Thursday, March 29, 2012


     You know that homegrown terrorists are the biggest worry of the government right now.  With all the gadgetry, electronics, and billions spent of security you are not even immune from being located with your cell phone, I pad, or computer.  Terrorists of the conventional kind blow things up and yell praises before blowing themselves up to claim their 75 virgins.
     So say you want to do damage and create havoc but are not ready to blown things up or yourself, what do you do?  Well if you are a USDA inspector who worked at Holcomb Kansas and got moved to Washington
DC by your ungrateful bosses.  And say you were transfered to another department because they don't appriciate your work ethic, attitude, or ineptitude.  And then you are fired from a system that is virtually impossible to be fired from.
     You then get yourself a website and call yourself an anarchist and 'blow the whistle' by creating the term PINK SLIME.  Well then you have a myriad of animal rightists, vegans, eco terrorist groups, and the mainstream news media and you have yourself a bomb that no one can prosecute you for.
     You now have over 650 people out of work, corporations like McDonalds who bow and scrape to these groups pulling their business.  School kids who waste 50% of the food given to them now throw away 75%.  And you have coined a term that is so heinous that it will not go away even with the best defense and explanation.
      Congratulations you are now a terrorist.  Maybe Spike Lee will Twitter your address and someone will put a bounty on your head.  But I doubt that.
You will go down as the most effective disgruntled employee in history. 
     Something your grandkids will be proud of.  Hope they like Brussel Sprouts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Since I was small there was an iconic radio comentator that always cut through the massive amount of opinion that was presented as fact from every political persuasion.  Everything stopped as far as I can remember at noon to listen to him on the radio.  Paul Harvey.
     Every aspiring commentator wishes to achieve the level of admiration and clear vision of Mr. Harvey.  Very few ever make that goal because they take their eyes off the goal of rising above fad and what passes for critical thought.
     In 1965 Mr. Harvey broadcast an essay that was so far ahead of the time yet the source was timeless.  When asked Mr. Harvey would dig out this piece and rebroadcast it.  If you go to Google you will find a lot of the dating from the 1990's.  I think he rebroadcast it to gauge how it was actually playing out in the world.  Even he would be amazed at how it describes the state of the United States today.  It was truly a piece of vision that so seldom is made from media sources.  I wish to reproduce it here, for I can not claim to have the vision of this man.
If I were the prince of darkness, I'd want to engulf the whole world in darkness, and I'd have a third of it's real estate and four fifths of it's population.  But I wouldn't be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree:  Thee.

So I'd set about however necessary, to take over the United States.  I'd subvert the churches first.  I'd begin a campaign of whispers.  With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve, "Do as you please."  To the young I would whisper that the Bible is a myth.  I would convince them that man created God, instead of the other way around.  I would confide that what's bad is good, and what's good is square.  And the old I would teach to pray after me "our father who art in Washington."

And then I would get organized:  I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.  I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice versa.  I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could.  I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.  I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I'd soon have families at war with themselves; churches at war with themselves; and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings, I'd have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellect, but neglect to disipline emotions; just let those run wild, until before you know it you'd have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I'd have prisons overflowing; I'd have judges promoting pornography.  Soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.  And in his own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science.  I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls-and church money.

If I were the devil I would make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I'd take from those who have, and give to those who want it, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.  And what'll you bet I couldn't get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich.

I would caution against extremes, and hard work, and patriotism, and moral conduct.  I would convince the young that marriage is old fashioned-that swinging is more fun.  That what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you to bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were the devil I would just keep on doing what he is doing.

     I cannot say anything as insightful as this.  I have to side with Mr. Glenn Beck with the opinion that this piece was of God.  Noon times are nothing special anymore.  I do miss the man.  Good Day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


     It is a saying that we live by.  It is the way we support each other when things aren't going well.  Cowboying up is more than a phrase it is an action and it is not fun but it helps a person keep perspective and survive.  I lost all my closest friends in my forties and the way you appriciate a good friend is only realized after they are gone.  When someone is hurting and cowboys up it give you the inspiration to realize how petty your own troubles are.
     Ray is a cowboy.  In the truest sense, one of the last of a breed.  Not that there are not cowboys today, but there will never be more like Ray's generation.  To put it bluntly, Ray is the toughest man I know.  And he has been my hero.
     Ray has had every bone in his body broken at one time or another from bad bull wrecks, to car wrecks, horses, cattle, and just the type of accidents that those who work and live on farms and ranches are prone to.  Aged way before his time pain has been with him so long he cannot remember when he felt good.  But this never stopped him.
     A few years ago Ray fell off his combine in November trying to cut his neighbors soybeans.  He cracked his femur.  Of course he did not have time for an operation so the doctor with local anesthetic put a strap on the crack in the office.  Ray told me "when he drilled them holes and put those screws in, it hurt like HELL!"
     I had pains just hearing the story.  That spring Ray was down in the house and could not get around much.  I talked to him and he said he just put up his neighbors hay.  I said "RAY how did you even get on the tractor?"  He said his neighbor had around 60 days to live from cancer and he was in worse shape than himself so he went and rolled up his hay.
     Well I just got an e-mail and Ray is in the hospital.  He went thru three operations not long ago and the area they harvested veins for his bad leg had gotten infected and when they tried to clean it out, they went ahead and took it.  When the prospect of losing a leg occured Ray told me he had picked out a hedge tree and was going to cut it and put a boot on it and make his own leg.
     He does say that the other leg that they put those veins in is feeling better but when they clean the wound and repack it "it hurts like hell"!  So you can understand I am down a little this morning.  It hurts to see a friend hurting and not be able to do anything about it.  But I know that as soon as he can talk his way out of there he will be back at the ranch with his cowboy CD's of all his friends playing loud.
     I may have to go down and cut a hedge tree and find a boot.

Friday, March 9, 2012


     I love to travel to small rural towns and out of the way places.  Which is not a long stretch, our family Bed & Breakfast is a bit out of the way to most folks.  We are on a hill in the middle of grass country on Open Range.  We have a view.
     So I had the chance yesterday to go thru a favorite town called Anthony.  This is one of those rural towns that has fought the declines and set backs and are coming thru with a great attitude.  Despite a major fire that burnt half a block of historic buildings and operating businesses, they are working hard to keep the small town atmosphere and still grow at the same time.
     They are taking advantage of the recent boom in oil and gas horizontal drilling.  As I came into town from the north I was amazed at all the growth and commotion.  I also had my heart broken.  I love drive in movies and Kansas is down to only five operating theaters.  The old Star Vue Drive Inn has been abandoned for quite sometime.  I had always hoped that it could be renovated and saved.  But, alas, it is half down now and construction equipment is parked there for rent.
     I have been following the renovation of the big theater downtown and I am so glad they are saving it.  The downtown of Anthony is a bee hive of activity and there are many great little businesses there.  It is worth a day trip to go there.  There is a nice little museum and a piece of the Twin Towers as a 9-11 monument.  Firefighters from Anthony went back to help in the aftermath of the attack.  They have struck up a great relationship with the FDNY.
     I also picked up a local paper ( The Anthony Republican) to see what was going on in town.  There amidst the news of all the good things going on was my second broken heart.  For 100 years Anthony was home to Anthony Downs.  One of the annual places that horse and dog racing took place.  I have a lot of good memories of my younger days going to the races with the family.  I also went with a horse trainer friend once and walked the horse after the race cooling him down.  They closed it down ending a hundred year run.  It is being sold now for industrial development.  You always hope that these iconic pieces of a communities heritage can be revived.  But it is not to be.
     My mom and a friend went shopping not long ago and had a wonderful time in Anthony.  The friendliness and great attitude of everyone they came in contact with was very well recieved.  They came home bubbling about the fun day.  And they left enough money behind that there were some smiles there too.
     If you want to find great places like Anthony, in Kansas, go to THE KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION website and start exploring.  In other states tourism and commerce departments have a lot of this type of information.  You'd think they would learn and create their own Sampler. 
     Well William Allen White said "that anything new and inovative starts in Kansas".  If that is not an exact quote it is close.  Lets bring it up to date.  Anything good starts in Kansas and the bad starts on the coasts and gets here in ten years.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Change is always resisted and sometimes that is good.  But many have figured out that if you wait long enough and, so one seemingly small step at a time, at the end you find a major change.  This has been a long standing policy for a lot of people and organizations.  There is also a principle that Adolph Hitler used called the Big Lie. 
     So the Big Lie is you keep telling the most outrageous lie over and over.  It soon becomes believed.  It is kind of like politicians telling us that spending more money we don't have will save the economy.
     So if you have strong Christian values and beliefs how does these beliefs get changed?  Depends how you really are affected by them.  If there were not factors that make people change beliefs and ideas there would not be so many denominations of Christianity or differing systems of religion.
     The factors that change attitudes and beliefs are so varied that I cannot address them.  I am sure that even if you tried all cannot be addressed.  So I will just take one of them.
     With the advent of a mandate by the US Government to religious organizations to go against basic beliefs and violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  How did we get here?  As a historian it goes back to the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Changeing attitudes and standards fundamentaly changed peoples lives.  Thru good reforms, like the Womens Right to Vote, subtle things started changing.
     Fast forward to Roe Vs. Wade.  Previous to this Supreme Court decision there were no legitimate abortions.  A baby was considered a baby while in the womb.  Although there were doctors and other practitioners that would provide the abortion some were as horrible for the woman as the baby it killed.
     With the sexual revolution of the sixties there was an increase in abortions after Roe Vs. Wade because of the increased activity pre Aids and Pre media relaxing content of shows and music.
     As the public and the media bought into the mentality of the right to terminate a pregnancy the next step came.  Partial birth abortion.  Deliver a baby far enough to expose the head and open it with an instrument and suck the brain out thus 'terminating' the pregnancy.  This went to Congressional hearings and finally the abortion lobby admitted that this procedure was not a necesary thing.  Even after admitting the lie there was no uproar in the media or congress.  The only question was from the people who are abhored at the process.  In todays world they don't count.
     The latest step comes from 'Medical Ethicists' in Austrailia.  The Monash University in Melbourne and the Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne have concluded that there are circumstances occuring after birth that would justify an abortion, (post Birth).  In ordinary terms this is called infanticide or murder.  They do prefer the term 'after birth abortion'. 
     Euthenasia and infanticide have been a non viable option under our law and constitution.  This will last for a while until the steps are eased into such as the panels that will administer the new health care laws.  Treatments of many things will not be allowed after a certain age under the new plan.
     As the Humanists of the world ponder the curbing of worldwide population growth a little step will be taken here and there. 
     The media and many other groups have fought hard to delete the 2nd amendment.  Now the First Amendment is being breached.  The people who support this must realize that when one part goes and the entire thing is considred a "Negative" document, the next thing that will go is their (and our) right to free speech, the press, and more.
     The law is already on the books now, under the Homeland Security Act, that if the Administration deems and declares a national emergency the right of Habeus Corpus is suspended.  For those who were not taught what this means, the government has the right to arrest, hold in an undisclosed location, and question you without counsel, and all normal rights are suspended.
     One step to another.  One step that seems to have nothing to do with the other and yet where will we end up?  It is interesting that the school children and teachers that were in a school building in the tornado ravaged area last week, were praying as the building was hit.  Good thing there was no ACLU there to try and stop it.  They all survived.  Funny when there was no danger prayer is outlawed there.
      It reminds me of a story:  A dog followed it's young master all the way to school and went into the building and room.  He was thrown out and as he set outside sad and rejected Jesus set down beside him.  Patting the dog on the head Jesus said "don't feel bad little fella, they won't allow me in there either".

Thursday, March 1, 2012


     Everybody has different influences, music wise, in their background.  Those who know me are aware that I sing Western music and Cowboy Poetry.  I am very proud of those in the genre' who cling to the family values and nostalgic qualities of it.  But the diverse amount of music that I love and grew up with is as different as the stars in the heavens.  Good music is good music.  Putting everything in boundries and classifications is so limiting.  I have so much in my background it would be hard to list.  Lets just go from Jimmy Rodgers to the Diamond W Wranglers. 
     Inbetween would be Simon and Garfunkle, George Jones, Gene Autry, Willie Nelson, John Denver, and so many more.  Yes and there is even some Beetles in the mix.
     So why am I having mixed feelings?  Well I am a little sad for the sudden death of Davy Jones.  Yes from the Monkees.  I was in grade school and Jr. High when they were in their hayday.  I watched the goofy TV show, which I am sure drove the folks nuts.  Though they were a fictitous band created for a TV show, they became real.  Which is what our dreams and fantasies are all about.
     The Monkees outsold the Beetles and the Rolling Stones combined.  They just plain made good music and showed that music should be fun and not stuffed shirt.  I know I worked my voice on Last Train To Clarksville, and I'm a Beliver when I was going thru the change to a Bass/Baritone.
     So this is why I am having mixed feelings.  I feel older and sad.  I also feel younger and happy.  Funny how it takes a sudden death to stop and make a person think about how they got to be the way they are.
     If the credit is not given, and I only heard this from one commentator, The Monkees are more responsible for creating the Music Video than probably anyone.  The musical numbers in the TV episodes layed out the formula for telling a musical story visually.  It took performance beyond the live stage show to an amusing or poignant interpetation.
     I am sure the seeds for Stan Hitchcock to create the CMT video network and the rise of MTV have a common, though maybe subtle, begining in a kids show Called  The Monkees.
     I also feel sadder for todays youth for the influences of music, or non music styles that glorify sex, violence, and destruction of themselves and society.  Even though the music of the time had elments of these in them it was more a questioning and creative time.  It was a time we will not see again since the entertaiment industry was bought by conglmerates and the artistic ability of true musicians have been relgated to independent genre's
     I am sure there will be much said and I do not pretend to be the great influence on popular opinion.  But today I am feeling older and younger.