With the first pick in this year's draft...

In California, they have horribly destructive earthquakes that do great damage and even result in loss of life.

In Alabama, they have Auburn University.

That's because California won the coin toss and got to choose first.


I Hate Auburn

That is all.


Even the Grinch Is Right Sometimes

You don't have to hate Christmas to decry the fact that Christmas sales and ads have been running for weeks and Christmas lights are going up all over the neighborhood. 

The fact that our culture is so hell-bent (literally) on avoiding Thanksgiving is not accidental.  If there are thanks to be given, they must be given to Someone...and who wants to face that reality?  Far better to get to the shopping days a little sooner and continue in the comforting illusion that this life is all there is. 

The eat, drink and shop merry crowd may skip Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean we have to. 


Random Election Ramblings

Well that certainly didn't turn out well.  Not only did Romney fail to significantly improve on the pitiful performance of John McCain from four years ago, but the GOP (and believe me they don't call us the stupid party for nothing) failed to win a number of other state and federal elections that certainly seemed to be ripe for the picking.

As a result, we get four more years.  It calls to mind H. L. Mencken's diatribe: "Democracy is the notion that the people know what they want--and deserve to get it...good and hard."

As the elephants crawl out of the wreckage, there seems to be a concerted effort underway to abandon any semblance of conservative principle in a craven attempt to outbid the Democrats for the affection of various voting blocs.  Before we completely pitch everything we believe (or in the case of Romney, everything we say we believe) two things should be noted.

1) The GOP is 5-4 in presidential elections in my voting life.  Every candidate who won was either conservative or at least campaigned as one.  Every condidate who lost was either moderate or liberal.  If you look at that and think "we need to move to the center" I can't help you.

2) The last incumbent who lost his bid for re-election without facing a serious primary challenge in his own party was Herbert Hoover.  You might remember he had a fairly major other issue to deal with.  I'm not willing to be dogmatic as to whether it is the splintering caused by the primary challenge or the conditions that give rise to one that leads to defeat, but as Ford, Carter and Bush 41 all found, being whacked in your own party doesn't lead to victory.  Since Obama didn't have that to face, history should have told us along that beating him was going to be an uphill struggle.

Becoming more like the Democrats is not going to help the Republicans win.  Yet that seems to be the preferred solution in vogue.   Did I mention that the GOP is the stupid party?  Argh.


Let it Never Be Forgotten

This is the day that is set aside to honor those who have answered the call to place their lives "between their loved homes and the war's desolation." It is a sepcial day for our nation. The orignial armistice that went into effect on this date in 1918 did not end all wars or bring lasting peace to the world. Thus a day that began to honor the soldiers of one war has been extended again and again in the nearly 100 years since the observance of this day began.

It is a special day for me as an American, but it is also a special day for me as a son. My father answered his country's call (my daughter asked him once why he joined the Army, and Dad said, "The president wrote me a letter and asked for my help"--which he then had to explain to her) in the Korean War. Thankfully his service can be honored on this day rather than the one in May. And for Dad, and the millions of others who were willing to pay the ultimate price for our freedom, may we never forget.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
 If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army