Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There was a lot in the news today. Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards withdrew from the presidential race after disappointing losses in Florida. John Edwards was more hurt after his big loss in South Carolina. These were the folks who gave him such great support in the past, but now blood is thicker than water, and Edwards lost on the basis of race. Giuliani is expected to throw his support to McCain. Edwards hasn’t said who he will support but the important endorsement of today is that Hulk Hogan has come out for Obama.

Obama claimed today that Hillary is a very divisive person who is creating great partisan divisions and is too polarizing. Is that the pot calling the kettle black or the kettle calling the pot white, or whatever in this case. South Carolina wasn’t polarizing was it? It set the stage for a black vs. white race. Hillary won big in Florida but the vote didn’t count, so we will have to wait until next Tuesday to see who the winner is for the Democrats. Let’s see how many Whites and Hispanics and how many Blacks vote. Maybe I had better wait for the polls to make a prediction.

Another issue on which Obama criticized Hillary is her position on national security. He said she is siding with the Republicans on this one. The Republicans have sure done a bad job on homeland security. Look how many homeland attacks we have had since 9/11. We need to scrap all that homeland security stuff; it’s too expensive and sure makes boarding an airplane tougher. We need a few more planes to explode. Air travel is becoming too crowded so maybe this will thin things out. Decreasing customer service and increasing lost luggage didn’t help. Increasing fuel and ticket prices didn’t work either; so, bring on the terrorist. Go Obama!!

Elsewhere in more important news, Madonna was recognized as the richest woman in the music business. She made a cool 72 million last year. Number two was Barbara Streisand at 50 million and third was Celine Dion at 45 million. Guess who was number 14 with a mere 8 million? Yes, none other than my very own favorite Britney Spears.

Where did I go wrong? I should have been a medical malpractice attorney like John Edwards or a singer like Madonna. I could have run for president and have been a multimillionaire. But no, all I can do is sit on the porch and wait for my Social Security check each month. I must admit, it’s comfortable on the porch. I wish I had been smart enough to qualify for a government check a long time ago.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Today, Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama for president. That’s very reassuring to me. It’s the main endorsement I was waiting for. All the movie stars and Oprah are also backing Obama, so that means he is a shoe in. I don’t know why we are going to the expense of an election. Let’s just inaugurate the man and pull out the troops. Other things we can implement right away are to expand Medicare to include all ages and place everyone on welfare. Those who make over $2,000 a year or anyone who is employed will be taxed at the 99% level. All property, including your household and it’s contents will become the property of the government. We are going to move the Capitol to New Orleans. Go Obama!!

Ted Kenndey will be a great asset to the campaign. He can follow Obama around and be the official toaster at all the fund raising events. He can also give Obama swimming lessons including life saving techniques. Because of his exquisite taste for fine food and drink he can always be counted on to liven up state dinners and toga parties.

Now, Obama is hoping for the big endorsement from Britney Spears. It was reported today that Britney is big business. The celebrity news industry is big business and Britney is the star. Newsstand sales for Tabloids were at a record high last year, at 2.39 billion. Much of the success was due to Britney. People magazine prints 2.5 million copies and sells about 1.5 million. If it sells 2 million then the extra half million goes to the bottom line. Spears has been on the cover of People 54 out of the last 103 issues, and is helping them break sales records. She is also big business for photographers with her baldhead picture being one of the most famous and valuable photos of all time.

If Obama can pick up Britney’s endorsement he should capture over 90% of the vote in the general election. If he could pick up Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan in addition to Britney he would be guaranteed almost 100% of the vote. It would be unbelievable if Britney’s pregnant teenage sister could also endorse him, but she, unfortunately, is too young to vote. With all these endorsement he should be made dictator for life.

It’s sure good to be on the porch away from all the madness. I now get most of my news on the computer and it’s even hard there to weed out the junk that includes Britney Spears and Ted Kennedy. I’ve become seasick riding the ups and downs of the stockmarket. I’m just going to stick to reading my books and writing the blog.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One of the things I like most about life on the porch is that I get to read a lot. Our family is supposed to be keeping a record of our reading this year and have been challenged to make a little Christmas ornament for each of the books we read to hang on the tree next Christmas. I hope I can read the most books but that can be tough in this family. I have some grandkids who are voracious readers. I hope the limbs of the Christmas tree have trouble bearing the weight of the ornaments or that we have to get an extra large tree this year.

Since Christmas I have knocked out a few books for my contribution to the tree. This is the list so far:

1. Woodrow Wilson by H.W. Brand. This is a short but complete biography of his life written by an A&M professor. Wilson was a scholar and intellect, which is very unusual for a president. His father was a minister and when Woodrow was a kid he practiced making speeches from the pulpit to empty pews. After the death of his first wife he was very depressed but married again while in office. He suffered a severe stroke during his last term and his wife Edith covered for him and carried on the duties of the president.

2. Great Feuds in Medicine by Hal Hellman. I’m using this book to help me prepare a talk on the same subject. It’s an interesting book about some great feuds but it could have been written better and made more interesting.

3. Hearts by Thomas Thompson is about the development of heart surgery by the two greats, Debakey and Cooley. It details their famous feud and is interesting reading.

4. Suspect by Michael Robotham- this one is a page turner. It’s a psychological thriller that takes you into the mind of a serial killer by a master forensic psychologist.

5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This is supposed to be a true story, but is almost unbelievable. It’s about a brilliant alcoholic father, a brilliant artist mother and their four children who live in a homeless environment. They are constantly on the move, living on nothing, eating out of dumpsters and existing in squalor until they end up on the streets in New York. They are all highly intelligent people and the children end up amazingly well with the second child, the author, becoming a very successful writer.

6, The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn & Hals Iggulden. This is a great book, full of everything for boys from 1 to 100. It’s full of facts, stories and just about everything interesting you would want to know for those of us who are still boys. It contains stuff like how to make a paper airplane, how to juggle, how to build a battery, how to make a bow and arrow, and many facts about things like astronomy, the weather, animals and insects and spiders. It tells you about codes and ciphers and contains many, extraordinary stories about things such a explorations, inventions and great battles.

7. The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything. This is a resource book and is a more sophisticated version of the Dangerous Book for Boys. I have not read the entire book but have read and studied large sections about things of interest to me. There is a lot about travel, investing, food and drinks, law, movies, sports, medicine and just about every aspect of daily life.

8. Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens – I reread a large portion of this book during Christmas. Every Christmas I get the Dickens fever. I love his characters and have to revisit them especially at Christmas time. This is about the exploits of Samuel Pickwick and three other gentleman in his traveling group, Tupman, Snodgrasss and Winkle. Chapter 28 contains one of the best descriptions in the English language about why we celebrate Christmas.

8. A Man Called Indomitable by Sonny Kleinfield – This is the story of Dr. Raymond Damadian who some credit with developing MRI. He did not share in the Noble Prize for his contribution which may have been a great oversight

9. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin. This book should be required reading for every American. It’s worth a separate blog. This blog will follow. This is a true story about a modern day Saint who should get the Nobel Prize for his efforts in building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has the formula for understanding and working with the Muslim people that is the best hope for a lasting peace.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am looking for some acreage to buy in the country. I’m thinking of going into the business of raising monkeys and donkeys. I’m betting on the possibility that these animals will be in great demand in the future.

Yesterday a great medical breakthrough was announced pertaining to transplants. The problem with transplants is that the patient rejects the organ of the donor. The transplant patient has to take very expensive medication for the rest of their life to prevent this rejection problem. Now it has been discovered that medicines may not be required if the patient has their own bone marrow suppressed and then receives a bone marrow transplant from the patient who is donating the organ. The patient develops the immune system of the donor and doesn't have this rejection problem. It’s a great breakthrough.

I look for transplants to increase. The problem is that there are not enough donors. That’s were my idea of the donkeys and monkeys comes in. It may be possible to do the same thing with an animal donor and human recipient. The animal bone marrow could be used along with their organ to go into the patient in need of a new kidney, heart, etc.. All this could fit nicely to go with the personality of so many people who are already monkey’s or asses. This would work especially good for politicians and CEO’s.

I’m counting on this animal model to work. I might even get into animal cloning and species purification to develop the perfect organ for transplant purposes. Hogs are another possibility, since so may humans fit into that category.

With the stock market and economic problems threatening to drive me off the porch, I think I have found the solution. I could make millions off this deal if I can get the insurance companies to buy into coverage. That may not be necessary because we will soon have national health care that will cover anything.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My partner loves to browse through antique stores. Sometimes I accompany her. Most of them smell musty and I start sneezing. I also get the feeling that the ghost of the people who once owned the stuff are there and I can almost feel their presence. I think about my dead aunts, uncles and others who owned pieces like the ones we are viewing. Most of the stores just contain junk and look like a flea market. There is a lot of stuff identical to what we have thrown away. I should have saved much of our old cast offs from my childhood, like a tin lunch pail with a Roy Rogers and Trigger picture on the top.

I love to look at the old books and magazines. I was browsing through a store the other day and saw an old Look magazine. My grown kids, and certainly my grandkids, never heard of that great magazine. When I was a kid I loved to read Look, Life and Saturday Evening Post and I was a comic book addict. I learned to read from the comics. Pictured above is an old Look with the picture of Judy Garland.

Anyway the Look magazine was from 1954. It had a story by Ernest Hemingway and the cover had a picture of Marilyn Monroe. The advertisements were the most interesting thing in the magazine. There were a lot of cigarette ads. There were advertisements from companies and automobiles which no longer exist. My kids never heard of Studebaker, Nash, Kaiser, Hudson or Packard automobiles. Of course, Japanese models weren’t heard of. All sort of unhealthy products were advertised, but they were sure good. Hardly anything that taste good now days is good for you. A babies formula at that time consist of Pet milk and Karo Syrup, that couldn’t be good even in 1954. A few other interesting facts: a new house cost about $9,000, a new car $1,800, a gallon of gas 20 cents and a postage stamp 3 cents. The average income was $3,900. It was all great except that we didn’t have air-conditioning in our home. Air-conditioning was only in the movie theater in our town and is one of the reasons I must have gone there so often.

I sure miss those old magazines and the stuff advertised in them. The stories and pictures in those publications were great. I wanted to buy a few of the old magazines for the porch library but I started sneezing and decided I already had enough reading material for the rest of my life. For now I will just have to reminisce and make an occasional visit to the antique stores to rekindle the fond memories of those glorious times.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every time that day rolls around or November 22 the day Kennedy was assassinated, I am reminded of conspiracy theories. Today is not the day of King’s assassination, but just a day to celebrate his life. It still makes me think his death may have been part of a great conspiracy that actual was designed to promote the cause of Civil Rights. He became a martyr and hero, which accelerated integration. Of course, some believe that J. Edgar Hoover had him killed along with several others. It is hard to believe that a punk, petty crook like James Earl Ray could do such a thing alone. It’s also hard to believe that a guy like Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to kill Kennedy.

There are many who believe that major events are part of a great conspiracy. They believe there is a secret group of powerful people who get together and manipulate everything. Taylor Caldwell wrote a great book several years ago that was made into a TV miniseries called Captains and Kings. It’s the story of an Irish immigrant boy who grows up to be extremely wealthy and powerful. He becomes part of this secret group of guys who are the wealthiest and most powerful in the world. They control presidential elections and everything. The Irishman wants his son to be elected President of the United States, but the son is assassinated when he is about to win the election. The other men in the conspiracy group didn’t want the son as president because he was an independent thinker and maverick who would not be under their control.

There are many other conspiracy theories such as the New World Order, which is a group of people who seek to rule the world with a one government order. The AntiChrist may be part of this group. The events in the Middle East and the alliance between Iran and Russia may also be part of this theory.

Other major events are also suspect of being part of a conspiracy such as: Marilyn Monroe’s death; the Bobby Kennedy assassination; the John Lennon killing; the Oklahoma City bombing; the Apollo moon landing; UFO’s; and the Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Bill Clinton affairs. Hillary claims there is a great Right Wing Conspiracy.

I don’t know if any of these conspiracy theories are correct but it’s sure fun to read about them and the documentaries about them on TV are about the only interesting thing to watch. Some evil group must be behind the fall in the Stock Market. They are trying to get me off the porch and back to work.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Among all the rhetoric and debate surrounding the presidential race the issue of the war seems to have taken a back seat. Much of the debate has deteriorated into personal attacks including religion and race. The economy is certainly coming to the forefront as an issue as important as the war. We need to hear talk about how to solve our economic problems and end the war by overcoming our addiction to oil.
In 1998, I read a book that was a national bestseller called, “The Prize.” It is about the epic quest for oil, money and power. At one time wars were about imperialism. Countries seemed to just want to dominate other countries to spread their philosophy or way of life. Christian countries and Islam had this imperialist motive. War also resulted from the attempts to overthrow ruthless tyrants who wished to dominate and expand their power. The book, “The Prize” points out that the world economy is now based on oil and we may be driven to fight for it. In my view that is what is really happening now with Iraq. It’s all about oil and our dependence on it. We seem to be hopelessly addicted. Until the addiction ends we are doomed to fight for our economic survival.

We have been labeled as an “information economy” that now coexist with the “industrial economy.” Whatever we may be called the fact remains that oil is the lifeblood of civilization and our economy. Until we achieve a technological breakthrough to diminish the importance of oil we are at the mercy of powers in the Middle East, Venezuela and even Russia who have the supply of the precious liquid. We have become like Gollum and his quest for the ring in Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings.” The quest to satisfy our insatiable appetite for oil will soon make us even look like Gollum. We will be a withered distorted figure of a country because of our addiction and hopeless quest.

I reread Tolkien every few years to keep me up with the grandkids and remind me that I don’t want to be like Gollum but more like Bilbo Baggins, Frodo or Sam. Like the Hobbits who love the Shire, I am content with the porch. I can only hope that our next president will end our quest for the Precious Oil.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I’m thinking about going into politics. I’m learning to flip-flop on issues. A few days ago I showed a picture on the blog of Obama not saluting the flag. I then learned that this might be a mistake because no one is stupid enough to not salute the flag if they are running for office. Now I learn the photo is authentic. I even saw a video clip. Apparently they are not saying the pledge but singing the National Anthem. I have always thought you were suppose to salute the flag during the National Anthem and I’m not even running for office. So I have really learned to do some flip-flops on this issue. I think I’m getting the hang of what you have to do to be a politician.

The position assumed by Obama on the flag photo is interesting. He is standing holding his hand over his private parts. This is a very old, natural instinct of man that started in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were running around naked until she sinned by eating the apple. They immediately became modest and covered their private parts. Adam then had to buy gifts for Eve, and make her all sort of promises including marriage before she would again reveal her nakedness to him. It became one of the great challenges of mankind and can even be more difficult than running for president. Women make the quest even more challenging by the clothes they wear. Island natives and primitive tribes, who haven’t read the Bible, apparently aren’t ashamed, so they frequently run around naked. Anyway, the picture at least proves Obama is civilized.

As another flip-flop, I am also reconsidering my position on Obama. After all, he is now being backed by Oprah. Who would dare dispute Oprah and all the other stars now supporting Obama. I always do a run down of the stars to see who they support before I cast my vote. I sure hope Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are Obama fans. I saw Chuck Norris standing by Huckabee which gives me a lot of confidence in that candidate but Chuck just doesn’t have the star power of an Oprah.

I now have a flag on the porch so I can practice the proper salute in case I do decide to enter politics. I’m getting so good at the flip-flop, I really think I am a natural.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I have been informed that the picture of Obama on my recent blog, not saluting the flag or saying the pledge, may be a fake. That’s okay because the picture pretty well depicts my impression of the man. I have a couple of other blogs in recent months that are even better. One shows him as the AntiChrist.

After all, the blog is my opinion and like Huck Finn said about Mark Twain and his book Tom Sawyer, “he told the truth mainly.” I tell the truth mainly, but I never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Of course my hero is Mark Twain. He is shown above holding his famous jumping frog. I would love to hear what Mark Twain had to say about our crop of today’s politicians. In general, he had great mistrust for politicians and those in office. He grouped them with preachers, thieves and others in the trade.

Here are a few of his quotes:
History has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have a good government under politicians. Now to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn’t be wise.

No matter how healthy a man’s morals may be when he enters the White House, he comes out with a pot-marked soul.

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

I think a lot about Mark Twain as I sit on the porch. Nearby, I have a book of his famous quotes and all of his writings. I have one set of his complete works that takes 29 volumes to fill. I love just about everything he said. He made many statements about truth. One of my favorite quotes on the subject of truth is: “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.” I try my best to economize it on the blog.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The above picture is worth a million words. We are about to elect a president who doesn’t salute the flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance. He will be the Commander-in- Chief of our Armed Forces. Why worry about Osam bin Laden? His cousin Obama will be our leader. Obama talks about the need for change. I fear the change he really means is surrender.

A few months ago we visited the Clinton Library. There were a large number of blacks visiting the library. It was an encouraging sight, because it is unusual to see more than a handful of blacks visiting an historic site. It would be interesting to visit the Clinton Library today. The black folks have all probably abandoned the premises to show their support for Obama. Blood is thicker than water. The Christian Fundamentalist are throwing their support to Huckabee, the women to Hillary, the Mormons to Romney, the trial lawyers to Edwards, and so on. Who is an American first?

One of my New Years Resolutions was to keep the blog free from political comment. Like my other resolutions, that one bit the dust. It’s like keeping an ice cream cone away from a kid. It’s too inviting a morsel. It’s great material for just poking fun. My liberal friends think I am a conservative and my conservative friends think I am a liberal. They are both right.

I have always liked the American flag and the Bible. I have purchased a copy of the Koran for the porch because it may be required reading in the future. I’m not going to pick up a book of Mormon until after the Michigan primaries. Of course, I will continue to read Hints from Heloise in the event Hillary continues to make a comeback. The stack of reading material on the porch is getting higher every day.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I have been away from the blog for a few days. My partner and I have been helping out with a couple of my very close kin. They are very elderly and have dementia. One is in an advanced stage of Alzheimers. I have seen many bad things in my life but nothing is worse than losing your mind. I guess it’s not so bad for the victim, but for the caregiver it is hell. Being around these folks makes you wonder if it’s not contagious. Dementia is so common now and every time I can’t remember a name and every time my partner misplaces her purse I think we are getting this dreaded plague. Let’s see, what was I writing about?

In the normal person there seems to be an invisible mantle of inhibitions covering the brain that keeps unacceptable behavior and primitive instincts repressed in the subconscious. This mantle is a web of chemical transmitters. In dementia this mantle dissolves and all sort of weird behavior is manifest. The thought process becomes disassociated and haphazard until what you say or think makes no sense. This evil and bad behavior can also be released from the subconscious through trap doors in the mantle. Things like anger and drugs act like trap doors. The kin I have helped take care of this past week, certainly, have little mantle of inhibition left. They are not the people I once knew. It’s very sad.

The only amusement I’ve had all week is watching the election results and the activities of Britney Spears. Britney has no mantle of inhibition. It has been completely dissolved by drugs and alcohol. All the politicians say the same thing. The presidential candidates use the power of words to hypnotize the audience. They all promise great change for a government that will give us everything. Our whole brain is dissolved when we listen to them. My kin with dementia are fortunate about some things; they don’t have to listen to all the political garbage or bother with the misbehavior of Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.

Tomorrow, I will be back to my fortress of solitude on the porch. I will replace the TV with my world of books and stay off the highway. I will be back among the sane, namely, no one. It doesn’t get any better than that.