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How the West is Committing Suicide

This news story from England illustrates the depth of the suicidal impulse that has gripped the West.

Fleeing from a felony (grand larceny to the tune of $11,000 dollars) and the police will not pursue because the thief might hurt himself: “The officers were asked not to pursue the suspects, as they were not wearing the correct safety equipment and were not wearing helmets.”

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Folksinger Joe Crookston’s “Freddy the Falcon”

Crookston is certainly one of the finest singer/songwriters ever.  His songs are very good and he sings with a deftness that you really can’t gauge unless you’ve tried to be a singer yourself.

You can  listen to “Freddy the Falcon”  here.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you want to, you can also download that song and four others  by Crookston, all for free.

Crookston was in Memphis at the annual meeting of the Folk Alliance in 2009 and he performed “Freddy the Falcon” before a small audience.  You can view an amateur video of that event here.

I transcribed these lyrics myself from the studio version with minor variations based on the Memphis version.

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FREDDY THE FALCON

I’m Freddy the Falcon, daredevil’s feet
Skateboard champ on Jackson Street
Ramp up and lift off two flights high
When the wheels leave the pavement, the falcon can fly

And I hardly know nothin’ and mostly don’t care
But flying like this gets me outta here
And I wish I had somethin’, but nothin’ ain’t fair
Flyin’ like this gets me outta here

They all call me Ratboy; my grades are bad
With a crazy temper than I got from my dad
My momma gets scared when my dad comes home drunk
And everybody says Ratboy is destined to flunk

And I hardly know nothin’ and mostly don’t care
But flying like this gets me outta here
And I wish I had somethin’, but nothin’ ain’t fair
Flyin’ like this gets me outta here

Skippin’ school, hangin’ out on the street
And out behind the factory where the dropouts meet
It happened real quick; I got in on the scene
In the back of a Mustang, cookin’ methamphetamine

And I hardly know nothin’ and mostly don’t care
But flying like this gets me outta here
And I wish I had somethin, but nothin’ ain’t fair
Flyin’ like this gets me outta here

Now I got these navy blues in jail cell “D”
I guess I done what everyone expected of me
So I sneak me a pencil — you gotta swear not to tell —
And at night I draw the falcon on the walls of my cell

And I hardly know nothin’ and mostly don’t care
But flying like this gets me outta here
And I wish I had somethin’, but nothin’ ain’t fair
Flyin’ like this gets me outta here

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Why I Like Hot Weather

People love to gripe, especially about the weather. Talking about it is one thing, since it’s something we all share in common. But griping is quite another, and counterproductive. It doesn’t change the weather, but it does affect attitudes, and not for the better.

Of course it’s hot. It’s summertime in Memphis, duh! Did you think you were in Norway, perhaps? Griping about the heat is like, “Man, that voltage bites! I stuck my finger in the light socket and it shocked the fire outta me!”

I like hot weather because it isn’t cold. Dead things are cold. Living things have heat. In the summertime, I feel more alive.

I like hot weather because I’m not sick. In the winter, everybody gets sick and the choir at church is always short a few people. Coughing, sneezing, puking, wheezing; typical winter.

I like hot weather because things don’t break as much. It’s easier to keep a car running. In the winter, you wake up in the morning and can’t get to work because the cold weather done you in. Not so in summertime. Pipes freeze and burst in winter. Plants are destroyed, animals freeze to death, the streets become impassible with ice & snow.

I like hot weather because it’s prettier. This harks back to my first point. In the summertime things are green and alive. In winter, any snow becomes filthy sludge after a day and you have to look at it until it melts, which is a long time. Cars become filthy. The whole environment becomes filthy. Nothing grows, so the earth becomes mud.

People say, “I can put on more clothes to stay warm, but in summer you just suffer.” Drink more water and slow down. Relax and let your body cool itself. Most distress comes from that frantic, griping attitude. Chill, bro.

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The Flying Autoharp Pick

In church this past Sunday I performed my first autoharp instrumental solo as an intro to a quartet number. The quartet was to break into a rousing a capella singing of “To Canaan’s land I’m on my way” just as soon as I’d finished playing one verse and chorus of “I’ll Fly Away.”

I started with just the melody, began to add the thumb, and eventually had a torrent of sounds rushing out of the instrument, just as if I knew what I was doing. But when I got to the chorus and was playing at high speed with with all my might “I’ll fly away, fly away, oh glory!” my thumb pick did exactly that–seven feet high and over the pulpit and onto the steps below.

The tenor retrieved it for me and, as I put it on, I just said “I hate it when that happens.” Everyone laughed, I played the remainder of my into, and the quartet and other string band members did a great job on the rest of the song.

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What Will the Tea Parties Accomplish?

It’s April 15th, the holiest day on the federal calendar, and angry citizens are attending protest rallies across the country. They’re calling them “tea parties,” for obvious reasons, and they think that their legislators will become scared and begin to roll back the tide of socialism that has been overtaking Washington recently.

This optimism is ill-founded. Legislators are in office because they campaigned on the idea “I will give you more than I take from you.” They expect to be reelected using the same strategy. Nobody is elected by promising to reduce expenditures while maintaining taxation, which is the only way a government can pay off a debt.

Politicians are professional liars; the most adept rise the highest. They will get out and support the tea parties for a day, but then they’ll resume doing what it took to get elected in the first place. It wouldn’t matter if fifty five million Americans showed up at tea parties today. That many showed up on election day last November and voted against Obama. Have the politicians been afraid because all those people disagreed with their socialist schemes? Nah.

The nation is going where it’s going because the majority wants to go there.

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The Disappearing Christmas Children

I remember Christmas morning when I was a boy. We were all outside, playing with our new toys and those of our neighbors’. Yesterday was Christmas. It was sunny in Memphis and not cold at all. I couldn’t find a kid anywhere in sight.

Where were they? Well, obviously they were inside; but, why? Since I wasn’t in there with them, I cannot say for sure; but I assume that they were enjoying their new presents, and those presents were indoor presents: audio and video electronics.

Approximately five million writers have already bemoaned the virtual world we make for ourselves, so I don’t pretend to some cosmic insight into the problem. What I’m wondering is, when will folks catch on? I recently saw an ad somewhere on the ‘net that invited people to some new social networking site for grownups (implying that Facebook, etc. is for kids). I have to ask, why not go out and join some outfit in person? There are charities and volunteer organizations by the dozens that need manpower.

The Internet is no longer a novelty. We should have gotten used to it by now. Just as happiness is not found in beverage alcohol, it isn’t found in make-believe relationships. Parents need to shut off the kids’ electronics and teach them how to run and throw things outside with real humans. And the parents themselves need to grow up.

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Obama won; are they happy now?

Every news source I turn to this morning is intoning the same worshipful liturgy: Obama’s election shows that we have overcome our nation’s past. This is all emotive rhetoric, however, because such language cannot be used to manipulate blacks and shake down whites.

The tune has to change, and I give it 24-48 hours to change. The new tune will bemoan Obama’s mulatto identity and allege that racist America only let him sit in the front of the bus because his mother was white. America is still guilty until a real black becomes president.

And when that day comes, they’ll move the target again. (“Hey, it works.”)

Prove me wrong.

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Voting in Memphis

When I lived in the southern part of town for ten years, it was common to see poll workers on election day wearing and distributing material advertising one candidate or another named “Ford.” The Ford family was somewhat disreputable and heavily involved in gaining and wielding political power. These poll workers would routinely, I’d say deliberately, cross the boundaries and accost people who were trying to go in and vote. It seemed to say “We aren’t restricted by the laws. Vote for Ford because he’s greater than the laws.” Those days are gone for now.

Today I arrived at my precinct at 9:10 AM and found it more crowded than ever before in my eight years of voting in this neighborhood. I see from checking a few web sites that our experience was repeated everywhere. I waited in line for 1.25 hours and everything went smoothly. Poll workers decided to put chairs out along the snaking line that wrapped around in the gymnasium. They went around with bottles of water, cups of coffee, and snacks. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

There were several referenda on the ballot, none of which was intelligible to a casual reader. I had to study the boogers last night and do a little research to figure out what in tarnation they meant. But I learned and came prepared. It took me about two minutes to cast all of my votes for the referenda and candidates.

Others were not so prepared. As we stood patiently in line, chatting and alternately sitting or standing, we would observe “Is that guy still at that booth?” Some of these brain-deads were standing there for ten or fifteen minutes, reading those stupid referenda and trying to decipher them. Un-bee-leeevable!

Here’s a free-market approach to the problem. Have at least one booth designated for “Express Voters.” If you show up and have a marked and ready voter’s guide that you can show a poll worker, you get an express ribbon pinned to your sleeve. Then you get in line with everybody else; but when the express booth is vacated, the poll worker taps the next voter who has a ribbon and allows him to go ahead of everyone else.

At about 12:45 PM I returned to the polling place to check the crowds and discovered that the long line was gone and things were back to normal. Everyone had rushed to get there this morning, fearing the large turnout, but the fears were unfounded. I see where that has been the case elsewhere across the nation as well.

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“Mommy, he called me a socialist!”

The presidential election has taken on the quality of an insane asylum run by the inmates. Obama, who is to the left of socialist senator Bernie Sanders, mocks McCain for calling him a socialist. McCain says in speeches, “My friends, my opponent wants to take your money and give it to people who haven’t earned it.” But that’s exactly what every Republican administration has done all of my life. And what was the $700 billion bailout that McCain supported?

I refer my readers once again to Sheldon Richman, the economics writer who understands it all and makes it plain.

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Skinheads: “I’m an idiot and I can prove it!”

Today it is our privilege here in Memphis to host two skinheads who have checked into our federal prison after bungling a plan to rob a gun store, kill eighty eight people, behead fourteen blacks (whom, I suppose, they include among the aforementioned people), and then drive their car into Obama while firing guns at him and wearing white tuxedos.

This is all eerily reminiscent of a story I heard back in the late ’70s. Reportedly, a fellow drank a case of beer and dove into a dangerous body of water and commenced swimming to the other side. He was expected to drown and a crowd gathered to watch the sad ending–but he surprised everyone by making it! As they gathered around and pressed the question “Why’d you do it? Why’d you do it?” he stared off proudly and intoned “To prove my love for Linda Ronstadt.”

The skinheads cannot, so far as I know, claim drunkenness as a defense. Apparently they think (if we may use the term) this way whether they are drunk or sober. The good news is that murderous idiots are a somewhat self-correcting problem: either they provoke some other murderous idiot to dispatch them, or they so bungle their criminal aspirations that the government can lock them up with other stupid criminals–a sort of segregation, if you will. They want segregation, don’t they?