Monday, January 31, 2005
DEJA VU #136,542 (give or take a couple) OR..JUST HOW DO YOU LOSE 9 BILLION DOLLARS
Is it any wonder the rebuilding of the Iraq has been such a disaster? Could it be any more clear that the Defense Dept. under Rumsfeld couldn't manage a little league team, let alone an occupation?
Saturday, January 29, 2005
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (or how the great white bear got his name)
I was given this nickname about 25 yrs. ago on a fly in fishing trip in northwest Ontario. Originally 8 of us were slated to go on this trip, but by the time our departure date rolled around, our group was down to 4. It is about a 22 hour trip to Red Lake, Ontario from South Bend. Rather than take two vehicles and force people to drive 11 hour shifts, we decided that we would take my buddies pick up w/cap. Two guys would ride up front, and two in back with the gear. Being raised well, my friend Maurie and I deferred to the older gentlemen in the party, giving them first shot at the air conditioned cab. Those in the cab would each drive about 5 1/2 hours, then we would switch and Mo and I would do the night driving.
When we left South Bend at 9:30 that August morning, the temperature was already 94 degrees. By the time we reached Chicago, the thermometer was hitting 98. When we hit Madison about 2;00, it was 104. Mo and I spent the better part of 12 hours in 100 degree heat cooped up in the back of the truck with the gear. It was close to 10 and the Minn/Wisc state line before we got to take advantage of the air conditioning.
By the time we arrived in Red Lake, loaded our gear on the plane and took off, we had been in the same smelly sweaty clothes for 30 hours (we later burned the shirts for fear they'd attract bears or wolves)! The plane landed at Little Vermilion Lake. We quickly unloaded the gear, and before the plane had even gotten back up off the water, I had stripped and was running screaming down the pier towards the water. As I launched myself and was flying through the air, I heard Chet yell "oh my god, it's a great white bear! The name stuck, and I have been known as the Great White Bear ever since.
THATS my story, and I'm stickin to it!
NO DRAFT? SEZ WHO?
Apparently Dept. of Defense is shaking down colleges and universities for lists of all students 18-35. Ostensibly for recruiting purposes. They are also trying to implement a system that would provide a students complete educational record, from from kindergarden on. Useful information if your planning a draft, For much more info, click on The Sarchasm in the web-log list
# posted by greatwhitebear @ 11/5/2004 03:39:33 PM
In spite of denials by The Donald and Dubya, it is now demonstrably true that the Defense Dept. is considering a draft.
Thanks to Laura at THE SARCHASM for the heads up on this one!
A BRUTALLY HONEST ASSESSMENT
"People say that this war isn’t like Vietnam. They are correct. Washington fights its war in Iraq with no better understanding of Iraq than it had of Vietnam, but with much better understanding of the United States. The Pentagon learned from Asia. This time around it has controlled the press well. Here is the great lesson of Southeast Asia: the press is dangerous, not because it is inaccurate, which it often is, but because it often isn’t. So we don’t much see the caskets —for reasons of privacy, you understand.
The war in Iraq is fought by volunteers, which means people that no one in power cares about. No one in the mysteriously named “elite” gives a damn about some kid from a town in Tennessee that has one gas station and a beer hall with a stuffed buck’s head. Such a kid is a redneck at best, pretty much from another planet, and certainly not someone you would let your daughter date. If conscription came back, and college students with rich parents learned to live in fear of The Envelope, riots would blossom as before. Now Yale can rest easy. Thank God for throwaway people."
The entire article, WALKING WOUNDED, by Fred Reed, is the most honest assessment of the war I have yet seen. That it comes from THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE is not just a surprise. It is a damning indictment of all the neo-cons have wrought in Iraq.
Please take the time to view the entire article at: http://amconmag.com/2005_01_31/article1.html
A special heads up to Al Hill at http://thealguy.blogspot.com/ for pointing this one out!
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
ANOTHER MEMORY PLOWED UNDER
The church we attended many moons ago used to have annual campouts. Our first three were at this particular campground. It had a nice swimming lake, a pond with a water slide, and nicely wooded campsites. There are loads of great stories from there, but my favorite.
My buddy Maurie was a childless bachelor at the time. He was not particularly good with kids, and had rather "proper" attitudes when the subject of child rearing came up. So you can imagine the look on his face when the 3 yr. old daughter of one of the pastors walked up to him and said "I got a bagina!" "Do you got a bagina?"
I have never seen a grown mans face turn that color red and live to hear about it. And hear about it he did. For years.
So, I guess in a couple of weeks, I am gonna go back up to the Dowagiac and visit the Pokagon Band of the Pottowattami Nation's reservation. Perhaps I can make some potential canoeing friends there. At least, maybe revisit some old memories.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
I watched the movie NIGHTSHIFT last night. It doesn't seem like it was 25 years ago that it first came out! Well, it didn't until I saw how young Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, and Shelley Long looked. I believe this was the first feature film by my favorite director, Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Paper, Splash, Parenthood). Incidentally, I still love this movie!
I was viewing comments on another blog this morning and came across something that never fails to get my dander up (how's that for showing my age by dredging an ancient saying)! Some guy whining about "confiscatory" taxes. This guy lives in the country with the lowest overall taxes is the western world! Worse, most of these guys come from states that in effect pay no taxes at all and are, practically speaking, welfare states. The fact is, most southern and western states receive far more money from Washington than they send to Washington. On average, they receive about $1.20 for very $1 they send. Which means the coastal states, along with the Great Lakes states, subsidize these welfare mommas! So, lets make a deal..we'll let you whine all you want about taxes, as soon as you give back all the money you sponged off the rest of us! Otherwise, quit whining, ASSHOLES!
Friday, January 21, 2005
I'M NOT USUSALLY PRONE TO......
I realize such behavior verges on suicidal. But could there be a better way to go than consuming cider with my good friends Ben and Jerry while watching FIST FULL OF DOLLARS? I don't think so!
Thursday, January 20, 2005
I MAY OWE MISSISSIPPI AN APOLOGY, I FEAR
According to the news today, a study has been done comparing the collective IQ's of the 300 largest American cities. I immediately assumed that Biloxi or Natchez would be the dumbest. Or perhaps Birmingham AL, or Macon GA. But NOOOOO!
Turns out that the city with the lowest collective IQ in America is located right here in Hoosierville! Thats right, Indiana's second city, Ft. Wayne, is officially the dumbest city in America. About what you would expect for a city named after a general known as "Mad Anthony". Small wonder the Pistons packed up and moved to Detroit 45 years ago. At least the fans there can read the scoreboard.
It was all put in perfect perspective by an IUPUFW coed who said "Dumbest City? I always thought we were the FATTEST city!"
One can only surmise that Ft. Wayne is a city of fat dumbasses. Or dumb fatasses. Take your pick! God, I've GOTTA move back to Detroit!
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
MY TOP TEN (plus)
10. Bob Seger - NIGHT MOVES
9. Gordon Lightfoot - DON QUIXOTE
8. The Beatles - SGT. PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
7. Nanci GriffIth - ONE FAIR SUMMER EVENING
6. Stevie Wonder - MUSIC IN THE KEY OF LIFE
5. Bob Dylan - BLONDE ON BLONDE
4. R.E.M. - OUT OF TIME
3. Tom Waits - NIGHTHAWKS AT THE DINER
2. The Beatles - THE BEATLES (commonly known as the white album)
and........drum roll please.....
# 1. Harry Chapin - GREATEST STORIES LIVE
THE LAST WALTZ (soundtrack)
Jimmy Buffet - COCONUT TELEGRAPH
Van Morrison - MOONDANCE
Saturday, January 15, 2005
See the rain comin' down and the roof won't hold 'er
Lost my job and I feel a little older
Car won't run and our love's grown colder
But maybe things'll get a little better, in the mornin'
Maybe things'll get a little better.
Oh! the clothes need washin' and the fire won't start
Kids all cryin' and you're breakin' my heart
Whole darn place is fallin' apart
Maybe things'll get a little better, in the mornin'
Maybe things'll get a little better.
Work your fingers to the bone - whadda ya get?
( Whoo-whoo ) Boney Fingers - Boney Fing-gers.
Yea! I've been broke as long as I remember
Get a little money and I gotta run and spend 'er
When I try to save it, pretty woman come and take it
Sayin' maybe things'll get a little better, in the mornin'
Maybe things'll get a little better.
Yea! the grass won't grow and the sun's too hot
The whole darn world is goin' to pot
Might as well like it 'cause you're all that I've got
But, maybe things'll get a little better, in the mornin'
Maybe things'll get a little better.
(A live acoustic version of Hoyt Axton singing this is available on ITunes. Definitely worth the 99 cents.)
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Friday, January 07, 2005
TRIPPING BACK TO THE 60's
We did see THE STOOGES, I was drunk, and I did get laid. But not in Birmingham. It was 1968, and the club was MOTHER'S in Romeo. Actually, they were called the PSYCHEDELIC STOOGES then.
Mother's was a great, seedy, teenage club located in a small farm town about 20 mins. north of Pontiac on M-53. We saw a lot of great bands there that went on to some fame. The MC 5, Dick Wagner and Frost, The Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugents band), Grand Funk Railroad, and most impressively, Bob Seeger and the Last Herd. In fact, the only times I ever got to see Seeger was at Mother's, and at a H.S. dance at St. Fred's in Pontiac.
I look back now and realize how fabulously lucky we were to live in a time and place with such a great, vibrant music scene. I have a feeling I am going to be spending some time and money on Amazon and I Tunes the next few days.
GREAT NEW BAND
WHY YOU SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED (NOT TO MENTION ANGRY)
In Judge Gonzales opinion, the president may ignore laws he deems unconstitutional. This would be a surprise to the Supreme Court, who in the past have pointed out to both President Truman and the current president that only the SUPREMES have the right to decide constitutionality.
Judge Gonzales believes that torture of enemy combatants is permissible, so long as it doesn't bring on organ failure or death.
Judge Gonzales believes the Geneva Conventions to be quaint. Which explains why so many current and former military officials are actively opposing his nomination.
Why should you care about the human rights of the enemy? First, you should understand that we support the Geneva Conventions as much for the protections they afford our soldiers as for those afforded our enemies. If we are not willing to follow them, why should our enemies bother to treat our captive soldiers humanely?
Second, a government that will cavalierly torture it's enemies, will eventually be tempted, push come to shove, to torture it's own citizens.
But most importantly, you should care because it is blatantly un-American. It is a gross violation of our national mores, of how we view ourselves as a people. Americans have always prided ourselves on doing things because they are right, because they are moral, not because they are convenient. It is how we define ourselves, our culture. If we have become so fearful we are willing to abandon our identity, we should bring our troops home immediately. Because we have already lost the war. The terrorists have won. Quite frankly, I'm just not that f***ing, frightened, thank you!
So... a challenge to all my evangelical friends and family. In the past few months, I have accused you of blatant hypocrisy in your support of the Republican agenda. Here is a chance to redeem yourselves. You have great influence within the ruling party. So ask yourselves what Jesus would do. Unless you can somehow come to the conclusion that Jesus would condone torture, call your Senators offices and inform them that a vote to affirm Alberto Gonzales will be a vote against them when they run for reelection. Encourage your fellow congregates and followers to do the same. YOU have the power to derail this nomination!
WHITE HOUSE ACTIONS CALLED UNETHICAL AND (yawn) ILLEGAL
This story is appalling for a couple of reasons. First it is highly unethical, not to mention illegal, for the government to use propaganda or any other means of lobbying, for programs funded by the government. But what makes this especially disturbing and dangerous, is it's deliberate subversion of the free press for propaganda purposes.
A free and adversary press is the primary and most vital means of protecting citizens from abuse at the hands of the government, the rich, and the powerful. When the government subverts the press to it's own end, or a journalist allows himself to be subverted, it is a direct threat to the credibility of the press. It weakens the ability of the press to protect us. After all, few of us will act on information we have reason to believe is less than credible. Is it any wonder that young people list a comedy show (Jon Stewart's THE DAILY SHOW) as their primary and most trusted source of news.
Now, if that doesn't scare you, you're damn near fearless! Or foolish, take your pick!
AMERICA IN DECLINE
Sunday, January 02, 2005
THE LONG STRANGE RIDE OF A RAIDER
Jim Valley left the Raiders a bit more than a year later, the frantic pace of filming Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is", touring, and the lack of recording any of his material having taken it's toll. His solo career fizzled, an he disappeared into rock and roll oblivion!
So imagine my surprise when I accidently came across his website a few days ago! It turns out that he has been rather busy in the post Raider years! For the past 25 years he has been been educating children, recording children's music, writing award winning children's books, and teaching children to express themselves through art. He will be doing workshops in local school in a couple of weeks, and is also planning a concert that my granddaughter and I are going to attend.
He also has a terrific adult contemporary album out titled ROLLING SEA. You can sample a few of the songs at www.jimvalley.com. It will be the first album i buy as soon as the Christmas recovery is complete!
So, check out his websites to find out more...www.jimvalley.com, www.rainbowplanet.com
On a brighter note, Christmas was good to the Great White Bear (even if not celebrated till New Years Day)! I got the steamer I asked for, plus books, videos, and a trophy that declares I am a great grandpa! My stepson got me a T-shirt that reads "Dear Red States, To be honest, we really do believe you are ignorant rednecks." I LOVE it!
My granddaughter's love the Pee Wee's Playhouse box set I got them... they watched the entire first season last night, and the entire second season this morning! Three more seasons to go! This is a gift that will drive their father nuts for years! Of course, this is fitting revenge for the stuff my parents got him that drove me nuts for years! TAKE THAT! Revenge is SWEET!