Saturday, January 31, 2009
Many years ago in the 1950's my parents were moving from one house to another, as we often did, and a friend was helping them named "Larry." Larry liked to drink so as he was helping them he had several drinks and as a result was feeling no pain. He then uttered the above words that remained a family joke through the years. Anyway a "shout out" to someone who is today moving into her first home. No more rent!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Tonight the South Medford Panthers beat their cross town rivals the North Medford Back Tornado 62 to 51 in boy's high school basketball game .The South Medford gym was packed in a pressure cooker atmosphere.The game felt like a heavy weight fight. The snack bar was well used and the South Medford Booster Club was selling South gear in the gym's lobby. There was a large contingent of fans for both schools, along with their cheer leaders and the South Medford Band. At half time The Sparrow Club's from both schools raised $1900.00 from the crowd for physically disadvantaged little kids who were honored guests at the game. The game was hard fought and closer than the final score. South's E. J. Singler, who has signed a "letter of intent" to play basketball at the University of Oregon, played a great game with 25 points. South's Josh Havired was hot from the corner with three point shots. He had 7 three pointers!(7 of 8) The lead changed hands several time. It got very hot in the gym and it was a relief to go outside after the game into the cold Southern Oregon weather. Both teams played their hearts out and it was a perfect Friday night high school game. Even the "Star Spangled Banner" was beautifully sung by a young girl. It was small town high school sports at it's best. Go Panthers!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ever since I was a little kid I have been inspired by the story of The Alamo. One of my unaccomplished goals in life is to travel to San Antone, Texas to see it for myself. Today on the Glenn Beck Radio show he talked at length about the defense of The Alamo by 188 men verses 4000 Mexicans under Santa Anna. To read the transcript click on the title for a link. John Wayne was so inspired by the story he sunk every cent he owned and mortgaged his home and cars to make a movie about it.
One of the last letters of Lt. Col. William Barret Travis asking for reinforcement is as follows.
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna -- I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannoned for 24 hours & have not lost a man -- The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his countryWilliam Barret Travis died at his post on the cannon platform at the northeast corner of the fortress.
-- VICTORY OR DEATH --
William Barret Travis Lt. Col. Comdt."
He was 26 years old.
So next time you are feeling sorry for yourself think about those 188 Texans!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
An interesting article from the Plitico points out additional spending versus tax cuts may be the wrong solutions to getting the United States out of the recession and that doing nothing may be the best option.
....dissident economists and investment professionals offer a much different take: Most of Washington is dead wrong.
Instead of fighting over what should go in the economic stimulus bill, pitting infrastructure spending against tax cuts and contractors against contraceptives, they say lawmakers should be fighting against the very idea of any economic stimulus at all. Call them the Do-Nothing Crowd.
“The economy was too big. It was all phantom wealth borrowed from abroad,” says Andrew Schiff, an investment consultant at Euro Pacific Capital and a card-carrying member of the stand-tall-against-the-stimulus lobby. “All this stimulus money is geared toward getting consumers spending and borrowing again. But spending and borrowing were the problem in the first place.”....
To read the rest click on the title for a link.
The alleged "stimulus" bill passed the U.S House of Representatives without a single Republican vote and with 11 Democrats voting against! The battle now goes to the U. S. Senate.
For most fans of University of Oregon football the Super Bowl on Super Sunday is not the most important event of the coming week. Letter of Intent Day on Wednesday is!
"National Letter of Intent Day" is when 17 and 18 year old high school seniors ( and some Jr. College students) sign letters of intent to play football for colleges all over America and as a result receive a college scholarship. College football coaches have been beating the pavement meeting with these kids and their parents for the last 5 months or so. They have visited campus and this is the day they fax in their letters to the college team of their choice. Many have given verbal commitments already, but they are not binding till the faxed letter is received on Wednesday February 4th , 2009. If verbal commitments are to be believed the Oregon Ducks have received about 20 verbals from some all star athletes and this should be a great year in recruiting for the Oregon Ducks. Each college has several fan web sites devoted to the college recruiting campaign and "Letter of Intent Day" is the election day for the recruiting returns. College football fans are on "pins and needles" waiting for the decision of these high school seniors. So college football is not over. Letter of intent day is 3 days after the Super Bowl. To see how the Ducks are doing click on the heading above for a link to "eDuck" the Oregon fan web site and click on "Football Recruiting" and follow the links to more information on these kids than you will ever want to know. It has a list of all of Oregon's "Verbals" to date. I will post the results here on Wednesday Go Ducks!
And, you thought football was over after Sunday!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"If anyone wished to know what the baby-boomer generation would do when, in its full maturity, it hit its first self-created, big-time recession, I think we are seeing the hysterical results. After two decades of unprecedented economic growth, rampant consumer spending, and unimaginable borrowing to satisfy our insatiable appetites, we are suddenly going into even larger debt and printing trillions of dollars in paper money to ensure that someone else after we are gone pays the debt. As if the permanent solution to a financial panic and years of spending wealth we didn't create were a government take-over of the economy in the manner we currently witness in Spain, Italy, and Greece—or the high-tax, high-spend ethos of a bankrupt California........At some point in all this serial hysteria, we are beginning to see the problem is not in the stars of the economy or of the war, but in ourselves—a weird generation that, when it finally came of age, proved to be just about what we could expect of it from what we saw in its youth."
Monday, January 26, 2009
The post below about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders got me to thinking about the song: Garryownen. The following is from Wikipedia"
The origins of Garryowen are unclear, but it emerged in the late eighteenth century, when it was a drinking song of rich young roisters in Limerick. It obtained immediate popularity in the British Army through the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers, who were garrisoned in Limerick and was played throughout the Napoleonic War, becoming the regimental march of the 18th Foot (The Royal Irish Regiment)....
Garryowen became the marching tune for the United States 69th Infantry Regiment, New York Militia, (the famed "Fighting 69th" ) in the mid-1800s. The "Fighting 69th" adopted Garry Owen before the Civil War and recently brought it back to combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom
It later became the marching tune for the US 7th Cavalry Regiment during the late 1800s. The tune was a favorite of General George Armstrong Custer and became the official air of the Regiment in 1867. According to legend it was the last tune played before the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The name of the tune has become a part of the regiment, the words Garry Owen are part of the regimental crest, and there is a Camp Garry Owen, north of Seoul, Korea, which houses part of the 4th Squadron of the regiment.The Seventh Cavalry regiment became a part of the US 1st Cavalry Division in 1921, and "Garryowen" became the official tune of the division in 1981.
The 7th Cavalry's version as of 1905 consisted of these lyrics
We are the pride of the Army and a regiment of great renown, Our Name's on the pages of History. From sixty-six on down. If you think we stop or falter While into the fray we're going Just watch the steps with our heads erect, While our band plays Garryowen.
In the Fighting Seventh's the place for me, Its the cream of all the Cavalry; No other regiment ever can claim Its pride, honor, glory and undying fame.
We know fear when stern duty Calls us far away from home, Our country's flag shall safely o'er us wave, No matter where we roam. " Tis the gallant 7th Cavalry It matters not where we are going" Such you'll surely say as we march away; And our band plays Garryowen.
Then hurrah for our brave commanders! Who led us into the fight. We'll do or die in our country's cause, And battle for the right. And when the war is o'er, And to our home we're goin Just watch your step, with our heads erect, When our band plays Garryowen.
The song and tune has been played in a number of my favorite movies which include:
Fort Apache , She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,The Long Gray Line, The Searchers (all directed by John Ford)We Were Soldiers, They Died with their Boots On, The Fighting 69th and of course Rough Riders directed by John Milius.
A few year ago when our son and I stopped at Custer's " Little Big Horn Battlefield" in Montana I purchased a CD with the song on it at the gift shop.
Click on the title above to play the audio and video version of the song from Errol Flynn's "They Died With Their Boots On." (After the song is played the video goes on and by today's standards is not politically correct and the video is only recommended through the song)
The 1997 TV Miniseries is almost the perfect movie. Last night my wife and I watched my DVD copy of the movie, directed and written, by John Milius, starring Tom Berenger as Theodore Roosevelt. After we watched the movie I watched it again with the "Commentary Track" on with John Milius. The movie looks like a big screen theatrical release even though the movie was made on a budget with Milius fighting the studio all the way for an increased budget. Milius is a disciple of director John Ford and it shows. You can tell that everyone making the movie wanted to put out a quality product. There is a cast of hundreds with many "reinactors" filling out the men who charged up San Juan Hill, Cuba in 1898 during the Spanish American War. The movie starts out with TR organizing the Rough Riders and training them in San Antonio, Texas and then follows them on the train to Florida and on to Cuba. The scene with the Rough Riders loading on the train with a lady singing "Garryowen" is magical. As the train travels across the South, only a few years removed from the Civil War, you see the crowds cheering the men and holding American flags. As the movie points out the South still hadn't started to celebrate the 4th of July again since the Civil War. Baranger is perfect as TR. After he and his men have made a frontal assault up a hill with entrenched soldiers with machine guns Roosevelt is strangely melancholy realizing he and his man will for the rest of their lives live in the shadow of that charge. Some have said that Roosevelt was a political opportunist. However, political opportunist's don't charge up a long hill ridding a horse under enemy fire when everyone else is on foot. Today most Americans little remember Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, but for the rest of their lives these men were honored in America for what they did and were held in a special place in the hearts of Americans. John Milius in his commentary points out that only two modern movies have been made about Teddy Roosevelt, this and "The Wind and the Lion"(1975) which also was directed by John Milius. Some background on the Rough Riders:
The most famous of all the units fighting in Cuba, the "Rough Riders" was the name given to the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in May 1898 to join the volunteer cavalry. The original plan for this unit called for filling it with men from the Indian Territory, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. However, once Roosevelt joined the group, it quickly became the place for a mix of troops ranging from Ivy League athletes to glee-club singers to Texas Rangers and Indians.
They were a cavalry unit but since there was not room on the ships going to Cuba for horses they went as a infantry unit. One of the fun thing about the movie is that there are so many famous people in it. For example:
Tom Berenger ... Theodore Roosevelt
Sam Elliott ... Capt. Bucky O'Neil (a Sheriff from Arizona who joined up.....Captain Bucky O'Neil is buried in Arlington National Cemetary,)
Gary Busey ... Gen. Joseph 'Fighting Joe' Wheeler (Congressman and former officer in the Confederate Army)
Illeana Douglas ... Edith Roosevelt (TR's wife)
Brian Keith ... President William McKinley (Keith played TR in "The Wind and the Lion)
George Hamilton ... William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane!)
R. Lee Ermey ... Secretary of State John Hay (Secretary to Abraham Lincoln at age 22)
Nick Chinlund ... Frederick Remington ( The Painter hired by Hearst to illustrate the war)
Dale Dye ... Col. Leonard Wood ( My basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood in Mo.)
Holt McCallany ... Hamilton Fish (Grandson of former Secretary of State)
Adam Storke ... Stephen Crane (reporter and wrote the "Red Badge of Courage" about the Civil War)
Robert Strane ... Sen. Hanna
Marshall R. Teague ... Young Black Jack Pershing ( would later lead American forces in France in WWI)
James Parks ... William Tiffany (one of the sons of the New York Tiffany's which are still famous today.....Breakfast at....)
(Click on the title for a link to the IMDB page for the movie)
(Actual picture of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders up on top of San Juan Hill after the battle)
Line from the movie: "My God, we were young. Well, it was a young country then, full of promise and hope. Anything was possible then if you were an American."
(Fredrick Remington's painting of the Rough Riders Charge up San Juan Hill under heavy fire from the Spanish with German advisers)
Unless Directed by John Milius they don't make movies like this anymore.... which is too bad!
UPDATE:According to the IMDB, because of the work of John Milius , on Rough Riders (1997) (TV), he was instrumental in causing President Theodore Roosevelt to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, in 2001, for acts of conspicuous gallantry on San Juan Hill.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Christmas before last our daughter gave her mother and I a trial subscription to Netflix. We liked it so much we continued our subscription which allows us to rent two movies at a time. We get about two movies each week and we try to get one movie I like and one my wife likes. This week my choice was the Blu-ray copy of "A Bridge Too Far" a World War II movie about the failed "Market Garden" plan by the Allies to capture a bridge across the Rhine River and strike into the heart of Nazi German and end the war by Christmas. A very good movie on blu-ray but the movie I want to write about is "Anne of Green Gables" a CBS miniseries from 1986 my wife picked. The miniseries is based upon the book by Canadian writer L.M Montgomery and is based upon her experience in growing up in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada in the late half of the 1800's. I was expecting a "chick flick" but was moved by the movie. The main charcter, Anne ("with an e")Shirley, reminds me a lot of some one I know....they might be "kindred spirits"
The IMDB gives the following synopsis of the movie:
At the turn of the century on Prince Edward Island, Matthew Cuthbert( Richard Farnsworth) and his sister Marilla(Colleen Dewhurst) decide to take on an orphan boy as help for their farm. But they get an unexpected jolt when they're mistakenly sent a girl instead: Anne Shirley. Anne's a dreamer with an unusual point of view, far removed from Marilla's pragmatic ways, and it's only on trial that Marilla agrees to keep Anne...if Anne can keep out of trouble, only Anne has a positive genius for it. As Anne falls into a series of scrapes (and off a roof), makes a bosom friend, searches (and finds) several kindred spirits, Matthew and Marilla discover that their lives have become a great deal richer, now that Anne is at Green Gables.
I started off watching because I like Colleen Dewhurst, she was in some of John Wayne's last movies, and Richard Farnsworth who was a stuntman form Hollywood's Golden Era. However, the character Anne Shirley captivated me. I now know why the series of "Anne of Green Gables" books were a favorite of someone I know and why she still has the books on a bookshelf in her old room.
I would highly recommend the book and movie to mothers and fathers with young daughters. It's a fine antidote to the junk the mass media is targeting to our children.It teaches important values and it demonstrates that young girls can aspire to be more than the next Hanna Montana! They just need to find their "kindred spirits."
Friday, January 23, 2009
(Picture of David Obey and John Murtha of U.S. House Appropriations Committee)
David Brooks, token moderate conservative columnist for the New York Times, has a column today on the alleged "stimulus package" the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representative are developing in the Appropriations Committee to get the United States out of the recession. He writes:
There is a strong case to be made for a short, sharp stimulus package to restrain the collapse of the American economy. This would involve big, simple programs with immediate impact — a temporary cut in the payroll tax, big aid to the states, expanded unemployment insurance and food stamps.
There’s also a very strong case to be made for long-term government reform. America could fundamentally rethink its infrastructure policies........
But the stimulus bill emerging in the House of Representatives does neither of these things. The bill marked up Wednesday in the Appropriations Committee is a muddled mixture of short-term stimulus haste and long-term spending commitments. It is an unholy marriage that manages to combine the worst of each approach — rushed short-term planning with expensive long-term fiscal impact.
(To read the entire column click on the title for a link)
Brooks goes on to list three failings of the bill:
1. It lacks "strategic thinking" It's "a sloppy profusion of 152 different appropriations — off-the-shelf ideas that mostly create costlier versions of the status quo."
2. It will take a long time to work. "A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that less than half of the money for infrastructure and discretionary programs would be spent by Oct. 1, 2010." Thus, it will take a long time to help the economy.
3. It has no sunset provisions. Thus, when the economy improves there will still be all these spending programs remaining in place."They will contribute to the coming $2 trillion deficits. Worse, these new structures, and the lobbyists they attract, will create more impediments to the innovation that Obama may seek in the years ahead."
Brooks calls it a "Christmas Tree" for every special interest.
On Tuesday, President Obama was inaugurated and vowed a new era. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee met and showed the old era was very much alive.
Also on the New York Times web site there is a column called "The Conversation" "Talking between Columns" where David Brooks has a "Conversation" with Gail Collins. After watching the House Appropriations Committee deliberations on C-SPAN for four hours Brooks gives a colorful description of Appropriations Chairman David Obey the Democrat who runs the committee:
Chairman David Obey is a very compelling figure, who would be a judge on “American Idol” if this were hell. He runs the committee like Captain Ahab in a bad mood. Some lesser mortal would offer an amendment to the $800 billion stimulus bill, or whatever it is this moment. Then Obey would allot 5 minutes to himself to explain why the amendment is a tremendously stupid idea and all the lemmings (excuse me, elected public officials) would vote the thing down and make the chairman happy. At one point a Democrat from Florida had the temerity to say that maybe an amendment had merit, at which point Obey turned green, grew into a 400-pound muscular hulk and ripped down the columns of the Rayburn building.
No, not the Rayburn building!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The Medford Mail Tribune has an article about the troubles of Charter Cable (Charter Communications)nationwide and it's large debt load in which it has defaulted. The article may partially explain why Comcast SportsNet Cable Channel that broadcasts many Oregon Duck games is not picked up by Charter Cable. The article speculates that maybe Comcast Cable would buy out Charter Cable:
Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., the nation's biggest cable provider, would be a likely candidate to purchase Charter's Oregon holdings. Comcast already operates in Portland, Salem, Eugene and the northern Oregon Coast.
If that happened it would certainly solve the problem of Oregon Duck fans in Southern Oregon not getting Oregon football, basketball and the coaches shows. Click on the title for a link
At the start of the football season Comcast was asking Oregon Cable companies about $2.00 per subscriber per month to allow them to broadcast Comcast SportsNet which carries the Oregon Sports Network (OSN). Now the price has been dropped, according to a good source, to the $1.00 range which may be why the cable company in Bend has come on board. However there has been no reported movement as to Charter Communications which again may be explained by their financial problems described above.
Last week our daughter called us from Washington DC where she lives and told us having Oregon games on Comcast wasn't so bad since she was able to watch a Duck game there which I couldn't get here in Medford, Oregon because we have Charter Communications.
"The only thing worse than bad winners are sore losers, and we’ve had enough of them for the past eight years. So with that in mind, in the wake of today’s historic inauguration, here’s my Handbook For The Loyal Opposition, 2009 edition - a “To Don’t List,” if you will. Or even if you won’t."
Andy Levy who wrote the above has a list. Click on the title for a link. My favorite:
And finally, DON’T use the fact that many on the left behaved abominably for the past eight years as an excuse to behave the same way. America needs adults. And if it bothered you when they did it, it’s a good sign that you shouldn’t do it.
Monday, January 19, 2009
In a few hours President elect Barack Obama will stand on the steps of the United States Capitol at noon and recited the oath proscribed to be taken by the President on first entering office as specified in Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
During the campaign I expressed on this blog and elsewhere serious doubts as to Barack Obama's experience, character and policies. However, in the two months since his election I have been impressed by his actions and for the most part by his nominations to his cabinet. He so far has acted as a "center left" politician rather than a "left wing" politician. He appears to be much more of a pragmatist than I had expected. Perhaps he was "left wing" when it was pragmatic to do so in the liberal/left wing political atmosphere of Chicago. He associated with Bill Ayers, and Reverend Wright because that was the pragmatic thing to do for a young politician "on the make" in Chicago. Now, he needs the middle of the country to govern effectively so now he works the pragmatic middle of American politics. The difficulty of Obama is we don't know where he is going based upon his past because he appears to change with circumstances. Are there core beliefs and what are they?
However, I wish him the best because the United States is in a crisis economically and there are still dangerous forces in the world that would like to do us harm. I want him to be a successful President. By successful I do not mean the temporary popularity that comes from being a celebrity and following the "conventional wisdom" of the "Main Stream Media." I mean success that comes from implementing policies that for the long term bring safety, peace and prosperity to the United States.
For the next week we should put politics aside and enjoy this historic moment in the history of the United States and it's long journey from the sin of slavery and it's long and terrible legacy. John McCain said it best on election night over two months ago when he said:
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Sen. Obama believes that, too.
But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.
America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.
I thing it is an appropriate time to reread the words of the old Black spiritual that inspired so many through the years:
"WE SHALL OVERCOME"
We shall overcome, we shall overcome
We shall overcome some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome some day
The Lord will see us through, the Lord will see us through
The lord will see us through some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
The Lord will see us some day
We’re on to victory, we’re on to victory
We’re on to victory some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We’re on to victory some day
We’ll walk hand in hand, we’ll walk hand in hand
We’ll walk hand in hand some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We’ll walk hand in hand some day
We are not afraid, we are not afraid
We are not afraid today
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We are not afraid today
The truth shall make us free, the truth shall make us free
The truth shall make us free some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
The truth shall make us free some day
We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace
We shall live in peace some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
E shall live in peace some day
May President Obama serve well and wisely!
President George W. Bush has commuted the prison sentences of two former Border Patrol guards whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited debate about illegal immigration.
The President granted clemency on Monday to Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean at the request of Democratic and Republican members of Congress and others who pleaded with the president to pardon the men or at least commute their sentences.
Ramos and Compean are each serving sentences of more than 10 years for shooting an illegal immigrant as he was fleeing an abandoned marijuana load in 2005.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I took the day off from work.
I was a high school student in North Bend Oregon and I had a summer job as a "stock boy" at the Coos Bay Sprouse Reitz variety store. In junior high and high school I had the same job every summer and two hours on weekdays after school during the school year and all day on Saturday. My dad had to get a waiver from the Oregon Labor Department so I could work while in junior high. My parents wanted to teach me a work ethic. I earned minimum wage which my parents told my boss was too much.
Prior to August 28, 1963 I had made arrangements with my boss to get that day off so I could stay home and watch on TV the civil rights march on Washington DC
In the years prior to "The March" I had watched with horror the television news stories from the South. It was the years of the freedom riders, the lunch counter "sit-ins" and church burnings as Black and White Americans attempted to end segregation in the South. I could not believe that all American could not sit at a lunch counter in a variety store all over America.
Wikipedia describes the March on Washington as follows:
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating racial harmony at the Lincoln Memorial during the march....Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 (police) to over 300,000 (leaders of the march). About 80% of the marchers were African American and 20% white and other ethnic groups.....Musician Bob Dylan performed several songs, including "Only a Pawn in Their Game," about the culturally-fed racial hatred amongst Southern whites that led to the assassination of Medgar Evers; and "When the Ship Comes In," during which he was joined by fellow folk singer Joan Baez.
I wish I could say I remember watching Dylan but I don't... but I remember an interview with the actress Lena Horne at the Lincoln Memorial. She had tears in her eyes in joy for the event.
I of course remember Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech." He started out by saying:
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity......
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.....
He then talked about something I would not realize the true meaning of until the years to come:
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
He then spoke the words I will never forget:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Maybe this week we have taken a giant step in that direction:
To read the entire speech click on the title for a link.
After August 28th 1963 things changed but we didn't know it then.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It's official the annual "Civil War" football game between the University of Oregon and Oregon State will be played in 2009 at Autzen stadium on THURSDAY DECEMBER 3rd and will be broadcast on ESPN nationwide.
Previously on this blog I have been very critical of scheduling a game on a Thursday night in December because of weather,lack of game atmosphere, the difficulty of travel on a "school/work" night and the fact many people cannot take time off from work on a Thursday and or a Friday.. (click on the title for a link to my previous post)
Having said all of that, Oregon Athletic Director, Pat Kilkenny had a tough choice in tough economic times. Business and families all over this country are making tough choices because of the recession. Not a day goes by without additional news stories of business closing and or employee layoffs. The Athletic Department, which is self supporting, is not immune to this problem! The additional TV money for this game and the other games, for a total of 5 games, on ABC/ESPN will help the bottom line financially for the Oregon Athletic Department. I don't like it.... but in the end my guess is that Pat Kilkenny had no choice. I just hope that this will become an exception and not the rule for future "Civil War" games.
It will be interested to see if there is a decrease in season ticket sales and if so is that due to the economy or a Thursday night game in December?I will be watching for empty seats.
As a side note and as a bonus Oregon will now have a bye before we play the Beavers. Go Ducks!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
My father once told me that in the depths of the Great Depression my grandfather had a picture of Herbert Hoover on the wall over his bed. Let the record show that in the final days of the George W Bush administration, when his approval rating hovered at 25 to 34 %, I have a picture of George W Bush in our bedroom. I have not always agreed with him but I never doubted his integrity and good will. I am proud to stand with him and be counted in that 25%.
From Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598:
KING HENRY V:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
In the days and years following 9/11, my generations Pearl Harbor, George W Bush kept the United States safe. He liberated from tyranny Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the last days of his administration I almost expected President Bush to tell the nation what Davy Crockett said when he was defeated in reelection to Congress from Tennessee:
“You all can go to hell, I’m going to Texas.”
Instead this is what he told the nation tonight on Television:
As we address these challenges – and others we cannot foresee tonight – America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This Nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.
President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism. America is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.
I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering. We see examples of America’s character all around us.......
we see the best of our country – resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire … never falter … and never fail.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this Nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other: citizen of the United States of America.
And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country.
Thanks Mr Presient!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I know I am swimming against the political tide but I like and will miss Vice President Dick Cheney. He was a rock in the Bush Presidency and America is a safer place because of his efforts. In a world where politicians test ideas with "focus groups" not Dick Cheney! I liked him long before he was picked by George W. Bush for VP. In fact a number of year ago I wanted him to run for President because of he experience and calm determined strength. It's unclear that America will in the future be able to produce leaders like Dick Cheney who understand the nature of the threats that face this country. The United State has become anemic like Western Europe and the political class has lost it's will to defend itself against the barbarians. Luckily we still have frontier areas such as Wyoming.........and
Alaska...... where that spirit has not died. You are a real Jack Bauer!
Thanks Vice President Dick Chaney.... enjoy your retirement.... many of us will not forget your courage and service.
"What’s going to happen here [on January 20] is truly remarkable, if you think about it. I mentioned to somebody the other day — they asked me if I thought things had gotten better or worse during the 40 years since I came to Washington. And I thought back for a minute and was reminded that in 1968 we started the year with the Tet offensive in Vietnam. We had Lyndon Johnson withdraw from the campaign, we had Martin Luther King assassinated, we had Bobby Kennedy assassinated, we had riots in the cities, we had a riot in Chicago that was called the Democratic national convention.
“And here we are 40 years later and we’re about to swear in the first African-American president in history. That’s remarkable. I didn’t vote for him and don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, but I think it really says a hell of a lot for the country that we’ve come that far in that period of time.
“And so I’m basically an optimist — both for the country and for the
Monday, January 12, 2009
Got up at 3:30 this morning to drive out son to the new terminal at the Medford/Jackson County International Airport for a 6 AM flight to Denver and then on to Lexington Kentucky via Chicago so he can continue his doctoral program. We have had one or both of our adult kids visiting us for the holiday a total of 26 days. As a treat for getting up so early I stopped at Donut Country, one last time, on the way home.It has been fun having them at home and we will miss them. Hope to fly back east in late Spring or early Summer to visit both.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Today after a morning trip to Donut Country, our son and I went to Medford's Tinseltown to see Clint Eastwood who stars and directs in "Grand Torino." Some have said this may be the last movie Clint Eastwood stars in and if that is the case I see a lot of parallels with John Wayne's last movie, "The Shootist." Both are fine, fine, movies about old men who have lived independent lives on their own terms.The following synopsis is from The Internet Movie Data Base:
Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy an old man, who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood. (Written by alfiehitchie)
In both movies the world is changing and in some cases not for the better. In both movies the older star is called upon to "straiten out" a young boy who is being raised by a single mother. In "The Shootest" it was Lauren Becall who was raising a young Ron Howard. John Wayne had to teach him to have respect for his elders and how to shoot a gun. Clint Eastwood in "Grand Torino" has to teach a young Hmong teenager how to work and become a productive member of society. Clint Eastwood is perfect in the part and gives a great performance. I will get the movie when it comes out on DVD. Eastwood should get an Academy Award for Best Actor but he won't..... If this is his last movie as an actor it is a great way to end a career full of good and great movies.
(For more information about the movie click on the title for a link to IMDB.com)
Friday, January 09, 2009
Oregon Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny has been negotiating with ESPN TV and Oregon State University to move the "Civil War" football game at Autzen Stadium next season in Eugene to a Thursday night in December for the television money it would raise. I like Pat Kilkenny and think he has done a lot for the University of Oregon but this is a bad idea. Not only is the weather bad in December, a Thursday night game would prohibit many Oregon Duck fans in Southern Oregon from attending the game. It would involve missing work on both Thursday and Friday and a motel stay in Eugene or Cottage Grove. It is not safe, even on I-5, to drive back to Southern Oregon late at night after a game what with the bad weather we get in December.There is the problem of snow, ice, rain, fog and deer in the dark. Is the TV money worth an injury accident or worse? It is a three hour trip over mountain passes from Medford to Eugene on Interstate 5 and three hours back. It's doable in September or October for a Saturday night game but not a Thursday night game in December. There would be similar problems for Duck fans in other parts of the state including Portland, Bend, and the Oregon coast.This past season Oregon State played U$C in October on a Thursday night for the TV money and they did not sell out their stadium.
The "Civil War" game is not just a game but a gathering of the State of Oregon for tailgate parties where friends and family, both Duck and Beaver, join together in friendly rivalry before we get serious for the game. This will be difficult on a Thursday night even for those who live in the Eugene/Springfield area
Please keep the game on Saturday. Kilkenny is in a tough spot. The Oregon Athletic Department is self supporting and in tough economic times they need to explore every source of additional revenue; but, a Thursday night game in December is the wrong choice. Go Ducks!
Yesterday I received from Amazon.com my Christmas present from my sister the movie Casablanca on Blu-ray high definition DVD. After the "National Championship" college football game our son and I did a comparison between the new Blu-ray and the restored regular DVD copy of the movie. The movie is in black and white and both copy's give a very good picture but the Blu-ray gives a clearer picture with more depth in large group shots such as inside Rick's Cafe American. I stayed up till almost midnight watching the movie with Roger Ebert's commentary track. I final left our son in the movie room watching the rest of the movie because today is a working day. The movie still has it after all these years. I stayed up through the scene in Rick's Cafe where the French expatriates from German occupied France sing the French Nation Anthem, "La Marseillaise," much to the consternation of the German Nazis in the night club. I never tire of watching that scene or any number of other scenes in the movie. I can almost recite much of the dialogue with the actors. To think for many years we had to watch the cloudy grainy copy's of the movie on broadcast TV in the 1960's and 1970's. Even the VHS copy's of the movie were not very good. I love the movie and thanks to my sister for a perfect present. The following is the Amazon.com description of the Blu-ray edition:
Amazon.com essential video
A truly perfect movie, the 1942 Casablanca still wows viewers today, and for good reason. Its unique story of a love triangle set against terribly high stakes in the war against a monster is sophisticated instead of outlandish, intriguing instead of garish. Humphrey Bogart plays the allegedly apolitical club owner in unoccupied French territory that is nevertheless crawling with Nazis; Ingrid Bergman is the lover who mysteriously deserted him in Paris; and Paul Heinreid is her heroic, slightly bewildered husband. Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Conrad Veidt are among what may be the best supporting cast in the history of Hollywood films. This is certainly among the most spirited and ennobling movies ever made. --Tom Keogh
Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.
Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture, the Casablanca Ultimate Collector's Edition marks nearly 70 years as a beloved favorite with many bonuses that no matter how often you've viewed the film itself - this gift set provides a most compelling reason to foster a whole new beginning of our continuing friendship with this unforgettable classic.
Included in this very special edition of Hollywood's most unforgettable classic is a bonus disc of the featurette "Jack Warner: The Last Mogul" - a rare glimpse into the public and private life of oneof the most respected names in the entertainment industry.
Amazon.com's price for the movie is much less than the advertised price listed above.
The University of Oregon Ducks finished the college football season ranked #9 in the final USA Today Coaches poll and #10 in the final AP poll. Congratulations Ducks!
That's the good news. The bad news is that with the playing of the "National Championship" game last night, between Florida and Oklahoma ,the college football season is over! The good thing is Florida won out over the sore losers from Oklahoma.
All is not lost.... "letter of intent day" for high school Seniors accepting scholarships to play college football is February 4th, 2009 and then it will not be too long till Spring practice ending with the Spring Game. Go Ducks!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
By Jason Vondersmith
The Portland Tribune, Jan 8, 200
Rumors run rampant that Mike Bellotti will step down after recruiting letter-of-intent day, Feb. 4, giving way to Chip Kelly as the Oregon Ducks’ next head coach.
Bellotti says he plans to visit “the mountaintop” to make his decision.
Let’s set the scene:
Click on the title to view Vondersmith's column which is very good at putting it all together.
My bet: He will be Oregon's Athletic Director before the Spring Game in April or May of this year and Chip Kelly will be head coach for the University of Oregon Duck football team. Go Ducks !
Tonight is the BCS National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma. Fox Sports will broadcast the game. So far I have not been happy with their coverage of the other BCS college bowl games.... the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. ABC and ESPN do a much better job on the Rose Bowl. Fox has announcers, many of whom you have never heard of, and they all wear formal "power suits" at a college football game! Even the sideline reporters looked like they are dressed for a wedding and not a football game. Their analysis crew at half time is also over dressed, uninspiring and are located in an antiseptic studio a world removed from the bowl game. They only give perfunctory attention to the half time entertainment. There are weird angle shots during the games and they miss a lot of replays. They show graphics at key points causing you to miss the action on the field.You get none of the excitement and color of the college football game. ABC/ESPN's coverage of the Rose Bowl is in stark contrast..... they do it right. I absolutely hate the Fox Sports BCS promo where college football players like "lemmings" run into a maze. Fox sports does ok on the NFL but there is a world of difference between college football and the NFL and Fox Sports does not recognize that fact. Fox Sports does not broadcast college football during the regular season and it shows. The good news it that ESPN has out bid Fox Sports for the 2011 BCS Bowls. While we are on the subject of Fox Sports I also hate the animated robot graphic they use during NFL games.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
It was announced today that former Buffalo Bill's Quarterback and Republican VP nominee, Jack Kemp, has cancer. After he retired from the NFL Jack Kemp served as a United States Congressman from Buffalo for nine terms and served in the cabinet of President George H. W. Bush as HUD Secretary. He was picked by Bob Dole in 1996 as his VP choice on the Republican ticket. I have always liked Jack Kemp. In 1980 I wanted Ronald Reagan to pick him as his VP choice. I supported him for President in 1988 when he ran for President in the Republican Primaries. I still have an autographed "Jack Kemp For President" poster hanging on the ceiling of our family room. I have always liked his positive optimistic brand of economic conservatism that reaches out to all Americans in an attempt to bring us together. I could never understand why he was not more popular in the Republican Party. Our family went see him speak when he came to Medford during the 1996 Presidential campaign.It's a shame he was not elected President or Vice President.
As a side note Jack Kemp and I share an admiration of Winston Churchill. A few month ago Greta Van Susteren of FOX NEWS visited his office and he has numerous statues of Churchill on display including one that looks like the one I purchased at Churchill's home,Chartwell, titled "Winston is Back."
My thoughts are with Jack Kemp and his family. He is a fighter and I know he will fight the cancer with a positive "can do" spirit he has exhibited his entire life.
Democracy is not a mathematical deduction proved once and for all time. Democracy is a just faith fervently held, commitment to be tested again and again in the fiery furnace of history.”
The following list are movies not available on DVD which I hope will be released in the DVD format in 2009:
55 Days at Peking (Charlton Heston)
The African Queen (Bogey & Hepburn)
The Alamo (John Wayne's Directors Cut) (Blu-ray ? Oh, please)
The Barbarian and the Geisha (John Wayne)
The Buccaneer (1958)Charlton Heston as Andy Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans)
Circus World (John Wayne)
Drive He Said (filmed at the University of Oregon- Directed by Jack Nicholson)
The Egyptian (Large spectacle of my youth)
The Gallant Hours ( James Cagney as Admiral Bull Halsey in WWII in the Pacific)
Getting Straight (Coming February 3 from Sony) Filmed in Eugene Oregon with Eliot Gould & young Candice Bergen)
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) (Coming January 27 from Warners)
The Group (Candice Bergen)
John Paul Jones (1959) (Robert Stack as Jones)
The Last Wagon (Directed by John Ford)
Morgan the Pirate (Staring Steve Reeves and Valerie Lagranage... guilty pleasure)
Parrish (Coming January 27 from Warners)
Pete 'n' Tilly(Walter Matthau & Carol Burnett)
Pursuit of the Graf Spee (Battle of the River Platte)(Great WWII navel battle movie)
The Quiet Man (remaster- present DVD transfer is terrible)
Raintree County (Elizabeth Taylor in Northern "Gone With the Wind")
Sometimes A Great Notion (Filmed on the Oregon Coast)
Song of the South (Disney)
South Pacific (Musical ...to be released in blu ray March 31)
Stars and Stripes Forever (bio of John Phillip Sousa)
The Sterile Cuckoo (Song: "Come Saturday Morning" by The Sandpipers)
Two Rode Together (Jimmy Stewart, Director John Ford)
Under 10 Flags (WWII German ship attacks Allied ships in Atlantic posing as a merchant ship)
Young Winston (bio Winston Churchill)
Sunday, January 04, 2009
By George Schroeder
The television was in the other room, and occasionally someone would check on what was going on a thousand miles away, where the Ducks were playing in the Holiday Bowl. He’d return with an update, and then everyone would get back to quiet conversations, prayers and tears around the bedside.
Click on the title for the rest of Schroeder's column about a boy in Newberg, Oregon who was dying of brain cancer and was visited by two Oregon players in the week before the "Civil War" game and what happened during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and in Newberg this last week.
Friday, January 02, 2009
On Saturday it will be time to take down the Christmas tree and all those outdoor lights! Be sure to label each string so you know where it goes next year. Sure hope it doesn't rain..... hate taking down lights in the rain.