Welcome to “BLM Avenue!”

A group of uninformed blacks and white liberals are meeting to decide what to do about the “offensive” symbols of the Civil War in Atlanta such as “Confederate Avenue.” If they are really serious about removing ALL of our historic monuments which relate to that war they are going to have to burn down the entire city of Atlanta. There is no more prominent symbol of that conflict than the city itself. It was completely burned to the ground by General William T.. Sherman’s 60,000 troops who destroyed Atlanta with fire on 2 Sept. 1864. This was to set a precedent for future behavior by his armies. General Sherman, an evil person if there ever was one, believed in punishing the south, and Georgia in particular by his “scorched earth” policy. His army was instructed to destroy everything in this state from Brass Town Ball to Tybee Island. He did a good job of it. Not much was left standing anywhere. People starved to death.

Do these symbol destroyers know anything about history? Probably not, because the truth is not taught in schools anymore or it is taught that Abraham Lincoln wished to destroy the abomination of slavery by waging war on the Confederate States. Do they actually believe that those young boys in the rag-tag Confederate Army owned any slaves? That is nonsense. Are they aware that the “Emancipation Proclamation,” which outlawed slavery, was not issued by Lincoln until the Civil War was in its second year? The Civil War was fought because Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union (and win re-election). Young boys in the south fought because 11 southern states didn’t want to be “United” and somebody in Washington was sending people with guns into their states and shooting at them.

There is, or used to be, traditions in our country. And there is definitely history and destroying relics of the Civil War isn’t going to change that. Life is a continuum which runs from the Laws on one end, which one must follow or go to jail, and at the other extreme end there is complete freedom to do as you please. And in between those two are where tradition comes in. It is the area where you just know instinctively what is right and what is wrong. It’s ingrained in one from living in a free nation like ours. And we “just know” that it is right to honor the flag and the national anthem and we “just know” that it is simply wrong to try to rewrite history by destroying remembrances of things which have occurred in our country’s past.

Is it really going to make life better in Atlanta to change the name of “Confederate Avenue?” Come on, people. Get real. We have some serious problems in this country. There is corruption at every level of government from our state house to D.C. And changing street names is way down on the list of “problems” that we should be devoting our energies toward solving.

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(Very) Short Synopsis

My good friend and editor (J. Doyle) asked me what kind of novel I was working one now. I told him, “Well, it’s about this guy and gal and they get into some troubled and then they fuck a couple of times to get the required sex into it and then they kill some bad people and then they get out of trouble and everybody is happy at the end.”

And he said, “I’ve already read that book.”

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A Sad Day in Stone Mountain.

There’s no joy in Stone Mountain tonight. I’ve been forced to give up my beloved Harley-Davidson motorcycle. My association with HD goes back about 70 years. My first exposure to these fine motorcycles came about in the late 1940s. My two buddies and I scraped up $25 from mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs. We spent that money to buy a war-surplus Harley-Davidson after WW-II. It was in bad shape, but it was beautiful to us. And we were proud. The first motorcycle into Berlin at the end of WW-II was a Harley. My dad help us keep it running and we three guys took turns riding it, each keeping it for about a week at a time. We sold it when we all went off to college. Then came the start of a career for me followed by a wife and then a couple of kids. That resulted in me working seven days a week and no time for motorcycles.

My next HD was in the mid ‘60s when I was able to buy a ten year old 1954 Harley-Davidson “panhead.” I loved that old bike. It leaked so much oil I carried an extra quart in one of raggedy saddle bags to “top it off” after almost every stop. I lost it in a divorce settlement. And I was out of the bike business for a few years.  Then, a fellow at WSB put a notice on the bulletin board. He had a “like new” Honda 750 for sale for a thousand dollars. I offered him $900 and he turned it down. A year went buy and he posted the same bike for sale for $900. I offered him $800. He insisted he had to have $900 but “he would throw in some helmets and stuff.” I bought it and was riding again. But I really wanted another Harley. When that gets into your blood it doesn’t go away. So I rode my Honda out to HD of Atlanta. I saw the 1980 bikes in the showroom – and they had “drip pans” under them. Those old engines had changed over the years, but they still leaked oil. I just wasn’t going to go through that trouble again. So I traded my Honda 750  in on a Honda “Gold Wing.” It was a one of the last Gold Wings that was made in Japan and it came “clean,” just a basic bike. I had them put a windshield and a couple of saddle bags on it and I rode it all over America for ten years.

But my love of Harleys never ended. So in 1990 I went back to the dealer and they had updated those bikes (and the engine) remarkably. I bought a beautiful red “Softail.” From then on I traded for a new model every year. I had ridden motorcycles for 50 years and never had a serious accident. But, over the years I developed macular degeneration which basically means that I’m slowly going blind. MD is a progressively, incurable, and untreatable loss of vision. And over the last year my MD has gotten so bad that it has become dangerous for me to ride a bike. It’s not safe for me or for other drivers. So, with genuine tears in my damaged eyes I took my last ride today. Riding a motorcycle gave me a sense of freedom that nothing can replace. My riding days are over. I will miss riding a bike but I will always love Harley-Davidson. I’ve had the pleasure of riding the real thing for many joyful years.

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The New Puerto Rico – Enjoy it, you paid for it!

I’m not insensitive toward personal suffering. I feel compassion for people who lose everything due to a natural disaster. So I don’t want you to misinterpret what I’m going to say. And it is this: The hurricane that struck Puerto Rico may be the best thing that ever happened to that island. Remember, PR was on the brink of bankruptcy before the hurricane. If you’ve ever been to Puerto Rico (I have – twice) you may have observed what I did. What I saw was a population that had a cavalier attitude toward “work.” I’m sure there are exceptions, but the general attitude I noticed was not what I am used to on the mainland. Here it’s something that I call “American Initiative.”

So, what happens now? The American tax payers are going to foot the bill to rebuild Puerto Rico, from the ground up and you can be sure that those who were living in ghettos of cardboard shacks will have nice houses to live in. Thousands of American soldiers, FEMA workers, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and other charities have been working there 24/7 from the moment the hurricane winds died down. And yet the Mayor of San Juan,  instead of being grateful, spends her time finding cameras where she can complain that Donald Trump isn’t “doing enough” to help the citizens of Puerto Rico.”

In our country the comparison between what the people in Houston and Biloxi did when faced with a catastrophic hurricane situation, and what the citizens of Puerto Rico didn’t do is startling.. The PEOPLE in Houston and on the Gulf coast didn’t wait for the government to do everything for them. They banded together and helped each other. Politics, religion, sexual orientation, race, nothing kept the people from helping, not only their neighbors but complete strangers. They even risked their lives to save people’s pets. In contrast, from what I have seen, the Puerto Ricans (generally speaking) are sitting around whining because nobody is doing everything for them.

The “new” Puerto Rico, after American taxpayers have paid the bill to rebuild it, is going to be a shining example of what pouring unlimited money and resources into a country can accomplish. What will be interesting is seeing how long it will take for the population of Puerto Rico to turn it back into a cesspool again.

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Marching for Whitey!

I am not a Nazi, or a so-called white supremacist or a KKK member or a racist or a member of Black Lives Matter or any other special interest group. BUT, every one of the above groups has a constitutional right to “free and peaceful assembly”  in this country. That freedom is guaranteed by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Without it, Dr. Martin Luther King would not have been able to march for civil rights. And he was abused and finally killed by those who oppose that right.

Conversely, the Unite the Right group, which believes that the European culture on which this nation was founded by Caucasians and is being diluted by foreign immigration, has the same right to free assembly. And they too are abused by community organizers, many of whom are paid to disrupt and cause violence and even death.

We are the States of America, but we are not United. Our former President did more to incite racial division than anyone in recent history. It is not out of the realm of possibility that he is also involved with the current civil unrest. After all, his only job before becoming president was “community organizer.”

Most ex-presidents remain loyal to their political party, but seldom do they engage in exerting their power to undermine a new sitting President. However, the fact that Congress has been unable (or unwilling) to rid us of the burdensome Obamacare, and now say that they cannot reform the Tax Code, and have leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell who are openly defiant of President Trump – it does seem that some “underground” source is using pressure to retain Obama’s so-called “legacy.”

Statues of veterans, of any war including our Civil War are protected by federal law. Those who destroy or dismantle these historical monuments should be arrested and prosecuted. And Governors, Police Chiefs, Universities and any politicians who allow, and in some cases endorse, this activity, should also be held to the law. Where is the ACLU? Where is the Dept. of Justice? Where is the FBI? Oh…I know. They’re investigating how Russia cheated Hillary out of the presidency.

Where is it written that only white people can be racists? Nowhere. Allowing one racial group to disrupt, agitate, and endanger the lives of any other racial group is not what our nation’s founders had in mind. Fanning the flames of distrust and division cannot be tolerated. The fact that there were slaves in this country 250 years ago does not give permission to idiots in 2017 to destroy our history. Slavery goes on in every Muslim country TODAY! If militants want to fight that atrocity, let them do it in other countries. To my knowledge, no person in this nation today has a slave. Get on with  it, people. These acts of violence are going to eventually bring about Martial Law. And then we will all suffer.

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To Write, or not to Write?

I have always been a writer. My attempts at writing go back to my teen years. Yes, I made my living as a TV weatherman, but having a “day job” is not unusual for authors. In those TV days I wrote a weekly column for newspapers, and published a booklet titled “WeatherTalk.”. In the late ‘50s I worked at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL. There was a nice lady there who did the morning show and she knew about my ambition to be an author. She was a friend of the famous writer Frank G. Slaughter. She arranged a meeting for me with him. Mr. Slaughter was a slight, unassuming and quiet man and very cordial to me. He took me into his writing office. There were strings with clothes pins holding index cards stretched from wall to wall above his desk. On those cards he had “plot notes.” He shuffled the cards around until he was satisfied with his plot and then he sat down and wrote another novel. Several of his books were made into movies. His advice to me was, “Keep writing.” I did, but with little success. I began collecting folders full of rejection letters.

In the ‘60s and ‘70s I wrote stories which I submitted to popular magazines that published short fiction. Most were rejected. I picked up a literary agent during that period, who was well connected with publishers. So, in 1980 I wrote my first full-length novel. Friends who read the manuscript said it was good. It wasn’t. It had a decent plot, but the writing was terrible. My agent tried to sell it. Thank God it never got published. But it was good experience. One has to pit in the work of writing a 250-300 page novel to “pay one’s dues” and I learned much from it.

After I retired from TV I devoted my time to writing using my experiences as an aviator and an ocean sailor. That resulted in four published “Tropical” novels. I added a contemporary novel and lots of short story collections. I’ve proven I’m a writer, so what do I do now?

I’ve never written for “money” and no one should. You should write because you can entertain people with good stories. Thousands of people read my novels for “free” through Amazon’s free-reading programs. But the “confirmation” that you are a good writer is from sales of your work, much like an artist who sells paintings. And the truth is that sales stink. For instance, in the month of September only six of my books were purchased while tons of pages were read for free. Those who enjoy my novels urge me to write another one. But I’m an old guy now and my priorities have changed and my time on this earth is limited. The reviews of my novels are always good, but finding them among the million and a half other books on Amazon is a matter of luck. Do I want to devote one of my few remaining years to writing one more book that few people will find and buy?. I’m going to have to give that decision a lot of thought.

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Good Advice for Writers!

On his 70th birthday, a man was given a gift certificate from his wife. The certificate was for consultation with an Indian medicine man living on a nearby reservation who was rumored to have a simple cure for erectile dysfunction. The husband went to the reservation and saw the medicine man.

The old Indian gave him a potion and, with a grip on his shoulder, warned ‘This is a powerful medicine. You take only a teaspoonful, and then say: ‘1-2-3.’ When you do, you will become more manly than you have ever been in your life, and you can perform for as long as you want.”

The man thanked the old Indian, and as he walked away, he turned and asked :

“How do I stop the medicine from working?” “Your partner must say ‘1-2-3-4,’ he responded, “but when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon.”

He was very eager to see if it worked so he went home, showered, shaved, took a spoon full of the medicine, and then invited his wife to join him in the bedroom.

When she came in, he took off his clothes and said: “1-2 3!”

Immediately, he was the manliest of men.

His wife was excited and began throwing off her clothes, and asked: “What was the 1-2-3 for ?”

And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition, because we could end up with a dangling participle.

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