Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A civil rights event properly handled

While doing some unrelated research on my computer, I came across a clipping of many years ago which quoted me about a civil rights march in Homer.  As mayor, I was asked for my idea of the events.  Nineteen had been arrested and 100 National Guard members had been released.

I was quoted as taking the news media to task for creating problems with excessive publicity.  This event had been handled and trouble avoided.  The newspaper reporter said they  had been told to give coverage to any event that could be tied to Martin Luther King.

Riots should be stopped as soon as they start

What can be done to prepare local police and other law officials to handle attacks by groups like ISIS?  That is a question bothering all of us as terrorists get stronger and stronger.  We don't know how to handle domestic riots, as demonstrated by the lawlessness in Baltimore.

We have seen how Baltimore did everything wrong, allowing the rioters and looters to do their worst without fear of arrest.  All riots should be met at the beginning with overwhelming force  and with arrests at the start of the  riots.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jessica completes triathlon

Congratulations to Jessica for running and completing the triathlon Saturday.  The event includes swimming, biking and running.  Jessica had no worry about two of the contests but worried about swimming 1500 meters in a lake.  She need not have worried;  she performed well in all events.

Her cousin, Michael Alello, ran the Boston marathon  last  week, succeeding in completing the 26-mile run.

By the way, a kilometer is equivalent to .6214 miles.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quit talking bull crap and act

  "We condemn the violence in our strongest words."  Bull.  When I hear those words I know nothing will be done to stop the violence.

If Christians were murdering Muslims, would Obama take action or just prattle,  "Christianity is a peaceful religion," and do nothing

We meet missionary who serves in Israel

Jen and I were among those who visited with Kristen Brown, missionary in Israel, Tuesday, April 21. Kristen is the missionary with whom Jessica will serve the year beginning in July.

From her remarks, it appears that most of the people who Kristen, and later Jessica, have contact with are Palestinian Christians.  The missionaries also serve those on tours and other nationalities.

Miss Brown is here visiting churches which support her as a missionary.

Frank Darsey receives honor medal

Frank Darsey was  among 22 residents of the Veterans Retirement Home in Bossier who received the Louisiana veterans honor  medal in a ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Jen and I were among 35 members of  Christ United Methodist Church who attended to honor and support Frank.  In addition to the medals, the veterans were presented a letter from Governor Jindal thanking them for their service.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The grapes are not sour -- our military leaders are cowards

We don't expect bravery from the Obama administrators -- but we thought better of our military big shots.
Brave  young American men and women died in the battle for Ramadi.  Now that ISIS threatens the city and probably Bagdad, our military leaders say "Ramadi doesn't matter."

We feel the pain of family members who lost a loved one fighting for Ramadi.  The grapes weren't sour then; we asked our young men and women to give their lives because Ramadi was important.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Scouts visit Vicksburg

Scouts should enjoy this weekend as they are visiting the Vicksburg National Military Park, which marks one of the most important  battles of the War Between the States.  The battle lasted from May 18 to July4, 1863.  The victory, along with victory over New Orleans, gave the North control of the Mississippi and divided the South.

Congress  established the park in 1899.   I visited when my twins were Scouts, quite a number of years ago. I was unhappy to see that many more Yankee memorials existed than did Southern ones.  Having two grandfathers and one great-grandfather as Confederates,  I still am a proud Rebel.

Sarah boards with the vet

Sarah,  our 22-year-old cat, just is not doing well;  she added an ear infection to her afflictions.  Jen took her to the vet yesterday and since Jen will be in Vicksburg for the weekend, she left the cat with the vet.   That does not sound well.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Politician -- How are you going to boost the economy?

There are plenty of want-to-be political leaders who shout their claims to be for aid to the "middle class."  Few, though, can show us a plan of how they are going to fix the economy.  Where are the high paying jobs coming from?

Who are the people who make up the middle class, anyway?   Some people earn enough to live comfortably, but the majority of our work force earn barely enough to get by. The well-paying jobs have largely gone with the manufacturing plants that  have moved overseas.  We've got to encourage industry to stay here and prosper and those who left to return.

Let the politicians tell us how they are going to accomplish this.  I'll get it started by telling them we will not create jobs by punishing industry with more regulations.'           

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We will meet missionary

The missionary in Israel that Jessica will  serve with will make a visit to Summer Grove United Methodist Church later this month.  We are eagerly looking forward to hearing from her.

Pickens leaves Okinawa

April 14,   1945 -- the fierce battle for Okinawa continues but the Pickens, along with other ships no longer needed, has left to return to Saipan.  We would head for New Caledonia and liberty.  Along the journey we would cross  the equator, setting the stage for shell back initiations of the polliwogs (of which the captain and I were members.)   John White has provided  us with pictures taken by his father, Mark White.

The bloody battle for control of the islands would go on for 82 days. Casualties were extremely high.  Japan had 77,166 killed. The United  State forces  suffered 65,000 casualties, including 14,009 killed. Estimates of civilians killed range from 42,000 to 150,000.

America was not accustomed to such losses and military leaders drew heavy criticism.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Some good, some bad like most days

This day is really dragging.  Jen left before 7 this morning and everyone else is gone, leaving me alone with nothing to watch on television and LSU is not playing until night so no keeping up with the game on the computer.

On the other hand the day started better than yesterday, which began with me being too unbalanced to walk.   When I visited the cardiologist two weeks  ago  we were concerned with my blood pressure being high.  Yesterday, when I again  saw the doctor, it was low, 104,  so my prescription was changed again.

Having vertigo reminded me of an event of many years ago.   I ran into Ed Wade downtown and asked, "Cousin Ed, how are you doing?"   Ed, who was in his eighties, said, "I'm doing fine except for this vertigo.  I'm dizzy a lot and unbalanced.  And it's not from that liquor.  I've quit drinking.  Now that other stuff  -- I didn't quit it -- it quit me."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pickens does its job at Okinawa

At Okinawa the crew of the USS Pickens had two duties -- to land its troops and to care for the wounded.  Our  job  became greater, however, as we became lead ship of our column and we rescued some 735 survivors of the LST 884, LST 724,  and the USS Hinsdale.  We then retired for the night.

For several days we would return to the battle area in early morning and retire at night.  I can't describe how we felt when we learned the Japanese, in desperation, was sending the Yamato, the world's largest and most powerful battleship, to Okinawa.

In an epic battle April 7 Marc Mitscher's task force sank the huge ship.  A few  days later we returned to Saipan.  The costly battle for Okinawa would continue but we had contributed all we could.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Income tax time -- how joyous

Oh, what a wonderful time of the year this is!  We have the enjoyable task of finding W-2's, interest and dividend receipts, medical bills -- and  just all sorts of papers beloved by our friends at the IRS.  Isn't it good to know that this money we will turn over to the government will be well spent.  There will be no money ill-spent or wasted, or lost to corruption.

Oh, what a liar I am!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Frame for diploma is reminder of what is ahed for Jessica

Its not Christmas so I was surprised when UPS dumped a large package at the front door.  Jen informed me that it was the frame for Jessica's diploma from Duke Divinity School.   The frame includes a drawing of the famous chapel on the campus.

I asked, what do you do withe the frame if she doesn't graduate in May?  Of course, she will graduate, completing another significant accomplishment. Now, she is facing her greatest challenge yet -- a year as a missionary in Israel.

While continuing her academic studies and serving on the staff of Apex United Methodist Church, Jessica is raising funds to finance her service in Israel.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Let this Easter put new life into us as Christians

Let Christians  remind ourselves that Easter Sunday began as a day of victory.  Jesus was hung on a cross and died but death could not defeat him.  Christ arose from the grave and gives us salvation from our sins, and also everlasting life.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Today is Good Friday

Take time today to observe Good Friday, if only by saying a prayer.  Christ died for us  as he  had to do in order to be brought back to life and to forgive our sins.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

First day of battle for Okinawa

Today is the anniversary of the battle for Okinawa, the largest and last battle of World War II in the Pacific. As longer as I am able I will continue to write about that Easter Sunday, 1945.  Our ship, the USS Pickens, escaped being hit by a kamikaze plane but the ships ahead of us and to our port side were not not as fortunate.  Here is how I remember that day as described on my blog in 2012:

The  Pickens was second in line behind the USS Hinsdale, APA 120, in column of attack transports carrying the Second Marine Division.  Around 5;;50 a.m. a Japanese plane hit the Hinsdale around the water line, exploding several bombs and blowing holes. Another plane headed for us but did not clear the mast of an LST, fell to the deck and exploded.  We put boats in the water and picked up 735  survivors from LST's-884 and 724 and the Hinsdale.

The Battle of Okinawa has been called the largest sea-land-air battle in history.   . Casualties were very high, 72 thousand for the Allies, over 100 thousand for the Japanese, and tens of thousands civilians. Suicide planes took a heavy toll of our ships and sailors and influenced President Truman to drop the atom bomb and avoid invading the homeland.