To God Be The Glory

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another beautiful day here in the mountains and I am bound to the sofa. My head cold has moved South and invaded my chest and lungs. I do a very good impression of Jame Earle Jones now that my vocal chords are trapped in mucous. I can do one, “Luke, I am your father”, about every two hours. It sets me off to coughing so bad that it takes me an hour or so to recover. Maybe I should stick to, “This is CNN”, it’s much shorter.

I guess the silver lining in my illness is that it has kept my from attending services at The Full Gospel Original Church of God today. Not that I’m one to get a “perfect attendance” award anyway. My attendance has always been spotty at best. I just think Mulva had attached a lot of feelings to me returning to church with her after my troubles. I really had planned on going with her, I really want to see what the Reverend Helen Handbasket is all about. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. I couldn’t see the Reverend Handbasket competing with my basso profondo cough as a good thing for any of us. Not to mention the fact that I might have misdiagnosed myself. I might have a special version of the Zika virus. I would hate to be the cause of any more upset in the community.

So, to that end, I loaded myself up with Vicks on my nose and chest, sucked on Hall’s cough drops constantly, took doses of Tussin DM, the only non-alcoholic cough syrup on the market, and rolled up in a comforter like a gigantic burrito. I was stretched out on the sofa, looking squarely into the eye of our 21 inch RCA, I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Well, maybe this one might have been a good one to miss. I can’t be sure, but I think this week’s service was geared directly for the “lamb that was returning to the fold”, me. I’m sure that me not being in attendance lessened the joy for the Reverend in delivering the message, but if the Reverend Helen Handbasket was real disappointed, it didn’t show hardly at all. 

The Reverend lit right into the evils of hard drink and drugs. She was not giving a pass to “social drinkers” or folks who only used prescription medicines. The “highway to hell is paved with good intentions”, and folks who have a drink to be sociable are just tempting the Devil. By my calculation, the Reverend Helen Handbasket did a good half an hour on the perils of strong drink, leaving about fifteen minutes for the evils of drugs.

Now, I don’t know if a poll of the congregation would reveal a demographic that was supporting of the Reverends time allotments. I suspect the drug problem is about two to one the drinking problem. I don’t have hard numbers, I just know the people. I’m not even talking about all of these new members coming in either. You just know those hipsters are messing with something illegal.

Anyway, for the first time since the Reverend Helen Handbasket has taken over, there were no folks coming up to the altar call at the end of the service. I don’t know what to make of it. She was certainly fiery in her delivery, and did a mighty fine job of wrangling the serpents. She just couldn’t get anyone to get out of their seat and “come on down”. I don’t know what it looked like in person, but out in TV land it looked awful. I’m hoping the viewership on Channel 99 in Blairsville is not negatively effected by the paucity of souls saved this week. I’m also hoping that the Reverend Helen Handbasket hadn’t loaded her guns for elephant this week, and then the elephant didn’t show.

I have an excuse, I’m sick.



BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Call it the luck of the Irish to have the prettiest weekend we’ve had in a while, and me down with a major head cold. I’m guessing it’s the bi-annual allergies, into a head cold, into a sinus infection into a Doctor’s visit. It’s amazing how something so subtle as a shift in the winds can have such a profound effect.

We’ll use a “subtle shift” as a watchword for our discussion of America’s worst President, George W. Bush. If it is the purpose of the government to spend the people’s money, and we eliminate the somewhat subjective viewpoint of who the money should come from, we are left with the subjective viewpoint of how the money is spent. When W took office, President Clinton had left a $237 billion dollar surplus in the Treasury. W and his advisors’ felt like the budget surplus was the people’s money and they embarked on a campaign to reform the tax code to make sure that there would never be a surplus again. W went into hard sell mode, even holding town hall meetings, to have Congress sign into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut program. Now, as math challenged as I am, I can see that the program is giving breaks that are five times greater than what was deemed as “surplus” in the Treasury. I wonder why W’s accountants didn’t see the discrepancy?

Perhaps it was because of who would benefit from the bulk of the tax breaks. I’m betting you’re guessing the middle class and the poor, right? I mean who actually needs their money more, a minimum wage worker or a billionaire? Well, at the Bush household, they’re tired of carrying all of those poor folks on their backs. I’m guessing that all of the talk at the country club was about how awful the death tax was and how awful it was to have to pay taxes at the regular rate from money earned from investments. It just doesn’t seem fair to have to pay the same rate of taxes on something you inherited as someone who gets up and goes to work each morning has to pay, does it?

Now, we have previously discussed the widespread belief that W is severely dyslexic. So, he could have read $1.35 trillion as $1.35 billion and felt like he’d still have money in the bank to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, or anyone else he felt like going after. In fact, in W’s mind, he would have plenty in surplus to invest heavily in America’s new cottage industry, surveillance. “The Patriot Act”, which no patriot would have voted for, opened up the Treasury doors to every Tom, Dick and Harry who could pitch W’s administration on a surveillance device. It didn’t hurt if some of the pitchers were insiders, like former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff. Chertoff seemed to think that the only way American fliers would be safe is for all of them to be subjected to a full body scan before boarding an airplane. Surprise! Chertoff had an interest in the company that manufactured the scanners. No reason why a little public service shouldn’t bring a little private reward, right?

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Bush tax cuts added about $1.6 trillion to the debt between 2001 and 2011. That number doesn’t include the interest. So the gift of tax relief for the wealthy has saddled the middle class and the poor with the largest deficit ever recorded. Is it true, like Cheney said, “that deficit’s don’t matter”? Well, it looks like they matter in the terms of income inequality. Between the years of 1993 and 2011, the top 1 percent’s incomes escalated by 57.5 percent, while incomes of the bottom 99 percent rose by a paltry 5.8 percent. We’ll call it a “subtle shift” of income from the have nots to the haves. Even if we make allowances for the 1% receiving the monthly BushCheney stock pick list; you know, which stock’s to invest in because we’re about to invade another country, or we’re about to pass legislation that will have us spying on every man, woman and child, or countries where foreign trade will be encouraged, the transfer of wealth came largely from the top 1% being relieved of their tax burden.

There is a popular phrase in Texas that simplistically reveals W’s devotion to pandering to the well-heeled. The phrase is, “You got to dance with them what brung you”. W didn’t care what tune, what physical machinations were required, he just wanted to please the ones that brought him to the dance. His shameless loss of any dignity he might have had in being his own man, forging his own path, writing his own legacy, were all thrown out of the window in the interest of carrying the water for “them what brought him”.

More another time.


Midnight in Paris

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Dang, it’s cold, and I seem to have caught one. The winds have died down a bit, but it’s still dropping below freezing at night. I’m thinking I may have breathed deeply of an allergen while trying to catch my breath from the shock of the cold air hitting exposed skin. I’m hoping the Claritin and Vicks will keep my breathing going while I wait for the cold to dissipate. Buzzy and dry is better than stuffy and miserable in my opinion.

Well, the cold didn’t dampen my first field trip after my release back into the wild. I rode shotgun with Mulva while she made a quick trip over to the Walmart. It saddens me deeply to say that I was looking forward to the trip. I guess the experience could be used as a gauge for isolation. If you’re so desperate to see a new surrounding that a trip to the Walmart gets you excited, you’ve been cooped up too long. I will say that there is a sameness about a Walmart that gives comfort. From the blue color scheme, to the registers near the door piled high with last minute, “I bet you forgot to get this”, items. When you walk into a Walmart, you know that you’re in a Walmart. In fact, if you were unconscious and woke up in a Walmart, you’d know instantly you were in a Walmart. Walmart is not like one of those mall stores in the city.

The Walmart was in the same location as before, and I’m betting the exact same folks that were there the last time I visited were in attendance today. Not many surprises at a Walmart. I was able to beeline to the $2.99 movie bin on my own while Mulva did her shopping. Unfortunately, the bin was kind of picked over. There were a lot of anime and learning programs for kids. After I dug as deep in the bin as I felt like I could without actually falling into the bin, I decided to up my ante. I went straight to the $9.99 bin. We should be able to splurge to celebrate my homecoming, right?

Well, the selection was much improved in the $9.99 bin. I found a Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris” and was quite pleased with myself. I do love the Wood Man. No matter what his prolictivities may be, and I’m sure most of the rumors are true, he is a brilliant comedian and film maker. I secured my choice and headed for the giant buckets of caramel popcorn. They were right were I left them. A giant box of Milk Duds and a giant Nestle’s Crunch for Mulva, and I headed for checkout counter Number Two to wait for Mulva. Number Two checkout is always our spot to meet up. I’ll let you cogitate for a while as to why I could always keep Number Two straight in my mind, no matter what condition I was in. We made it back to Number Two at TackyToo without incident and waited for the Rec room to close to begin our date night.

Well, “Midnight in Paris” was a beauty. It starred Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams as the love interest with Marion Cotillard thrown in to spice things up. It is a time travel romance with several twists, one of which is that Marion Cotillard’s character, Adriana, exists in the past. Owen Wilson discovers he is able to travel into Paris in the 1920’s by waiting for a car that appears at midnight. He is so enthralled with Paris in the 1920’s that he travels back several nights in a row. On theses travels he meets several American ex-pats who lived in Paris during that time period, including Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, and Gertrude Stein. It is a magical time, and Wilson has a hard decision to come back and live in his own time.

“Midnight in Paris” won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Art Direction. It was beautifully filmed and it made me anxious to see Paris once again before “dancing on those streets of gold”. A trip to Paris for $9.99, imagine that. Not to mention that the snacks I bought were way better than what they serve on Delta.


Two Idiots Get Along Better Than Five Idiots

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Does the air smell sweeter, even though it is cold, cold air? You bet it does! I am now free to move about as I like, and I like to stay inside where it’s not as cold. I’d also like to stay out of this wind that is causing us folks with allergies to breath in allergens from other parts of the country. I’ve already got the runny nose and sore throat that go with a bad cold. I’m thinking it’s just allergies, we’ll adopt a wait and see attitude.

Boy oh boy, two people that can’t adopt a wait and see attitude are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. The Cuban Connection lit into The Donald tonight like he was a pinata at a birthday party. It couldn’t have been more clear that Cruz and Rubio had decided to tag team Trump if they had been wearing matching wrestling togs. Nacho Libre and Nacho Malo, the Hispanics that are down on immigrants, tore into The Donald for hiring illegal workers. Cruz/Rubio didn’t stop at Hispanic illegals either, they reached back thirty five years to a time that Trump had hired Polish illegals for a job.

That’s the downside of being around for a long time, you’re going to have a history. I am completely surprised that the candidates haven’t been pouring over everything Trump and asking him the particulars during the debates. There’s plenty to look at. There’s at least four bankruptcies. John Q. Public does not look on bankruptcy favorably. We’ve all been taught by the lending institutions that declaring bankruptcy was a greased slide into hell. A special hell where our immortal souls will burn forever for having given our promise to pay, and then not paying. That’s just one side of the equation. The real brickbat to The Donald’s coiffure should be bringing up the hundreds of little mom and pop companies that had to take ten cents on a dollar, or less, from the bankrupt Trump. How cool would it be to dig up a few people that were shortchanged by Trump and use them in ads?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to get Trump, or to anoint one Cuban over the other one, I’m just enjoying a strategy against The Donald that he can’t turn back by insulting the attacker. The Donald did zing Rubio several times, but Nacho Libre held his ground. It was during one of those moments that I had an epiphany regarding Marco. Folks complain about that silly grin of his, kind of like a mule eating briars, and you figure there must be some internal reason that Marco’s grinning. Even when he’s flop sweating, stammering, gulping water, he comes back with that silly grin. I figured it out. He’s like a kid that performs regularly for family and friends. When he finishes, he is expecting widespread approval. He stands and grins like, “Now I’ve said my ABC’s, tell me what you think of me”. Like Chris Christie said, Rubio delivers his twenty second sound bite and expects the crowd to light up for him. Ah, if only the world worked that way. I do wonder who Rubio is hoping to get his approval from. Somebody is paying big money to see Marco grin like a twit.

Speaking of twits, Cruz never disappoints. He seemed content to let Rubio do the attacks while he tried to swoop in for the kill shot. It never happened. Cruz tried to compare his experience in politics to Trump’s experience on TV. I’m not sure that that helps Cruz’s cause. If the Repubs are looking for an outsider, someone outside of the loop, you don’t get any more outside than The Donald. Reinforcing his lack of political credentials helps The Donald, not hurts him.

Speaking of hurting, it hurts to watch Ben Carson. The man has clearly suffered some sort of catastrophic brain malady, which may be on going. His interview on CNN this week was painful to watch, and his line about how he would chose a member for the Supreme Court was wacky doodle. Carson would examine, “the fruit salad of their life”. After Ohio, we won’t have Ben Carson to kick around anymore. I hope he gets the help he so desperately needs.

While we’re talking about Ohio, Governor Kasich continues to try to gain traction with the sane members of the Republican party. Unfortunately, there are none left. They’ve all boarded the train for crazy town. I wish Kasich well, as well, but Ohio is the end of the line for the sane train.

After super Tuesday we’ll see if the Republican national committee will honor their commitment to The Donald and allow him to be their candidate, or if they squeeze him out in favor of Nacho Libre. I’m happy with either scenario.


I Am Redeemed

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Cold and windy and snowflakes all around us. Even though the Whiz O Meter is calling it a “9”, I’m going with a “12”. I know the weather “charter/predictor” only goes to an “11”, but I think I’m going to add a point for my emotional feelings. There’s not a cloud in my psyche. In fact, if I was wearing a mood ring, it would popping off all sorts of psychedelic colors right now. Sort of like a Pink Floyd show.

Why the ebullience you ask? I am removed of my electronic wandering device. I am now free to wander about the world as I see fit. My parole hearing was a smashing success! I have been relieved from the custody of Union County, and the State of Georgia, and returned to the wild. No more ankle monitor, no more staying within 100 yards of Number Two at TackyToo, no more required meetings and evaluations. I am free to be me! In fact, I didn’t even have to tell you all about it. I am not required to do the daily blog any longer, but, I think I will. I do see the merit in letting off steam before the steam upsets the kettle. In fact, I might maintain a lot of my new learned behaviors. I haven’t seen the inside of a police car in six months, so, who am I to argue with success?

The hearing was not without its testy moments, though. My attorney, Adam Dimwit, has recently grown a Van Dyke beard, and allowed his hair to grow to the point that he was sporting a “man bun”. There is an old saying, “He who represents himself has a fool of a client!” I probably agree with that, but, I think there’s other fools out there lawyering too. The fact that I’ve got a neo-hipster as my attorney was cause for great distress before the hearing started. I had almost gotten to where I could look at the Dimwit, I mean Mr. Dimwit, when the judge came out. Cue my shock and amazement. Rather than the right honorable Baldwin Rood, who had presided at my original proceedings, we were now confronted with a nice looking Asian lady, Judge Susannah A. Yoo.

Judge Yoo took charge of the proceedings and got right down to it. She had read the reports from the various social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and commented that I seemed to be “on the road” to recovery based off of their findings. Well, needless to say, we wanted me back on that road in my 1977 Pontiac Firebird, Smokey and the Bandit Edition. I wanted all restrictions to my travel to be removed, and to that end, we had lined up character witnesses to testify in my behalf. First up was my AA sponsor, who will remain Anonymous as the second “A” in AA attests.  He spoke of the trials and tribulations of remaining sober for an old timer, such as myself, particularly in an election year. He spoke glowing of my conversion from Dewars to Mountain Dew. By the time he finished, I was convinced I was a changed man, and I know me better than anyone.

Next up was the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread, and my pathway to freedom was nearly plunged into the abyss. Turns out, The Right Reverend and the judge are on familiar terms. I don’t know how “familiar” yet, but the conversation started with, “hey Sue, how are you?” Which resulted in a “will the witness please address the court as Judge You?”. So, I’m sitting at the little desk next to my neo-hipster lawyer convinced that the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread is going to screw me over in a new and different way. I should have had more faith.

The Right Reverend Dale E. Bread has a gift, maybe more than one, but persuading the fairer sex to his way of thinking is his true gift. After a couple of minutes of chit chat, it was “class dismissed” for the rest of us, as the Right Reverend and the Judge parried back and forth. Finally, they got tired of chatting. The Judge admonished me to “go and sin no more”, and we were done. The deputy relieved me of my ankle bracelet and Mulva and I jumped into the Firebird headed for the Varsity in Atlanta.

A lot has been written about a prisoner’s “last meal”, well let me tell you about a “first meal”. Two chili dogs, french fries and a large frosted orange. I ate my fried apple pie on the way back to Nunsuch.



BudLiteGood morning, y’all. High winds and the threat of tornadoes has kept me awake all night. Sometimes it’s just better to watch the radar map and see what’s coming at you rather than listen to the weather people drone on and on. I’m also untrustworthy of all of these Channel 11 “storm trackers” who send in pictures from their smart phones. If knowing how to take a picture on a smart phone qualifies me as a meteorologist, then I’m not getting paid enough.

Like our smart phone meteorologists, George W. Bush took his one talent and parlayed it into something much greater than he deserved. The worst President ever was able to parlay his reputation for being “someone you’d like to drink a beer with”, into a second term as President. To be fair, he did have that whole “war thing” going for him, and he was a personable rascal. Now, W was not someone that I would “buy a used car from”, but apparently there were millions of Americans who bought what he was selling. So much so that they gave him a majority in the House and Senate. The Supreme Court was already in the bag, so now you had all branches of government in the hands of the folks who don’t like government. It was the first time since Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928 that a Republican president was elected along with Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

Before W could start his work driving the economy into the ground, he was given the opportunity to show the world what a compassionate conservative was really all about. On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast killing at least 1,245 people and creating billions in damage. Thousands were displaced, and the area has still not recovered to this day. Where we had billions to give to private companies like Halliburton and others to support our invasion of Iraq, W had very little will to make the Gulf Coast whole again. Cheney is widely reported as having said, “F*ck them, they don’t vote for us anyway”.

W’s Momma was less explicit, but every bit as damning in her assessment of the situation. “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she said, “so this is working very well for them.” The arena in question being the Superdome, where 30,000 people sheltered with little power and resources and no plumbing. Why, the Superdome must have seemed like the Bush compound at Kennebunkport compared to their normal lives. Or so Barbara Bush in her jaded worldview would have one believe.

If W’s Momma is telling him that the folks in the area are better off than before the hurricane, why would W be inclined to put the full support of the government into helping the people get back on their feet? Besides, W had a war to wage with reduced resources. Since W had given all of his class a tax cut, the Clinton surplus had been completely blown. Now the country was headed back into deficit land at a rate even bigger than the Reagan years. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill had tried to warn Cheney that growing deficits posed a threat to the economy. Cheney is quoted as saying, “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” So, everybody remember, deficits are not bad if a Republican made them.

In W’s second term he spent a lot of capital trying to get Social Security privatized. Social Security is like the Mount Mordor of The Trilogy to Republicans. It exists to be destroyed. W proposed siphoning part of the money in Social Security directly into the stock market and establishing “private accounts” where taxpayers could elect to put their money into the market rather than in the government secured plan. Like any good hustler, W hoped that the promise of “greater riches” would entice the public to part with their secure savings and place them in the hands of the greed heads of Wall Street. What could go wrong?

Did I mention earlier than W had the same conditions as Herbert Hoover had when he was elected? Do we remember that nine months after taking office, Hoover presided over an unprecedented stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression? W did his best as a shill to get Wall Street all of the money in the Social Security system. It is only the unwillingness of the Democrats to participate in the scam that saved us all. I’m having a hard time juxtaposing the concepts of compassionate conservative over an evil policy that would place hundreds of thousands of our most fragile citizens in the street. But, there it is.

We’ll talk more about it later.



BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Lots of rain, but no flooding, and that’s the best you can hope for I guess. It seems like the Channel 11 news people are wanting to predict doom and gloom of the high wind variety. I guess we’re sliding past the doom and gloom due to ice and snow and sliding right into tornado season. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing folks in a trailer park fear like a tornado. It just seems a little early in the year to me. Never too early to scare folks on TV, though.

Speaking of scaring folks on TV, I was eating my fried bologna sandwich yesterday while watching the news on CNN. To be truthful, if you want to know what the news is, you have to read the little trailer at the bottom of the screen. The screen area of the TV is taken up by whichever personality is “hosting” that hour, and whatever “experts” CNN can get to come on and expose their ignorance to the world. This particular hour was Ashleigh Banfield’s to exploit what ever topic de jour she wanted to pontificate on.

Most times I’m able to just lightly engage my brain and marvel at how the news world works in these modern times. It seems, the big network news agencies found out a few years ago that actually having reporters investigate stories was expensive, so they dropped the practice. Barring a news item the size of 9-11, the CNN anchors can just read the news from the various wire services and sleep in their own beds at night. CNN is then able to fill the hours of the day with their “personalities” analyzing the news item forever.

Such is the case with the recent shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan. To my knowledge there are no CNN employees on site in Kalamazoo. CNN is relying on local news people and the wires to share their footage with CNN. Then the CNN talking heads fill the hours expounding on their “take” of what the story means to us all. This is what was going on when I sat down to eat my lunch.

Ashleigh Banfield was railing with some poor fool about how since Michigan had banned the death penalty in their sentencing, that the Kalamazoo shooter would not be able to be killed by the state. “And if there ever was a crime that the death penalty was designed for, this was certainly it”. Well, excuse me for trying to eat lunch while you are trying to slake your bloodlust. I guess Canadian by birth Banfield has really embraced her American citizenship when it comes to capital punishment. I wonder if she might find Saudia Arabia to be her true Utopia.

As disturbing as this twist in “reporting” was, the bemoaning of the loss of capital punishment against an “alleged” murderer, I find the omission of the perpetrator’s mental state equally as disturbing. To paraphrase Banfield, “if there ever was a crime that the insanity defense was designed for, this was certainly it”. Apparently fair and balanced news reporting doesn’t gain the viewership that knee jerk reactionayrism does. The ability to convey righteous indignation to millions of viewers is another of Banfield’s “reporting” techniques. It goes well with opinions, not so much actual news.

Another disturbing twist of the story has been the focus on the fact that the suspect was an Uber driver. Over and over and over and over again the alleged shooter was labeled as “Uber driver” Dalton. Faint mention that a month ago he was insurance salesman Dalton. Do we conclude that driving for Uber drove Dalton into madness? Do we conclude that all Uber drivers are potential mass shooters, so you better call Yellow Cab? Where is this incessant attempt to paint one of America’s great success stories, Uber, in a bad way coming from?

That’s an investigative story I’d really like to hear. How does tarring Uber have any bearing on the real story? I’ve given up on anyone doing an investigation on how unstable people are able to walk into a gun shop and walk out with a gun. Maybe “Uber” is “squirrel” to the public. You know, when you want your dog to look the other way, you point and say “squirrel”.

I guess Benfield and the ilk are using “Uber” to “squirrel” us away from “guns”. Uber! Did you look the other way?


He Who Would Valiant Be

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. It’s raining in the mountains. Not the gully washers we’ve started getting used to, but a gentle Spring like rain, like we used to get. It does seem to me that the extremes predicted by the folks who warned of global warming are taking place. It seems like the rains are further apart, but more violent when they get here. Could be my memory though, it is subject to having some disk errors every now and then.

Speaking of disk errors reminds me of the security system we had put in back in the Summer to catch our peeping Tom. Mr. B.A. Ware, formerly of Number One, was making himself a general nuisance by peeping in folks windows. I had security cameras installed around the park here at TackyToo so that I could get conclusive proof of B.A’s perversion. I needed to be able to confront him with the evidence when I evicted him. Even though B.A. is gone, the security system lives on. Those cameras just keep recording 24×7, rain or shine. Ain’t technology wonderful?

Anyway, while I’ve been confined to the Rec room the last few weeks because of our inclement weather, I’ve had the opportunity to scan through the security tapes on a daily basis. Lest you think that’s weird, I’m just filling the time that the big screen in the Rec room is tuned to Oprah. It’s kind of a dead spot in the day anyway, if you know what I mean.

Well, lo and behold, the cameras have revealed more goings on in the wee hours of the night than just the ‘possums turning over the trash. I have caught the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread sneaking into Ms. Anita Goodman’s trailer the last three nights at about 2AM. The camera’s datetime stamp shows him leaving at about 3AM. I think we have established a new meaning for “The Sweet Hour of Prayer”.

Now, I try not to meddle too much in other folks’ business. Ms. Goodman has had a number of gentleman callers over the years. As long as they’re not shooting off guns or chasing each other naked around the park, I can turn a blind eye to whatever goes on behind closed doors. I mean as long as there’s not a line in front of the trailer with fellows holding a number, I figure Ms. Goodman’s love life is her business. The Right Reverend Dale E. Bread, on the other hand, does not get the same absolution. He’s got a wife and seven children. He is supposed to be a pillar of the community, a totem of morality for the folks in our neck of the woods. Not to mention the fact that he owes me back rent as a result of his last extra marital dalliance.

There is a phrase that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick. How do we teach this “old dog” how to forget this particular trick? I haven’t mentioned my discovery yet to Mulva. She’s already got way too much on her plate dealing with The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Finding out that the Right Reverend is up to his old ways again, and so soon after his last debacle, might put Mulva in the bed for a week. I’ll have to figure out how we can channel some of this for good. I do have a parole hearing coming up this week, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some character witnesses from the clergy. There may be a silver lining here after all.

I was doing all of this background processing while watching this week’s telecast of  The Full Gospel Original Church of God on Channel 99 from Blairsville. The sermon was on “Envy”, and the Reverend Helen Handbasket gave a good one. Not as good as “Gluttony”, or “Lust”, but still right up there. It did cause me to wonder if any of my feelings towards the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread were envious in nature. I mean, he truly is the poster child for an “old dog“. He makes his living selling something that can never be returned, and apparently only puts in about eight hours a week doing it. The balance of his week is spent “ministering” to the congregation. In particular, the more fetching female members. I suspect one could be envious of the Right Reverend, if you could get past that whole morality thing.

I have to admit, that morality thing has been my burden for as long as I can remember.




BudLiteGood morning, y’all. The rains are upon us, but they are gentle and not frozen. It’s good to look for the silver lining when you can. I do not aspire to be a PollyAnna, but I do try to keep a positive attitude. No one likes a crotchety old man, and I’ve already attained one half of the equation.

Today we’ll continue the story of the worst President of the United States, George W. Bush. When we left off our story, the neocons had decided that they should invade Iraq as retribution for Iraq’s lack of involvement in the World Trade Center. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing one of the “chicken hawks” blasting the airwaves with their justifications for attacking Iraq. Before long we had toppled Baghdad, hunted down Saddam’s sons and killed them, and brought Saddam to trial. He got the death penalty, by the way, which was carried out swiftly and without appeal. This, too, was televised. I guess these events needed to be televised as a warning to other dictators who had once been our friends. Do not make death threats against W’s poppy.

Unfortunately for the neocons, the TV didn’t just cover what the administration wanted us to see. American viewers were treated to the horrors of the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco. American military personnel took complete leave of their senses and violated several treaties and the Geneva Convention to act out on Iraqi prisoners. To this day we don’t know if all of the tortured were even combatants. All we know is that the tortured were at the wrong place at the wrong time, and were in the custody of a group of borderline psychotics. Before you condemn my characterization of the U.S. military involved, let me point out that the Military Code of Justice allows our military the right to refuse an order that violates their conscious. If the personnel at Abu Ghraib were given the orders to do what they did, they had the responsibility to refuse. If they acted on their own, they are even more clearly defined as psychotics. Either way, the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco  could do nothing other than fuel the fire of Islamic fundamentalists.

As distasteful as the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco was, the Bush administration was also having to defend the concept of torture as an interrogation technique. Even the real hawk, John McCain, had to disagree with the U.S.’s unprecedented wholesale use of torture to try to gain information. Was the extraordinary violation of human rights being weighed against the desperate need to find Bin Laden? Previous to this war, torture, and specifically waterboarding, was wrong, evil, and against everything America stood for. W’s administration changed all of the rules. W needed to feel “justified”.

What’s odd is that W didn’t seem to care where Bin Laden was hiding, or feel that big of an imperative to hunt him down. W is quoted on March 13, 2002 as saying, ‘I truly am not that concerned about him’. True to his word, W did not find the alleged perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks. W left the job for President Obama to clean up. Finding Bin Laden was just one of a long laundry list of things W left for President Obama to clean up, but we’ll get more to that later. First, we need to talk a little bit more about how the war was being waged now that it had become a private industry. What was once an exercise conducted by U.S. military personnel handling all phases of an operation, from washing dishes to security for VIP’s, the neocons had morphed war into a hybrid of private businesses and traditional military.

Cheney’s Halliburton received no bid contracts for supplying all of the support services to the military from housing to meals. Blackwater Security was a para-military grouped operating under contract to provide “security” in a country filled with 150,000 American soldiers. I guess because there just weren’t enough Marines on the ground. Blackwater is involved in one of the other tragedies of Iraq, the battle of Fallujah. Another black eye for the Americans in the court of world opinion.

Having private contractors without the oversight of the American Congress, and therefore, the American people, is a diagram of a disaster. As a practical matter, all of the privateers could not operate without blanket immunity for the war crimes they were inevitably going to perpetuate. W’s administration was happy to prop up, or actually provide, the Iraqi officials who would give that immunity. W’s administration was ready to provide whatever was needed to setup Halliburton, Dresser and Kellog Brown Root in the heart of Iraq’s oil fields. After all, it’s just business.

More later.




The Help

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Beautiful day here in the mountains. Looks like the weather will change on Sunday, though. The rains are moving back in for a few days. My tracking of the world famous Whiz O Meter and its machinations continues. Today was evaluated as a “9”, even though the high is projected as 66, 4 degrees closer to the optimum than yesterday’s 62. Seems there will be a few clouds in the sky today, tarnishing an otherwise near perfect day.

If I had a few more brain cells that worked properly, I might spreadsheet the Whiz O Meter for a year or so. I’d like to conclusively prove to the world that the daily ratings at Channel 11 are pulled out of someone’s hat. Now, that’s ok, it is the prerogative of channel 11 to consult with some guy they keep hidden in a back room and ask him to give them a number. I think the “man behind the curtain”, we’ll call him Maury, never leaves the back room. In my scenario, Maury will spend his days predominately looking at his radar screen for clouds. The more clouds, the lower the Whiz O Meter score, regardless of temperature. Since Maury never leaves his back room, ambient temperature has lost all meaning to him. To my mind that’s the only explanation for scoring days that the highs are in the 40’s, as “9”s. Maybe I should start a “Free Maury” movement. It might be easier than the spreadsheet and subsequent math it would entail. I’ll have to cogitate on that a while.

Speaking of folks who work unseen, Mulva brought home a wonderful movie for our date night. Mulva dug deep into the $2.99 movie bin at the Walmart and pulled out a superb period piece called, “The Help”. The movie was based on the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett. “The Help” details the relationship of black maids, the help, to their white employers in the 1960’s in the South. It was like someone had made really good home movies during the ’60’s and put them in a time capsule. It recaptured the period that well for me.

Now, I can’t speak for how things were done up North, but I suspect they weren’t too different than here in the South. The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi, and I feel that it is representative of most areas in the South. That was not how things were done here in “Whitopia”, though. The folks in Union county added one more caveat to the oppression, “Don’t let the sun set on you in Union county”. “The Help” serving the well to do folks in Union county had to live in the surrounding counties. They were not welcome to live in the same county as the people that they served. Even today, you can see from the 2014 census that less than 1% of the population in Union county is black, just slightly higher than the Native American population. Statewide the black population comprises almost one third of the general population in Georgia. The roots of bigotry run deep, even when they go contrary to convenience.

“The Help” outlines the loyalty and service of people who were abused, under paid and under appreciated by the people they served. I don’t want to give the impression that all of the whites in the story were Klan members, they weren’t. The sad part is that even the “enlightened” didn’t stand up for values that ran contrary to what the Klan espoused back in the time of the story.

The story of “The Help” is about a local girl who wants to break into journalism and decides that she wants to tell the story of the maids. The stories are fabulous and two scenes will stay with me forever. The revelation of, “The Terrible Awful”, and the firing of the maid who is taken from the child she adores. The terminated maid leaves the distraught child with the blessing, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”. That was as sad a scene as the “Terrible Awful” scene was hilarious.

The movie runs the gamut of emotions, and the bevy of talented actors really make the audience engage in the story. It was very powerful for me, and it took me back to the brief period of time when my family had a maid. Maybe we should take a closer look at the “reparations” issue.

“The Help”, by all means, check it out.