General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Friday, October 25, 2002
Nowatermelons has a post on women and manners in which he talks about women and the way some dress. Several years ago, I worked with a woman who was one of our senior engineers. Although she had to meet with a variety of people from government officials to local citizen groups, she wore clothes that seemed to be painted on. If they were not painted on, I have no idea how she ever got dressed. If she had not been quite attractive, it maybe would have just been amusing, but since she was, it became more and more a distraction for the whole staff. Finally, I was attacked by several of the older but junior women on the staff who demanded that I set the engineer straight on the proper dress for work. Reluctantly, I talked to the woman who as you may guess did not take it well, but she did change a little. A few weeks later, I was called into my boss' office and chewed out because he had been enjoying the scenery.

About the same time, a female acquaintance while walking up the stairs to her office noticed her new engineering intern farther up the steps. It took a couple of looks before she could accept that the young lady with her short, short skirt was wearing no underwear. She sent her home to dress properly for work.

Donald Sensing has a Fisking of A Geov Parrish and his take on John Mohammad as a man damaged by the Army. Actually, I wish the Army and the other Services were able to produce the type of change in people that Parrish thinks it can. In over thirty years service, I only met one soldier who even thought all orders were to be followed. The rest reserved judgment until they could make up thier own mind about the person giving the orders and the situation.

I wonder how a person gets to be as stupid as Parrish seems to be. Is there a training course or is it natural?

Thursday, October 24, 2002
This is a type of idiocy that drives me crazy. The only reason I can imagine for being opposed to abortion is to believe that it is the murder of an innocent. If one is personally opposed to abortion, but believes in "choice", then one is as incapable of coherent thought as are those who oppose abortion except in cases of rape or incest. Give me a break! Either you are pro-life, pro-choice or don't care, but don't try to be on both sides of the fence. Oh hell, I forgot. Richardson is a politican.
Further, exactly what is wrong with the Archdiocese distributing the information. It is just that, information. A voter can do with it as he or she pleases.

Think whatever you want. Be pro-life or pro-choice, but at least take the time to think it through. Whatever you believe, let come from a thoughtful conviction, not because it is the "correct" thing to do or what your political party tells you to think.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Jimmy Carter was the first candidate for President that I voted for (not against) and I have never forgiven myself. When he was running, I assumed he would be a New South Democrat, socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I had no idea that he was a dolt. That did not come out until he was in office. Over the four years of his term, inflation double digit and the prime interest rate was in the high teens or higher. The Iranians held American hostages and Carter did nothing except wring his hands and screw up a rescue attempt by trying to command from the White House. The USSR attacked Afghanistan and Carter did nothing except stop American athletes from participating in the Olympics.

After Carter left office, I bought into the idea that he was a great ex-President. It is great that he is an ex. Habitat for Humanity aside, he has done nothing worthy of recognition except criticize his successors and interfere in foreign affairs. The Nobel Peace Pricze to a man who thought North Korea's Great Leader was loved by the Korean people, who sulked because Daniel Ortega lost the election and who did such a wonderful job of paying Israel and Egypt to make nice? His mother was correct, Billy was the smartest in the family.

I can almost understand those who continue to worship John Kennedy, but Carter? Too bad he didn't stick to peanut farming.

By golly, I like this Mark Shields column on CNN. I think the idea of a Brigade to allow all the older Patriots a chance to put their bodies on the line for their Nation is a wonderful idea.

Give all the people who missed VN a chance to step up and represent their generation in the current war. In addition to the Republicans that Shields lists, add William Cohen the former Clinton Defense Secretary. From the Democrats, we need to add both Clintons. I understand that Bill is ready and eager and that Hillary was turned down by the Marines in the 70's because of vision problems that I am sure can be fixed with modern surgical techniques. I also think we need to add all those who moan and groan about the volunteer military not representing America. No it does not if you insist on representation according to the Census. Neither did the Darft Army during Vietnam. Those who had money or contacts could avoid the draft by staying in school or getting the right job. Cheney had kids and was deferred. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and an ROTC hopeful.

The only real argument I have with Shields' column is the remark about GWB. He did not go to Vietnam, but he was a Naval Reserve Pilot. In case you never knew or have selective memory, in the 60's, we did not know that the Reserves and Guard were not going to be activated. In fact some were. I had an ROTC instructor who left the Army in 1968 because five years out of West Point, he had already had the privilege of three tours in Vietnam and was facing another. He joined the Reserves. A year later, I was at Ft. McClellan, Al getting my wife an ID card when I ran across him. He was in uniform. Assuming that he was doing his two weeks summer camp, I joked that summer campo had to be better than VN. He laughed and told me he wasn't doing summer camp. His unit had been activated and was on its way to VN. Joining the Guard or Reserve decreased your chances of VN, but it did not make them zero. Teaching school, working in certain industries and attending law school did keep you out of VN. See comments about Cheney and Clinton above.

Monday, October 21, 2002
Do you know the song "Corinna". I learned it from a friend in college. I just realized that his birthday was last month.

He used to show up in my dorm room around 11 every Saturday night after his latest hot date. He was 21 and I was 18. I spent Saturday nights studying, and after the Dorm Mother closed her door for the night, playing my guitar. For you youngsters out there, in the good old days of the 60's, we had Dorm Mothers and rules against playing musical instruments in the Dorm. The reason that my friend Les showed up at 11 was that the women had a curfew and had to be back in their Dorm by 11. So shortly after 11, Les would show up we would spend a couple of hours singing the Blues. Actually, Les did the singing since I could never remember the words to any song.

I do remember the words to "Corinna". Les liked to sing it over and over. Apparently he had had experience with a lot of Corinnas. So after listening to him about ten thousand times, I know the words. I just never sing the song. I can't. You see, Les left school in 1966 and joined the Marines. He was killed in Vietnam on February 8, 1968. He was a Lance Corporal.

The Vietnam War has always been Les to me. I knew others who were wounded and killed, but he is the one I always think of when I think of Vietnam. He wasn't drafted. He did not have to leave school and join the Marines. His grades were good and he had a deferment. He was not from a poor family, but from the upper middle class. He was like many other young men in the mid-60's. He joined the Marines because he believed that it was the right thing to do.

If Les were alive and 22 years old today, I suspect that he would be on his way to join the Marines.

Adventures in Furniture

Saturday: Okay, so we have an extra bedroom. Translation: A room in which a bed will fit that does not have one. Actually it does. It has an antique bed that has been in my wife's family for a century or two. Did you know that beds used to not be standard size affairs. Apparently if you are using ropes for springs and featherbeds for mattresses, exact dimensions for the bedframe are not important. But not to worry. My late father-inlaw had modified the bedframe to take a standard size mattress and boxspring. After due consideration, we decided to buy a new queen size matress for our existing guest room and move the double to the new guest room. Off to Mattress King. Buy queen set. Obviously don't need new metal frame for bed because they are all adjustable. Move boxsprings up the stairs to new guest room. Discover that widened bed frame is still two inches too narrow. It seems that a standard double matress from 50 years ago is not standard today. No problem. Have new workshop and father-inlaw's wood working tools. Will just widen the thing by another two inches. Work two hours building new side rails. Now discover that bed frame is two inches too short. Abandon project and return to widen metal bed frame in old guest room. Discover that it is the one in ten million that does not adjust. Call Matress King and order new frame. Time expended: All day. Progress: Zero.

Sunday: Up early. Drink coffee and review Sunday School lesson. We are doing a "History of the Church" and are up to the Reformation and Zwingli. Have a good class although only four people show up including me. Looking forward to spending the afternoon playing Bluegrass with friend. Get to Church. Friend's car has broken down on the way to Church so we will have to spend the afternoon driving to where he parked it and checking it out. In short order, discover that it is "really broken". Is in fourth gear, but can be shifted into every other gear except third while remaining in fourth. Translation: Big bucks to fix. Return home and get 15 minutes of Bluegrass in. Head off to Bible Study. Record "Andromeda". Turns out to be an unintelligible episode. Give up and go to bed.

For those who like traditional music, check this site by Roger McGuinn The free MP3 downloads are great. I especially like the song "Boatman". It has gotten me started on learning the Banjo again.

Remember, the least likely comment in all the entertainment world is: "The Porsche belongs to the Banjo player".

Alabama Election Day

Two weeks to go until election day. Can't wait. From listening to the political spots of our governor's race, I see to have the choice between a man who doesn't pay his taxes and one who gives state contracts in return for campaign donations. I am not really sure what either actually plans to do if elected Governor.
In the race for Supreme Court Justice, there is a supporter of Ten Commandments Roy. I know that he teaches Sunday School and ?

Local candidates are just as informative. One candidate has papered the County with posters asking us to keep him in office. I guess his plan is to stay in office. Of interest is the fact that the office he wants to stay in is License Director whatever that is. It pays $41,000 and the candidate has collected and spent over $140,000 to keep the job. Since this is not a legislative or policy job, why should anyone care who holds it?

I will probably fall back to my default position and vote for the non-incumbent in every race. Replacing office holders at least makes those who buy influence have to pay again.