passed through the fire of mortal combat some years later, I realized the transcendent nature of accepting every day as a treasure, no matter what the circumstance. A black guy saved my life in Nam; end of story. There is no racism in foxholes. We fight and die for our friends.)

The sharecropper system pre-dated the War of Northern Aggression as a solution to the institution of slavery. We were trying; the war didn’t happen because of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was a political ploy that only partially worked.

I grew up in a South where racial divisions were commonplace. I saw the KKK marching down Peachtree Street in Atlanta. I heard the word “nigger” in casual conversation to the point that it seemed like a friendly metaphor. Before I understood the word “impeachment”, I heard growling that “they should impeach Earl Warren”.

I stood on the square in Washington, Georgia, and had my picture snapped in front of our first president’s statue upon a horse. I am intimately familiar with the home of Robert Toombs, the vice-president of the Confederacy. I know the legend of the lost Confederate [gold] treasury; it may yet be buried on my grandparents’ farm.

I know what Michelle and Barack Obama have been through. I am not black, and thus may be clueless. According to the politically correct doctrine du jour, I am not allowed to comment.

Screw PC. The month of my birth is designated Black History Month. Okay, fine. The next post will define me as what my Old South friends called “a nigger lover.”

Barack Obama does not get my vote. I am a son of The Old South, but don’t try to play me.