All posts by Larry Chapman

Retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd. north of SCPower's sub-station.

Liars and Those Who Teach Liars to Lie

Unless he was lying Donald Trump was in Ohio yesterday. Like anytime he appears in public he told a large number of lies and distortions. He said work had begun on his precious Mexican border wall. It hasn’t. What he said was new construction was actually some repairs being done to an old wall.

He seemed to take credit for the initial success of the new Roseanne show. He took credit for all economic improvements and said we had never had an economy this good. Well, others get most of the credit and yes, we’ve had economic periods far better than what we now have.

Continue reading Liars and Those Who Teach Liars to Lie

VWs for all my Friends!

Remember when Volkswagen got caught cheating on the pollution numbers about its diesel cars? Well, they had to recall about 350,000 cars, most of which are sitting on giant parking lots all across America waiting for some decision on what to do with them. In the meantime they are being fully maintained to keep them sellable. Could there be some great car deals in the months ahead?

Thoughts About Implants

With Stormy Daniels being in the news so much it’s been difficult to not occasionally think about breast implants. I don’t have a problem with women getting breast augmentation, especially when related to reconstruction following cancer and other medical issues.

I can’t claim any expertise on the subject but I am capable of detecting examples where the consumer went overboard. Stormy Daniels is certainly one example of too much being way too much. There’s just too much of what nature didn’t intend.

Being a man in today’s world leaves me wondering how much I’m permitted to talk about boob jobs and it’s a subject I don’t usually wander into. However, on one occasion I did get invited to join a discussion and got to ask a few questions.

Continue reading Thoughts About Implants

Roller Coaster Days

For at the past week life has been like an emotional roller coaster. At one moment I find myself elated and confident about my nation’s future, followed by my cart roaring out of control down the steel tracks and I am screaming at the top of my voice.

On the down side the nation’s pseudo president hires an ideological war hawk, John Bolton, to head a department charged with providing for our security. Bolton has a life’s track record of favoring war over peace. He has openly called for the unilateral preëmptive nuclear strike by the United States against North Korea and Iran. Seeming ignorant of the cost in human lives to our allies in South Korea and Japan. Also of the loss of tens of thousands of American military person stationed in Asia.

Continue reading Roller Coaster Days

When is Enough Enough?

There is some debate about the total number of guns in America with the consensus being above 300 million. The number of guns isn’t too different from the number of people, including children.

Adding to that is the millions of guns that continue to be manufactured in America every year. The chart below shows the numbers from 1986 through 2013 and one can easily see that the gun makers are on good times. In fact, the times are even better. Last week I heard the most recent report stating total manufacture in 2017 was in excess of fourteen million.

Continue reading When is Enough Enough?

Questions & Thoughts About the NRA

As I begin this blog it is Saturday, March 24, 2018 and all over the world people are gathering in protest of gun violence. The subject cannot be addressed in America without mention of the National Rifle Association and answering several important questions about the organization. Following is a small list of questions that we as a nation should be addressing:

  1. Should the NRA be a tax-exempt organization? The subject is complex but for simplicity, is there any reason for the NRA to be tax-exempt? The concept implies that some charitable activity is taking place, that somehow society is being served by the institution’s activities. We all know of the Salvation Army’s work during  troubled times and probably don’t question their tax-exempt status. What does the NRA do that resembles the work of the Salvation Army?
  2. Should trying to influence politics threaten tax-exempt status? If organized religions become involved in influencing the political outcomes in America, should they lose their tax-exempt status? Is the same true of the NRA? In 2016 the NRA spent tens of millions trying to influence political outcomes. They gave over $30 million alone to the election of Donald Trump. In the eyes of democracy, the collective donations of such groups far outweighs what the American people can bring forth. Should this be more tightly regulated?
  3. In 2011 Stephen Colbert wanted to show just how simple it is to raise money and play with the outcomes of American elections. He announced his candidacy for President of South Carolina and hired a lawyer to advise him about creating a tax-exempt “super”

    PAC to raise money. This short video clearly demonstrates the    system as it exists. Should these doors be slammed shut?

  4. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  5. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  6. 501 (c) 4 groups are not required to reveal their sources of income. Should this be changed?

This list is certainly not all inclusive. There are many more questions that need to be discussed. Feel free to ask your questions and leave your comments below.

 

 

 

Stinking Turds & Being Guilty

Midnight Express was a powerful film released in 1978. The story was about an American being arrested in Turkey where the onus was on him to prove his innocence. The exposure of the Turkish legal and prison systems was so great it almost destroyed that nation’s tourist industry.

Most Americans strongly support the idea that the burden of proof lies with the government. That a person is innocent until proven guilty. Turkey is one of several nations where the opposite exists.

While I’ve always supported this basic premise I may be changing. Frequently TV cops and lawyers justify incarcerating someone by arguing,  “well they may not have done this crime but they’ve done enough other things.” I so believe that Donald J. Trump and members of his family are so guilty of plural crimes I find myself increasingly willing to turn away from this innocent crap. There seems to be so many stinking turds in the Trump closets that somehow one had to be placed there by someone named Trump.

To paraphrase a familiar phrase, “Lock ’em Up!”

BJs are OK Today

I remember being one of those loyal Democrats who for a short time tried to support Bill Clinton getting blown and enjoying a fine smoke afterwards.

When the red sphinctered Republicans accused him of having sex with that woman I pointed out that even Eisenhower got his socks knocked off a few times while overseas. There’s a long history of presidents having sex in places other than the second floor of the White House.

There’s also a long history of men lying about their sexual exercises to keep their wives happy and in the dark. When the GOP finally got down to asking him if he had engaged in sex with Monica, Clinton messed up by saying it depended on how one defined sex. That’s when I stopped supporting Clinton and the aroma of family valued impeachment heat wafted over the great DC Swamp. Well, the self-righteous impeached, the wise men of the Senate refused to convict, and William Jefferson Clinton became member two of the Andrew Johnson Boys Club.

Continue reading BJs are OK Today

The Dreaded Scarlet “I”

When I moved back to Greenfield in 1970 I got a job in the local school system teaching Buckskin Elementary. There was a teacher in the high school who had his thirty years in and was ready to retire. I never knew the guy and don’t recall anything about him. The deal was that the administration and board of education decided to fire the guy on the grounds of incompetence. I don’t know how long he’d taught at McClain but there was certainly many operatives to try correcting his failures and/or firing him . Why wait until the last seconds of his career to brand his forehead with a dreaded scarlet I?

In today’s world we’re seeing the same thing happening with assistant FBI director, Andrew McCabe. Twenty six hours before he can retire, Donald Trump fires him and thus puts his reputation and pension in jeopardy.

The difference is, in the teacher’s case there didn’t seem to be any particular motivation. In McCabe’s case, however, the motivation is clear. Trump went to war with his law enforcement and intelligence agencies before even took office and that war has only grown in the subsequent fourteen months. American’s have clearly learned that Trump can’t take criticism and that any critic can expect retaliation of some kind.

While it is in Trump’s prerogative to fire McCabe is doesn’t mean it is the moral or ethical action to take. I’m sure that in my life some mentor told me that an action maybe legal but not necessarily best. Even my old gray-haired pentecostal grandma would have told me to turn the other cheek. Apparently Trump never had a mentor or an old gray-haired granny.

Porcapizza’s Foxy Lady

For several years I’ve been fooling around with cigar box guitars and other primitive instruments. I’ve been to several cigar box guitar festivals and concerts and witnessed some pretty incredible performances. None have come close to this guy, however. Possibly the amplifier and loop box are the only things not homemade. I may be wrong about even those. Get your foot tapping and enjoy.

PforC’s Everlasting Arms with Dr. John

Most of you know I’m a great supporter of Playing for Change. Beginning in January the announced they planned to release a new project each month of this year. In February the feature was based on Buddy Guy’s Skin Deep. This month is the lively Gospel number, Everlasting Arms with NOLA’s Dr. John and a cast of many. Enjoy and consider giving your financial support to PforC.