Tag Archives: HISTORY

Ford v. Chevy – Strad v. Guido, What’s The Difference?

For as long as there have been Ford and Chevrolet cars men have been arguing over which is best. The same exists with many, if not all, things that are not unique or one of a kind. Farmers argue over green (John Deere) and red (International), golfers over which brand of clubs is best, some smokers say they can’t stand the taste of a Camel or that they can only smoke menthol. There is no end to it.

The same exist in musical instruments. Some guitar players prefer Gibsons while others are lovers of Guild or Fender. Among violin players we all know that the best violins ever made were hand crafted 300 years ago by the Italian masters, Stradivari and Guarneri. We all do know that. Yes we do, we’ve been told that repeatedly through our lives. Continue reading Ford v. Chevy – Strad v. Guido, What’s The Difference?

“Creative Destruction”

I was watching Bill Maher’s first show of the new season and one of his guest was Herman Cain. In defending Mitt Romney, Cain said when he took over God Father’s Pizza it was in shambles. Reality required him to cut the work force and restructure the company. He had to shrink the company before he could grow it. While I’m not one to cut Herman Cain much slack, I can see where what he said could easily be the case and the practical thing to do.

There are many times in life when people have to take a step or two back to prepare for going forward. We do that in our personal finances and certainly business finances can demand it from time to time. But, that’s not my problem with the way venture capitalist often work. First of all the basic premise is different from what Cain did. Cain went into God Father’s with the intent of saving the company and making it stronger. Cain was

Continue reading “Creative Destruction”

Random Thought, Allegiances?

In last Sunday’s GOP debate Romney attacked Huntsman’s patriotism because he opted to serve the call of the president to serve the nation as Ambassador to China. Romney as much as said party and ideology comes before country. That from a man who played the student and religious deferment cards to avoid going to Vietnam in the 60s. Plus, Huntsman has two sons on active duty in the US Navy while none of Romney’s five sons have volunteered for military service. I detect a strong aroma of hypocrisy wafting my way.

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!

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.

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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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”

Dick Waterman, Helping to Keep the Blues Breathing

Photographer & Blues Promoter, Dick Waterman, Oxford, MS 2009

I’ve known of Dick Waterman for a number of years and got to spend half an hour with him and his wife before the opening of a Mavis Staples concert in Oxford, MS several years ago. He is the only inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame who was not a performing artist or involved in the recording industry. Dick Waterman is a music historian with a camera at the ready.

Over the decades he has taken thousands of photographs of people in popular genres of music who were, or have become, household names. He discovered and promoted new talent such as Bonnie Raitt, and rediscovered legendary talent like Son House and brought them back into public view. If the blues ever dies it won’t be because Dick Waterman didn’t spend his life trying to keep it breathing.

In the current online version of Blues Festival E Guide there is a nice interview with Waterman along with samples of his photographic works. You can see more Continue reading Dick Waterman, Helping to Keep the Blues Breathing


Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar.

In Hebrew, the word “hanukkah” means “dedication.” The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. This upset the Jewish people, but many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. Then in 167 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods. Continue reading HANUKKAH BEGINS

National Growler Day, Damn I Missed it!

Growler boy working for a Milwaukee iron works in 1892.

Back in the 50s I would occasionally spend a weekend with the family of a man my father worked with. They lived across the river from Cincinnati in Newport, KY. Being hardcore Germans the drank lots of beer and most Friday and Saturday evenings were spent at the neighborhood tavern. It was a time and place in America where a friendly tavern could be found on most corners of residential areas. The TV hadn’t began to keep people glued to their sofas yet and the tavern was the neighborhood’s living room.

In the Cincinnati area there were businesses known as pony kegs. These were the equivalent of today’s drive-thru carry-outs where you could pick up a few six-packs or a quarter keg (pony keg) of locally drafted beer. We had a Continue reading National Growler Day, Damn I Missed it!

All Along the Border People are Fleeing America

Since 2008 and the financial collapse in America I’ve seen consistent reports that the number of illegal immigrants in this country is shrinking. To the political right, however, it is of no matter. They continue to pound the spike of immigration fear into the hearts of their fearful, xenophobic, followers.

But, if there is some fearful soul, cowering beneath the four-poster in their bedroom, who can be reached with a little light of truth, here’s a brief piece that appeared on The Daily Beast. Oh, don’t let the name scare you, it’s just a news site and not really a monster.

Border Crossings Drop Sharply

Illegal immigration isn’t as rampant as some Republican debates Continue reading All Along the Border People are Fleeing America