Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2009

The Value of Change

Regarding yesterday's post in which I wrote about today's American leadership regarding the "unalienable rights" of man, I wrote that I thought it was "important that the Iranian government realize that we are neither fooled nor impressed" by Iran's illusion of democracy and that although we might not be able or willing to prevent the abuse of Iranian citizens in the street, "we should be clear that we are not indifferent to it either." My premise was that as the world's foremost leader in advocating the natural rights of man to life and liberty over the past 200 years, we needed to maintain that stature, even if it meant risking claims that we are interfering with the internal affairs of despotic nations. To a despot, comment of any kind from any quarter is interference. I noted that our president finally said that he was "outraged and appalled" by the violence in the streets of Iran and the United States has rescinded its inv

Pulse: Weak and Irregular

I look at the language of our diplomatic initiatives today and wonder where these words have disappeared to: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." These words aren't merely archaic expressions by some idealists who founded our nation. These are words that have formed the rationale for the expenditure of American lives and wealth at home and abroad for 200 years. They have literally reflected the visceral character of America for two centuries and they have inspired uprisings in the name of liberty and toppled harsh regimes throughout the world. The thoughts behind the words have been practically timeless in mankind's political discourse. They have centuries of history in the philosophy of the nature of man behind them. The ancient Greek Stoics believed that the human nature yearns for freedom in


Our nation will be fixated for days over this week's loss of three show business icons: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson's late night show sidekick for more than 30 years and was known as a man who became famous for helping make Johnny Carson famous. He served as a U. S. Marine during World War II and Korea. McMahon died Tuesday after battling pneumonia and bone cancer. Farrah Fawcett was one of the three "Charlie's Angels" in the 1970s television series and she became a popular pinup poster model with a number of television and movie credits to her name. She bravely battled cancer for three years, seeking out aggressive treatments in her attempt to defeat the disease. She lost her battle today. Michael Jackson has been known as the King of Pop Music. His dancing, music, and showmanship electified audiences throughout the world, but his conduct with and around children taint his image. This conduct will be a minor footn

Brits Forfiet Fiesty Rules

The word is out that the British government is suggesting that teachers not teach the "i before e, except after c" rule because there are too many exceptions to it. They say the rule "is not worth teaching" because it doesn't cover words like sufficient, veil, and their. Lord knows that we don't need to have rules of thumb that there are exceptions to. I mean, what good does it do to have a rule of thumb that will help kids spell most of the words correctly if it won't help them with a few exceptions. Now, maybe it'll be easier for them to teach kids to spell other words like wierd, nieghbor, and mischievous... (Or is it mischievious?)

Your Humble Servant

U. S. Army Brigadier General Michael Walsh is the commanding general of the Mississippi Valley Division of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, having returned Stateside a year ago from a tour in Iraq where he served as the commanding general of the Persian Gulf Region of the Corps of Engineers. He began his army career after graduating from the Polytechnic Institute of New York with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He has also earned a master's degree in construction management from the University of Florida. He has served his country for some 32 years and has a chest full of decorations that reflect a bit of the nature of his service. On Tuesday, June 16, BGen Walsh appeared before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to testify about the post-Katrina restoration of the Louisiana coast. Take a look at this video of an exchange between BGen Walsh and Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Senator Boxer was a stock broker for a Wall Street firm from 1962 to

Fishing Karma

I wrote a post here the other day where I went on a little bit about fishing. I was careful not to exaggerate and I described my thought process: my "caught no fish" story, the fact that I couldn't catch just one fish, my "couple of fish" line, and then my satisfaction with catching three fish. I didn't exaggerate the size of the fish (because I didn't saying anything about that at all). Well, I went out again yesterday evening and all of that truth-telling I did the other day came around in my favor. Yesterday, I caught three fish again, but I could have happily gone home after the first one. Here's a photo of that first fish. No Photoshop required!

My Money's on the Phillie

My nephew, David, was drafted the other day by the professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies. A Phillies representative will meet him at his parents' home here on Saturday where he will sign a contract to play baseball with the team. He will board a plane for Philadelphia on Monday. It seems like a whirlwind tour for him, but it's one that he's been working for for some 17 years. For him, it's been more than a dream; it's been an aspiration wrapped in steady hard work. I coached him for the first time when he was 6 years old playing tee ball. Even at that age, David was head and shoulders better than everyone else. Several "experts" at the ball park back then used to go on and on about how that boy was going to be a pro baseball player some day. I guess they were right. One of the greatest attributes David has shown all throughout his playing career so far is what I think has always set him apart from the others: he is simply prepared to out-w

Blithering Fisherman

So, there I sat at 6:30 this morning, wide awake because I'm used to being awake at that time. I thought I'd take the day to relax, but I was up much earlier than I really wanted to be. I figured I could stay there in front of the tube and wait to watch Oprah to see what the latest herbal diet was or to see if she was going to give me a new car or something, or I could do some work around the house, or I could go fishing. I chose to go fishing. I drove down to the boat launch I usually go to on the Alabama border on the Perdido River. I got there at about 8:30, half way expecting to be the only one there. After all, it was Friday morning. I got down there and there were eleven vehicles with boat trailers already there! I counted the trailers and thought, "Don't these people have jobs ?" Then I reminded myself that I was one of those people... So, I backed my boat into the water and parked beside my fellow deadbeats. It was a pretty nice day on the water. The wate

Waking Up to Go

Okay, I have to get this off my chest. We have all seen the FLOMAX commercial that tells us that "For many men, [it] reduces male urinary symptoms due to BPH in one week." The commercial is unnerving to me because it leaves me feeling as though I'm not taking care of myself. It appears that I am exhibiting at least one noteworthy symptom of this BPH and I'm disturbed about this for two reasons: (1) I don't think my symptom is a bad thing (in fact, I think it's a good thing), and (2) I don't know what the heck BPH is. The FLOMAX commercial warns those of us who are troubled by the need to get up at night to "go" that we might have some kind of problem. Here's a rundown of my symptom: When I need to "go," I get up to "go." To my untrained eye, I'm thinking I would have a greater problem if I did NOT get up to "go." So, in spite of seeing this commercial a number of times and having its haunting message play ov

She Dreamed a Dream

In the musical Les Miserables , a factory worker named Fantine is dismissed from her job after getting into a fight with some of her co-workers when they learn that she is sending money away for her illegitimate child. As she laments her bad fortune, she sings about her lost love and her broken dreams in the song "I Dreamed a Dream." I dreamed a dream in time gone by, When hope was high and life, worth living. I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving. Then I was young and unafraid, And dreams were made and used and wasted. There was no ransom to be paid, No song unsung, no wine, untasted. Fantine becomes destitute, ultimately resorting to a life of prostitution. She is arrested when she resists an abusive client and is sent to prison. Finally, though, she is pulled from prison by her former boss, the owner of the factory where she once worked, and she is sent to a hospital where she dies. By now, many of us have seen the "Britain's G

Britannica Owes Us One

I mentioned in my first posting that my brother, Michael, recently learned that he had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). Before this, I didn't know one kind of leukemia from another, but now I have some sense of at least one kind of it. I wish I never had a reason to know as much as I now do. Michael told me about his cancer after a high school baseball game I was coaching ended. On reflection, that was probably the best time and place for him to tell me because it wasn't exactly the best time and place to spend a lot of time talking about it. I wasn't ready to discuss it much because I wasn't even really ready to HEAR about it. I made up for it the next day when we spoke again. Michael and I grew up very close. We were a year and a half apart in age (I'm slightly older). I look a little older than he does, but I make up for it by being more immature than he is. Until high school, Michael and I did everything together. We roamed the woods looking for hideouts and

Just Blithering On

When my brother was diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks ago and decided to blog about his battle with the cancer, I saw what a great way it was to record thoughts and induce a little discussion. I do like to write and I do have one or two opinions about things, so it seems like the thing to do. I have titled this blog "Blithering On." One definition of the word "blithering" suggests that it might be a combination of two words, blather and dither. To blather is to talk nonsensically. To dither is to be in a state of indecisive agitation or fussiness. So, I guess to blither would be to talk nonsensically in a state of indecisive agitation. Well, to be honest, I don't intend to waste either my time or anyone who decides to follow this blog's time with nonsense (if I can help it) and I'm not sure that I have an indecisive bone in my body. However, it is very likely that I'll post a thing or two after having been moved to a state of agitation. So, when it