Senator Johnny Isakson

“Anyone who tarnishes the reputation of John McCain deserves a whipping.”

john isakson

As John McCain‘s former colleagues mourned on the Senate floor today, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said anyone who disrespects McCain’s legacy “deserves a whippin’.”

“John was better than me and I know it” said Isakson. “Anybody who in any way tarnishes the reputation of John McCain deserves a whipping, because most of the ones who would do the wrong thing about John McCain didn’t have the guts to do the right thing when it was their turn.”

……..didn’t have the guts to do the right thing when it was their turn…….

 

I love a parade

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I love a parade.  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day, Rose Bowl’s New Year’s Day, my local Veteran’s Day, and yes, that silly Dairy Princess parade in my home town.  Along with about 62 other high school band members we marched down Main Street celebrating the selection of the one young lady who had collected more money than any of her competitors for the privilege of sitting in a 1964 Chevy convertible provided by her daddy, who also happened to be the local Chevrolet dealer.  We, in our white bucks, carefully maneuvered through the residue of the horse-riding honor guard which led our little festivity.

Yeah, I love a parade.  Parades were fun and watching them on TV was a holiday tradition.  With the advent of instantaneous media on every household screen, the parades celebrated in China, North Korea, and Russia displayed a different reason to have a parade.  The military might of these nations was dismaying and ominous.  The goose-stepping troops reminded me of video I had seen of earlier parades in 1940s Germany.  They were not smiling and cheering.  I don’t think they were having a fun time like those of us sidestepping horse manure on the streets of Mytown, USA.

Thank God the military parade planned for Washington, D.C. has been delayed.  I can’t think of any valid reason to spend millions of tax-payer dollars on a display of military equipment and manpower.  We know who we are as a nation.  We know for what we stand, don’t we?  Opportunity for all, right?  Liberty for the oppressed, right?  Social justice, right?  Or have I become an old fuddy-duddy who lives in a Pollyanna world?

VoteVets.org is a non-profit founded by veterans for the purpose of electing veterans to Congress and informing the general population of ongoing issues with veterans.  Homelessness, war injuries, suicide are hot topics in the veterans’ community that are not being addressed by an Administration more concerned with displaying military might.  VoteVets.org has filed with the city of Washington, D.C. a letter of intent to host a 5K run on Veteran’s Day of 2019 around the National Mall with proceeds directed to homelessness among veterans.

My country is better than this national disgrace of veterans’ homelessness inflicting 40,000 of the men and women who sacrificed to serve.  I’m supporting a run around the National Mall for veterans rather than a parade to show the world we’re Billy Badass.

GABBY COOKS – 3 can quickie

Clean & serene living means learning healthy habits and good eating.  And I love recipes that are quick and simple.  Here’s one of my new favorites.  It serves 2.

Dangit!!  I need a meeting tonight and I’ve got just 1/2 hour to fix supper and eat.  I have only $2 in my wallet so I can’t do Mickey D’s.  Let me see what’s in the pantry.

These are the ingredients

  1. (1) 15 oz can seasoned mixed greens
  2. (1) 15 oz can seasoned black-eyed peas
  3. (1) 8 3/4 oz can yellow sweet corn
  4. (4)  5″ corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS

  1. Empty the cans into a sauce pot and heat
  2. While that’s heating, quarter the tortillas and fry in a fry pan in about 1/4 of oil
  3. Serve the corn chips atop or with the soup
  4. Eat and get to that meeting!

protests vs rallies

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In 1968, when I was stationed at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, enlisted men were restricted to base for several weeks for our own protection.  No, it was not terrorism, foreign or domestic, that kept us isolated.  The Vietnam War protests had spilled out onto the streets of Philadelphia.  It was ugly and inflammatory.  But, we lived in ugly times.  JFK, RFK and MLK, Jr. had been murdered, conspiracy theories abounded, everyone was pointing fingers.

I had friends who supported the anti-war sentiment and participated in the civil rights movement, good men and women who were passionate about their cause.  As a hayseed farm boy who was apolitical, I listened to those friends and tried to make sense of their arguments, but, in the end analysis as a G.I., my life belonged to the government where differing opinions were frowned upon.

But, what I do remember were the rational conversations regarding government and politics.  Yes, sometimes heated and sometimes spilling out onto the streets, what drove them was passion for their cause.  Many fellow G.I.s , who faced the consequences of a war initiated and prolonged by a greedy munitions-industrial base in the United States, were involved in the fierce debate.

We should not dare compare the 1960s and its internal turmoil with today’s visceral hatred that spews from Presidential rallies.  The scenes from those rallies are pictures of unfettered wrath and undisciplined behavior.  They show America at its worst as the world sees growling faces and pointing fingers.  This is not how America debates its differences.  Consider the peaceful marches in the deep South led by MLK, Jr. and the young peaceniks marching for an end to Vietnam.  They were dedicated to the cause, they were vocal, and they finally prevailed.  But, they were not hateful displays of immaturity and screaming faces.

Change can be forced by one viewpoint upon the other with one of the parties being a consummate loser.  I win, you lose.  Or change can be a win-win situation when both sides agree to compromise, to be civil, and to conduct a rational discourse.

I also remember accounts of an era, just preceding my birth in 1947, of a leader who took it upon himself to incite the hateful, discriminatory rhetoric of the people and conduct one of the most despicable, inhumane eras in human history.  We can do better than that, can we not?

GABBY COOKS-stewed chicken breast

Clean & serene living means learning healthy habits and good eating.  And I love recipes that are quick and simple.  Here’s one of my new favorites.  It serves 2.

I have always preferred dark chicken meat, legs & thighs, thinking it to be more flavorful.  But, chicken breast with skin and bone intact is a healthy alternative  and equally delicious.  I believe it cooks up moister and more tender than skinless & boneless breast.

When my recipe uses crushed garlic and herbs, I sprinkle the crushed garlic on my cutting board with the herbs and a pinch of salt and then chop vigorously.  The resulting blend works nicely in any recipe, especially when one of the herbs is dried rosemary.  

These are the ingredients

 

  1. (1) plump chicken breast with skin and bone
  2. (1) 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  3. (4) medium-sized red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  4. (1/2) cup diced onions
  5. (2) strips bacon sliced into bite sized pieces
  6. (1/2) cup diced pepper, green or any color
  7. (2) TBSP butter
  8. (2) TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  9. (1/2) tsp dried rosemary
  10. (2) cloves garlic smashed
  11. salt & pepper to taste
  12. optional 1/2 TBSP dried parsley
  13. optional 1/2 tsp dried thyme 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. in a heavy stew pot render the bacon and drain excess fat 
  2. add the butter and olive oil and heat till butter is melted
  3. place the chicken breast skin side down in the oil and butter and brown lightly
  4. remove the chicken breast
  5. add the garlic and onions and saute till golden, do not scorch the garlic
  6. add the potatoes and green pepper, stirring to coat and allow to cook about 4 minutes
  7. add the seasonings and the can of tomatoes, stir to mix all the ingredients
  8. place the chicken breast, skin side up, atop all and cover with tight lid
  9. reduce heat to barely bubbling, you want this to cook slowly
  10. check often and stir to prevent scorching
  11. tomatoes and potatoes should add enough moisture, you want this a thick stew-like consistency, but add water or broth if necessary
  12. cook for about 45 minutes

TO SERVE

Remove the chicken breast to a cutting board and allow to set about 5 minutes.  Remove the skin and meat from the bone.  Slice the meat.  This can be eaten as a plate entrée or a bowl-style stew.  If plating it, spoon a generous helping of potato mixture on the plate and top with the chicken slices.  If serving as a stew, spoon a hearty helping of potato mixture into the bowl, add the chicken slices and blend.

 

VoteVets.org

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VoteVets.org has submitted a letter of intent to the government of Washington, D.C. to host a 5K run around the National Mall on Veteran’s Day of 2019.  Whether it happens or not remains to be seen as things that happen in our nation’s capital are subject to daily change depending on the temperament of the Administration sitting in the White House.  Details are forthcoming, but the Hill reports the non-profit organization is organizing this event to counter the military parade still envisioned by President Trump for sometime in 2019 after abandoning plans for a Veteran’s Day, 2018, parade at a possible cost of $92 million.

It will be planned as a 5K event for each of the 5 deferments citizen Trump received during the Vietnam War era, four student deferments and one medical deferment for bone spurs.  The organizers intend to raise money for homeless vets citing that the needs for veteran services far exceed the need for military and personal aggrandizement of the current political regime.

VoteVets.org is a progressive political organization dedicated to ensuring veterans have the resources they need to complete their missions abroad, and are taken care of when they return home.  With a membership of 220,000 the group was co-founded in 2006 by Jon Soltz and Jeremy Broussard initially for United States Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with a goal of putting in Congress war veterans who are critical of the war in Iraq.  Its current focus is to educate the American public on war and military issues and hold politicians accountable.

Homeless vets numbered about 40,000 in January of 2016.   They are increasingly younger; however, the majority are in an older age group, 51 and over, having served in the Vietnam War era.  During the next 10 to 15 years the number of homeless vets over the age of 55 is expected to increase dramatically.