Dear Gentle Reader,

When Geraldine Ferraro said Obama would not be where he is, if he were not Black, she was stating a straightforward, innocuous, non-racist fact. A number of people have voted for him because he is Black. So, what’s the big deal? They have every right to vote for a candidate for whom they have an affinity, whatever the genesis of that affinity. Ferraro’s statement attacked no one, so why the hysteria?

There are surely countless women who have voted for Hillary because she is a woman. They, too, have that right, and in America, no one can deprive them of it, so let’s not let those with an agenda convince us there is racism where, obviously, there is none.

Recently, we have been treated to the refined words of Barack Obama’s pastor. After a litany of spurious, and astonishingly venomous, accusations of America in general and White America in particular, he offers these uplifting words: G.. D... America! He says this repeatedly.

It seems this is all a part of something called Black Liberation Theology, something of which this writer has never heard. It is a vicious, abusive mind set that aims to keep the hearts of Black Americans emotionally upset and inflamed against not only Whites, but all non-black Americans in general.

When Obama’s wife said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, she was showcasing, for all the world to see, the results of such poisonous teachings.

This is a woman who attended both Princeton and Harvard. She earned a law degree, but the only comment she has made about her education is that she and her husband still are paying on their student loans, and she insists that is wrong, since they are both in their forties.

So, what is Obama doing about his pastor’s nasty verbiage? He’s pretending it is of no consequence. He says he doesn’t agree with it, but he has continued to go to that church for twenty years. He has supported the church financially. That implies an acceptance of the pastor’s views at some level.

Let me tell you what Jeremiah Wright’s words did to me: For much of my adulthood, I have revered the Tuskegee Airmen. They were Black fighter pilots whose job was to protect our bombers, as they bombed Nazi strongholds in Europe. At first, the White bomber pilots did not trust the Black fighters to protect them from the Nazi fighter planes, because of stereotypical opinions of the capacity of Black men as dependable fighters, opinions they had learned in their childhood.

They were verbal in their distrust, but soon those Black fighters earned the respect of the bomber pilots, so much so that they began to request that they be escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. Not only had the bomber pilots learned to trust them, they had come to prefer them as ferocious protectors. The Black fighters had proved themselves to be both fearless and exceptionally skillful.

When Jeremiah Wright said the terrible things he did about America and White Americans, at first I was devastated to think those Black pilots, who courageously gave their lives to protect not only the bomber pilots, but by extrapolation, me, may actually have hated me. Surely, they would not have damned me! Surely, they could not have felt that way about me, when my feelings for them were sheer reverence!

That’s what Jeremiah Wright did to me.

Thankfully, my first emotional reaction to his viciousness has passed. My feelings for the Tuskegee Airmen are still reverential, and they ever will be. Jeremiah Wright may rob others of their hero-worship of those brave men, who died to protect me and mine, but his wickedness has ceased to harm me.

Now on to Hillary Clinton: She has never been one for telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but she has outdone herself this time.

When she made a trip to Bosnia, during her husband’s administration, she was greeted by little girls, one of whom kissed her on both cheeks. These things are being repeatedly showed to us, as the tape of her arrival is played.

The only problem with this story is that she says they had to duck down and dodge sniper fire, as they ran across the tarmac. She says, also, that if a place was too dangerous for a visit by the President, they would send the First Lady. None of this is true. She made up all of it.

As a result of the above, she is now talking about Obama’s pastor. That subject is much safer, and, incidentally, much more fun, than discussing the phony story of her dodging sniper fire.

Now to Detroit’s mayor: He has been caught in potentially criminal activity, as he pursued a sexual relationship with another city employee. They have him dead to rights, and the people want him to resign, but he says, "No way!"

This is the city, if you will remember, that gets burned down on Halloween. Why? I don’t think anyone knows. The local hoods do it just for fun, I guess. Now they have something else to keep them entertained.

Then there was the holier-than-thou "Sheriff of Wall Street", Eliot Spitzer, the Governor of New York. He betrayed his wife and children, and the citizens of New York State, with a high-priced prostitute for a considerable period of time, at the state’s expense. He had to resign, which meant his second in command became Governor. Unfortunately, the new Governor was at least as sleazy as Spitzer, and maybe more so. His confessions just keep coming. He would do all America a favor if he would keep his revolting escapades to himself. Our stomachs can stand only so much of this awful stuff.

Now what does New York do? Again, I’m not sure anyone knows.

Aw well! This is definitely the silly season. It’s just that some silly seasons are sillier than others. For whatever reason, this one is becoming one for the books.

Originally published 19 January, 2006.

As all observers can see, with Iran it is going to be a case of who blinks first. They know that we know they are trying to make nuclear weapons, but they also know we can’t prove it. They think they can lie about it right up until they bomb Israel, because by then it will be too late for anyone to stop them.

There is another weird aspect to this standoff: Religious clerics have been known openly to say that, while we value life, they value death. Anyone who doubts that need only look at their eagerness to blow themselves up in order to kill others. If that doesn’t add a new dimension to this explosive situation (no pun intended), I don’t know what would.

Israel cannot and will not let themselves be blown off the map, as Iran’s leader has said they intend to do, and if it comes to life or death, Israel will launch a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. That will bring the wrath of the entire world down upon their heads, because as warlike and aggressive as several other Middle Eastern countries are, Israel is the one hated around the world.

Why? Because Jews live there, and almost all the countries of Europe and the Middle East hate Jews. Why? I can’t explain racial hatred. I never could, but that is the motivation of a great deal of the world’s people, and anyone who denies that just doesn’t know history.

Our president has already sent warplanes to the immediate area. I think they are there because, if Israel is forced to attack, it will be imperative that we attack, also. My reasoning is that Israel must not be made to carry the world’s wrath alone for what is, and long has been, a global problem.

Though Iran could – and eventually would – attack Europe, they would deny that was their intent right up until they dropped their bombs on France or Germany. So, if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, both France and Germany will attack Israel verbally and with UN sanctions right up until Irani bombers turn Paris and Berlin into smoking trash heaps.

A political leader has said we would have to use a nuclear bomb to get through those hardened bunkers, but I have been told that anyone who understands phosphorous knows better than that. I hope that is true, because I don’t want us to be the first to go nuclear in that region.

Retired Air Force General McInerny says we learned how to break through hardened bunkers by failing to break through Saddam’s bunkers. He says we can do it. That’s good because he also says there are a lot of them to break through. We know they learned from the Israelis’ having taken out Saddam’s nuclear reactor in the ‘80s that they must not put the entire facility in one place, as Saddam had done. So, their nuclear facilities are spread all over Iran. McInerny says we should get other Middle Eastern countries to join in the attack, but that sounds like mission impossible to me. Let’s hope I am wrong. If there was ever a time when I wanted to be wrong, this is it.

So, with Osama bin Laden saying he is going to attack us again, with Iran saying they really are not making a bomb, while doing so, with Zarqawi running a terrorist network in Iraq and killing hundreds of Iraqis and some Americans, with Islamists plotting attacks in several of our country’s mosques, what are half of our homegrown political leaders doing? They are putting everything they have into forcing our president to forgo the wiretapping of foreign terrorists’ phone conversations with their fellow conspirators in this country. Why? They are trying to score political points that will help them win the next election. If that allows them to attack us, Oh Well! They can always say it is Bush’s fault.

Does this make sense to anyone but themselves? Is there any way any of them can guarantee they will not be one of those killed in the next terrorist attack on our country? It could be one of their loved ones, but it just doesn’t matter. Politics trumps everything. Iran’s malevolent leader and his obsession with building and using a nuclear bomb is no more than a minor distraction. All that matters is winning elections.

If some funny-looking guy from outer space were to stumble onto our planet and watch both the terrorists with their murderous obsessions and our politicians with their mindless ambition, he would roll his eyes, call his mother ship and say, "Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life on this planet."

Originally published 31 May, 2006

Greetings Gentle Reader,

One of the Watergate men, G. Gordon Liddy, has written a book entitled "When I Was a Kid This Was A Free Country." Though I am younger than he by a few years, I, too, can remember when this was a free country. Almost.

Woodrow Wilson made some egregious inroads into our freedoms, then FDR, the Congress, and the Supreme Court made it worse, and have continued to do so. It seems as though Wilson forcibly opened the barn door, after which our freedoms began to be stolen, one by one, by the others previously mentioned.

It is possible that a rural Westerner would notice the steady erosion of our freedoms more than Eastern city people. They are used to being herded, penned, coerced and sold out by their elected representatives more than we are. Westerners used to be more willing to fire their politicians than Easterners, who tended to be owned outright by unions, big companies and crooked politicians.

We rural Westerners worked the land, grew and stored our own food, went without when necessary, struggled against the climate, the weather, and every pesky critter that threatened our survival and/or well-being.

Our school teachers were often related to us, and if we got out of line, you may rest assured our parents didn’t sue the school or the teacher. If Aunt Betsy told your father – who just happened to be Aunt Betsy’s brother – that you were ill-behaved at school, chances were very good that you, not the teacher or the school, would pay a price for your bad behavior.

This is all in the past. Even rural Westerners get most of their food at the grocery store, now, just as city people do. Very few get their milk and eggs from their own animals and make their own butter and cheese. Very few grow and store their own food. Even fewer Western kids have to do the milking and feed and water the stock before school. They, too, have become dependent upon the grocery store.

The loss of that lifestyle has made Americans a dependent people. The citizens of New Orleans were completely helpless after Katrina. Their lives depended upon commerce, and there was no commerce. Everything they needed to survive was under water, even though a goodly percentage of their houses were not destroyed.

When we gave away our material independence for convenience and ease, we gave away our freedom. Almost all the American people would be completely dependent upon the government in any such emergency. They live in apartments or high-rise buildings and can do absolutely nothing for themselves. After Katrina, only predators and thieves thrived. Decent people were helpless. In like circumstances that situation would be repeated all across this country.

Our various governments have consistently and persistently taken our freedoms away, and we have let them do it, because politicians have persuaded us that we would benefit by so doing. Various groups, especially environmentalists and the ACLU, have indoctrinated many of our people, convincing them that it is right and noble to take away others’ rights and freedoms, because those others are abusing Mother Earth. These groups have learned that suing any person, school, business or government for what they want is the way to go. The case may involve an outrageous theft of the rights of the innocent people involved, but it doesn’t matter; it works.

The victim often cannot afford the legal costs to defend himself, so a lawsuit effectively deprives him of his rights, even though he might have had a case that easily could have been won.

When a Montana rancher opened his door one night, because his stock were making a racket, a grizzly bear reared up in front of him, right on his porch. As any intelligent, grizzly-wise rancher would, he shot it. He was taken to court, charged with provoking the bear, and fined thousands of dollars. Why? Because common sense no longer applies. Environmentalists have taken over much of our legal system, rising to judgeships, and they have persistently deprived the common people of their most basic rights of self-protection. Thanks to their perverted value system, an enraged grizzly two feet from your nose has more rights than you do.

Can we stop this disastrous situation before we lose all our freedoms? We could, but most likely, we won’t. We would have to be willing to elect fighters who are aware of what has happened to this country, and who are as determined to reverse the situation as we must be, and we have a dearth of such, and one of the reasons we have that dearth is because we are too lazy to find good people, then get them elected to public office.

Unfortunately, we seem to have elected a large number of not-so-good Senators and Representatives who are willing to give our country to Mexico. Equally unfortunately, there seem to be a large number of illegal Mexicans with the will to take it from us by political force.

At least Mexico has sense enough to recognize a good thing when they see it. The number of dollars illegals send back to Mexico to their families is exceeded only by the dollars Mexico gets for selling their oil. That makes for a pretty good income for old Vicente, and why should he make changes that would reduce that income, when we don’t seem to be smart enough to put a stop to it?

Yes, we could salvage our country. It is not too late. The only real question is: Do we have the will to both start and win the fight before it is too late?

Originally published 1 February, 1999

- Preparedness is a good thing to be thinking about right now, so I thought it would be good to share a few of my Y2K preparedness columns.

Greetings Gentle Reader,

Remember those ice storms that hit the Northeast last winter? We have a report on the problems some of the people experienced due to a lack of electric power. Since we may have the same problem next winter, when the Y2K bug gets us, let's see how they fared:

First and foremost, without power, they had no city water. We humans not only drink, wash our hands, kitchen counters and clothes in water, we bathe in the stuff and use it to flush our toilets, and they could do none of the above. One lady said she surely could have used an air freshener for the bathroom. Another mentioned that you need to have water in your toilet bowl to hold back sewer pipe water. Is that really true? Could sewage back up in your toilet, if it had no water in it? Would somebody with a strong stomach please check that one out and get back to me?

Another woman wished for quick lime to put in her toilet. That's something we used to put in outhouses to break down THAT STUFF, so maybe it would work in toilets too. It all sounds really awful, but those people had to deal with it_ some of them for several weeks.

They had lots of snow and melted volumes of it on their wood stoves, then they dumped the used water in their toilets. It is easy to see why the people without wood stoves were in trouble. Unexpectedly, one of the primary complaints was a lack of big pots in which to melt the snow. They said buckets and large pots were at a premium, since no one had anticipated that particular problem. Another problem was lack of water purification tablets for the melted snow water. Bleach or iodine would have worked, but if you use that stuff, you'd better know how much of it to use.

The kids got a kick out of not having to bathe and change underwear everyday, but moms and dads weren't too thrilled. After a while, they made the kids shed their smelly underwear, but then they had no way to wash them, except by hand. One mother said she yearned for a scrub board; another suggested using a bucket of water with a toilet plunger as an agitator. I only have one question: Would a bucket of water and a toilet plunger be up to cleaning the grungy underwear those kids and their parents had worn for a week? As Al would say, "I don't think so, Tim." Now I know why Gramma used a "high tech" scrub board and homemade lye soap. She even boiled the clothes. I always thought it was to get them clean; now I know it was to unstink them and kill all the cooties.

One lady said her first act, when the power came back on, was to vacuum the carpet. She regretted that she hadn't kept a simple, old fashioned carpet sweeper that used muscle power, rather than electric power. They are still available, and it is something to keep in mind.

Some of the people had electric generators, but hadn't stored enough fuel to last the full month they needed it. Others had neglected to store and use an additive called Sta-Bil to keep their supply of gasoline in usable condition. Those who did not have one found that the supply of generators not only disappeared very quickly, but the price of those that were available shot through the roof.

Another problem that reared its ugly head: Generators must be operated outside because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, but most of the people didn't realize that the local trash would go around stealing generators during the crisis. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting owners found that their generators were a hot item for these contemptible thieves, but some of those who brought them inside to keep them from being stolen died from exhaust fumes, SO THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER.

I would suspect that the gutter snipes who stole the generators were selling them at premium prices to suffering families. The recommendation was to fasten them firmly with heavy chains. Even this is not a perfect solution, but it is better than nothing.

They recommended that those who heat with wood buy a good axe and a buck saw, with extra blades. I would suggest keeping tools with which to sharpen both saws and axes. In our area, storing all needed supplies for ice fishing would be a good idea.

Matches, candles and batteries of various sizes were at a premium and should be stored ahead of time. One lady realized that she could have taken batteries from her children's toys, had she only thought of it. Another thing that surprised me: Those who could get to stores found they could use neither checks nor credit cards. The banks were closed and the ATM's wouldn't work. They either coughed up the cold, hard cash, or they went without. Worse, the items still in the stores were sold at such inflated prices, they could buy very little with the cash they had on hand. So, cash is a very important thing to have, especially for those who refuse to prepare and then find themselves in big trouble. For the smart, preparation is still the best policy.

Montgomery County, Maryland, has already spent $34 million trying to prepare for January, 2000, but when they ran a check on four key systems: The 911 operators had to write emergency calls in longhand (the computers wouldn't work), traffic lights didn't function (the computers wouldn't work) and some people had to be rescued from elevators (the computers wouldn't work). Ah well, three out of four isn't bad... unless, of course, you or I are the ones who call 911, get hit in an intersection or stuck in an elevator. If that turns out to be the case, it will be very bad, indeed... even worse than dirty bodies clothed in dirty underwear.

Let's just decide to be good boy scouts and get prepared: For this week, let's all go out and buy three huge jars of peanut butter, one for each of the three month's supply Senator Bennett has suggested. If there is some left when this problem is over, we can invite the neighborhood kids in for peanut butter sandwiches... right after we bathe them to get rid of the cooties, that is.