Sunday, June 30, 2013

Guilty verdict urged despite evidence of innocence

This blog began as a way to express my thoughts and recall memories, most involving family members. I never intended to comment on every news item such as the Zimmerman trial,but  I read an article that relates to the trial in a disturbing way.

The writer, after saying that charges should never have been brought, offered his opinion that the jury might should avoid the testimony of witnesses and bring a guilt verdict to satisfy a certain group and avoid a possible riot.

God forbid that the matter of guilt or innocence should be discarded and a verdict be brought to please the desires of individuals or groups.

Angina pains leave me weak

Does a broken foot have connections to the heart?  Well, I didn't think so, but I had angina pains yesterday and am just now recovering from a fairly severe attack this morning which has left me with a 91/49 blood pressure and a feeling that I could pas out  -- if I was in the mood to run or dance.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Retire outside US? Why not?

Until very recently the idea of living out my life in a country other than the United States was never considered.
Much has changed.  What does the future of this country look like?  Not encouraging to say the least.

Kiplinger's current issue describes "8 great places to retire around the world."  Two sound good, especially Ecuador, which offers an excellent climate, good health care, and a low cost of living.  if my family agreed, I would seriously look at leaving this country for another.  I never thought I would reach that point but I definitely have.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

No fun nursing a broken foot

Ten days after turning my ankle I gave in to having an X-ray by a friend, and it showed a break.  The friend called my primary doctor, who urged an immediate visit to the emergency room.  The doctor in charge asked, "Why come to an emergency room with a broken ankle?  See an orthopedist." I'm slated to do that Monday.

They put a boot on my foot, which adds to my pain.  I'm better off without it and get by very well as long as I can keep my foot up and don't have to walk.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More rotten deals at the IRS

I am strongly for veterans who have been wounded, stressed, or otherwise damaged getting medical care and other benefits to which they are entitled. On the other hand I get very angry at every  person who attempts to get money or other benefits  which he or she does not deserve.

Braulio Castillo is a glaring example of those undeserving scalawags.  He never spent one day in active service but he claimed to be disabled to improve his chance of getting deals with the IRS.  He is accused of getting 500 million dollars from the IRS in shady deals.

Is there no limit to the corruption and dishonesty within the IRS and the Obama crowd?

Is he that ignorant?

In an effort to distract Americans from the scandals of his administration, President Obama offered his stupid and dangerous ideas on global warming, calling those who dispute his claim on man-made global warming as "flat earthers."

Obama wants to completely destroy the coal industry and penalize the oil and gas industry with more taxes and regulations.  The hell of it is that our hurting economy would be dealt a disastrous blow if he has his way.  Does this man hate American and hard working people who need jobs?   We have the capability of producing enough fossil fuels to become energy self-sufficient.  We can create millions of jobs and stop sending money overseas to buy foreign oil.

If  Obama cared for this country, he would not cost us 100 million dollars to pay for an African vacation for him, his family and friends.  That amount of money could put 200 to work earning 50 thousand dollars a year for ten years.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"They didn't do it that way at Dubberly"

Charley Mack (last name withheld) transferred from the small school in the village of Dubberly to Minden when we were in the seventh grade.  He had some difficulty in making adjustments and often shook his head and said sadly, "They didn't do it that way at Dubberly."  Soon, some of us took up his complaint and when given a lot of homework or told of a coming test, we would  cry out in unison, "They didn't do it that way at

The president and his family are leaving on a vacation in Africa at a cost of up to 100 million dollars; the IRS is rewarding its corrupt employees with bonuses of 70 million dollars;  the IRS also sent over 46 million dollars in checks for aliens to a single address in Atlanta; Congress is passing bills that will cost us in money and liberty.  What can we do?  I feel like shouting, "They didn't do it that way at Dubberly."  We have a choice -- elect capable, honest government officials.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Anniversary of victory at Okinawa

Today, Friday, June 21, is the first official day of summer; a walk outside brings that very much to attention.

Today is also the anniversary of the end of the battle for Okinawa, a bloody, fierce conflict that resulted in many casualties of Americans, Japanese and citizens of Okinawa.  The capture of Okinawa gave the Americans and our allies a stage from which to launch an invasion of Japan and the conclusion of the war.

Our military and political leaders saw the effectiveness of suicide plane attacks, which had taken more lives of Naval personnel than Army and Marine together.  This was at least a major factor in President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb.  Veterans who were scheduled to be in the proposed invading force are often heard  crediting Truman for saving their lives by using the bomb.

Our ship, the USS Pickens, had done its job, landing troops and picking up survivors from three ships that sustained attacks by suicide planes.  We had returned to Saipan and were idle there awaiting orders.  In June, four days after crossing the equator and going through Shellback initiation, we headed for Noumea, New Caledonia, a French possession, for days of relaxation.

I can remember going on liberty only one day, an eventful day during which I and my companions were drunk out of our minds from some kind of alcohol. I wrote about this experience on my blog two years ago,  (See July 30, 2010) relating that a third of the crew went on liberty, a third took care of the ship, and a third took care of those who had been on liberty. Several days later we returned to Saipan and then to the United States to prepare for the invasion of Japan.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sweet Potato leaves -- a source of food

I've planted sweet potatoes, plowed sweet potatoes, hoed sweet potatotes, dug sweet potatoes, eaten sweet potatoes baked, candied, with and without marsh mellows -- but until recently I didn't know the potato vines were good to eat.

Mark and Julie have as neighbors in North Carolina an elderly Japanese couple who maintain a garden of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers.   They share their produce and recently this included leaves from sweet potato plants.  Mark said the sweet potato leaves tasted much like spinach.  When we dug our potatoes we first cut off the vines and fed them to cows.  We had no idea we were giving the cows food that we could have enjoyed.

I'm reduced to hobbling

Walking is painful and mighty near impossible for me since spraining my ankle Sunday.   My right foot was sleeping when I tried to stand to kiss my three-month-old grandson good buy and my ankle twisted, tossing me to the floor.  Now, I have a threesome of pain in walking, my back, my hip and the ankle.

Whose taxes are fair?

Corporations do not all pay the same tax rate, varying significantly. Is that fair? Take a gander at the different tax rates, according to Forbes:

     ExxonMobil                    45
     ConocoPhillips                42
     Chevron                           40
      Goldman Sachs               35.2
     Wells  Fargo                     33
     WalMart                           32.4
      JP Morgan Chase             30.1
      Berkshire Hathaway          29
      Intel                                   28.6
      P &G                                  28.3
     Microsoft                            25
     IBM                                    24.8  
     Apple                                  24
     Johnson & Johnson              21.3
     Google                                 21
     Hewlett Packard                   20.2

Did you notice that GE is not on that list?  Some sources report that GE did not pay any taxes in 2010 and now we learn that GE paid only a rate of 1.8 for the past decade.

Being loved by the top dog sure makes a difference in how you are treated, whether a corporation or a member of the Tea Party or another Conservative group.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Father's Day story

Yes, I know Father's Day was yesterday, but this story is not really about Father's Day.

I brought home a history test (could have been third grade of maybe fifth grade), anyway the test had 10 questions and all my answers were marked correct, giving me a score of 100 and an "A" grade.  My dad looked at the paper and said, "This is wrong; Patrick Henry said "give me liberty or give me death," not James Otis.  And you have Patrick Henry saying "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

Dad took a pencil and made big black X's on those incorrect answers and told me I would have to show them to  the teacher.  That hurt, I knew the teacher would change my grade to "C" but she would not be pleased that she was caught in a mistake.

Why wasn't one of the questions Nathan Hale's cry, "I  regret that I have but one life to give for my country."  I have never forgotten that challenge.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Visit of grandchildren ends

There was a feeling of emptiness in the house as I went into the den this morning -- no sound of children laughing,.  The grandchildren had gone home.  Mark left Saturday night with Lily and Oliver, bringing to an end the week the grandchildren had spent with us.  A pile of toys was the only sign they had been here, and the toys appeared sad, especially the big truck Oliver loved to push.

It may be Christmas before we will see them again, except on Skype.  Our two other grandchildren were unable to visit on Father's Day, also. We did see Brighton, the youngest grandson, who is three months old. He is growing and becoming more fun every day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy birthday, Jessica

Good morning.  Happy 23rd birthday; thanks for being my Father's Day present every year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Johnny Cash Sings About Obama.wmv

Fly your flag today

Today, Friday, June 14, is celebrated as Flag Day, commemorating the flag being made official June 14, 1777.

It is fitting that Flag Day comes in June, a month of anniversaries of several military victories, including D-Day Normandy June 6, and the end of the battle for Okinawa June 22.  Okinawa was the scene of many casualties, American, Japanese, and civilian.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

..."tear down this wall!"

It was 26 years ago yesterday that President Reagan, speaking at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, challenged ... "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Words have meaning and some will live forever in our memories, whether we heard them in our lifetimes or learned them many years after they were first spoken.  School children are familiar with Patrick Henry's
   ..."as for  me, give me liberty or give me death,"  but they will have to also learn, as their parents are learning every day, these words by Chief Justice Marshall, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

That has us crying for help, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the man behind the tree."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We face biggest threat ever to our freedoms

Benghazi foul up and cover up; State Department sex scandal and cover up; attacks on news media and on reporters; IRS criminality-- all together they pale  beside the shattering of the Fourth Amendment and the invasion of the privacy to which we are entitled.

The action giving Obama and his administration the means to incarcerate or kill any American citizen could be the biggest threat to our freedom since the founding of this nation.  Think about this; drones have already been used by the United States to kill Americans.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

   Fun for Shellbacks  --not so much for us Pollywogs.

Will no one rid me of this turbulent group?

Most likely there is nothing in writing where Barack Obama directed the IRS to attack tea parties and other conservative groups that were supporting his opponent.  However, his  speeches and the campaign ads left no doubt that this was what he wanted.  He used a government department for political purposes.

Americans have a right to be disturbed to learn that this administration is gathering information on every citizen while saying "just trust me." What is going to stop Obama from mining the information to search out those opposed to Obamacare, for example, and sick the IRS on them?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Shellback initiation

June 10, 1945.  We were crossing the equator and our ship had been taken over with the Royal Navigator in charge.  Initiation of all the Pollywogs on board, who were to be tried and punished for their crimes, with the first  initiate being the captain.

 My lasting impression is of being blasted with the full force of a fire hose.  Next was having your crimes listed and  being told your punishment, which included kissing the baby, being placed in stocks and shocked, given a dental treatment with a plumbing brush, almost drowned in a tank until you uttered shellback a few times.  At the end of your ordeal you slid down a greased and slanted board while shellbacks beat you with clubs.  As you reached the bottom of the board and with barely enough energy to rise, Davy Jones used a trident to give you another shock. All in all, a real fun experience.

After all I went through, I cannot prove I'm a Shellback; my locker was broken into months later and my wallet was stolen.  It was assumed that the perpetrator was the same guy who broke into the ship's post office.  The shipmate serving as postmaster was required to repay all the funds stolen or he would not be able to be bonded in the future.

(I posted some pictures showing initiation activities, but I was unable to attach them to this account of the initiation. Two pictures show the court of Neptune Rex.  A picture made two days earlier depicts Davey Jones telling the captain that the ship will cross the equator June 10 and Pollywogs will be initiated into the mysteries of the sea.  Please note the slide; thank goodness it was greased; the faster one slid the less time Shellbacks had to wield their clubs.

All pictures were taken by Mark White, pharmacist mate and ship photographer.  He was a Shellback and his position in the court was as  Royal Photographer.  The late Mark White was the father of John White, who provided the photos and much other material about the Pickens.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How true

Thirty-five years ago we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. Today we have Obama, no cash and no hope.

Davy Jones comes on board USS Pickens

To shipmates -- Let's go back to June 8, 1945.  The USS Pickens, traveling with other APA's and an AKA, was headed to New Caledonia when Davy Jones and his one-legged companion, came on board and informed the captain that the ship would cross the equator June 10.  At that time Neptune Rex would board the ship and all Pollywogs would be initiated into the mystic rites of the sea.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our rights are being taken away

Gallup has provided me with the results of recent polls in which I participated.  Most interesting was that 71 per cent of Gallup Panel members  say that individual rights and freedoms in the United States have gotten worse since the terrorist attack September 11, 2001.

The survey was completed before we learned the extent of the Obama administration gathering information on private citizens.  Any credibility Obama had he no longer has.

Victory at Battle of Coral Sea June 4-7, 1942

Several important World War II victories took place during June, although their anniversaries are given little attention now as members of the"Greatest Generation" pass away.  I called attention to D-Day Normandy June 6, a very important step toward victory over Germany.

As important as that event was, probably more important for the United States was our navy's defeat of the Japanese navy June 4-7, 1942, at the Battle of Coral Sea.  Japan hoped to lure the navy into battle and defeat the American navy to open the way to an invasion of the United States.  Who knows what direction the war would have taken if Japan had been victorious.  The American victory resulted in removing the Japanese navy from being a threat as the United States won island after island on the way towards Japan.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What a week and more to come

The misery of two days and two nights in a hotel reminded me why I hate traveling and visiting. It's over now; the floor has been installed and we just need to re-position furniture.

During those days Jessica needed transportation to various meetings of the Louisiana United Methodist Church.  River attended some of the sessions, also.  The conference has concluded; Jessica and River returned to Baton Rouge, and from there Jessica will fly to Birmingham, Mich. to assume her duties as summer intern with the United Methodist Church in that city.

Jen and I are looking forward to an exciting week beginning Saturday when Mark arrives with Lily and Oliver.  The grand kids will spend a week with us while Mark and Julie will be in the Bahamas.

June is a month of anniversaries of military action.  It was on this date, June 6, 1944, that we invaded Normandy, always thought of as D-Day, although we had many D days. For Pickens shipmates and families, in 1945 we were on our way to Noumea, New Caledonia.  Certainly, we were looking forward to visiting a place where that were friendly people.

Yes, it was political

'It was not political" we hear from Obama and his supporters.  The hell it wasn't political; that's the only way their lies and attempt to cover up the Benghazi  failures make sense.  Eventually we will get answers to questions  such as where was Obama during the attack, who ordered the stand down of relief  forces, who changed the talking points, what was Hillary doing.

Ask these questions  about the IRS treatment of conservative groups -- Who benefited politically, and conversely, who was injured by the conservatives hampered in their efforts to raise funds and give aid and support to  conservatives, including Tea Party groups.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Church members gift Jessica

Pastor Tom Howe presented Jessica with a check Sunday representing the offerings at communion Sunday in May.  He explained that Jessica is the first in many years from Christ United Methodist Church to enter the ministry and that while Jessica is blessed with scholarships they do not cover all expenses.  Jessica has completed one year at Duke Seminary.  As the Rev. Howe pointed out, Duke is expensive.

The offering this Communion Sunday is to aid those persons suffering from recent tornadoes, especially in Oklahoma.

Inconvenience of installing floor

If we knew forehand all of the problems in store we might never take on any project.  Such is our situation right now as we are getting a wood floor installed in our main living area.  Since it is the middle of the house we are forced to go to a hotel while the work is going forward.

We have re-located every small and light object, leaving the heavy furniture for the installers who must pull up the old carpet after clearing the room and then level, if necessary, the concrete floor before treating it with a sealant.  Next will come laying the wood flooring, which cannot be walked on for12 hours. Before all of this began, the flooring was stacked up in the room so it and the house could become acquainted.  Thanks for your sympathy.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bullying must stop

School teachers and parents must do more to stop bullying, a terrible crime that flourishes locally and nationally.  A five-year-old kindergarten boy is suspended 10 days for bringing a cap pistol to school to show a classmate.  Punishment for bullies should be 10 times that.

Many people think of bullying as a bigger boy physically harming a smaller boy.  Certainly, that occurs but most bullying is less obvious because it is psychological and emotional.  Often, groups and gangs of girls will pick on one girl to harass.  Their victim sometimes begins to think living is not worthwhile and may even be driven to suicide.

Schools are aware of bullying but they seem powerless to stop it.  Parents should discuss this with their children, helping them if they are victims and punishing them if they are doing the bullying.

Earlier this week a girl completing the fourth grade said she enjoys school except for the bullying.  She didn't volunteer and I didn't ask what bullying she was subjected to.  I wish I had found out what she was enduring; everyone needs to become involved if he can.  This should be considered  a disease and treated to cure it.