Sunday, February 27, 2011

Song "He Touched Me" Always Touches Me

Since I complained about the selection of music last Sunday, I must be fair and praise the  selection this  Sunday, although,   I am dissatisfied that only three hymns were sung,  those being  "Holy, Holy, Holy,"  "Blessed Assurance," and "He Touched Me.

I cannot sing or hear sung "He Touched Me" without being affected emotionally.  The poem does not compare as literature to those written by great hymn writers such as Issac Watts, but the message is clear and like a testimonial, similar to the message of  "He Lives,"  as I pointed out last week  --"You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.:"  It is true for you or it isn't.

William Gaither wrote "He Touched Me" in 1963.  He had written 153 songs previously but none had been big nationally.  Dozens of  artists sang it, and Elvis Presley headlined it an album in 1972 that sold more than a million albums in America and won the Grammy for him.   Gaither and wife Gloria have written a number of songs including "Because He Lives" and "The King Is Coming.:" 

                                   He touched me, Oh He touched me,
                                   And Oh the joy that floods my soul!
                                   Something happened and now I know
                                   He touched me and made me whole.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wisconsin Conflict Could Be Harbinger of Problems to Come

I have not earlier commented about the fight over entitlements going on in Wisconsin and other states because  I have warned about this at least five times beginning last May when I wrote," The day is coming when private sector workers, who have only a shaky social security retirement to look forward to will refuse to vote more taxes and those exorbitant benefits will be history."          

On August 3 I quoted the Times, "State Barreling to the Cliff" because of its unfunded retirement obligations. Later that month I pointed out that only four states are operating in the black, and Louisiana is not one of them. In fact, Louisiana is designated as one of the seven worst state as far as finances are concerned. Local governments throughout the nation are facing bankruptcy because their workers can retire at young ages and draw benefits even greater than their salary was.  This is extreme but some workers can retire at 45 after 20 years on the job.  As the situation got worse I said on December 31 that too generous pensions mean trouble ahead, and on January 19 I posed this question which I ask again, " Have unions and cowardly politicians  brought us to our knees?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy Cross Players Not So Holy in Football Game

Noting that Holy Cross is visiting the LSU baseball team for a three-game series brought to my mind that the   entire1942 Holy Cross backfield were officers on our ship.  They couldn't understand that I wasn't impressed when they boasted they had defeated Boston College in a football game. Heck, I didn't know Eastern colleges, much less outcomes of football games.  Today I did a little research and found out that Holy Cross won the game 55-12,  That is the most famous game played between the two schools, but not because of the score.  Boston College, heavily favored, had booked a celebration party at a club but cancelled after losing.  The club burned and 500 lost their lives.

I played touch football against the Holy Cross crew on a little island in the South Pacific.  I, who never played high school football, kept crashing into their backfield and tagging the ball carrier, upsetting them because out team was winning.  They went into a huddle and the next time I blindly crashed in, two teamed to block me, hitting me on both thighs at the same time.   They ignored the rule of no blocking below the waist, and they put me out of the game.

Promise of Easier Work Was Never Kept

Farming is hard work, physically exhausting and long, long days.  One day as summer was almost over, I was surprised to hear my dad say, "We're not going to work as hard next year as we did this year. We went to the fields before sunup and worked until after sundown, and we don't have anything to show far it. So next year we  will take it a little easier."  Next year came and we went to the fields before sunup and worked until after sundown, the same as every other year.  

One time he said children in the Methodist Orphanage had to work but not extremely hard.  Then he added  a completely fantastic unbelievable  statement.  Turning to us kids he said, "Oh, they have to work harder than you do." 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will $100 a Barrel for Oil Satisfy Obama?

It's frustrating to be so helpless..  How often have we and many others called for more development of our oil, gas, coal,  nuclear and other energy resources  for our national security and to aid the economy.  Just two weeks ago I pointed out that ten times, from March 2010 to January of  this year, I alone had posted asking for more use  of domestic energy resources. America is helpless as long as Obama is in control and instead of promoting oil, gas and coal he wants to penalize those industries.  He and his energy czar have called for gasoline to be at least seven dollars a gallon at the pump.  No doubt, he is dancing for joy  at the disturbances in the Mideast that are  making the price of oil skyrocket.

How They Gonna Learn if They Can't Read?

Wisconsin and its school teachers are in the news today, so how are the schools faring?  Well, two-thirds of its eighth graders cannot read on a proficient level.  The answer to lack of accomplishments in school is so often to spend more money.  That has not worked in Wisconsin.  Spending per student in 1998 was $4,956, compared to $10,791 in  2009.  The 1998 figure equates to $6,546 in 2008 dollars.

If a child is a poor reader, he or she will have difficulty in all subjects and will struggle to complete high school.
That is why excellent kindergarten and first grade teachers are most vital. I remember when I was in the  second grade some kids had not learned to read well.  If a child learns to read and enjoy reading, learning becomes a pleasure rather than an unpleasant task.  Test scores compared with those of other nations show us falling behind.  We must have better schools.  Have public schools become too poor to save?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My ToughTime at the Barber Shop

Daddy dropped off at the barber shop and as my expression pleaded with him to stay with me he said something like he would be back shortly and walked away.   I entered the shop and took a seat. When a barber called "Next" I nervously climbed into the chair.  The barber shop had a glass front and I kept turning my head hopingto see my dad returning.  The barber was finished with me and dad was still absent.  I climbed out of the chair and began to walk toward the door.  Dad had not paid the barber and had not left 75 cents with me.  As I walked to the door, the barber called after me, "you gonna pay me next Tuesday," and everyone laughed.

I wasn't any more than five years old and I was frightened.  What would happen to me for failing to pay the barber?  I searched for my dad, going first to the two stores owned by my uncles.  I found daddy in a parking lot talking to some other men.  I grabbed  him and said, "You've got to go pay the barber."  He said  "in a minute" and kept talking.  It was at least 30 minutes ( it seemed like hours) before he broke away and went to the barber shop.  All of that time I was pleading with him to pay the barber before I was arrested.

No Bread, Let Them Eat Cake

No, Obama didn't say those exact words, nor did Marie,  although she was blamed for having no sympathy for the starving French.  What Obama said was in these tough times  everyone must sacrifice --"don't take vacations and go out to dinner."  Millions of Americans are not planning vacations or eating out; they want jobs.

While the president wants us to sacrifice and not take vacations, the first lady and children are enjoying skiing at an expensive resort in Vail, Co.  Vice President Biden is living it up in the Florida Keys.   We know who is to sacrifice and who in not, and we don't like it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Not More Familiar Hymns at Church

It may  be unseemly to find fault with the hymn selection today when the choir sang so well that great hymn "How Great Thou Art," but the congregation was limited to two songs, neither  an old and popular one. Nothing against them, but if we cannot have one gospel song, please let us sing two or three beloved hymns. How long has it been since we have sung, for instance, that song of salvation --

          He lives, He lives, salvation to impart,
          You ask me how I know He lives:
          He lives within my heart!

Let me go back 70 years to  McIntyre Methodist Church.  Paul Cassels is leading the singing and his wife Molly is at the piano.  Church opens and we sing two familiar hymns.  There is a prayer or two, scripture is read, and the members go to their Sunday School classes.  We return from Sunday School and sing at least one hymn. If it is the Sunday for us to have the preacher, he delivers his sermon and we close with a song. The service will include at least four, and often five songs. Maybe I am guilty of that old person's disease of saying things were better in days gone by.  Even so, what would be wrong with singing more familiar songs? 

Do not let this be considered in any way a reflection on Tom's sermon on "Struggling with Depression."  He is talking about a real problem and  his remarks have been educational and helpful.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 19 Is 66th Anniversary of Invasion of Iwo Jima

Why do I observe the anniversary of  the battle for Iwo Jima when it is just one of many, many World War Two battles and one of many islands captured by the United States in the Island Hopping campaign in the South Pacific?  One very good reason is I was there and at Okinawa and not at any other battle, island or otherwise.
Other reasons are its importance, the many casualties, the remarkable bravery of  the  Marines. and the famous photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal.

The United States and Japan both considered this island of vital importance.  Tokyo Rose implied that if we took the island Japan could not win the war.  Iwo Jima had  two airports and fighter planes that could attack our bombers on the way  to Tokyo and on the way back.  A radar station gave early warning to the Japanese when our bombers were on the way. Taking the island allowed us to use fighters to protect the bombers and provided a place for returning damaged planes to land..

Because Japan  recognized its vital importance, resistance was determined and ferocious.  Japan lost 21,000 killed and 1,000 captured while American losses totaled 28,000, including 6,800 killed. 

Our ship, the USS Pickens, put Marines ashore and brought the wounded back as we were an auxiliary hospital ship.  My regular duties was as a radarman, but when we were putting Marines in boats I manned phones at a debarkation station.  Therefore, I was in position to see the American  flag go up on Mt. Suribachi, come down, and go up again.  That was when Rosenthal took the picture that is so well known,.

This Has Been Quite a Week

This has not been a pleasant week.  Norma Holcombe Reinsch, my cousin on the Berry side of relations, was buried in Loveland, Co. Tuesday.  Of course, there was no way I could attend.

Margaret Lowe Dodez, another cousin will celebrate here 90th birthday Saturday in Texarkana, Tex.  I would like to be there but I have not recovered from my fall of last week.  Those injuries are added on to all the other hurts, like my right shoulder, my  back and my hips.  I recall what a doctor told me when I was at LSU and having problems from injuries suffered  in the navy.  The doctor said I just had to live with the knowledge that I would always have pain and the injuries would  hurt more as time went ono.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama's Budget Would Cause More Hardship for Our Country

I have not read Obama's budget proposal for 2011 or 2012 but from what  I have learned  Obama proposes to continue the  failed policy of  his first two years -- spend recklessly and tax painfully.  H e claimed his stimulus bill of almost one trillion dollars would hold unemployment to less than 8 per cent and would create 2 million jobs.  Talk about total failure.  The jobs created turned out  to be  200,000 federal jobs  when   the federal payroll should have been cut. I wish we could have an accounting of where each dollar in the stimulus boondoggle was spent.   Basic jobs are created almost exclusively in three ways -- agriculture, minning and manufacturing.  All other jobs are secondary, including doctor, lawyer and Indian chief.   Action must be taken to add value to a product  for a basic job to be created,   Retail giant Wal-Mart doesn't create jobs; it replaces some of the jobs lost by other retailers.  The chain does not  even support manufacturing in this country, buying  more than 90 pr cent of its goods from outside the United States.   We need the jobs only the private sector can provide through growing products, mining, and manufacturing.  For prosperity and high employment, we must produce what others need and will buy.  If we  mine more coal, oil and natural gas the nation will benefit economically and millions of jobs will be available.  Yet, Obama seeks to penalize these industries while spending billions in support of ethanol and electric powered cars.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

USS Pickens on the way to Iwo Jima

On this date 66 years ago the USS Pickens  was in a convoy steaming towward the little island of Iwo Jima.  We had spent weeks practicing putting  our boats into the sea and having the Marines, fully battle loaded, debark and head for a small Hawaiian island.  There they would engage in exercises.  Now, it was time for action for real. Iwo is a small volcanic island and was armed with about 20,000 troops.  We had listened to Tokyo Rose announce the date the invasion would be launched.  She was wrong twice but was correct the third time.  Both Japan and the United States considered the island vital.  It had an airfield with fighter planes, and a powerful radar.  This enabled the Japanese to know when our bombers  were headed to Japan and  they would attack our damaged planes on the way back.  Although not many men would be engaged, both  sides  knew the island would be heavily defended. I will never  forget the invasion date -- February 19.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thank the Lord for the Sabbath

Last week started badly with my fall and ended with a sad and lonely Saturday.  News of Norma's death was like a black cloud and spending the day alone was depressing.  My spirits picked up in Sunday School and then Tom's sermon was on surviving depression.  We visited with Lily, Julie and Mark by Skype Sunday afternoon.  Lily was happy and lively and entertained us by identifying letters of the alphabet and tossing them across the room.  So this week got off to a much better start and besides it's Valentine Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Commerce & Indusry Staffer Wrecks Board Meeting

While at Commerce and Industry, Jen and I worked with a guy who had the same title I did -- economic development specialist -- but what he did I never figured out.  He didn't travel or in any other way try to bring in new industry and he didn't work in community development.

One day the board of Commerce and Industry was meeting in Monroe.  This fellow got a call with specific instructions to get the state car from the garage and drive straight to  Monroe to the board meeting.  He said "har har, I am going to out smart 'em; I'm going to take my car and get mileage."  That's is what he did, driving to Monroe in a car just a bit better than the one resting on blocks in his front yard.  He arrived later than expected and a member of the staff was nervously waiting and asked where the state car was parked.  Our guy said "har har, I came in my car."  The statf member groaned, "Oh no, all our presentation materials are in the state car.  Why in hell did you think we called for you to bring it?   What possible use would you be at this board meeting.?"

  Our guy wasn't bothered.  He continued to boast about how he had pulled a smart trick and got paid  mileage.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This Will Read Like Roll Call at Sick Bay

I visited the pain doctor Tuesday only because it was required to get my pain medicine refilled.  They made an appointment with the emergency room doctor and for X-rays of my chest and arm. No bones are broken but the hurting seems to get worse.  Others are suffering worse.  Grandson Kyle has had eye inflamation for about three weeks.  He was treated for pink eye, then for something else, and now the doctor says he has shingles on the cornea, a very painful and dangerous condition.  Hopefully, the new antibiotics will help him heal and go back to school.

Jen heard from Mark who said grand daughter Lily was to have tubes put in her ears yesterday but  she  stole another child's Fruit Loops so the operation had to be delayed.  Lily wasn't going to skip breakfast if she could help it.

Probably the worst off of all of us is Buddy, our golden retriever.  He has been sick all week and spent last night at the vet's. 

Pray that we will all be well by Valentine's Day.

Oral History Post on Roy Lowe in Navy

Some years back I talked about my time in the navy during World War II as part of the oral history program maintained by Norton Art Gallery.  I stumbled on the gallery's site where summaries of oral histories are provided.  If anyone wants to read a summary of my naval history, you can search:

              Roy E Lowe in the navy.  Hit the button for images and from there select Grid and you will see a copy of  the newspaper announcing the commissioning of the USS Pickens and  my discharges.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Bird Thinks Spring Is On the Way --Not Yet I Fear

Yesterday  I heard a bird chirping happily as the sun shone warmly for a hour or two.  Today is the middle of winter again, getting colder by the hour and warnings that rain will turn to snow and ice.  This is the type of winter today's children will tell their grand kids, "You should have seen the winters we had when I was a kid," except we may still be having blizzards and freezing cold, if this "man made global warming" doesn't let up. I  don't even feel like looking at seed catalogs (if I had any)  the way we used to do to ease the winter doldrums.

While I don't have catalogs I am looking at an ad from Atwoods, a store in Homer. They are showing Irish seed potatoes, onion sets and plants, rose bushes and assorted fruit trees.  We  used to try to get Irish potatoes planted by Valentines Day, and we would set out onion plants along the same time.  We even planted corn in February some years.  Things will be a little late this year. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Case of the Vanishing Beer

While the USS Pickens sailed around in the South Pacific, an effort was made to provide, rarely, some type of recreational break for the crew.  It consisted of finding some small uninhabited island and giving each crew member two beers and maybe two cokes, but no water.  We would swim and play touch football or other games for awhile and return to the ship.

It had been many weeks since we had enjoyed one of these  breaks, when  I was  part of a working party sent in a boat to the USS Denver, a cruiser, to collect some beer.  The beer was not in a case or  package but was loose and had to be gathered up can by can, loaded into a cargo net, dropped into the boat and taken back to our ship,.  There we unloaded the beer, which was then stored in a compartment. It must have been close to l,000 cans.  An officer was put in charge to supervise a 24-hour guard outside the hatch to the compartment.

Some days later we anchored by a small island and sent a group down to bring up the beer.  I was not in this group but I can imagine their surprise, when the hatch was opened and the compartment was empty, not one single can of beer left.  All of those who had stood watch duty were questioned  to a man could give no explanation.  All swore no beer had been stolen when they were on duty. The beer had just vanisihed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shaken But Not Stirred -- or Bruised But Not Broken

I caught my foot in an electrical cord and plummeted hard to the floor, hurting mostly my chest and my left shoulder, although my right knee hit, probably softening the fall a little bit.  I am really hurting but nothing was broken, for which I am very thankful.  Any movement, especially breathing, is going to be painful for some time. I have been aware of the danger of falling, realizing I am unsteady on my feet.  This, though, took me by surprise. I got up from the couch, took a step, and fell flat on my face. Thankfully, Jason was here to help me get up. I'll take this as a warning to be ever more  careful.

Ceremony Salutes Ronald Reagan on l00th Annivsersary

The Superbowl was not the only big event Sunday.  Simple but impressive music and words paid tribute to Ronald Reagan on the day he would have been 100.  Of all the things we miss about Reagan is his optimism. . He could make us believe that our best days were ahead for us and our country, and he did his part to make that come true. What more can I say than "This is Reagan Country."

Most Over-Hyped Event in History Over for Another Year

The Superbowl ended with Green Bay Packers defeating Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in a game that had its share of excitement.  However, the Superbowl is more than a football game, with extravaganzas and analasys before and after, and the traditional singing of the National Anthem by an  entertainment celebrity of varied talent.  This year the honor went to Christina Aguilera, who gave the song her own style and forgot one verse.  This should teach sponsors of similar events to stop the practice of having singers who insist on turning the anthem into a parody featuring their particular style.  Instead have it sung by performers who do their best to sing the words and music as written

Ads are naturally a big and necessary part of the Superbowl, with ad agencies striving to come up with a message that will attract attention.  My personal opinion is taken as a whole the ads were lacking in humor and in effectiveness.  Some borderd on obscenity.  Government Motors must have gotten some more taxpayer money;
they had several ads, those ads didn't come cheap.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Are We Entering A Global Cooling Period for 30 Years?

Many scientists maintain that we are.  Last year the United States had its coldest temperature in 25 years.  We had, for  us, very cold weather and two light snows.   This year is very cold just about everywhere.  We have had temperatures in the teens more than once, including this week.  Ice and snow hit last night, making travel hazardous and practically closing down the town.  Some snow and ice has melted and Jen left a few minutes ago hoping  the grocery store is open.  Water on the ground will freeze tonight as temperatures are predicted to be around 20 degrees.  It will be warmer tomorrow, although nights will be below freezing.

Some areas of the country, including New York and Chicago, have been hit hard by cold and by heavy snows.  Several  accidents have taken lives and people have stranded in their cars for hours. Closer to home Dallas has had heavy snow and accidents, and to a certain extent all Texas, has had power shortages and rolling blackouts.The Superbowl will go on as scheduled, power being kept on throughout the new stadium.

The direct cause of  the power shortage in Texas is Obama refusing to allow construction of power plants.  If  Obama continues to deprive the country of energy and this cold cycle continues, the nation will really suffer, which is what Obama has said he wants.

Boy, How We Need Ronald Reagan Now!

Millions have been out of work for months, the nation is in a power shortage leaving many shivering in their homes, and dunderheads are screwing up our foreign policy. I ask the question I've asked for two years -- Can this nation survive Obama?  When we observe the hundredth anniversary of Reagan's  birthday February 6, we can praise God we had him for eight years.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Have Ranted About the Need for More Domestic Drilling

A review of my blog for the past year proves that I have called over and over  for more drilling for oil within the United States.  Starting in March I have called for the United States to become self-sufficient in energy, pointing out that we have reserves of coal, oil, natural gas and shale, and we should utilize more nuclear power. Below are some headlines of articles I have offered:

March 9 --Let's Become Self-sufficient in Energy

June 3-- Drilling in Gulf  Must Continue

July 25 -- Screw the Moratorium  -- Let's Go Back to Work

July 29 -- The Green Dream Needs to Face Reality

August 26 -- Too Much  Reliance on Green Energy Could Be Disastrous 

December 4-- Obama and Congress Don't Give a Damn About Us

December 11 -- Less Drilling -- Oil and Gas Prices Escalate
December 21 -- A Mistaken Policy by Any Name Would Smell as Bad

January 14 -- Obama Will Celebrate Oil at l00 Dollars a Barrel

January 25 -- For National Security, We MUST Drill Now

     With Egypt in turmoil and the threat of closing Suez to us, will the Obama administration abandon its policy of  reducing domestic production of oil?  Rigs are leaving the Gulf, probably never to return. Won't Obama please recognize this country's existence is threatened?  Will he continue to sacrifice us  to his green dream?  Now, drilling off the coast of Alaska has been delayed for at least a year, depriving us for energy and hurting the economy of Alaska.
If we only had a congressman with guts to tell the president he is wrong, wrong, wrong, and must increase drilling in this country and start immediately. When you can't heat your home and are paying eight dollars or more for gasoline, be sure that Obama is responsible and is happy because this is what he wants.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's That Global Warming Again Bringing the Cold

Al Gore has the nerve to again blame the blizzards, cold weather, ice and snow on "decades of global warming."
We are having our second severe cold spell of the winter, with temperatures now barely in the twenties and projected to be in the teens tonight.  But we are being spared the blizzards that are covering much of the nation, from Oklahoma City across and upwards to Maine and to the tip of the United States.  Come on, Al, you have gotten rich spouting your foolish prattle about "climate change."  Al, does food cause hunger?