Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections For The New Year

I shared this post one year ago. The photos are taken from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The clouds above and the obscuring fog below led me to reflect what lies ahead and how futile it is to plan and attack the new year with gusto and new resolutions.


It is easy for us to reflect on the year just concluded. It is much harder to reflect on what lies ahead.

To start with, we must agree, there is no guarantee of a tomorrow; not even one next minute. So in that sense, there is no use in any new year resolutions. We quickly come to understand we have no control what comes next. The Almighty, not you or I, directs all things. The old adage "If it's the Lord's will, . . ." becomes the crux of the matter.

What do you see out there in the picture above? Something in the distance? Is that the mountain you plan to conquer this year? You can't even see it all. . . . Look, it is covered with uncertainty.

Not only are you not guaranteed the next step, but you don't know what is lurking in the valley. In your mind you may see your goal clearly, and even the joy of the blue sky beyond, but still, it is not you that will get you there.

That is why from our vantage point, at the beginning of a new year, we must look up. You will notice the clouds above resemble the clouds below. They are there to remind us that God obscures what's ahead, but He can lift the clouds and lift uncertainties.

TRUST, is the key word. After all, what is the purpose of it all? The purpose of this life? –– Like Jesus said: "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, but loose his soul?" . . .  "I have come to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there you may be also." . . .  "Don't worry about tomorrow, for today has enough trouble of its own." . . .  "Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." . . .  "My peace I will give you; not like the world gives . . ."

Those are eternal words for an eternal life, an unclouded day. –– He is "The Way, the Truth, and the Life . . ." He can lift the clouds of greed and selfishness and let you look into the new year with a Hope, a Hope of Glory, far beyond the days ahead.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brr . . . Lets Go Back A Month Or More

Even the nandina is bowed in prayer.

The pines are hushed, drooping to shrink from the cold.

All wants to return in time when late summer breezes tickled and fluttered leaves and blades.

To a time when color was king . . .

To a time when warmth invaded the bones . . .

Dreaming of cattails and broom sage . . .

But . . . the time has gone.

We dream to enjoy once more. . .  Let us not forget who has given us every day, as He sees fitting for us.

I thank God and His Son Jesus for every breath, every step, and every day.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Snowed-in, Treed-in, And Iced-in

Snowed-in, Treed-In, and Iced-In

The Christmas celebrations finally ended. Not to say, “I’ve had enough,” but to finally get a chance to come down from heights of excitement, grandchildren, and family.

The day after the ho-ho-ho we ventured out to Copper Hill, our getaway cabin. It sleeted so hard when we left that by the time we had travelled a mile it became apparent that maybe we should’ve stayed at home. The wipers had trouble keeping up. Nine-tenth of the way up goose creek hill we came to a spinning stall. I slapped the truck into four-wheel drive to get us to the crest. Ten miles later I eased it back into straight drive and made it all the way to our drive at Copper Hill.

Back in four-wheel drive we inched our way toward the cabin in three inch thick ice and snow. The barren trees and pines drooped with thick and heavy ice, a natural winter wonder. Harsh winds a week earlier left their mark on the driveway. We were able to navigate around several trees that sprawled across the drive. About a thousand feet from the cabin our luck changed. Two thick pines, to big to climb over with the truck, blocked our way. This called for a chainsaw. After I whacked off the portions that hindered forward progress, I hoofed it to get my farm tractor. Thank God for the front-end loader and four-wheel drive I pushed the problem out of the way. On to the house we went.

Home and safe at last. However, the heat did not run. No electricity. The place had cooled to a humbling 55º. The inside of the truck became our refrigerator. We dare not leave any food outdoors for the critters to smell. Soon wood heated the place to a cozy 68º.

At four in the afternoon the power came on. Great! The day however, was too cold to melt any of the thick ice on the pine trees. The weatherman prophesied strong winds during the night and into the next day. Not good for 100 foot tall white pines near the cabin.

Carol threw a third quilt on the bed; just in case! The cast iron stove packed with hot coals persuaded us to crawl into bed. The wind whipped. Ice and branches blew unto the tin roof. In the forest trees snapped. Angry clouds scurried past the full moon. Ice from the roof tore loose and seemingly landed above our heads . . . we prayed.

The wind whined. Debris hit the windows and tin roof. Nearby massive snaps sounded like guns going off and followed by the tear of dozens of branches cracking, plunging to the ground. 

I got up again and helplessly watched a half dozen 100 foot pines, 50 feet from the house, sway in wild circles. I prayed some more.

The projected temperature on the ceiling read 65º inside, 30º outside. Under Carol’s quilts, too nervous to relax, I checked the temperature again. . .. Nothing. No power!
The wind moaned. Huge trees snapped. Then a horrendous crack, followed by an earth shaking thump, a massive pine top hit within a few feet of the house. The white snow outside the window looked black, covered by the fallen pine. Hell didn’t subside all night. Helpless we all are in facing the fury of God.

It's 23º this morning. Over 2000' of driveway. I'm glad I was home for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Magic Of Christmas

This short story is from my book "A TIME AND PLACE The Making of an Immigrant." It is expanded and will be published as part of an e-book in the future. 

The day of December 24 started and continued like any other day. However, my sister, Dagmar, and I knew this was the big day. Our home showed no sign of Christmas, no tree, no decorations, only the smells of the special time. 
We helped Mom bake a variety of cookies. We cracked nuts and greased pans. Dagmar and I knew that sometime before the end of the day, the Christ child would come. 
Around four in the afternoon, Mom put us to bed. She told us if the Kristkindle is going to come, it would not want to be seen. It is a heavenly Being and it only took a moment to come and be gone again. The timing had to be perfect. 
So we went to bed, full of excitement and expectations. We lay perfectly still. Quiet. Whether sister went to sleep, I do not know. As for me, I was too excited to do any sleeping. I listened, dreamed and imagined, trying to put the magic in order. I was a thinking little fellow, always wondering why things worked in certain and often unexpected ways. 
Around 8 o’clock Mom woke us up. As we entered the kitchen the whole world suddenly glowed in splendor. The single light bulb, hanging from the ceiling, was turned off. In the corner stood a tall Christmas tree, shimmering, trimmed with many glistening ornaments and tinsel all lovingly placed one at a time. 
White wax candles flickered, each with its little drip bowl to catch dripping wax. The candles were clipped to the branches of the fir tree. Tinsel hung like angelic hair. It quivered and slightly swayed from the candles’ warmth. We stood close to this wonder, enthralled by its magic. The angelic hair responded to every breath. 
The glass ornaments, very fragile and sprinkled with many sparkling tiny crystals, shimmered as they reflected the magic. 
Our little family stood mesmerized in front of the tree. We held to each other as we sang Silent Night, Holy Night. After singing Mom lifted us up, one at a time, to blow out the candles. To this day I love to smell a snuffed candle’s smoke. 
Once more Mom pulled the string to the light. With the Christmas magic still in our hearts we searched under the tree for presents. The presents were mostly woolen clothes knitted by Mom. One year I also received a drafting ruler 10 cm long. In other years a set of coloring pencils and paper to draw on, a stamp collecting album. One year I got a compass set with a fountain pen. 
After opening the presents, we sat and enjoyed the wondrous evening eating cookies and drinking Glühwein. A hot mix made with cheap red wine and equal amounts of hot tea. The belly warming blend sat on the stove and simmered with orange peels, cloves, cinnamon sticks and sugar; any alcohol the wine might have had now long evaporated. The taste and smell, to this day, means Christmas. 
Just before midnight, if we didn’t go to midnight mass, we heated Weisswurst (a white sausage) in a pan of water. Dipped in sweet mustard, along with warm potato salad and buttered hard rolls . . .. Heaven came down. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Remember Safe and Free?



Do you remember when the words safe and free could be used interchangeably?

Remember when children went out to play for the afternoon and the only instruction they were given by the parent was to be home by supper time.

Those were the days when child molesters and perverts understood their position in society. When our culture found such behavior repulsive. When it wasn’t a joke or fashionable to step out of the closet and swoon with likeminded beings.

Yes, children could play all day and be free. Free of predators who have sunk so low in their lust to carry off children.

Remember when the truth didn’t depend on the situation?
Remember when stealing was an understood act and not an available item to rip off?
Remember when adultery was the destruction of ones integrity and not a fling or an affair?
Remember when gay meant having a joyous and merry time?
Remember when a relationship was among businesses? Now relationships start innocently in middle school, but the term also includes devious behavior, such as same sex, groups, and your cute potbellied pig. 

Coming back to my point.
We are now a society where not only our possessions are no longer safe, but our children are subject to being snatched from us at any moment. We hold on to them tight. Our eyes never leave them. We bolt the door, check on them during the night.

Yes, we are no longer free, weather child or adult. The child is not free although it does not know it. The adult is not free because they know it.

The fact of my lament here was driven home to me in a recent visit to my local gas station. 
I was pumping gas when another car pulled up to do the same on the other side of the pump. A lady in her late twenties pumped ten dollars worth into her tank. After she hung up the nozzle, she opened the rear door and unbuckled her child from the safety seat. She picked the two year old up and carried him into the convenience store. Within seconds she returned, having paid her bill, placed the child back in his seat, latched the boy tight, slid into the driver’s seat.

Before she drove off I asked her if she unlatched the child because she felt it was not safe for thirty-seconds while she stepped into the store. She said, “Yes, I didn’t want to leave him out here alone.” 

The young mother and I agreed that we are living in a wicked world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Christmas Goose

This short story is from my book "A TIME AND PLACE The Making of an immigrant." It is expanded and will be published as part of an e-book in the future. 

Several times we had goose for Christmas. Imagine, looking back, how did Mother do it. I wouldn't doubt she cashed in a silver coin for it, one of the ones she illegally hoarded in the early forties. 
No such thing as a frozen goose. Freshly butchered, the only way to go in the forties. Though I never witnessed the act, but after the head came off the blood drained immediately into a pot for future use. 
We dipped the lifeless goose into scalding water after which our little family plucked off the feathers. Mom carefully removed the non-edible innards. She cleaned the goose feet then dropped them into the pot of goose blood. The neck she cut off and also put into the pot. The gizzard she turned inside out, cleaned it, and it also ended up in the pot. The heart, split in half, and the fresh liver, all salted and peppered, was fried on the spot. It made a lip-smacking snack. 
Now, that pot of blood, with its delectable additions, was destined to become the New Year’s Eve meal. Before the lid went on the pot, Mom added a good cup of vinegar, salt, bay leaves, a couple of sliced onions, some celery leaves, fresh carrots, parsley, and plenty of peppercorns. This special concoction marinated until the appointed day when all was brought to a boil and left to simmer till done. To achieve the desired thickness of the blood based sauce, mother added flour.
On New Year’s Day the feast was complemented with Semmelknödel (bread dumplings), cabbage, and boiled sugar beets. This Bavarian delicacy is called Gansjung (young goose), a perfect extension and finale of the holiday season. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Our Christmas goose was stuffed then oven baked. Stuffing included chopped stale bread and hard rolls, onions, celery, parsley, a couple of eggs, some sage, salt and pepper tossed together with scalded milk to get a loose, moist mixture. 
Every meat dish always grew much gravy. The Christmas goose was certainly no exception. Gravy not only stretched a meal, but it added comfort to the other trimmings. 
Of course, the rendered goose grease was like gold. Some of that fat Mom skimmed off the gravy. A golden yellow spread when cooled. Sort of granular, it easily covered rye bread with a little added salt for a mighty treat when the snows howled.
A bit of that yellow gold we saved for medicinal purposes. Hot goose grease rubbed on the chest, then covered with hot damp towels, was a sure bet to loosen a winter cough. 
Story has it, the fat Christmas goose had been force fed. The way my mother explained it, it was simply done by placing the goose in tight quarters. She was then systematically forced to eat much more than normally. This they did by holding the head back, pry open the beak, then stuff the food down the throat with the handle of a wooden spoon. Not a comforting picture, but it rendered a bounty of yellow gold.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Evil, What is it?

Our inner being, our human spirit, can perceive, analyze, and make a willful decision.

By nature we can conclude extremes and total opposites.

We live with light and darkness. We know light dispels darkness.

We know there are undisputed truths, not situational ethics, that can never be overcome by lies.

We know instinctively hate can never eliminate love, but expressed love can, and always overpowers hate.

We use the word Evil, but what is it?
What defines something as evil?
What is the basis of our judgement to call something evil?
What do we have to compare to make evil so repugnant?

If we just throw the word evil out there, and don't know the absolute opposite, we ourselves, are in the realm of evil. Our human spirit is willfully excluding the absolute opposite of evil––which is Holy.

At this point God is rejected.

The world admits to "Intelligent Design" because evolution admits it has no beginning. The world however, does not admit A Beginning who is Holy. The Word says He is Holy, Holy, Holy. God is all powerful, all knowing, everlasting. He is Truth, Love, and Justice. He is the opposite of absolute Evil.

Don't call something or someone evil unless you know the true God. What you are doing is admitting your own capabilities and dominance of the evil in you.

Choose today whom you will serve. We all have a Master. We cannot serve both. We will either love the one and hate the other!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nickolaus And His Knecht

This is an amplified story from my book "A TIME AND PLACE The Making Of An Immigrant"

A Picture Out Of My Book
Practically every day on the calendar the catholics honor a saint designated to that day. If your name is the same as the saint's, you celebrated your Name Day. 
December the sixth is Saint Nickolaus’ day. The German celebration has nothing to do with Christ Jesus and His birthday. Activities of honoring St. Nick are a bit unusual and is not related to what is call Christmas in the America. 
In my younger days Saint Nick visited family homes on December 6. We didn't have malls or television, so the only way a kid got to see this colorful character, bearded and royally cloaked, is when parents thought it worthy to either reward or punish their children. Let me tell you what I mean.
Saint Nick is always dressed in a red coat with white cuffs. He wears a tall hat like the Pope would during certain religious festivities. He walks with a tall staff in one hand and is proud of his long white beard. He has a sack over his shoulders with goodies in it. 
When Saint Nick comes to visit on the evening of the sixth, he asks the parents for a report on the behavior of the children during the previous year. If the child is deserving, it may get some cookies, apples, nuts or rock candy, along with a little admonishment to strive to be an even better person the coming year. 
To have a Saint Kick come to ones house, parents visited a local Gasthaus where men, wearing St. Nick outfits, were gathered and waited to be hired. 
However, for the kids who really needed a bit of reprimand, St. Nick’s helper, Knecht Rupprecht, would have to come along. This Knecht Rupprecht doled out the deserved punishment. 
Oh this Knecht, he is an ugly, bent over, mean-looking creature. He wears a sackcloth mantle over his shoulders and a crude rope tied around his waist. His hair is dark and scraggly. He is marked with dark shadows under his beady eyes and has a deep frown extending down from each side of his mouth. A long and heavy chain, which he drags on the ground behind him, introduces him as the coming of doom. He snorts and grunts and makes eerie noises as he comes up the front walkway, or up the steps to pay a visit. 
I recall one night in the mid 1940s, when our little family visited the home of a friend with two daughters in their mid teens. During our friendly and jovial visit a terrifying commotion outside the house suddenly pierced my ear and heart as Knecht Rupprecht approached the shut front door. St. Nick had to restrain his Knecht from totally going mad and breaking down the door. My sister and I shivered. We vowed never to do anything wrong again as long as we lived. We did not want to face this evil creature. 
After a brief report from the girls' mother, the Knecht stomped and smacked his wooden switch to the floor. He chased the giggling girls around the house and into the bedroom. Soon the calamity subsided. The girls received their reward. I, however, could not understand the disrespect these girls had for an individual of such authority. 
I also remember on one such night when a young boy, a little older than me, still having respect for “authority” was rewarded with Rupprecht's whipping cane. After the good salting the naughty boy found himself stuffed in Knecht Rupprecht’s sack. The Knecht, grunting and mumbling, carried the boy into the night several hundred yards from the boy’s house. After the boy was shaken from the sack into the deep snow in the woods, he received additional stern warnings and told to find his way back home. I bet the boy changed his clothes from the inside out after that ordeal!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Odd Feasts

Franz's Symbol of Wisdom
I have eaten snails, snakes, eels, turtles, tongues, ears, snouts, jowls, brains, lungs, liver, kidneys, gizzards, hearts, sweetbread, blood sausage, blood gravy.

I've had aligator, squid, piranha, muscles, clams, oysters, shark, sailfish, and other fish.

I've eaten sheep, goat, deer, rabbit, squirrel, and South American groundhog.

I've devoured stuffed chicken neck, stuffed pig bladder, and a hundred variations of stuffed intestines called sausage in natural casing.

I've eaten strange combinations of pickled stuff. Pickled eggs, pickled herrings, pickled lungs, pickled pig's feet, pickled tongue, jowls, and snouts.

Back in 1957, working at my full time job, I, the apprentice had to pick up lunches for several of the older workers. I would take the order to the local lunch counter and wait for the cook to get it together.
One lady in the front office often ordered peanut butter and bacon on rye. I have loved peanut butter since I first came to this country, but never tried this combination.

Only recently, 55 years later, I tried it. Instead of rye bread I used two slices of wholewheat thin bread.
I dolled up my plate with some grapefruit slices, sat down ready to enjoy.

You know, the combination didn't do anything for me. The bacon overpowered the peanut butter and the peanut butter overpowered the bacon. It had no taste. Truly is a strange combination. I could not distinguish any flavor. Sad, but I ate it all anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Are You Thankful Yet?

What are you thankful for?
Would you be thankful if you could walk to an open market and afford one of these family meals?

If you had the money, the deluxe Thanksgiving meal is offered with or without the gizzard, heart, and liver. The basic meal is two chicken legs, two wings, and two pairs of scrubbed white chicken feet.

Or, if such a treat is beyond your budget, you can bargain for a live rat recently trapped in the muck of the receding Amazon.

With your holiday meal in the bag you can trek back to your hovel on stilts. These living quarters give homes to tens-of thousands.

The reason for the elevated structures is to allow for rising waters when once more the rainy season begins.

Would you be thankful to have a home? A home where oozing waste from the city on higher ground meanders among the neighborhood.

Are you thankful for a safe and cozy home with indoor toilets and a tub filled with soothing warm water to soak in? If you are, turn your heart toward this young girl who is happy simply because she has never experienced any of the comforts and material gratifications we have.

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Saggin

Franz's Symbol of Wisdom
He goes by the name of “Slam," a wide shouldered fellow, accustomed of getting his way. In high school he proved his manhood on the wrestling mat. From his neck down a tattoo of an eagle sprawls across his back. The bird appears alive when flexing muscles dominate his opponents. The girls swooned.

After high school, Slam, happy with his status in life, doesn’t find the need of a marketable skill important. His high school fame however, gradually diminishes. The challenge shifts to be cool in his neighborhood. Cool now is the very object of his existence. A black spider tattooed on his neck, reaching for Slam's adorned left ear, is cool. A pierced tongue sporting a silver stud is cool. His shirt, silver and black satin, open to his belt line, showing off his glistening oiled chest, is cool. A gold plated chain with a large, black iron cross makes him a dominating, hard cool. 

Slam does not sit at home, but saunters down toward the main drag where he is apt to get the recognition he desires. Earplugs supply rap music adding an imperceptive beat to accompany his slow walk. With every other beat his left foot sags to the sidewalk ever so slightly, while his right shoulder compliments the bop. The dude has swag!

Slam hits the big time, the main drag. The sidewalk widens. Friends in cars, sub-woofers blaring, slow down to make eye contact with one of their kind. Slam the man holds his baggy, sagging jeans with his left hand while the other hand gives an approving signal; finger pointing forward. His stroll has now slowed to the rhythm of every fourth beat. 

Hanging suspenders decorate his hips having been demoted from doing their job. All is cool. Across his lower back his underwear begins to seek freedom. The skivvies pop in the sun like a liberated grader belt. A dog bone print on the fabric becomes obvious. The bones alluding to his masculine prowess.

Pooled at the bottom, his britches drag the ground as frayed strands of strings follow like dried worms. Slam is careful not to obscure his highly prized, over-sized sneakers. He also makes sure the touted brand is visible on the side of his brogans, the status symbol of his overall flare. The loose laces are opposite of black. Laced only through four loops, and gathered in the front. They add to being cool and casually drag the sidewalk, giving an air to the in thing.

Slam hears a long blast from a car horn. He partially turns to acknowledge the supposed recognition by a compadre. Instead he sees a long-legged shepherd pup weaving his way through traffic. The hound finds the neighborhood dude irresistible. He sniffs and playfully jumps on Slam. Slam now, being upstaged by this goofy four-legged pain, smacks at the dog. Not deterred, the playful pup nips at the sagging britches and finds the unravelling result exciting. The dog grabs the suspenders and pulls hard to detach them. At this point Slam is urged to forego the rhythm of his earplugs and begins to free himself from the new attraction on the main drag.

To ward off the playful critter, Slam forgets his styling and realizes his underwear is now in full bloom. When he attempts to make a run for it, he steps on his loose laces causing the shoe to come off. With his pants around his ankles, he loses balance and stumbles to the sidewalk. Frantically he reaches for his prized shoe before the hound finds the smell irresistible. 

The dog however, lets go of the stretched suspenders smacking poor Mr. Cool in the butt.
Slam raises his voice and whops the dog with his sneaker. The lively pup still thinks this is a great game and is convinced the cute bones on the skivvies are for him. Mine, mine! Yum, yum, exclaims the dog as he yanks the underwear into shreds and exposes Mr. Cool’s muscular, untanned full moon. 

Bent over, trying to pull up some cover, Slam notices a school bus stopped at the light. The bright yellow rig, full of the neighborhood’s kids, is not in the hurry. It hangs a while at the light as all its passengers crowd to the windows. Across the street, two people are raising their cell phones to capture the excitement to be shared with the local evening's newscast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Economics Extended


The reason I feel compelled to harp on economics is not because I want to lecture on your personal budget, but set in motion a thought and a scenario which has happened in history over and over again.

When we as a country move away from free enterprise, upon which this country was founded, we can move in two directions: to the right, or to the left.

We can move to the right of the political spectrum with less government and less taxes, less intrusion and fewer dictates. We could go further to the right until most of the laws of the land are removed. And even more to the right until all the laws to govern the people have disappeared and all government is gone. At that point, knowing the basic wickedness of humankind, we would wind up in anarchy and undoubtedly be suppressed by the most brutal force or person. Simply, some individual or a power will always find a way to viciously dominate.

We can also move to the left with more government, more laws and dictates to ever more squash and suppress the free enterprise system. This path is sly and deceptive. It first begins with taxation and redistribution. High taxation stifles the free spirit to take chances and get ahead, create self reliance and personal wealth. Taxation also funds welfare to tease and hook the idle. (By all means, I'm not talking about Social Security or other safety net funds.) By hook I mean masses will become dependent on government. We all know human nature, it is always nice to get free stuff.

The second part of this deceptive drift is the suppression of job creators by dictating rules, in the guise of a cleaner and greener environment. This decrease of jobs adds more folks to the unemployed and under-employed count, and you guessed it, more folks looking for help from the government. Then the progressives also add massive amounts of government jobs. To add even more folks on the take, they remove the requirement to prove recipients actually are looking to get a job. They make work disability benefits more easy to receive, and therefore add tens of millions more on the dole. The deception continues. Now add all these programs together and you have masses that will suckle from the government until the milk runs dry.

However, to the smiles of the Socialists, dependency translates into votes. When dependent people outnumber the ones that generate the wealth which pays the taxes, you have a Socialist in power. And with the dependency voters in the majority, who of them would elect a leader who promises to reduce the freebees?

The problem with this setup is that soon the supply of moneys taxed will not be enough to support the idle. So, the government has to do one or two things, print more money, or borrow it. Both are bad. Printing more money reduces the worth of it. It reduces the buying power of the money you have earned and or saved. It buys less, because inflation has eaten up its value.

The government then is also forced to borrow money to keep the piglets fed. This is more cost to the folks that pay taxes. (We all have heard of the $16,000,000,000,000 debt we now have) This debt, owned a lot by the Arabs and Chinese, amounts to around $50,000 for each person living in the USA. Including every baby, man, woman and senior citizen. (It also counts the ones who do not pay any income taxes. . . your share of the debt just doubled.) Just think, we have to pay this debt back! Most likely our children will suffer for that.

Reasonable people know this trend can not be sustained. In the end the government collapses. Riots and thievery takes to the streets. Chaos and anarchy looms. The Socialist is now relegated to clamp down and suppress. This is called Communism.

Communism is responsible for well over 100 million corpses in the last century. Starting with the Bolsheviks in 1917. The latest research claims that Mao Tse-Tung was responsible for over seventy million deaths, and Stalin alone may have killed 60 million people in the USSR alone.

Like I said, the pendulum of basic economics can swing either way. The country was founded on a careful balance of it being at the 6 o'clock mark. (After all, this is why there is hardly anyone in the world that would not want to come to this country.) The closer we can stay at that 6 o'clock point, the longer this country will last.

See previous posts with the American flag as the symbol.

Also, please consider down loading my novel RED SOLSTICE on Kindle, or go to my website to purchase a hardcopy. The novel exposes totalitarianism during the post WWII era.


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Flying Outhouse


THE FLYING OUTHOUSE  (A story out of my book
As I got a little older and bolder, I was allowed to fully use the grownup’s throne room, a medieval masterpiece. 
From the backyard, it looked like a pair of giant bird houses stuck, high up, to the outside of the building. The “flying outhouse” precariously clung to the stone walls in the corner of the Gasthaus and the stable wing. An enclosed wooden shaft extended down fifteen feet to almost ground level. The double outhouse, a two-seater wooden structure, faced north. Inside, a couple of vertical boards partitioned the two perfectly round cut-outs. That partition displayed the only decoration in the room, a wire hook. To keep this hook filled with little squares of newspaper was my assignment. 
We entered the Johnny house from our front hall. The first seat on the left, in this most private chamber, was ours to use. The second seat was used by a man who we never got to know. He lived in an apartment over the Gasthaus about fifty feet from ours. Mother advised to gently knock on the privy door, no matter the degree of urgency, before we bounded in. We never bothered him when he used his assigned throne, and he never bothered us. He never spoke, so we shied away and hid from him. This went on for over five years until we moved. 
Our half of the throne room became a subject of study to me. The shaft, being in a corner of the buildings caught every breeze, as well as raging winter gusts, and amplified them up the shaft. My derriere was not enhanced enough to cover the entire opening on that wooden box. Needless to say, in times of excessive upward drafts, I did not linger. Often, sudden gusts caused the lighter liquid to splash back up. 
The wiping became a science not taught by the elders but by the physics of the situation. Usually the first wipe would force one to make the appropriate adjustment. You knew it was no use trying to fight the wind and the laws of nature when the used paper refused to go down into the hole, but rather stick to you or float around in the room. One soon learned to collect the used paper in one hand and when finished jump off the box, pants around the ankles, and face the hole. The next move took precision. With the free hand you'd grab the knob of the large wooden lid, and with a closely timed movement, pitch the handful of used paper down the shaft while quickly closing the lid. Now, as I said, the timing had to be very precise. If you slammed the lid down too fast, you would smash your hand on the way out of the hole. Conversely, if you were too slow, with your face now straight over the opening and the draft blowing up, you might wind up doing a little dance to get away from the airborne soiled papers. 
In less turbulent moments, I lingered on that seat and watched the drama of the great spider in the little window. The glass panes were long gone, so the spider could monitor the comings and goings of every fly. The drama of life and death in that window was great entertainment for a little boy. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie that surpassed it. 
The johnny house became a sanctuary to me, as it was and always will be to every man. A place to ponder, to think things out, a headquarters for inspiration and long range planning. Now sixty years later, blessed with a family and a business of my own, it is still the only board I ever sat on; . . . the one with a hole cut in it.
The medieval masterpiece continued to contribute to life during those times. Over the years, the pit just below the shaft had gotten full and overflowed. Its collection, with rain water from the roofs, oozed along the north wall and directly below our bedroom window. It was a shaded back yard and the murky substance mostly seeped into the ground along that back wall. During the wet season, however, the seepage moved further on and caught the walls of the stables. It then turned right onto a sunny area where Mom was allowed to have a garden spot. Ah, the bureaucrats of this day and age could have hyped and regulated over such a situation, but we grew cabbage!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I recently gave my grandchildren a quick quiz. I said:

"In an athletic competition runners are competing in an event that requires the participants to run around the track for ten laps.

"At a point in the race the lead runner just crossed the point to start his seventh lap. How many more laps has he left to finish the race?"

Knowing that all my grandchildren want to prove how smart they are, they all spouted, pretty well at the same time, "He had three laps to go."

Now let us look at this in another way.

If I had asked the children the same question differently, the obvious answer would have been different.

Here is the same race, but worded differently:

"In an athletic competition runners are competing in an event that requires the participants to run around the track for ten laps.

"At a point in the race the lead runner had just completed his sixth lap. How many more laps has he left to finish the race?"

I know all would have said, "He had four laps to go."

Did I deceive the children with the first question? You bet I did.

A while back our president said he wants to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and extend it for the middle class for another year.

I'm amazed that no one asked the president, "What happens to the middle class taxes after that one year extension?"

In every statement by politicians there is wording that can be interpreted and expounded on to arrive at different conclusions.

A smart voter can pretty well see through the muck.

As an American that has gotten a hold of the American dream I'm leery of terms like "Hope and Change."

As a Christian I know where my hope is; it is not in government. The term "Change" pricks my interest and I immediately begin to question. 

As I analyzed the deeper meanings of "Change" during the last three or more years, I found exactly what I feared. I found that I do not like the "Change" that has deceptively been promoted. I have sensed a sly plan to dismantle the dominance of the United States of America in the world, toward a nation which flows and dissolves into an equalized partner among the other nations of the world. In other words, a underhanded move toward a One World Power with one currency, one religion, and eventually one Ruler over all. A world where all wealth is equally distributed, all revolts are crushed, and free speech is squashed. After all, isn't that the aim of the United Nation?

I'm not saying this will happen within a couple of years, I'm simply warning to look at the direction the country is moving under the current administration.

Now that the "Change" has been exposed, the term "Forward" has arisen to sweep along the masses that have become accustomed to the bait (benefits).

Deception is as old as the devil himself. Deceptions are continually at work, but one can not readily perceive them. They are like the termites which are eating away at the mighty oak of our freedom, the one last hope of mankind to be a free people.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scarlet O'Hara

My Symbol Of Wisdom
Scarlet O'Hara-Hamilton-Kennedy-Butler, -- quite a name, quite a woman!

I just finished reading the epic story, "Gone With The Wind",  based around the time of the Civil War. The book, and its more than 1000 pages, brought to life people and their human traits. It also depicted a time in history to which most folks can not relate or even imagine.

The focus in the book is on Miss Scarlet. A prissy, flirting, and exceptionally enticing young maiden to whom the young men are drawn like flies to honey.

From this young maiden begins to flow a spirit and a determination, coupled with deception and underhandedness, which equals only the strongest willed human character.

Miss Scarlet's resolve and perseverance reveals a mindset, one that I as a man can hardly fathom. I have been around women, beginning with my mother, all my life. Although my mother was, and had to be, a strong minded woman. She or anyone else in my life could not be compared to Scarlet.

I like to read classic literature. Literature which uses the english language in a picturesque and descriptive way. Although the newer writings flow much more rapidly, like the staccoto rhythm of rap music, they often fail to reach the soul of human emotions and value.

By trying to understand why I prefer the classic writings, I came to a sentimental conclusion. I deeply believe that the love I have for this country makes me want to grow ever closer to its values and freedom by ever learning and comprehending more of its language.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Big Bird = .oo1%


Big bird, the lovable character of the government funded radio and TV corporation, politely has asked to be removed from the political fray.

Good for Big Bird.

What started it all was the statement the presidential challenger made during the debate. Mr. Romney simply stated that he would remove the government subsidy to the above mentioned corporation. His premise, the American government should not be a sponsor, or have control over the free flow of news and information. History has proven that the first step to establish a dictatorship is to take over the airwaves. There is a long list in recent history that proves this process was accomplished by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein . . . and as recently as Hugo Chavez.

The whiners on the left, as well as the clueless media, chuckle because the percentage of the subsidy is only .001% of the total government's budget. The point still is, the government should not have its fingers in the free enterprise system.

Of course the left don't get it. They think that government can do the job better than private enterprise.
Just like they think they rescued Government Motors by loading them up with a $29,000,000,000.00 debt. Just like they think that Amtrak, as well as the Post Office can run forever on an ever increasing annual shortfall. Just like the government's new health takeover will never run in the black.

The sad thing is, nothing run by the government has to be profitable; efficiency is not a requirement.

Only competition improves efficiency which translates to lower costs to the consumer.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We Built It From Scratch

Only in America.
I'm overwhelmed how our business has grown. Our sons have hung in there during these tough years of an economic slowdown. They were wise not having extended themselves to a point were payments could not be made. We had to cut some labor force and reduce hours to stay solvent and strong. 

Gradually though, things are starting to look up. Still, it is wise not to jump into investing in new equipment at this time. The healthcare situation is very unsettling. The never ending new regulations and pending tax increases will keep the lid on major expansions.

We have begun to hire workers with specific skills. Yes, skills! We do not care how many college degrees one has, it is the skill in a trade that is marketable right now.

Tens-of-thousands of jobs are waiting to be filled with skilled people. When will it sink in that vocational education and apprenticeship programs is what industry needs? 

Below, I will show some photos of our plant I took recently. You tell me if good looks and knowledge in astrology are a necessity to run a plant full of machines and equipment.

Who is going to learn to run these multi-million-dollar printing presses?

Who is going to cut, fold, stitch, bind and mail these hundred of thousands sheets of printed paper?

Who is going to set-up, maintain and repair the equipment?

Who is going to learn and master the communication between computers and machines?

Thousands of skilled tasks are under the roof this massive industrial building called Bison Printing.

When will Moms and Dads realize that over 70% of all the young folks in this country do not graduate with a (marketable) college degree. 

Look the kid in the eye. Maybe he or she would like to learn a skill and save you from the college loans hanging on your back for the next ten years.



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Economics Or Brainwashing

I venture to say there are millions of people who do not know what economics is. - Maybe some science about the eco system, maybe even a theory that talks back to you. . .

It is obvious that the progressive thought in academia over the past thirty years has purposely chosen to keep the public uninformed or outright dumb on the subject of economics.

Some may say we teach budgeting in middle school . . . great, give me a break!

Nowhere in the twelve years of public schooling is economics, as a subject, taught in a substantive manner. Why? Because, capitalism, or a free society, when unleashed is a powerful self-driving force. This force steers a person to independence, at which our current climate scoffs.

You may say I'm far out on the matter, but I say a lack of spirited drive toward freedom and self enrichment generates a populace who is more easily led and more dependent on a social network for help, or even total support.

What are the world's economic systems? Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism. Ah, but the word capitalism has been demeaned to refer to excesses, greed, and the taking advantage of the middle class.

Even 40 years ago in my college days, when I took several economic courses, capitalism was relegated to be a byproduct in back of socialism and communism. I remember questioning the over emphasis on the worlds failing systems, when I, an immigrant, wanted to hear and learn about the new world and how it came to be the driving force of freedom and personal achievement . . . the envy of the world.

I have seen totalitarianism. I have lived under socialistic rules. I have witnessed the masses fleeing communism. So why are we not proud of capitalism? Have you also been brainwashed by a left-leaning education system and liberal media?

I hate it when reporters stand to interview the so-called average person about an economic or social matter and then proudly report on the evening news the different opinions. Note! They never say they had to interview thirty folks to get one opposing view. But during the news-hour they let us assume the country is divided down the middle by simply presenting both views.

One can see all around what the dumbing-down of the masses has done to the American Spirit. It makes me want to cry to see how the mindset of "I have it coming to me" seems to grow at such an alarming rate.