Saturday, April 30, 2011

Now Obama, NATO are targeting, murdering children

    It's come to this. President Obama, who was given the Nobel Peace Prize for reasons unknown, has stooped to targeting and murdering children and blowing up schools for the disabled.
    NATO has targeted and blown up the residence of one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's sons. It was not a military target. In the process they murdered Gaddafi's youngest son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi and three of his children. NATO also bombed and essentially destroyed a school for children with Downs Syndrome.
    NATO's actions fall far outside of any UN mandate. They are what is known as war crimes. This whole military action against Libya defies any logic.
    America is supposedly engaged in a War on Terror. Some of our motivations have been good. But tell me this: What is the difference in dropping bombs on an innocent man's house and killing his family and in hijacking a plane and flying it into a building? There isn't any. People who hijack planes and murder people are terrorists. People who order the bombing of private residences and little children are terrorists. People who attempt to assassinate the leaders of foreign countries are terrorists.
    Gaddafi had long ago paid reparations for his past crimes, and was in fact cooperating in the war effort against al-Qaeda until NATO stabbed him in the back. Now it's time for to end this war, join Gaddafi in wiping out the Rebels, and pay reparations to Libya and Gaddafi for the tens of billions in damages our leaders have done to that innocent country.
    And it's time for Obama to leave office. Murder is an impeachable offense.

Recipe: Pecan Pie Ice Cream

    It's recipe time! My friend Lisa Liddy recently mentioned ice cream on Facebook, and I promised to share what I consider to be the best ice cream recipe in the world.
    I decided to look on the Internet for a Pecan Pie ice cream recipe and I found one that had won a ribbon at a county fair. My reason for looking was my fond memories of Texas Gold brand Fudge Pecan Pie ice cream, which apparently isn't made any more.
    We have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
that we've really enjoyed. You put the canister in the freezer and when you are ready to make ice cream you just pour it in and turn it on. No muss, no fuss, and it really works and gets the ice cream good and frozen. After we get through churning it we put it in a container and stick it in the freezer so it will get good and hard. I highly recommend these, and if you want to get one click here to buy one and I'll make a dollar!
    Okay, that's enough self-promotion. On to the recipe. This is a custard ice cream, very rich. You can use a little less heavy cream and a little more half-and-half if you wish. The pie you use should be well cooked so that the sugar on top is caramelized. Also, after you chop up the pie, be sure to chill it; otherwise it will melt the ice cream when you add it. Here's the recipe:

PECAN PIE ICE CREAM

7 large egg yolks, beaten
1 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
2 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. maple extract
2 cups of Pecan pie, chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar and salt into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside.

Bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot half-and-half into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over very low heat or in a double boiler. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly; then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cool or overnight.

Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Add the CHILLED crumbled pecan pie when mixture is semi-frozen. Swirl milk chocolate fudge (optional) into the finished ice cream.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Expensive Hilton stay ahead? Here's how to make it cheap(er)

    If you have some high-priced Hilton stays in your future, Discover America is offering Hilton points at a good price as part of their deal-a-day web promotion.
    Some of these deals haven't been too impressive. For example, they offered 60 discounted tickets to Universal Studios in Florida. They also offered a few discounted Seaworld tickets. Even if you were there at the stoke on noon Eastern time you were unlikely to be the "winner" of the discounted items. For a nation of 300 million, 60 theme park tickets just ain't going very far.
    Today, in addition to the discounted Universal tickets, which were impossible to buy, they offered eight vacation packages that included airfare, hotel and tickets. These were a good deal, but took longer to sell out. It was just a bigger commitment.
    I'm not at all impressed with the offers over the next three days, but on Monday, May 2, DailyGetaways is selling Hilton points and lots of them for just over one-half cent each. If you buy these from Hilton they cost a penny each. If you use your Amex card you get an additional 10 percent off, reducing your purchase price to less than one-half cent per point. These points are being sold as "nights," but you are really just buying points.
    Hilton is offering packages of 100,000, 150,000 and 250,000 points, with 150 to 200 of each package being offered. So there's a real chance of actually being able to buy some points, and if available one could buy one of each package for a total of 500,000 points. Since Hilton normally limits point purchases to 40,000 per year, so this is an unusual chance to buy points.
    But can you save money? Well, only if you are planning to stay at higher-end Hiltons. But here's a couple of examples. I assume at least Silver status (four nights per year) which gets eligibility for the VIP awards.
    The Sandestin Hilton again hosts the Mississippi Bar Convention this year. A six-night room booked on the hotel website costs $254 per night (or $269 if you ask for the special bar rate!). Add 11 percent tax and the cost for six nights is $1,691.64. You can purchase 250,000 points on the DailyGetaways special for $1,375 less 10 percent for Amex, or $1,237.50. Six nights at the Sandestin Hilton will cost you 225,000 points, or $1,113.75 worth of points. So if you buy these points and use them on the Sandestin Hilton, you save $454.14, plus you have 25,000 point left over to use somewhere else.
    In Europe these points are even more valuable. For the same dates as above, the Paris Hilton Arc de Triomphe costs almost $500 per night. So getting the room via the DailyGetaway points pretty much brings a Paris luxury hotel down to bargain hotel prices. And of course if you are a Hilton Gold or Diamond member you will get a complementary lavish breakfast and some nice cocktails in the evening. I would never pay $50 for a breakfast buffet, but it sure is nice to get one for free!
    I can't recommend just buying Hilton points to hold them. With the dollar tanking, there is a chance that it may become harder to cash in points for the expensive European hotels. But if some expensive Hiltons are in your future, now you know a way to make them a lot cheaper. With these points you should be able to book almost any Hilton in the world for six nights for about $185 per night.
www.dailygetaways.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time Magazine Liberal? You can judge a magazine by its cover

    A couple of friends recently took issue with my description of Time magazine as the official magazine of the establishment left. Now, to be sure, I don't suppose the establishment left has an "official" magazine, but it is hard to imagine a magazine that works harder to peddle the current left-of-center message that the liberal mainstream media is trying to cram down America's throat.
    Certainly the "true" magazines of the left are publications such as The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Republic, American Prospect and so on. I sometimes enjoy reading articles from these magazines. One can find good ideas, even from those one usually disagrees with. But these are not what I would call the "establishment left" magazines, as their views tend to fall far to the left of the establishment liberals.
    At one time Newsweek would have carried the title of the mouthpiece of the establishment left, but its circulation and influence have dropped to the point that it can no longer carry the crown. And there was a time when Time was a conservative magazine, back in the day of Henry Luce. This conservatism lasted through the 1970s and moderated in the 1980s. But for the past 15 years or so, Time has worked hard at being liberal, and has succeeded.
    Nothing illustrates its status as cheerleader for the left than its own covers over the past few years, and its role as a high priest of the Cult of Obama. In the 2008 election year, Obama was featured as part of the cover photo of the magazine 15 times. If you count the skybox, Obama was featured on the cover in almost half the issues. John McCain's photo appeared on the cover of Time five times; three of those were shared with Obama. So McCain got two solo shots without Obama while Obama got 12 without McCain, 10 being solo shots.
    Oprah Winfre appears on the cover of every single issue of her monthly "O" magazine So she appeared on the cover 12 times in 2008. Obama appeared on the cover of weekly Time 15 times. Maybe Time should change its name to "O: The Obama Magazine."
    Following the election, Time kept it up. Of course, Time wasn't the only magazine to slobber all over Obama, just the most obvious. I sometimes wonder how long it will be before they start referring to him as Moammar Gadhafi refers to himself, as our "Brother Leader.
    America is a slightly right of center country. Obama is an extreme, radical liberal. To get elected he had to hide his true political beliefs from the electorate, which his unofficial campaign staff -- also known as the press corps -- helped him to do. Americans loved the idea of a moderate black president who could perhaps put some of our nation's past behind us.
    As Americans have realized that they bought a pig in a poke, they've become a little irritated. They don't want the government to take over health care. They don't want higher taxes and bigger government. They don't want unlimited illegal immigration. They don't want reverse discrimination, or for Black Panthers to be allowed to beat up whites who try to vote. The Obama administration supports all of these things and the American public doesn't.
    And so Obama is becoming increasingly unpopular with most Americans. Time magazine, aware of this, decides to pull out their photo archive and put Obama on the cover yet again, this time with a Photoshopped image of Ronald Reagan with his arm around the uber-liberal president and a message that Obama "HEARTS" Reagan.
    Pulease!
    Time a magazine of the establishement Left? You Betcha!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

They took your toilet and your shower, now they want your icemaker

    Time magazine has a story headlined: How the Ice in Your Drink is Imperiling the Planet. I promise it isn't The Onion; it's Time magazine, official publication of the establishment left. The gist of the story is that an icemaker causes a refrigerator to use between 12 and 20 percent more energy per year, and is therefore a major contributor to global warming.
    Time insists we should all use ice trays instead. No joke! This is why liberals can't be trusted to make our decisions for us.
    A modern refrigerator costs about $50 per year to operate. Add 20 percent to that and it turns out that the American consumer can get all the ice he wants, whenever he wants, for less than a buck a month. And he never has to bother with those pesky, time-consuming ice trays. Has there ever been a better bargain?
    I'm all for saving energy, but have the liberals ever heard of helping people winterize their homes? Have they ever heard of buying people wood stoves? Nothing is saved if you take away people's ice machines and they have to spend hours every month filling them and putting them in the freezer, and twice that amount of time arguing with each other over who didn't fill the ice tray.
    Instead of saving energy, getting rid of ice machines is likely to dramatically increase energy consumption as the divorce rate goes up. More couples will be forced to live in separate households, using twice as much energy, because the ice tray arguments were just the straw that broke the camel's back.
    First the liberals took our toilets, so that when we flush the poop just stays there staring right back up at us. Then they took our showers, so that we get so little water that it takes 20 minutes to wash the soap off. Now they want to come after our ice makers.
    And they wonder what we Tea Party types seem so angry about.

Three sweepstakes: Reasonable odds beat lottery tickets

    If the free travel department, Viking River Cruises is giving away three Rhine River cruises for two valued at $10,000 to contestants who "Like" their company on Facebook. The company already has over 46,000 "Likes" and the drawing will be held as soon as they hit 50,000 contestants.
    As contests go, a 1 in 16,666 chance to win a $10,000 prize is pretty good. In reality they are paying you about 50 cents to press the "Like" button. Nobody says you can't unlike them in the future, though. Fifty cents isn't much, but pressing the "Like button is cheaper than buying a lottery ticket.
To enter, visit the Viking River Cruises website and press the Facebook logo down on the bottom scroll menu. You can then go to the Facebook page and enter the contest. Good luck!

    In the more free stuff department, if you "Like" the Hilton Garden Inn on Facebook you get a free 250 HHonors points. If you're saving for a free 225,000-point reward at a top hotel, that makes the points worth a little over $3. It may take you a while to get to 225,000, but remember the story of the tortoise and the hare.
    Here's the link to the signup page: http://apps.facebook.com/promosapp/146873/. Oh, and they're also having a drawing to give five people 10,000 HHonors points. That's worth just over $100, so no big deal, but it's free. The 10,000-point sweepstakes adds about 1.5 cents in value, so the value is in the sure 250 points, not the bird in the far distant bush. Somehow, even though the Hilton deal is a better value, the Viking deal is more exciting!

    Meanwhile, American Airlines is giving away a million airline miles. To enter, download their Android app. Except the deal is, you really don't have to have an Android or download the app to enter. Just read the small print. http://fly.aa.com/androidpromo/default.aspx?cc=1. You can enter this contest twice per email address, by the way. Not sure how they came up with that.
    Finally, American is offering a giveaway every day for 30 days. Just go to AA.com/AAdvantage30th and sign up. American miles are the best there are, so I sure hope I win some!
    Now we all know the odds are that you won't win any of these. But maybe I saved you five bucks on lottery tickets!

Libya's real question: Who benefits from Mid-East turmoil and skyrocketing oil prices?

    I've noted before that America's unprovoked attacks on Libya are destabilizing the entire Middle East. Those who would overthrow the governments of Egypt (both old and new), Yemen, Syria, Iran, and yes, Saudi Arabia, look at the world's support for Libya's criminal rebels as a sign that they, too, shoud try to overthrow their governments. Much of the world's oil supply is in danger of disruption.
    These people want new governments, not necessarily democracy. And if you listen to what they tell reporters, the reason they want new governments is that the prices of food and energy are too high and economic opportunities are frequently limited. Does anyone really believe that pouring more money into fuel and food subsidies will create a more vibrant economy?
    It's begun to seep out that the United States has been actively supporting efforts to destabilize Syria for several years. Americans played a big role in the overthrow of the Egyptian government. I suspect America is working to destabilize the entire region.
    Nations act out of self-interest. For France, Britain and the United States to make the decision so quickly to seek sanctions and to attack Libya suggest some motive other than concern for that country's citizens. NATO's decision to use just enough force to keep the government from restoring order suggests a desire to forment a long-term civil war, which should keep the entire region in turmoil for some time, thus endangering the region's oil production.
    Here's the bottom line: The United States and its allies seem remarkably willing to take actions that put the entire Middle East oil supply at risk. The question the cynical observer should ask is "How does the United States and Western Europe benefit from the disruption of the world oil supply and dramatically higher oil prices?"
    Europe is well-prepared for higher oil prices. Britain gets most of its oil from Norway and the North Sea; only two percent comes from the Middle East. Only small fraction of American oil consumption comes from the Mid-East.
    Although the United States currently imports 60 percent of its oil, almost 40 percent of that comes from Canada and Mexico. Hostile Venezuela provides 12 percent, but its crude is of such low quality that only a few refineries in the U.S. can use it. Thus a small drop in consumption will go a long way towards eliminating much of the U.S. need for imported oil.
    Add to this the fact that America has lots of oil, particularly oil which can be recovered in "stripper" wells producing two to 20 barrels per day. When oil hits $200 per barrel, look for these wells to start producing. And the liberals will have to "give in" and allow production in the Alaska wasteland and offshore.
    This huge price jump is going to create "obscene" profits for the oil companies, so look for some type of Jimmy-Carter-type windfall profits tax on old oil production. Thus high oil prices will generate real revenue for the government. A $50 per barrel tax on old oil production, for example, would produce about $200 billion per year in tax revenue, which covers a good chunk of the budget deficit. A gasoline tax would do the same thing, but that would be seen as a tax on the middle class. Pushing oil prices higher and then taxing the oil companies is seen as a tax on the "rich."
    This oil shock, should it happen, is likely to be extremely painful. Even though the United States oil supply isn't in much danger, high prices certainly will do harm to the American standard of living, at least on a short-term basis. So now the question is, who gets hurt worse? Why are we willing to do this to ourselves?
    Aha! China currently gets 50 percent of its oil from the Mid-East. By 2015 that figure is expected to rise to 70 percent, assuming the Mid-East is still pumping. China has few oil reserves and only half as much coal as the U.S. It has no oil shale while the U.S. has by far the world's largest oil shale reserves. Cutting off China's oil and skyrocketing prices will bring its economy to a grinding and crashing halt and allow the United States to maintain its position as the world's leading economy.
    There's an old story about the character of the Russian people in which a farmer finds a magic lamp, rubs it, and out pops a genie. The genie tells the farmer he can have anything he wishes for, but his neighbor will get double. After much agony, the farmer blurts out, "Poke out one of my eyes."
    Our Mid-East policy right now doesn't seem very wise. We're likely to take a poke in the eye from it. But count on this: Whatever bad thing happens to the United States and the West from all of this turmoil, China will get double. And don't kid yourself; this is by design.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Coc au Vin; prepare in the morning, enjoy at night

    I finished supper for the family early this morning. I like cooking things that can be made in the morning and cook all day. Boston butts put on at 7 a.m., Pot roasts put on at noon, and one of my favorites, Coq au Vin, stuck in the oven at around 9:30 a.m. and allowed to slow cook all day. I hate crock pots; they food is cooked unevenly and looks awful. But roasting dishes turn out meals that look beautiful on the table.
    There is no greater hazard to the family budget than for the clock to strike 6 or 7 and dinner not be prepared. It’s just too easy to go out to eat, where even a cheap sandwich meal costs almost $40 for a family of four. So this is a meal you can do early and when suppertime arrives there is very little work involved. So you get a gourmet meal for around $8 instead of sandwiches for $40.
    In my opinion this is good enough for company (maybe TOO good for company!), but you be the judge. It easy enough to make. Note that in my photos I’ve used too large a roasting pan, as you want the chicken to touch so the juices cover it. I’m sure this batch will turn out fine, but as you can see you can easily cook 12 legs which can serve 12 if served on potatoes with a side. For eight (or four) legs, use a smaller pan.
    Enjoy!

Easy Coq au Vin

NOTE: Many recipes call for the chicken to be marinated overnight in the wine. You may certainly do this, but it really harkens back to the days when this recipe used a tough old rooster and the alcohol enzymes would help tenderize the meat. Marinate if you wish, but I don’t think it is necessary.

NOTE 2: If you use an attractive roasting pan, the chicken legs can be arranged so that you will have a very pretty dish.

For 4 legs, increase proportions as necessary

4 chicken legs
4 slices bacon cut into 1.5-inch strips (try fewer slices of really thick bacon)
Salt and pepper (additional seasonings if desired, used sparingly)
Cooking oil if needed
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms (or better yet, whole mushrooms quartered)
1 onion, sliced into rings
Optional: carrots or chopped celery (when I make pot roasts, I add the carrots two or three hours before serving so they won’t be mushy; I don't use carrots in my coc au vin)
½ cup red wine (pinot noir or burgundy or whatever you had leftover from last night)
1 clove or one teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Mashed potatoes or rice

Salt and pepper chicken. Fry four slices of the cut-up bacon in a large skillet and transfer to a large covered roasting pan or slow cooker. Add enough cooking oil to skillet to have 2 oz. of oil per four chicken legs.

Brown chicken on all sides and transfer to slow cooker or roasting pan. Saute onions and mushrooms in same skillet, starting with onions and soon adding mushrooms. After mushrooms have sauteed, add garlic and other spices, mix well and add wine.

Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker or roasting pan. Be sure to scrape off and include any bits that are stuck to the skillet. Cover and cook on LOW in slow cooker for 8 6 to 10 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. I prefer ovens to slow cookers. You can cook this at 2.5 hours at 325 degrees, or put it in at 325 for one hour, then drop the temperature to 225 for about four or more hours. You be the judge of how you like your food roasted. This could cook all day at a low temperature if you wish.

When this is done, remove roasting pan from oven, and with a ladle remove enough juice back to your skillet to make some gravy. Re-cover chicken and return to oven to keep warm. Heat liquid, slowly add flour, mixing well. Stirring constantly, slowly add a little water. This will not sizzle up like a grease-based gravy, but there is still some grease in it and it will cook down to a nice, reasonably thick gravy. You can pour this back over the chicken or serve on the side from a gravy boat. (The gravy is optional, by the way).

To serve place some mashed potatoes (or if you must, rice) on your plate and place the chicken, mushrooms and onions on top of the potatoes. Top with some gravy.

FINAL NOTE: If you want to go a step more, take about a half cup of flour and “toast” it over low heat in a dry non-stick pan until it turns a light brown. Save in a jar and use this flour for thickening and it will not leave a “floury” taste, but more of a cooked gravy taste. I’ve used plain white flour and have not had any problem.

ADDENDUM, 1-21-2012: I continue to get weekly "hits" on this recipe, so I thought I would add a few tips. First, after you fry the bacon there is a tendency to want to have a little extra grease to fry the chicken. Well, this is fine, but be sure to discard most of this grease before sauteing the onions or your dish will be too greasy! Second, it is possible to "slow cook" this for too long. I'll leave it to your own experience, but if you cook this for eight hours it had better be at very low heat.

This is a really cheap, but nice meal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Libya's lesson: Give up your nukes and perish

    If there is an nation I don’t want to have a nuclear bomb, it’s Iran. They scare me. That’s why the world has been encouraging Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program for years now. Iran certainly has nothing to fear from the West!
    Scary country number two is North Korea. They supposedly have very crude nuclear weapons. I certainly don’t want them improving of these weapons. North Korea says it only wants these weapons for self-defense, but I certainly would hope the West would have sense enough not to attack North Korea. They surely know they have nothing to fear from us!
    Libya used to have a nuclear weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program. Libya insisted it only wanted these weapons for self defense, but the West assured Libya it had nothing to fear, and so Libya gave up these weapons in order to rejoin the company of civilized, friendly nations. Libya paid reparations for its past misdeeds and in exchange was to be accepted again in decent society.
    We all know how this story ends. As soon as Libya lost the means it had to defend itself, the West turned around and attacked. Not for anything Libya did to provoke an attack, but because the West decided that Libya had been a little too firm in quelling civil unrest. How would we, as Americans, like it if, the day after Bull Conner used attack dogs on black marchers in Birmingham the Russians had simply started dropping bombs?
    The message we have sent to the weak, despotic nations of the world is clear: If you have nuclear weapons or WMDs, don’t get rid of them. As soon as you do, the West will attack your country on some pretext and you will have no means to protect yourself. Keep the nukes and survive, or attempt to join decent society and perish.
    Make no mistake, Moammar Gadhafi is a dreadful, evil person. But our country made a deal with the man. He cooperated with us and had even been an ally in the supposed war against Al Qaeda. Now we’ve stabbed him in the back. The United States, as a nation, clearly cannot be trusted.
    What a message Obama has chosen to send to the world!

Monday, April 4, 2011

For Obama, it's Ohio or bust in the next election



    President Obama has kicked off his re-election campaign. Let the fun begin!
    The Mainstream Media is presenting this as a case where Obama is the overwhelming favorite to win re-election. I can't help but wonder, can these people read an electoral vote map?
    Obama was able to win in 2008 because people were sick and tired of George Bush, particularly his decision to embroil us in wars with no end. Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan and attacked Libya for no reason. The middle east is now going to be embroiled in violence, gas prices will be through the roof, and it's all Obama's fault.
    We keep hearing that Obama isn't doing that well in public opinion polls. There is a bigger story behind these polls. In states like Vermont and Massachusetts, they still love the man. But in places like North Carolina and Indiana -- states Obama carried in 2008 -- he is as popular as smallpox.
    In short, you can count on the old Red State-Blue State map to return in the 2012 election. And because of population shifts have added votes to Red States and subtracted them from Blue States, it will return with a vengence.
    There is an interesting interactive election map at www.270towin.com. With this map you can make a few clicks and see what happens when states which almost always vote Republican return to the fold in 2012.
    I would give Obama zero chance of taking North Carolina, Indiana or Virginia. I find it highly unlikely that he will again take Florida. New Hampshire will likely return to the Republican fold. With that shift, Obama still leads 287 to 251.
    But the key is that Obama is highly unlikely to limit his losses to these almost-certain losers. He is left needing to carry lots of swing states that frequently go Republican. If he carries them all and loses Ohio, there is an Electoral College tie. This is a real possibility, although highly unlikely. If it should happen, the House of Representatives would elect the president, with each state getting one vote. So Obama loses here, too.
    I think the Republicans will take Ohio next time around. They should be able to pick up Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania or Nevada to avoid an Electoral College tie.
    I think Obama has an uphill race. An Electoral College tie is considered the ultimate longshot, but right now I think it is more likely than an Obama win.
    STOP THE PRESSES! The above map and analysis fails to take into consideration Nebraska's split delegation in 2008. Obama squeaked out one electoral vote from that state but certainly will not get it again. So after accounting for Obama's certain losses, if Republicans take Ohio and Florida they win 271-269.
    Maybe it's time to go to Intrade.com, which takes political bets, and buy shares on Ohio and Florida govorners John Kasich and Mark Rubio for vice president. At this point I feel a lot more comfortable picking the Republican No. 2 man than the top gun.
    I can also guarantee that you will see a lot of campaigning in Ohio until election day. Ohio is the prize which wins or loses the next election.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crazy Florida pastor may have found way to end war

    A nutty pastor in Florida, Terry Jones, decides to burn a few Korans and Afghanistan erupts into rabid rioting with scores killed. Is this not proof that we simply do not need to be keeping troops over there as "peacekeepers"? We won the war, let's leave right now.
    Perhaps Rev. Jones has given us a way to end the war. If lots of people started burning Korans, perhaps it would create such a turmoil that our troops would be forced to leave and come home!
    One way or the other, this thing needs to end.

Gov. Winter to speak at Lenten Luncheon


    Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter is the scheduled speaker for this Wednesday's Lenten Luncheon to be held at noon the Oxford University Methodist Church. A number of other churches also participate in the Lenten Lunch program.
From Wikipedia:
    William Forrest Winter (born February 21, 1923, in Grenada, Mississippi) is an American politician from Mississippi. He served as the 58th Governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984 as a Democrat. He is known for his strong support of public education, racial reconciliation, and historic preservation. Winter is best remembered for the passage of the Mississippi Education Reform Act. The law was the first serious attempt at improving state education in over 20 years and, among other things, established public kindergartens.
    He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss law school, where he served as Editor of the Mississippi Law Journal. During his time at Ole Miss, he was an active member of the Phi Delta Theta chapter. During World War II, Winter served in the United States Army infantry in the Philippines.
    Winter first entered politics in 1947. While in law school, Winter was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was subsequently re-elected in 1951 and 1955. He served as Tax Collector of the State of Mississippi as well as State Treasurer. He ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1967as a segregationist although one who wanted to focus on "bread-and-butter issues, not the old emotional ones—not racial issues." He eventually lost the bitterly contested race in the runoff to John Bell Williams. He was then elected to and served as Lieutenant Governor from 1972 to 1976. He again lost the Democratic nomination for governor in 1975 to Cliff Finch. He won the nomination in 1979, serving as governor form 1980 to 1984.
    After finishing his term as governor, he unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate against Republican incumbent Thad Cochran.
    Founded in 1999, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation on the Ole Miss campus is named in his honor.

In 2004, NPR conducted an interview with the former governor, which can be heard here.

Campbell talks of days with Waylon Jennings at Lenten Lunch

    I attended the Lenten Luncheon featuring Will Campbell on Wednesday at the Oxford University United Methodist Church. I must say I was surprised by the crowd. I would guess there were at least 300 people there. They gym was full.
    Although Campbell is most known as a trailblazer for civil rights, he spoke about his relationship with Waylon Jennings, for whom he got a job as a "roadie." He said he wasn't really sure what he was supposed to do, at which point Jenning's wife, Jessi Colter told him that if Waylon hired him he was to just find something to do.
    Campbell shared a few funny stories, told of his conversations with Jennings concerning his religious faith, Of Jennings kicking his drug and seven-packs-a-day cigarette habit, and finally of Jennings death and funeral.
    I recorded the talk on my Iphone. I was a good distance away and the sound quality is mediocre at best. I think I was able to turn up the volume to make it audible, although when he tells a joke and everyone at our table laughs it may burst your eardrum. At any rate, it's here and you can listen or not. I had to present it as a movie because blogger won't allow me to upload an audio file. Waylon's funeral is described in the last five minutes.

video

Friday, April 1, 2011

Noal Akins retiring from Mississippi House of Representatives

    The Oxford Eagle reports that Noal Akins is will not be a candidate for re-election to his District 12 House seat. Akins, a Republican, has held the seat for eight years.
    “I’ve been down here eight years and although it’s been a good eight years for me and we have accomplished a good bit, there are some things we didn’t accomplish that I would have liked to,” Akins told the Eagle
    Akins said he is most pleased with the tort reform changes made in 2004 and the work done toward developing economic growth. Education is one area he said he wishes more could be done.
    I talked to a legislator in another state recently, and this has been a tough year to be an elected official. It simply is not a pleasant task to deal with the kind of budget problems that states are facing these days, and I'm sure lot's of elected officials will be headed home to get some rest.
    My first memory of "Coach" Akins was when he served as coach of the newly formed Marshall Academy in 1968, back when we held classes at the First Baptist Church. The old parsonage was still standing and the Harrisons lived there. Anyone remember the old Chinese chestnut tree that would drop its spiky balls onto the playground, and how we would throw them at each other?
    Anyway, back to my first memory. Coach Akins had our third-grade class for P.E., which was held behind the church where the parking lot is now. Everyone was cutting up and finally he had enough and shouted, "That does it, I don't want to hear another peep out of a single one of you."
    Naturally I hesitated all of one-half second before giving a loud "PEEP!" A paddle wasn't available so he used a yard stick. I don't think it really hurt, but I guess it made the point, because I remember it to this day.
    Coach Akins led the Marshall Academy Patriots to several basketball state championships. He loved coaching basketball, although his doctors told him it wasn't the best thing for his heart. He later became headmaster at M.A. and we were told to call him "Mister" Akins, but we will always think of him as Coach Akins, and it is with great respect.
    He has served Marshall County, Northwest, Oxford and Lafayette County well. He says he will continue to be active in the community after he retires, and that is a lucky thing for all of us.
    So, to Coach Akins, I offer my congratulations on retirement, and a thank you for many jobs well done.