Friday, February 28, 2014

Feburary leaves -- no regrets

Here it is the last day of February and the shortest month is going out like a lamb after   some record breaking cold weather.  Yes,  I know that its March that supposed to come in like a lion and depart like a lamb. March can have some cold, windy weather, but it can offer delightful early spring time, also.

We have had some beautiful, sunny days, the kind that invites you and me to begin planting. Except I'm not able to take advantage of it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stop Obama's power grab

Obama is putting this nation into grave danger. That is not just the idea of an old conservative; a liberal Harvard professor warned, "We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis."  Time and again Obama has bypassed Congress to make laws by executive fiat.  Obama ignores the constitution,  which requires Congress to make the laws and the  president to execute them.

Professor Turley challenges Congress to halt Obama's illegal power grab.  I'm convinced, and have been for some time, that the only hope is to impeach Obama, even though the professor and others oppose this. Okay, I'm listening, what is the answer?

A long ago memory

This event happened some 50 years ago when I was in Homer.  We printed the bulletin for the Baptist Church on Thursday with the pastor usually editing it.  One day the preacher shocked us when he said, "Even a preacher needs  once in awhile  to go behind the barn, smoke a cigar, and say damn,"

It's true, all of us are stressed at times.

This same minister was the subject of a tale that went around town.  Children were being taught to pray in public.  One youngster concluded his prayer with this request, "And help Brother ----- find a new church."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My mother, Minnie Berry Lowe

Today, February 26, is the 104th anniversary of my mother's birthday.   She was born on a farm that bordered Dorcheat Bayou, some three miles from Minden.  She lived there until marrying Jesse W. Lowe, moving only a little more than  a mile. She lived there until her death. 

She was the mother of five girls and three boys, seven of whom are living.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wisdom of John Adams

In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useful man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.
                                                                    John Adams


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Iwo Jima will live in the hearts

"Iwo Jima will live in the hearts of all persons who were there. No others will ever know the torture that little island produced."

                             From the personal narrative of Mark White, Photographer  for
                             the USS Pickens, APA  190

War Pictures of the USS Pickens taken by Mark White, ship photographer

Happy Birthday, President Washington.

We need a man with your character today.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (arr. Gilbert Martin)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Flag raising on Iwo Jima

It was the fifth day of our battle with Iwo Jima.  I was still manning the phones at a debarkation station, and boats continued to depart with troops and vehicles, returning with wounded.  We knew we would eventually gain the victory but progress was slow.  Therefore we were thrilled when someone yelled, "The flag is up on Mount Suribachi!"  A tussle for binoculars ensued as a cheer could be heard throughout the ship.

A few minutes later someone called out that the flag was no longer up, but only moments  later the flag was flying again.

It was some time before we on the Pickens understood that Joseph Rosenthal  made several pictures of the flag raising, and it was the first that became so revered and was later the model for the stature in the nation' capital.

About that same time a boat officer showed me a clipping a friend in Seattle had sent of one of our boats landing Marines.  On the boat's bow were the words "PA 90, Boat 10."  With the clipping was a note saying "I know where you were February 19."

It was much later that I learned  that famed photographer   Rosenthal traveled aboard our ship. Some became friends with him, especially our ship photographer Mark White.

What a lovely day!

After suffering unpleasant weather we are enjoying beautiful sunshine and a day that feels like a day in the middle of May.  This is the kind of day that stirs the blood and encourages getting the yard clean, pruning the roses and shrubery, and getting flower beds prepared.

All  of that once gave me pleasure but that is in the past as I have to accept it is no longer possible for me.  I will find a way, though, to have flowers and maybe a few vegetables.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Obama threatens to intimidate press

Is there no limit to what President Obama will to to destroy the constitution and take away freedoms of the American people?  Getting favorable coverage by the news media is not enough for Obama. He has called for the FCC to visit news rooms to find out how they obtain their news and why   they print what they do. What a chilling effect  on the nation's papers!

The  FCC has certain powers in radio and TV but none in print media.   I hope that the first time one of the FCC investigators enter a news room,  he or she will be told to get the hell out.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Battle for Iwo Jima began 69 years ago today

Sixty-nine years ago today  the United States attacked  the small but heavily defended Japanese island of Iwo Jima.  For three days the Navy had  shelled and bombed the island to seemingly little effect.

Our ship, the USS Pickens, APA 190, was one of the ships carrying the Fourth Marine Division, a unit that included veterans of other battles and also Marines who would see action for the first time.

My regular job aboard ship was as a radar operator, but during battle conditions I manned phones at a debarkation station on the starboard side of the ship and near the stern.  From there I saw our boats put into the water and the Marines climb down into the boats.  Our boats joined  those from other ships in making a formation and then moving toward the island.

It wasn't long until some boats returned with wounded men to be treated on board as we served as an auxiliary hospital ship. 

Some of the fiercest fighting of any war, and many acts of exceptional bravery, went on until March 16. Of the 22,000 Japanese  on the island, only 216 were taken prisoner, the others being fatalities. Marine casualties, wounded and killed, exceeded those of the Japanese, the only time  this happened to the Marines.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A personal message to John White

John, it is really good to hear from you and I hope  you and
your family enjoyed the holidays and are looking for good things to happen this year.

I am responding to you this way because I am having computer problems.  I have looked for your message on email  but have been unable to find it.

Yes, I remember the chaplain, with one thing still sharp in my mind.  We were approaching San Francisco after eleven months in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa batttles, when the captain ordered everyone to get a boot camp hair cut.  He supported this by quoting from the bible, "Does not nature teach you that long hair is an  abomination to a man?" The chaplain protested this and drew the captain's ire.

John, you have been wonderful in providing information and material to Pickens shipmates and their families. I wish veterans and their relatives would let us all enjoy their memories, especially Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Push for solar power to cost jobs

Solar power, the greatest thing since Hoover dam.  Yeah, that is bliss for people like Al.Gore and Obama, plus the gullible.  I talked to an official of a power utility, and he admitted utility rates are going to go higher. He attributed the increase to being forced to buy solar energy.

Obamacare is hurting many people as their heath insurance rates increase. Two million workers are expected to lose their job as companies adjust their paroles to reduce costs of operation.  Obama's polices have already taken jobs away from millions of workers. If the government used an honest unemployment rate, it would around 15 per cent, now 7. Now we have to subsidize solar while penalizing  fossil fuels. This will result in higher taxes and a loss of jobs.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Memories of Iwo Jima

I don't know about others, but as we steamed toward Iwo Jima, we often listened to Tokyo Rose.  She kept giving us dates for the invasion, the last being February 12 until she gave the correct date of February 19.  Her warning that  the Japanese would fight fiercely and we would suffer high casualties became true.

This was not the first island invasion by the Third Division, but it was the first for some of the Marines. I will not forget the young Marine who told me they were "fired up" and would need only  a few days to take the island.

On board our ship was Joseph Rosenthal, a photographer who took the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi.  I was not aware he was on board, had never heard of him, and never met him. I did see the flag go up, come down, and go up again.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jessica goes from bad weather to worse

Jessica has returned to North Carolina after spending several days in Georgia attending a conference for Methodists considering voluntary missions.  She managed to escape the snow in Georgia and the drive back home.

She returned home to be greeted with snow and ice. Thankfully classes have been suspended white the storm rages.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keurig dies, I'm left with instant coffee

Saturday morning at 6:30 I entered the kitchen and immediately saw no welcoming light from the Keurig coffee maker, forcing me to drink instant this week.

Isn't it a shame that we can get accustomed to a luxury and begin to think we are entitled?   It's all Jen's fault. She gave me a Keurig several Christmases  ago  and I began to believe I deserved being greeted with coffee barely minutes after I punched the button.  When it failed, nothing would do until it was replaced (at no cost.)

Now the second one has  died and a replacement is on the way.  The warranty has expired so this one will be half-price.  I can hardly  wait until it arrives and I can enjoy a cup of real coffee instead of instant.

Remembering Iwo Jima

As we get near February 19 my memories of  Iwo Jima freshen, and I have memories that I think will never leave me. Recently, though, I have considered -- is it fair to continue to commemorate certain battles while veterans of present wars -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- are fighting, dieing, and nursing terrible wounds?

I came to this conclusion -- remembering the anniversaries of earlier wars does not take away from the support and care we give, and should give, present day veterans.  Those who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam are becoming fewer and fewer.  Let's remember them while they are still with us.

"I can do anything I want"

While visiting in France, Obama was heard to say, "That's what good about being president, I can do anything I want."

He has been violating the constitution almost daily.  There used to be a cartoon explaining how a bill was introduced and the various steps it took to become law.  It didn't say the president could write the laws nor did it say Congress is composed of cowards who permit Obama to do whatever he wants.

The Democrats slapped together the so-called Affordable Care Act.  It has shown up as a terrible act for the health system as well as a blow to our sick economy.  Obama will not admit Abamacare is a failure; instead he makes changes that he hopes will get the Democrats by the next election.  The Republications cry, pointing out that Obama is running over the constitution, but they have not the guts to begin impeachment proceedings.

Monday, February 10, 2014

February and special days

February is living up to its reputation for bad weather but it could always be worse.  Though it is  our shortest month, February has more than its share of special days, like Mardi Gras.  Oh, sorry. this year Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, comes March 4..

February loses Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent, March 5, but keeps the day of lovers, Valentines Day, February 14, which also happens to be my brother Jon's birthday, and  my mother's birthday is  the 26th.   President's Day  is  February 17 I but I  recognize  Washington's birthday February 22.

Some of us will never forget that we began the battle for Iwo Jima on February 19.

Friday, February 7, 2014

"We have to pass it to know what's in it"

For months we have been "seeing what's in it" and it's like kicking over a stone and finding under it slimy bugs, worms, insects and spiders  -- plus a poisonous  snake or two.  Now we are informed by an  unbiased source that Obamacare will cause the loss of two  million jobs.  It is not enough that Obama's policies have already put millions out of work.

Every action out of Washington hurts the lower middle class while enriching some favored individuals and corporations.  Take a look at "global warming."  Sure every sensible person knows that is a fraud that has dealt a  near fatal blow to the economy.  Yet, while the global warming BS  hurts most people, many have made millions,  Al Gore for example.

The global warming nuts have us replacing good and low cost light bulbs with bulbs that give poor light but are expensive to buy.  You know who makes those crummy bulbs?  China, that's who.  The worse thing  global warming has done was get DDT banned, the cleanest and most effective insecticide known. How many millions have died from malaria  because of banning of DDT?  Obamacare may not only cost jobs, but many lives may be lost because of  lack of  timely medical care.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How badly we need him now

Ronald Reagan would have been 103 today. Following is an excerpt from a speech made in 1964. It is so true today.

     Public servants say, always with the best intentions, "What greater service we could render if we only had a little more money and a little more power."  But the truth is that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or economically  as the private sector.

     We need true tax  reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has  the right to fly as high as his strength and his ability will take him.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let's have honesty

Are we  in a time of more corruption than usual?  I'm not referring to the wrong doing in our nation's capitol. So much dishonesty there with big lies and cover-ups that even our stomachs are sick. Start with Benghazi and go on to the letters of the alphabet, like IRS and TSA until you come to Obamacare.

No, I'm referring to misbehavior by people we know  -- some elected and others in responsible positions.  It appears that the opportunity to steal is too great a temptation to resist  for some individuals.

I hate to see that some of our North Louisiana towns have officials who have made mistakes in claiming the same travel expenses twice, Above all, we must have honesty from those officials nearest us.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jen to receive Silver Beaver award

Congratulations, Jen, on being honored with the Silver Beaver Scouting award.  No one could deserve it more after more than 30 years in all levels and phases of Scouting.  Without your leadership and tireless service, some programs would have failed.  You refused to let that happen.

Bad, bad January gives way to February

  Well, January is over, and who could regret its passing?  We suffered record cold and in many places snow and ice with all the problems they bring.  Along with bad weather we had more lasting pain from the stock market, which closed with the worst January in four years.

Today, February 2, is Ground Hog day and as expected Phil saw his shadow, ran back into his hole and won't come out for six weeks, forecasting  winter to last that long. February is smack in the middle of official winter so we should expect the bad weather.  The market, though, we can only hope February is far more favorable than was January.