The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Friday, April 30, 2010

Conservative-Liberal Divorce Agreement

A couple of weeks ago, Pat Conlon over at Born Again Redneck, did a post playfully suggesting that the country is so split that we might as well go ahead and divide it up geographically. He even supplied a map, which I couldn't find (sorry Pat).

This morning, my friend Jeanne forwarded something to me that picks up on that theme and develops it in detailed language as opposed to visually depicting the geographical division.  It's presented as a divorce settlement. I think you'll agree it hits the nail on the head.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce.... I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.

You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.

We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you Answer ["no, and in that case I ask] which one of us will need whose help in 15 years?


John J. Wall

Law Student and an American

P. S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

P. S. S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finally Some Action!

A big tip of the hat to Andy and the orginator Woody for putting in poster form what a lot of us are feeling right now....

Does Anyone Know How to Cancel a Bid on eBay?

Thanks to my good buddy Ed for this one....


Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on eBay?

I put in a bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfït...

and now it seems I'm only six minutes away from owning Obama and his cabinet!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Next Go 'Round

Yesterday was my 70th birthday. If you'll pardon a little graveyard humor, I'm at the place where the milestones are beginning to look like gravestones.

My wife Joyce planned a great birthday for me yesterday and we enjoyed it fully. We ate a vegetable lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, The Black Eyed Pea, and then spent a couple of hours at Barnes and Noble browsing. We then went to the Regal Streets 16 to see "Clash of the Titans," a 3D remake of the 1981 film of the same name. Yeah, it was a bit cheesy, but it was my birthday. Believe it or not, to us the monsters weren't the most impressive special effects, the flying horses were, especially Pegasus. The movie wasn't bad and we had lots of fun trying to remember the mythology. Since it was a rainy Tuesday and a matinee, the theater was empty. It felt like a private showing. When the movie ended we stopped next door for a brick oven pizza and beer and after that came home to frozen vanilla yogurt on top of Joyce's great apple crisp. A great day. So great we could do it again today. And tomorrow.

But of course we can't. You can't relive the past. Even if we tried really hard, some things would be different. There'd be people in the movie with us. We'd have a different waitress at the pizza place. You know what I mean.

And really, when people talk about doing something over from the past, it's something they screwed up, not something they enjoyed.

But reliving those screwups is impossible too. There aren't any second chances and in this life, despite what the New Agers who believe in reincarnation say, you don't get no "Next Go 'Round."

In my three score and ten, I had plenty of screwups that I'd like to change. But overall, I had a lot more experiences that I wouldn't change for anything and I'm thankful for that.

One of my favorite groups is the Old Crow Medicine Show. Here's a video of their great song, "The Next Go 'Round."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Like I Needed Another Reason for Opposing Obama

In a ceremony honoring 2009's World Champion NY Yankees, Obama went for a cheap laugh and got it. He said...

"It's been nine years since your last title -- which must have felt like eternity for Yankee fans. I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example."

According to the Chicago Tribune, this remark drew laughs from "players, coaches, members of his Cabinet and Congress and other guests."  The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908.
I ain't laughing.

A November Reminder

H/T Right Klik

Locust Winter

It's 58 degrees now in our neck of the woods. And looks like we won't get back to the 70's again till Thursday. Papa would call this locust winter. I think. Mama J might have disagreed with him and they would have had a little discussion. Truth is, it's kind of confusing. There are lots of little short winters in these parts that precede the actual, continuous, burn the back of your neck, humid as a hot wet cat heat that is a Tennessee summer. There's blackberry winter, dogwood winter, redbud winter, etc. And they all seem to overlap. But whatever you want to call it, the weather can stay cool tomorrow though. I'm operating the chainsaw.

Country My Ass

Today in the Tennesseean there's an article about outlaw country singer Dale Watson. He's recently recorded a new album in Nashville which he looking to sell to a label. Why is this news? Watson hasn't been coy about what he thinks has happened to country music over the past few years.  Here's a couple of videos to explain what I mean. They're live and kind of rough in the audio and video departments but worth a listen/view. The first one is "Nashville Rash."

Lyrics to "Nashville Rash"

Help me Merle, I’m breakin’ out in a Nashville rash

It’s a-looking like I’m fallin in the cracks
I’m too country now for country, just like Johnny Cash
Help me Merle, I’m breakin’ out in a Nashville rash

Shoulda known it when they closed the Opry down
Things are bound to change in that town
You can’t grow when you rip the roots out of the ground
Looks like that Nashville rash is getting’ ‘round

Ain’t it funny how things can really change
Rock and roll back in the 70’s are country hits today
Breaks my heart to see my heros fadin’ away
The victims of Nashville rash, it’s Nashville’s ways

Help me Merle, I’m breakin’ out in a Nashville rash
It’s a-looking like I’m fallin in the cracks
I’m too country now for country, just like Johnny Cash
And Buck Ownes and Faron Young and Johnny Bush
And Johnny Paycheck and Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn, Mmmmmmm
Help me Merle, I’m breakin’ out in a Nashville rash

Aw good god it’s gonna be the death of us
And if that little ditty didn't make clear his attitude toward the music now produced in Nashville and called "country," here's the clincher for you. This Dale Watson anthem is called "Country My Ass."

Here are the lyrics to "Country My Ass."

He ain't even near twenty, but he says he's seen plenty of hard times,
'Cause he's been on his bus for five days and in his hotel for five nights.
And his satellite dish is broke and the new band is treatin' him mean. (Yeah, I know.)
And there's still another week to go: he misses that karaoke machine.

Hey, that's country, my ass,
Who do they think we am?
Force-feed us that shit.
Ain't you real tired of it?
Tell 'em, stick it up high,
Where the sun don't shine.
Get pissed, an'get mad,
cause that's country, my ass.

Now, she's out there too, she's got her own secrets too. (Shhhh, don't tell nobody.)
She can't sing a lick and in a bucket, she couldn't carry her tunes. (Now wait a minute.)
She's pretty as a picture and she sure got a nice set of...wits. (Yeah.)
And she misses her producer slash boyfriend who seduced her, er produced her a hit.

(Chorus: Hey, that's country, my ass...)

Now don't get me wrong, to each his own I believe.
But they've took the soul out of what means a whole lot to me.
'Cause I can see Hank and Lefty, they're spinning around in their graves.
And if they were here now, I think y'all know what they'd say. (Don't you?)
(What they'd say?)

Watson's been around awhile and I like his attitude and what I've heard of his music. I certainly sympathize with his feelings about what's happened to country music over the past two decades. When I say I like country music, I usually add the qualifier "old" country music.

But the history of the music shows that there have been other such cycles in the past. Randy Travis started his career by helping to return CM to its roots. Earlier, Willie and Waylon and the boys reacted to the so called "Nashville Sound." What goes around comes around. Still, I like Watson and may buy a CD. Or do a download. Or do whatever one does these days to purchase music.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Locust Down

The wind got up a bit last night as the storms passed through, but it wasn't too bad in these parts. According to the Tennesseean, Nashville and Middle Tennessee got mostly strong winds and heavy, driving rain. Certainly we didn't have anything near as bad as the folks in Yazoo, MS.

We had over a hundred locust trees on our place when we first moved here 37 years ago, but over time, most have been blown down or rotted or fell of their own volition. A couple more of the old, weakened ones were blown over in last night's storm. They fell away from the house so there's no damage, just a lot of chainsaw work for me next week. Here's a pic of one of them...

Here's another view of the same tree...

The top branches came over into the driveway about three or four feet when it fell and it would have done some damage to our car had we not pulled it in the garage last night. Since we got about $6000 damage to our car in a hailstorm in TX in 2008, we've been wary of the ice from the sky.

The strong winds blew some locust blossoms onto our deck as well. But there are still a lot of them waiting to fall next week.

While I was out there surveying the damage, I noticed that the trumpet vines (at least that's what we call them) are beginning to flower.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Storms Are On the Ocean...and in Middle Tennessee

Tornado warnings in effect until 9 p.m. tonight.

The Carter family from 1927.

Mother Maybelle from the Newport Folk Festival in the late 60's.

George Carlin: For Al and His Inconvient Youth Shock Troops

As part of her Earth Day coverage, Conservative Lady reported on the latest step taken by guru Al Gore to ensure continued growth of his green empire--he has founded a youth movement to spread fears about man caused global warming.

Gore's Inconvenient Youth training program should include viewing the following George Carlin monologue about the idiocy of the "save the earth" movement. My friend Montana George over at Searching for Eldorado posted this Carlin piece recently on his blog. If enough of the Gore Youth saw this video, they might decide to abandon their guru and change their name to the Irrelevant Youth. Warning: It's Carlin so you can expect some adult language. Some cussin' in other words. Sometimes a fellow needs to do that to make a point. Dontcha think?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mortality and Spring--Tragedy or Comedy

On Monday I visited the local clinic to have a lesion on my nose examined.  The doctor there said it would be a good idea to have a skin surgeon do a biopsy. He set an appointment for me for today, Thursday. To cut (maybe not a good word choice) to my point here, he said he didn't need to do a biopsy, that the lesion was benign, something called a lentigo. (Note to grandkids: before leaving, I tried to arrange for him to take about an inch off my big schnozz but he said no.)

I've had scares like this before, most of us have. Some test that has to be run that we have to wait for. And we all get a bit nervous. But as I waited for the Thursday appointment, I was keenly aware that this interval of waiting was definitely different. It seemed to drag on forever as I ran through various and ever more horrible scenarios with my hyperactive imagination.

On the drive home after I got the good news, I realized that at least one reason for the gloomy morbidity I'd indulged in over the past two days (and nights) was that I have a birthday next week, my 70th. "Three score and ten" as the Bible says.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalms 90:10
A friend and colleague of mine used to remind people who complained about their birthday approaching because they were getting a year older that they should "consider the alternative." The alternative being death, of course.

As I climbed out of the car in my driveway, I caught a whiff of locust blossoms and for some reason that sweet scent made me recall something from the drama classes I'd taught: a simple contrast between the views of life embodied in the dramatic forms of comedy and tragedy. I remembered writing these differences on the blackboard (yup, that's what they were back in the day) over and over again down through the years. These differences in perspective were something I'd picked up and adapted from my reading for a graduate class, specifically a book called Anatomy of Criticism, by Canadian scholar Northrop Frye.  I used this material over and over because it made a lot of sense to me. It still does.

Inherent in Tragedy is the view of life as linear, a line connecting point A and point B. A Tragedy focuses on the individual, and the plot movement is toward his/her death or isolation. The form of Comedy, however, perceives life as a continuous cycle. The focus is on getting the two blocked lovers together and into the community, so the plot movement is integrating, toward marriage (not death), thus insuring the community's continuation on into the future via the fruit of the marriage, it's children.

Frye believed that there were deeper forms in works of literature, forms that were based ultimately on Nature, in this case the seasonal cycle of a year. He called them archetypes which over the centuries were expressed in various literary forms.

Waiting on my doctor visit had me thinking of my own individual linearity. My single life, moving between points A and B. Tragic thinking. Not necessarily bad, mind you, but still, too much of that and you can't function.

Getting the good news and smelling the locust blossoms, however, had wakened me once again to the bigger picture of Comedy, the understanding that even though individual lives end, other lives, those of our children and grandchildren, continue to flourish. The community or society remains alive and the cycle of life continues.

Okay. Enough of that. The real reason I wrote the above was to have the excuse to post some new springtime pics of home. First those wonderful locust blossoms. Can you smell them?

Even though they make good fence posts, locust trees are like weeds to most people. But once a year, they're in bloom and their perfume makes you forget their thorns. Several big locust trees grow around our house and in the fence rows.

The blossoms are kind of hard to see, but maybe clicking to a bigger pic will help. Tomorrow storms are expected with high winds, so the decks and the grass around our house will be covered with locust snow. The wind blows the little individual blossoms everywhere and f I didn't cut the grass for a month, there'd soon be little locust shoots springing up all over the place like weeds.
Here's my wife's little arbor with its clematis vines and (ugh) some vinca beneath the seat. I believe she has some honeysuckle on the left side, but it's always a little slower coming in.

Yes, those are dandelions sticking up behind the arbor, emerging just three days after I cut the grass. Speaking of weeds, there's probably a million little seeds in those fluffy things just waiting for the wind to spread them all over creation so they can do their bit to continue the cycle of weedy life. 

Here's some old azaleas growing along the back door deck. Life and Death. Red and White. And all that lovely, growing green.

Mobidity be damned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tea Party Balladeer Is a Candidate for Congress in Illinois

Joel Pollak is a candidate for congress in Illinois' 9th District. When he was eight weeks old, Pollak's family emigrated to America from South Africa. He grew up in Skokie a suburb of Chicago and is a Harvard graduate.  He's now a Republican but began his political life as a Democrat.

For the recent Chicago Tax Day Tea Party he wrote and performed "The Ballad of the Tea Party." In his article about the song on Big Hollywood, he tells how he introduced his song to the crowd. He said, “This is not a country song–it’s more of a backwards country song. You know what happens when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife back, you get your job back, you get your house back… You know, I think you could run on that platform and win!”

Written and Performed by Joel Pollak (R)
Nominee for Congress - 9th District, Illinois
Chicago Tax Day Tea Party
Daley Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
April 15, 2010

On a cold night in Boston, three ships in the dock

With their valuable cargo still waiting to stock

But the colonists wont pay the duty on tea

And the governor wont let the ships out to sea


Sing - hey, hey, what do we say?

American freedom is here to stay!

Hey, hey, what do we say?

Dont tax our freedom away!

Now the Crown has been adding new fees by the score

And the people dont think they can bear any more

Yet they dont have a vote, so they dont have a say

And theyre starting to talk about breaking away


Now the people have gathered round the Old Meeting House

If the governor listens, theyll still hear him out

But Sam Adams, he reads the report with a frown

So the people decide that the tea must do down


So they don their disguises and clamber aboard

And the governors tea is soon tossed overboard

And the news spreads throughout the thirteen colonies

That our country's new motto is Dont Tread On Me.


Now today we have gathered--young, old, black, and white

And we've all got the vote, so we don't need to fight

But if Washington taxes our future away

Then we'll throw them all out on Election Day!


Blame Andy!

My last post "Listen to Jeff" prompted a great comment by Andy at Andy's Place. I had mentioned a couple of songs by country singer Johnny Horton and posted youvubes of them (BTW, intended misspelling of youvubes, ain't I the wit). Turns out Andy had some direct connection to Horton and to several other famous country musicians. Read his comment; it's fascinating. Also, check out his blog, it's a wild and crazy place.

Oh yeah. Andy (and anyone else who's reading this) if and when you comment, feel free to ramble on. Take two or three or four comments anytime you want. I think that many times the comments on blogs are as interesting and at times more interesting to read than the original post itself.

So, my response to Andy's comment turned into this post. Yeah, yeah. I know, it's a cheap way to get a post. But I'm cheap. Like those naked red hot chicks over at Born Again Redneck. Cheap. Cheap. Love those Chiks Pat. I'll come back to Pat at the end of this post. Now, for my response to Andy...

By the time I was six (in 1946), I would turn on our old Zenith table model radio and listen mainly to Nashville's WSM. WSM had a varied format but since they had the Opry, they played a lot of country music. So it's been a part of my life and I couldn't abandon it even if I tried (which I did when I was a cool rock and roll seventeen with turned up collar and peg pants and thought I knew everything).

Andy, I lived in that part of East Nashville called Inglewood growing up. On Gallatin road, a block or two past my alma mater Litton High, right at what we recognized as the end of Inglewood and just before the burb of Madison began was a huge white frame home. None of us could have anticipated then that the big white house was destined to become the Jim Reeves Museum. Reeves was a great singer and after a few early career years of flashy sequins, decided to take the Eddy Arnold, simple dark suit, black tie approach. It worked. It opened the crossover door for him and he became "Gentleman Jim."

Even though I was affecting a rock and roll kind of cool at the time, I really liked Reeves, especially "Four Walls" and "Am I Losing You," both CM classics IMHO. I still enjoy listening to those songs today, but I distinctly remember riding around one spring night in my friend's powder blue 54 Bel Air convertible (a mushy six made even mushier with Powerglide) and listening to "Four Walls" when it first came out. The warm wind, the city smells, the blue vinyl seats, and the chrome covered car radio doing its tuby best to recreate Reeves' pure, mellow voice.

I chose the non video youvube for this because it captures his velvet voice (velvet before Vern Gosdin) the way I remember it. Listen to it a few times and see if you can resist trying to hit those low notes at the end with him..."Closing in on me." The writers are George Campbell and Marvin Moore.

 As for David Houston, his classic "Almost Persuaded," was a really great song, another CM classic in my opinion. It was a favorite of mine (and my wife too) when I was back in graduate school for a second time in the mid sixties. She's a Methodist PK and I was a softshell (nyuk) Baptist at the time (I later backslid and became a 7th Day Agnostic) and we liked the hymn allusion in the title, the hymnlike melody, and the values of (1) having enough pride in oneself to resist the hormonal pull and (2) possessing a fully functioning conscience (God, wouldn't that word seem out of place in a modern pop, rock, metal, or rap song), a conscience that somehow still works in a bar with a sexy woman hitting on you. I think a lot of the really good country songs have that kind of Christian hymn "echo" or subtext in them.

In the sixties and before, country performers always included what they called a "sacred number" in their act. So, besides the fusion of original melodies and words and hymns in many of their songs, they had some mainline, old time Christian stuff in their show as well.

Here's a youvube of "Almost Persuaded," vocal by David Houston, words and music by Billy Sherrill and Glenn Sutton...

Andy, thanks again for getting me started on this. I'm not sure how you feel about country music now as an adult, but if you've backslid and prefer The Captain and Tennile, or the BeeGees, or anything but CM's whining trailer park anthems these days, what follows is for you too.

On several occasionsm Pat (Born Again Redneck), has indicated his distaste for country music. I understand that and respect it. But Pat, I'll confess up front, that one of the secondary goals of this blog is to persuade you to at least check out a few classic country tunes so as to improve your Redneck and conservative bonafides. If I don't drive you off, my plan is to offer several posts that provide insight into the metaphysical tension between being and nothingness explored in many classic country songs. Not to mention the correlation between people who listen to country singers with especially whiny voices and high suicide rates. Okay. That's not going to work.

What I really hope to do is point out the fact that country songs are almost totally lyric dependent (there are a few instrumental exceptions but they prove the rule). As a person who values the importance of language, that's important to me. Country songs rise or fall based on their ability to use words to evoke feelings, descriptions, etc. It's why country songwriters are revered by the singers (and knowledgeable fans) almost as much as all fans revere the singers.

I also plan to comment on the importance of purity and simplicity in the esthetics of producing country music that is worthy of its name. (Note: simplicity does not necessarily apply to the subgenre of CM known as bluegrass, although purity does.)

I also plan to suggest a discriminatory (remember when that was a good word?) approach. Someone, a science fiction writer I believe, once said, 99% of anything is crap. He probably exaggerated but his point is well taken. Dare I say it: most classical music that has been composed is crap. This one's easier to say: most popular music of any kind is 99% crap. And, country music is a kind of popular music. Ergo, 99% of it is crap. But the very best, the cream songs that rise to the top, are not. Listen to those and ignore the others. So Pat, I challenge you to listen to the two samples in this post. Tell me honestly what you think and we'll go from there.

By the way, this may take a little time. I'm definitely a (H/T Pat) Slow Blogger.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Listen to Jeff

Just came across this quotation from the mighty Jeff Foxworthy (best selling comedy recording artist of all time) which is cited in a Big Hollywood article about Miley Cyrus. Jeff says...
“Country music is about new love and it’s about old love. It’s about gettin’ drunk and gettin’ sober. It’s about leavin’ and it’s about comin’ home. It’s real music sung by real people for real people, the people that make up the backbone of this country. You can call us rednecks if you want. We’re not offended, ’cause we know what we’re all about. We get up and go to work, we get up and go to church, and we get up and go to war when necessary.”

And to show that Jeff knows what he's talking about, here are couple of songs by Johnny Horton. Horton's life and career were cut short by a drunk driver in 1960. Here's "Whisperin Pines" followed by "Sink the Bismarck."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hudsons and the Great Terraplane

My uncle Leonard owned a small Hudson dealership in NYC in the late 40's and early 50's. I loved cars and always looked forward to his and my Aunt Jo's visits because they usually came in a new stepdown Hudson. The stepdown design gave Hudsons a low center of gravity and they soon became the favorite cars of stockcar racers.

In the 30's Hudson made a car they called the Terraplane.

From Wikipedia...

"Terraplane was a car brand and model built by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1932 and 1939."

Great "blues singer Robert Johnson wrote and sang the famous song 'Terraplane Blues' in which the Terraplane becomes a metaphor for sex. In the lyrical narrative, the car will not start and Johnson suspects that his girlfriend let another man drive it when he was gone. In describing the various mechanical problems with his Terraplane, Johnson creates a setting of thinly-veiled sexual innuendo."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obama's Crack Accountants Solve U.S. Budget and Unemployment Problems

With this team on the case, the Federal Budget will be balanced quickly and those dismal unemployment figures will soon disappear...

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Signs of Spring

I'm tired. No posts now for over a week. We were in TX visiting our son's family for a while. And the first couple of days we were back, Tuesday and Wednesday, were recouperation days. We always drive the 650 miles in a single day and it's pretty exhausting. Since then the weather has been beautiful and we've been working hard outside. The pile of dirt that stayed with us all winter is now spread over the place--thanks to my brother and his John Deere. I was on the rake and shovel. It took two days to spread and now I'm sowing and watering new grass seed. Joyce has been very busy with painting and staining.

But I heard Uncle Sam calling my name. So, I came inside at lunch and began to work on my tax form. This post is a small break from that drudgery. Here's a couple of pics and I'm back to 1040....

The upper branches of a wild pear tree. This was taken about ten days ago; the blossoms are gone now.

A couple of tulips and grape hyacinths surrounded by chickweed. I know, I know. I need to get that chickweed out of there. Soon, friend. Soon. As soon as my back returns to normal from all the raking, and as soon as I finish the damned tax form. Seeya later...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

O's Birth Certificate: The Next Go Round

I'm not a "birther," or whatever label they're sticking on those today who are trying to get President Obama to release his original birth certificate. Nor am I a "truther," which is obviously a self applied misnomer of a label if there ever was one. I'm not a conspiracy nut of any kind. I turned in my tinfoil hat back in 1991 along with my secret decoder ring. The fact is, I'm too old to be a wacko anymore. At my age, if I acted that way or held those beliefs, people wouldn't use any of those labels. They would probably just call me a creepy old geezer. As far as I know, no one calls me that.

I say all of the above to preface this article from the American Thinker by Terrence Lakin, M. D. It's clear if you read Dr. Lakin's piece, that this man is no wacko. A military doctor for 18 years, Dr. Lakin has decided to refuse deployment orders for a second tour in Afghanistan. He explains...
I would be glad to obey this order and provide a certified copy of my original birth certificate with common, standard identifiers, including the name of an attending physician and a hospital. Every day in transactions across the country, American citizens are required to prove their identity; standards for identification have become stricter since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Since fall 2008, I have been troubled by reports that the president's original birth certificate remains concealed from public view along with other records which, if released, would quickly end questions surrounding his place of birth and "natural born" status. Many people mistook the online Certification of Live Birth for an original birth certificate. Until the summer of 2009, the Hawaiian Department of Homelands would not accept this Certification of Live Birth to determine native Hawaiian identity -- the Department insisted upon also reviewing an original birth certificate.
Dr. Lakin's decision is based on the following position...
Since Nuremberg, My Lai, and even Abu Ghraib more recently, the military has been taught the hard lessons of following illegal orders [italics mine]. Any reasonable person looking critically at the information and evidence currently in the public domain about Obama's birthplace would have questions about President Obama's claim to be a natural born citizen. I made the decision to disobey all military orders, including my deployment order to Afghanistan, in pursuit of the truth of whether President Obama can legally occupy the high post that he holds today and which entitles him to send servicemembers into harm's way.
The United States serves an example to the rest of the world of a stable, civilized, democratic government, where all men are equal under the law and the rule of law is cherished and obeyed. The U.S. military teaches and promotes the rule of law and civilian control of the military to many other nations and military forces around the world. Every soldier learns what constitutes a lawful order and is encouraged to stand up and object to unlawful orders. This is called the "duty to disobey."
As I said, I'm not a "birther," but Dr. Lakin, who is obviously risking a court martial for this action, is taking an unusual, and in my opinion, courageous approach. I for one will be interested to see where this goes and how it plays out. If you're interested, read the entire American Thinker article and follow the link at the end that Dr. Lakin provides.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kid from Taiwan May Be Next Susan Boyle

Perfect pitch...

Satellite Photo Reveals Tennessee Made Entirely of Pollen

Tree pollen is quite heavy in Tennessee in April, but as this shocking new satellite photo shows, the entire state is made of the stuff. Officials offered no explanations of the strange lines in Arkansas and North Carolina--are they possibly new fault lines that strangely stop at the state borders?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Traveling Today

We're on the road today. I hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it was yesterday in Tennessee.