Category Archives: Uncategorized

American Muscle


The “Halftime in America” commercial in the Super Bowl.

Everyone liked it…well everyone who loves America did.

“Halftime in America” is about hope. It is about taking a breath and steeling yourself for yet more labor, yet more travail. It is about knowing that what is coming may hurt a bit, but it will be worth it.

Some people do not want America to have hope. They do not want America to believe in the “vast possibilities of human beings to improve their material and spiritual status through the instrumentality of the democratic form of government.” Their very success depends on keeping the American Spirit crushed and timid so they might exploit peoples fears for the future for political gain.

Those people are wrong and should be ashamed of themselves. People like Mitt Romney. Who made his millions destroying businesses and lives.

The auto industry rescue is a prime example of why the GOP is wrong. Why Mitt Romney and all his ilk are wrong.

The following three videos are helpful in understanding what the auto industry rescue meant to us, what the GOP thinks of our desires to get up off the mat and fight back and the new “Halftime” should be viewed as an encouragement to, as I quoted above, believe we can pull out of this thing simply by working together. They want us to continue to depend upon big business.

First,

GM thanks the American people for helping them get back up. This is great for several reasons.

Then we get to watch the shameful, hateful and politically motivated attacks upon this rescue of the auto industry by people who want to be President.

Finally, one of the best ads I have ever seen. Pragmatic, optimistic hope that, with hard work, we can make things better.

The best way I can close this post out is to continue quoting FDR. “We have survived all of the arduous burdens and the threatening dangers of a great economic calamity. We have in the darkest moments of our national trials retained our faith in our own ability to master our destiny. Fear is vanishing and confidence is growing on every side, renewed faith in the vast possibilities of human beings to improve their material and spiritual status through the instrumentality of the democratic form of government. That faith is receiving its just reward. For that we can be thankful to the God who watches over America.”

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Veterans Day


My grandfather had this small cedar box under his bed. The box had a few odds and ends like buffalo nickels and liberty dimes, arrowheads. He showed me the contents from time to time. It also had his infantry pin from his WWII uniform. My grandfather fought in the Pacific theater, hopping from island to island trying to push back the Japanese forces.

It wasn’t until later that I understood what the bronze star with little palm leaves were. When my grandfather would, in moments of contemplation, tell me stories about the War. About not taking his shoes off for weeks at a time. About waves of Japanese soldiers that just would not stop coming over the wire. He told me about hot, nasty, mean islands in the Pacific infested with soldiers who were out of ammo but would jump screaming from trees to try and kill him. He told me horror stories about the Philippine Islands. There was this picture, of my grandfather and a small asian man in the Philippene island. He told me about how he fought with that man to free the islands.

These stories were told to me during the 1980’s when the war had been over for 40 years. I still remember tears in the eyes of a man I thought of as a real tough guy. Tears about friends he had lost and men he had killed in the name of freedom. That war changed everyone who served in it. They had to live with the horror for the rest of their lives. Most, like my grandfather, bore their burdens, mostly in silence, with only rare glimpses into what they really experienced.

He was a man who married a young lady from Anniston, Alabama and then 3 weeks later, left her for 19 months. He and four of his brothers. Four left and Four came home. My grandmother told me stories of my great grandmother Nellie Coon kneeling beside a lighter knot stump in a cornfield and praying for her sons to come home. Prayers that could be heard for miles around. Those prayers worked.

There were other medals and citations for valor that I did not know about or understand at the time. All I do know is that when asked, my grandfather and his brothers all stepped up. They went and fought, and won, and the world is better for it.

So, even though we have thousands of veterans of more recent conflicts and they all deserve our respect and honor, It is my grandfather that I think about on Veterans Day. I wish I had been able to have him around for longer than I did. There are not a lot of those WWII veterans around. Next time you see one, shake their hand. Look them in the eye and say, “That was a hell of a thing you guys did, saving the world and all. Thanks for that.”


Fishin’ in the Dark.


 

A cooler full of beer. My sweetie sitting next to me. Chilling to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. That is a dream I like to have.


So it begins…


Writing something like a blog after reading so many of them can be somewhat challenging. Some blogs are funny, some are preachy, some are just silly. It seems like most of them are arrogant ways to try to make the author sound smarter than they really are. I hope this does not turn into one of those. I will write about what I know, or what I want to know, or whatever I feel like. I will just write about whatever. This won’t always be consistent or, quite possibly, make sense all the time, but what the hell, I have to start somewhere. Let me start with the title of the thing and we can go from there.

Southwest Mississippi was my “stompin’ grounds” for my early years.¬† Walthall County, McComb, Pentecostal Churches; these things shaped me whether I wanted them to or not. Mississippi…it conjures up so many conflicting images and emotions. Its history is so filled with conflict, hate, peace and beauty, all at the same time, that it is little wonder it spawned both greatness and pettiness. The South I grew up in could fill your heart with beauty one moment and then pistol-whip your conscience¬† with its brutal hatred the next. From the Sunday School teachings that instilled character in your soul to the shocking discovery that practice rarely followed preaching, the Southern experience is truly a unique thing.

A Virginia writer, Joe Bageant, wrote a couple books and a pile of essays on Southern Culture and Class that struck a chord in me. I felt a sense of recognition, belonging, brotherhood, of fatalism and hope at the same time when I read his writing, thus the title of this effort. I am a Son of a Laboring God, one who was born with the full understanding that life was never going to be easy. But also one who can not stop resisting the fatalism so ingrained in the Southern psyche. I am pulled to fight to make it just a little bit easier for people like me and those I grew up with to find a better life.

So, while this running commentary on everything I find interesting will sometimes be abrasive and preachy, it will also be things I find funny and simply enjoyment of culture, life, food, technology etc., etc., and so forth and so on. So feel free to comment, disagree whatever, I won’t delete your disagreements unless they are racist or homophobic, I won’t stand for that willful ignorance or plain stupidity in my space.


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