All posts by Larry Chapman

A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.

When is Freedom Not Freedom?

It never ceases to astonish me how the fringe political and religious right in America so often gives voice to promoting freedom and liberty while at the same time advocating public policy and law that would do just the opposite.

To date, all but one of the GOP presidential candidates have failed to issue a policy statement expressing even the slightest support for the freedom of the individual in America. Jon Huntsman did publicly state his support for civil unions for gays during the recent New Hampshire debate. Other  than that his only claim to individual rights appears to be his endorsement of a right to work law in New Hampshire. That in spite of the belief by many that right to works laws favor management and not the individual working person.

Continue reading When is Freedom Not Freedom?

Barnes & Noble, Doing A Noble Thing!

Louise & Leonard Riggio

I’m that  person who doesn’t have much desire to buy from big box stores or major corporations. But, the reality is, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. So, if you gotta, then you gotta do business with those who give something back to those who support them.

Most of the books I read are purchased at yard sales for less than $1. I don’t like getting books from the library because you have to read them on their schedule and not your own. I remember paying a library fine of almost $50 when I was in college. In the 60s that was a fortune and it made a believer out of me, pay attention to the return dates.

Recently I purchased one of the new computer tablets which also doubles as an e-reader. Part of the deal was a coupon from Barnes & Nobel for a couple of free books. So, I downloaded and read Bill Clinton’s new book, Back to Work. It’s really a neat way to get your reading in. You buy the book, it becomes part of your personal online

Continue reading Barnes & Noble, Doing A Noble Thing!

Random Thought, The Homeless Dude

There’s just something wrong about a guy hanging out at a major traffic intersection holding a cardboard sign reading, “Homeless and Hungry,” and wearing a reflective highway safety vest. Sounds too much like the guy got out of bed, put on his uniform, and went to the office.

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10 Most Racist Quotes of 2011

NewsOne is a website targeted towards African-Americans. I take a look at it on occasion just to stay tuned with their take on events. In modern politics we discard race cards about as easy as we give up deuces and trays in a game of cards. Often though, we don’t realize that what we’re saying is a race card. We all say things before or without thinking about the consequences. Well, maybe taking a look at what NewsOne thinks are the 10 best examples of racist statements in 2011 will help educate us a little. Click HERE for the story.

Fannie & Freddie Followed Others Over The Cliff!

A major cause of our financial collapse and the continued problems we’re having climbing out of the Great Recession is related to the implosion of the housing market. Americans have lost hundreds of billions of dollars because of the actions of the banking and lending institutions, including the infamous Freddie & Fannie. Keeping up with and understanding the debacle has not been easy. Everyone has a target to point at and conservatives love to point the finger at Freddie and Fannie Mae. New York Times columnist, Joe Nocera, sheds some light on just what role the Mae-Macs played in the crisis. Click HERE for Joe’s column.

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History’s 1960 American Woman

FACTOID: In 1960 American women were legally paid less than their male counterparts, women could legally be barred from many areas of employment, could only serve in very limited areas of the military, were not expected to become NASCAR drivers, plumbers, police officers, fire fighters, engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, business executives, politicians, Secretaries of State, viable candidates for the US Presidency.

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The Candidates, Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Click graph to enlarge.

When Jimmy Carter was running for president he made the statement that he’d never tell us a lie. I always wanted to believe that Jimmy remained true to his promise but hell, he is a politician so I wouldn’t drop dead if I was to learn he worked one in on occasion.

But let’s use President Carter as the reference and assume that what he told us was mostly true. How would today’s GOP candidates and President Obama compare? Well, PolitiFact.com has done the fact checking and released a score card for our consideration. Their scale rates statements made as being True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire.

Using their scoring system they found those having the longest noses to be Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachmann. The longer the surname the longer the probiscus. 59% of Bachmann’s statements were rated at False or Pants on Fire. Continue reading The Candidates, Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Local Prices for Farm Acreage

FACTOID: A 3700 acre Highland County farm just sold for $14 million. That’s about $2,643 an acre. While that may sound high to some I am aware of farm ground in this area going for over $3,000 and in Fayette County for $5,000. In the 1960s I was interested in 100 acres of wooded land in Ross County. The price was $25 an acre and the local bank thought that was too high.

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Mushroom Memories From the Cold War Era

Like so many of you, I am a child of the Cold War. Those decades when the United States, China, and the Soviet Union kept the world on the edge of nuclear holocaust 24/7-365.

During those decades we all learned to “duck and cover“, be aware of strangers asking questions, fear Communism (even if we didn’t know what it was), accept the cost of a strong military, permit the government to conduct highly secret operations, and stand quietly by while the House Un-American Activities Committee stripped many Americans of their rights because they wouldn’t roll over and drink the Kool-Aid.

On our black and white TVs, we allowed our fears to be intensified by watching such shows as I Led Three Lives, the story of Herbert Philbrick who became an agent for the FBI and infiltrated the Communist Party in America. In our theaters we got cold chills watching such movies as The Manchurian Candidate. Continue reading Mushroom Memories From the Cold War Era

Nukes v. Nukes

FACTOID: In 1982 the American v. Soviet Union stockpiles of nuclear weapons reached its apex. The US had 2,032 launchers compared to the USSR’s 2,490. The US had 11,000 nuclear warheads to the USSR’s 10,000 and total mega-tonnage of explosive power showed the US with 4,100 to the Soviet’s 8,200. In 1961 the USSR detonated a nuclear weapon that was 3800 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.

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“History Yes, Nostalgia No”

Melissa Harris-Perry, Professor of Political Science, Tulane Univ.

I’m a member of a group on Facebook composed of current and former residents of my hometown, Greenfield, Ohio. This group was formed several months ago by a woman who lived in and went to school in Greenfield during the early 1960s. She, like so many others, long ago moved away but never forgot what growing up in a small town was like.

There are over 300 members of the group now and most of the conversation centers around “do you remember” kinds of things. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned much from being privy to the collective memories of those who take part.

One recently asked question was, “What do you miss most about Greenfield?” My answer was different from many. While many people could generate a specific list of things they seemed to genuinely miss, I could only create a list of those things I enjoyed experiencing but wouldn’t particularly want to experience again. I have fond memories of, but don’t miss the past. Continue reading “History Yes, Nostalgia No”

Random Thought…The Muppets

Just sat through the most recent Muppet movie with the grandchildren. Conclusion…if the movie ends its run with good reviews it will be because the parents and grandparents enjoyed it and not today’s children. It’s a retro experience and us adults who were there in the day know the characters and can place each in many prior situations. We get the jokes and our kids don’t. Possibly the only part of the movie my grandchildren took with them was the last scene where Muppet characters were singing and acting out to the song, Mah Na Mah Na. We all exited the theater singing that.

The Cost of Movies

FACTOID: Read where movie attendance was way down in 2011 and I think I know why. Just took the grand kids and it was $8 per adult and $6 per child. That’s not too bad. But, medium popcorn was $6 and small fountain soft drink was $4.25. You do the math while I’ll be staying home and waiting for The Adventures of TinTin to show up on HBO.

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Try Thinking Before Clicking

This is about the kind of mindless dribble that appears on the Internet on an all too frequent routine. It is also about how the willingly ignorant grasp ahold of such things, don’t consider the reality or truth, and then, with the speed of light send then forward to their just as quick to accept and ignorant friends. It is no different from old women gossiping over the back yard fence or old men swapping half-truths at the coffee shop. It just travels faster today and has a larger audience.

The photo collage showing a group Muslims at prayer next to football quarterback, Tim Tebow, praying during a pro football game ask the question, why is it okay for Muslims to pray and not Christian Tebow? Well, the answer to the question is simple. There is no difference, it is okay for either to pray. There are no laws against it. If Muslims want to gather in public places and pray they face the same legal requirements that Christians or any other group would face regarding legal permits that may be required by local ordinances. Every year a group in my local community meets on the lawn of the city building for a public prayer Continue reading Try Thinking Before Clicking