Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday morning ramblings

Shuffling cars on the Aberdeen & Rockfish, at the Dundarrach sidings. Photo taken in February 2007.

Easter was gray and cool. We didn’t get as much snow as they’d predicted, but there were on and off snow showers. After church and dinner, I spent most of the rest of the day napping and reading in front of the fireplace. There was no reason to go outside.

Among the many books I’m currently reading is Stanley Karnow’s, Vietnam: A History. I’ve been listening to it on my i-pod at the gym. The book is 36 hours long (I’m getting my money’s worth from this download) and there are parts I am listening to twice. I also picked up a copy from the library and have been reading sections of the book. I was stunned by this comment made by Lyndon Johnson in February 1953, when he was a Senator from Texas.

“I want to make absolutely sure that the Communist don’t play one branch of the government against the other, or one party against the other… The danger is they’ll think we’re fat and fifty and fighting among ourselves about free enterprise and socialism and all that. We might mislead them so they’ll think these Americans are just the country club crowd. That’s a mistake our enemies have made before. If you’re in an airplane, and you’re flying somewhere, you don’t run up to the cockpit and attack the pilot. Mr. Eisenhower is the only president we got.”
Eleven years later, Johnson would be the President and claiming such authority for himself. Partly because he didn’t want to look weak when compared to Goldwater, Johnson would be blinded into seeing no other course but to lead America into a war “in that damn little pissant country” (LBJ’s words, said I’m sure with a Texas drawl). The war became a disaster. And now we have another President from Texas who just want’s us to “trust him.” The founders of our nation were on to something when they created the three branches of government to check each other. We need to remember that the president isn’t a pilot, and whenever he’s given such power, America as a nation is in danger. Another lesson we should learn is to never underestimate our opponents.

Gautami has posted a poem from the perspective of a confused girl in an incestuous relationship. It’s haunting and powerful and a reminder that there’s nothing worse that someone with authority and in a position of trust abusing a child.


  1. Sadly there are a lot of similarities between the Iraq war and the Vietnam war. Proof that we don't learn from our past as well as we should

  2. I might have mentioned before that I work with a man who did a couple of tours in Vietnam. He is a staunch Republican and supporter of the war, but is appalled by the similarities to the Vietnam war . . . the folks in charge are saying EXACTLY the same things they said about the progress they were making in Vietnam . . . and we know how well that turned out

  3. Your readers would like to know...Do you nap in bed or on the couch or in your Archie Bunker chair? Were you barefoot? What did you make for dinner? Does it bug you when you're reading and people are talking to you?

  4. It is too bad that the current prez thinks he is flying the airplane alone.

  5. Ed, Amen.

    Diane, how he can both see the similiarities and support the war?

    Questionable: I nap anywhere that I'm more than 45 degrees horizonal; barefoot is a state of being comfortable in my house; I don't have an archie bunker type of chair; ham, sweet potatoes, boiled cabbage, rolls for dinner; and I've perfected the art of saying "uh-huh?" so I can read while they talk and I assume if the house is on fire their voice inflictions will change and I'll get the word.

    Kenju, I'm thinking about taking up sky diving, wanta join me!

  6. I'm finding it very difficult to step back into the realm of educational reading. Grad school was such a burn-out. I'll be teaching World Civ 101 this fall so I better get back to it. Motivation is just not there.

    Book downloads, now that is an idea. I've looked at a few, but they seem pretty expensive. Worth it?

  7. Kontan: are you teaching on the college level? World Civ up to the Enlightenment? Downloads are worth it if you buy them in blocks of 12 (you don't have to download them all at once). A subscription of 12 cost around $140 dollars, making them around 13 bucks each, which is a lot better than 30 o4 40 bucks.

  8. I have tried listening to books but I did not like it much. I felt like blindman, in this case blindwoman. Maybe its me!

    I like to touch and inhale my books!!

    I appreciate it that you linked that post of mine. It needs to be highlighted. Not my post but the issue.

  9. Love the photo!

    Our snow's all gone!! :+)

  10. sage - I'd say he thinks the war was justified, but that they are now taking the wrong fork in the road . . .

    I don't agree, but I do have to work w/ loads of Republicans!

  11. Gautami, thank you for posting the poem, have you read any of the poems or prayers of Marian Wright Edelman (Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations for our Children, is one book of hers). She heads the Children's Defense Fund and you're work would fit well into some of her collections

    Karen, there's something about trains, eh? Yeah, our snow is gone too, but we may get more tomorrow

    Diane, my prayers are with you--I too, however, have to work with a number of Republicans. A friend who was down south last week brought me back some Peanuts from Plains, GA (Jimmy Carter's hometown) and I've been offering people coming into my office Democratic Peanuts.

  12. Hi Sage, I will be teaching at the college level this fall. Just "getting my feet wet" really. Looking forward to it, but it will be a time challenge. I am still searching for a full time high school position in our new city- back home! (Moving this summer.)

  13. Kontan, congratulations on your teaching job and may things go well with your search.