The Late, Great, Howard Johnson

I don’t know how old you have to be to have memories of Howard Johnson restaurants but I certainly qualify. Not sure when I first ate HowardJohnsonsRestaurantin a HoJo’s but it was probably along the Pennsylvania Turn-Pike during the early 1960s. Howard had the franchise for all the food and fuel services along the pike.

They always had a bright orange roof and were famous for their 28 flavors of ice cream. Mel Brooks based a Blazing Saddles joke on the town of Rock Ridge being occupied by lots of Johnsons, one of which was Howard and his restaurant advertised 1 flavor.

At one time there were 800 HoJos in America and this morning I read that today there’s only two and one of those is about to close its doors. It’s in Bangor, ME and one of the waitresses has been there for fifty-years. It’s  the only job she ever had.

The last remaining Howard Johnson’s restaurant will be in Lake George, NY and the owners have no plans to close. They say they’re doing fine and have plans to remodel in the near future.

Oh, the last HoJo I ate in was on the north side of Knoxville, TN in 1978. Janet and I stopped there for a dish of ice cream on our way back from North Carolina. It was across the street from a Cracker Barrel. We walked over and checked out the store and Janet picked up a menu. That evening I had my first ever bowl of CB’s ham ‘n pintos in Corbin, KY. That’s a story for another time.

The Party of Lincoln is Dead!

We seem to be living in a words don’t have meaning, words don’t have consequences, truth doesn’t count, facts don’t count, science doesn’t matter, post rational world.

Yesterday’s news provides the example. Hillary made a major speech about the racism and bigotry of the Trump campaign and Trump responded by calling Hillary a bigot. My question is, doesn’t there have to be some evidence of truth when you call someone a seriously inflammatory name, especially when you’re running for the presidency?

Here’s the facts behind Hillary’s claim that Trump is a racist.

  • Let’s begin with the knowledge that both Trump and his father, Fred, were charged with violating the civil rights of blacks by denying the opportunities to rent Trump properties. Trump has lied about these charges and falsely claimed they paid any penalties.
  • He spent five years demeaning our first black president by insisting he wasn’t an American, that he had no birth certificate, that he was likely Islāmic, and that his educational credentials were questionable.
  • The day he came down the escalator to announce his candidacy he began by attacking Mexicans as being rapists. Admittedly he acknowledged a few might be okay, but he seem positive.
  • He spent the entire primary season saying things that were offensive to Latinos, blacks, Asians, immigrants, military heroes, LGBT, and women.
  • The consequences of his words were such that he increasingly attracted the attention and support of various far-right anti-government groups as well as the majority of white supremacists hate groups.
  • For some time he did nothing to disassociate himself from these groups. Remember how long it took him to take David Duke’s pork chop away? He even said he didn’t know anything about white supremacy.
  • And now, to ice the cake, Trump has chosen as his campaign’s chief executive officer Stephen Bannon, the leader of one of the most verbal and powerful extreme right-wing entities in America, Breitbart News. This is a man who hates minorities, has a record of domestic violence, is extremely anti-government, wants to destroy the traditional Republican Party, is super nationalistic, and who is an almost textbook perfect example of a fascist.

Continue reading The Party of Lincoln is Dead!

Farmers in Space

Being burnt out on the Olympics I switched over to HBO and watched a movie called The Astronaut Farmer. It starred Billy Bob Thornton and a handful of other known names. The premise is a farmer whose dream of becoming an astronaut was crushed by being tossed out of NASA.

He, being a salt of the earth, hard-working, God-fearing, never say never kind of guy that the American way of life creates, he takes matters into his own hands and builds a manned rocket in his barn. Against all odds and all the efforts of the dream crushers, he launches and circles the earth nine times without a hitch and successfully and gently, returns to earth.

This was supposed to be one of those feel good movies but about the only feeling I had was having wasted two hours of my life watching it. About five seconds after it was over I decided this is the kind of movie people like Clint Eastwood masturbate to.


Hate Groups USA

On one of the talk shows I saw two of the most racist statements I’ve ever heard. Both were attributed to Trump’s new racist-in-charge, Stephen Bannon. Without success I’ve spent more than a couple of minutes looking for these and other such statements from Bannon.

I decided to try the Southern Law Poverty Center since they keep an ear to the ground regarding those who hate. I still didn’t find what I’m looking for but I did click on their “Hate Map” and checked out Ohio and then other areas of the nation. A quick summary is, the most haters are associated with the KKK or other white nationalist groups such as a Nazi or fascist party. There are also  a number of dots on the map that represent black separatist groups such as the Nation of Islam.

Continue reading Hate Groups USA

Notes on Ageing, Volume 132

One of the regular characters of the Bob and Tom radio program was based on the legendary sports caster, Harry Carey. Don’t know what the real Harry Carey was adult diapers like but the B&T version was a gruff sounding lecherous old character that you may not want to baby sit your children or herd your sheep.

In one episode Carey was visited by beautiful young movie star and he was trying to get her to change his adult diaper. She asked if he were incontinent and he replied, “No, just l don’t like getting up.”

I thought of this a couple of days ago when putting on my very first adult diaper. I knew it would happen some day but I’m  pretty happy it’s only temporary and not age related.

Continue reading Notes on Ageing, Volume 132

Blanket Statement Not Accepted

Trump’s blonde mouthpiece,  Kellyanne Conway, was on a recent talk show and one subject of conversation was his statement of regret. Her interviewer was trying to get her to be specific about something he regretted doing. She hung tough and just kept coming back with a blanket statement of regret.

It reminded me of when I was a kid growing up Catholic. I hated going to confession and having to rat myself out for all the sins I had committed since my last confession. I also tried to get the priest to accept a blanket statement, “Father, I am sorry for all the sins I have created in the past and for those I will commit in the future.”
I don’t know if I ever floated that one through the confessional but most of the times it was tossed back and I had to be specific.


Time Wasted in Trumpland, Part 2

This week in Trump Land will begin on Wednesday, August 17.  We wake up this morning to news of a major shakeup in the Trump organization.

  • His campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was demoted and a couple new names brought in who promise to let Trump be Trump. Apparently Trump tired of being the constrained and rational person Manafort wanted.
  • Just for some extra sugar, Manafort is also being looked into some questionable spy work for unknown persons close to Putin.
  • The new head of Trump’s campaign is Steve Bannon. The only similarity to Steve Canyon is that both may prove to become comic book characters. I got an email from Hillary claiming Bannon to be the world’s most horrible person. After a few minutes of talk shows I learned it was a shared opinion. This morning I read that even Glen Beck agrees with Hillary about Bannon. Given what I’ve read about Bannon look for the Trump shit storm to be running at full throttle.
  • Several news sources are claiming there is a weakening of support for Trump with white male voters.

Continue reading Time Wasted in Trumpland, Part 2

The Death of the GOP

I’ve been running a non scientific poll asking if Donald Trump was hurting the GOP. Everyone who has responded has agreed that his is.

With that in mind I came across this article at FiveThirtyEight about the death of the GOP. While I don’t make political predictions I find the history and arguments in this piece to be interesting. If the GOP may not be dying in name it certainly is no longer the party of Lincoln or Eisenhower. I think there is an argument for claiming it isn’t even the party of Reagan.

It remains to be seen just how much the GOP reflects today’s American society but if Hillary does win by the margins FiveThirtyEight and others are predicting it would certainly go a long way towards arguing the end of the GOP.

For the 538 article click the button below…

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dialup modemFACTOID: Only 3% of Americans still use dial-up for Internet access. Over 70% have access to broadband, much of that due to government spending during the Great Recession, while 15% don’t use the Internet at all.  Overall, however, Internet speeds in America are among some of the developed world’s slowest.

GOP’s Jesus

I saw this meme on Facebook and just had to share it. Untold millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on drug testing “welfare” recipients with no evidence that welfare recipients are druggies.

With that in mind this, to me, is what Jesus would sound like if he were a right-wing Republican.

jesus meme

Time Wasted in Trumpland, Part 1

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Donald Trump just says too much stuff to bother making a comment on each, as it happens. So for a while I’m going to try writing a weekly log or list of the more insane comments that emerge and stink up our atmosphere.

  • In spite of warnings from Constitutional lawyers and powerful military leaders, Trump insist he would be “fine” with trying US citizens in military courts, Guantanamo is high on his list of such. Due process is not as protected under military law and that’s one reason the Bush administration didn’t want Islāmic combatants tried on US soil. By the way, if you don’t know what due process is, you will if it’s denied you.
  • Much to John McCain’s disgust Trump is back on the waterboard kick. Plus much worse.
  • Trump spend a couple of days insisting that Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the literal founders of ISIS. He later walked that back half a step and then took a three-quarter step forward.
  • One of Trump’s surrogates,  Katrina Pierson, appeared on a news program and insisted that President Obama had invaded Afghanistan. In spite of the news person’s attempts to set her straight she continued calling it Obama’s War.

Continue reading Time Wasted in Trumpland, Part 1

Karnes Orchard – 2016

Just spoke with Karnes Orchard today and it won’t be long before their new crop of apples will be ready for market. The first day of sales will be on Friday, September 2 and continue into December.

Check out their website for mail orders and wholesale purchases. Below is a chart showing when various varieties will become available.  Karnes is located at 8200 Worley Mill Rd., Hillsboro, OH.

I’d suggest you make your day special by picking up some freshly squeezed Karnes apple cider and then driving a mile over to Liz’s Bake Shop at 7960 Overman Rd. for a few freshly baked glazed yeast doughnuts. What says fall more than cider and doughnuts?

karnes fruit

Buckley on Trump

Mirror, mirror, I’m not so small!

When I was teaching American Government we tossed out the textbook for the second semester and used Newsweek magazine as our text. We had spent the first semester studying the specifics of America’s system of government so for the second semester we focused on the realities of that system. At that juncture we changed the name of the course to, Problems in a Democratic Society.

One assignment each week was to read the editorial column of whatever writer was in print that week. William F. Buckley, Jr. was always the toughest. He was an intellectual and spoke with an intellectual’s vocabulary and understanding him often took the collective brain power of all those assembled.

Continue reading Buckley on Trump

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