Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sneaking into the Drive In

Randy R Cox

In the summer of 1963, we were all hanging out at the Dairy Queen in Richardson, Texas with little to do. Someone suggested we sneak into the local drive in theater. Originally there were four of us. One of us was going to drive in, three of us were going to sneak in.

I was driving my parents 1962 Chevy station wagon. It was the largest of all the available vehicles so it seemed the natural choice.

One of the four was willing to drive, but he wasn’t willing to sneak in. He would Charlton Heston as Moses in Motion Picture "The Ten Commandments" Shown at Drive in Movie Theater

Buy at

pay his way in, as if that absolved him of the theft the rest of us were plotting. We were trying to find good places to hide in that wagon when a few additional people stopped by to see what we were up to. They wanted in on our conspiracy.

Sneaking in three was tricky enough. Two were going to lay low in the back floor board while I was going to curl up in the trunk—an area in the station wagon where the spare wheel usually went. We put the spare tire in the back on top of the trunk while I crunched up in the tiny area below. The third seat was folded down.

But now we had new people. There was no room. It was decided that it looked too weird for one person to drive a station wagon into a drive in, so a second person was going to pay his way in and ride shotgun in the front seat. The fourth party was an easy solution, but what were we going to do with the others. I don’t remember now how many guys there were but I think it was at least four more…maybe even five.

We were crazy back then.

We drove around behind the shopping center looking for boxes, large boxes. We finally found exactly what we needed behind an appliance store. It was a box that refrigerators come in. It was perfect.

So I climbed in my tiny spot in the spare tire well. The refrigerator box was placed on its side on top of me. Two guys lay on the floor board behind the front seat, but they had to lay the seat down now that the frig box was there. It wouldn’t go down flat because of the bodies there but went down about ½ way hiding the guys but tilting the box in at a bizarre angle.

One by one the other guys slid into the box. I was under it all, so I can’t be sure how they fit, but I think it was two by two. I do know there was never a silent moment. They cursed and grunted and elbowed each other complaining constantly. I could hear the door of the station wagon open and close. Eventually, the engine started and we were on our way.

I knew we were close when I heard the crunch of gravel and the stop and go of the vehicle as we made our way up the line of cars paying to enter. The closer we got to the cashier, the more uncontrollable the laughter. The whole car was shaking from the stifled giggles of the teenage boys intent on defrauding the owner of the drive in out of his deserved admission.

Finally, we could hear our driver talking to the cashier. I just knew the doors were going to fly open as we were searched by the police…but that didn’t happen. It seemed impossible that we would get away with this caper, given all the noise we were making and the constant movement inside that box.

Then suddenly we lurched forward and the familiar crunch of gravel resumed. The driver and his passenger were laughing without restraint followed by the explosion of laughter from the refrigerator box.

Finally, we pulled up next to a speaker and stopped. The driver adjusted his position to get a little closer to the squawk box and we were done. The passenger got out of the car and I could hear him walking toward the back of the station wagon.

Next I heard the tailgate of the station wagon open and the guys in the box pulled themselves loudly free. I was furious. By some miracle, we’d made it this far, but they were going to get us all caught with the noise they were making.

Finally, the lid to the tire well opened and I extracted myself from my hole. The refrigerator box was empty standing upright, blocking the view of the movie for the car behind it. The guys were all standing around the station wagon laughing and borrowing money from each other for refreshments.

It turns out we all got in for a dollar. The passenger didn’t even have to pay. It was a dollar per carload night. We could have all gotten in without the subterfuge.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hare of the Dog

Randy R. Cox

We recently had the good fortune to have some relatives drop by for a long over due visit. These good people came all the way from their home in Florida, but having been Texans themselves once upon a time knew the value of a good story.

So it was that they brought with them a tale that would raise the eye and catch the attention of any self-respecting Lone Star gathering. This particular story happened to be the absolute truth, which can’t be said about the average Texas story.

Hare of the Dog

Being true, we’ll change the names to protect the guilty. One of their neighbors, let’s call him Tiz just happened to have a nice Labrador retriever calling his backyard home. As Tiz came home from work, he checked on his dog only to find him happily tossing something white and furry up into the air, catching it, then tossing it again.

Upon closer examination the rag doll turned out to be a rabbit, a little dead from the ups and downs of his relationship with the dog.

No sooner had he taken the lifeless body from his dog’s mouth than he realized the rabbit looked a bit too familiar.

“Uh oh!” he thought. “This is not good! Not good at all!”

He called his friend, lets call him, Taint. “Taint! I’ve got myself a bit of a problem. My dog has been playing toss and catch with a rabbit. No! it’s too late for that; the rabbits dead, but I was just thinking the Smiths next door have a rabbit, and it looks a lot like this one.

Now, Taint wasn’t the kind of guy to leave a friend in need. He promised to come right over and work out a solution.

When Taint arrived he had a plan and took quick charge of things. They took that rabbit and washed all the blood off his fur. They used a hair dryer and fluffed him up so good, you’d think he was about to hop happily away, except this rabbit had hopped its last hop.

Next, they sneaked over to the Smith’s house and slipped that poor rabbit’s body into the cage there on the back porch.

No one would ever know the dog did it! When the Smiths returned from their vacation they would find the dead rabbit and assume it died peacefully in it’s sleep.

Late Sunday evening Tiz got a call from his neighbor. “Tiz, while we were gone did you see anything unusual going on over at our house?”

“Not a thing,” answered Tiz, giving his dog a dirty look. “Why do you ask?”

“Well,” said his neighbor. “Two days before we left for our trip our pet rabbit died. We had a little funeral for the kids, said some words over him, and gave him a proper burial. We even placed a stone over his body. When we got back from our trip tonight, that rabbit was back in his hutch.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lieberman's Control of the Internet

Randy Cox

Joe Lieberman wants to control the internet. No, Joe! Keep your hands off the net!

You and I are getting old, Joe. Old men sometimes simper and fear. We don't have to fall into that trap. We have the strength of our heritage to keep us standing erect and proud. A couple of hundred years ago, our forefathers fought for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Freedom: Eagle

Freedom is strong, Joe, not weak. We can endure the speech of those we don't agree with. We are not China!

Drop your bill, Joe. It is bad for us. Lusting after the special interest dollars, you guys in Congress have sold out to big media. We had controls in place to protect us from monopoly in the media, but you guys scrapped the protection. The big media gets bigger and bigger and the small voices are blown away.

The internet is the protection of the little guy! If Big Brother steps on us, we can complain. We can expose. We can't always trust the big media to tell our story, but we can tell it on the net.

I'm so sorry, Joe, if that bothers you. If you want a tight net; go run for the Senate in China. They understand simpering old men like you. They understand control freaks. They just don't understand freedom.

Right now, there are non-big media journalists hiding from Government stormtroopers. I understand they have pictures of an American helicopter killing children. Guys like you fear the truth. You are afraid that truth will weaken our effort.

Freedom of the Press

Wrong Joe! Truth will set us free. That's a quote from your scripture and mine. You are afraid truth will threaten our security. Wrong Joe. If our military is doing bad things, we need to know about it. If it is appropriate to the course of war, we are strong enough to know that.  If it is not, then it is our strength to correct it.  That's the way it works.  It is the way that made us the greatest country on earth.

If the little people are so weak that we can't deal with truth, then the whole
American Experiment is a lie. The truth is not the danger; the danger is men and women in high places losing faith in both our system as designed by our forefathers and the people of our nation.

Some may feel that the internet poses new dangers not known in the early days of our nation. Wrong! The rank and file citizen of early America printed handbills expressing their opinions about the abuses of the King and the King's army. The handbill was the media of their day as the blog is the media of our day.

Trust the rank and file.

Some citizens may join your march to control the internet. When you justified torture, you had people that agreed with you. You didn't tell them how our fathers and grandfathers fought off the Nazi without the official sanction of torture. You let them believe the primitive terrorist of today is more of a threat to the world than Hitler.

Sorry, Joe, but you of all people should know how dangerous was the Third Reich. Tell your frightened followers how our grandfathers maintained their humanity and conquered the Hun at the same time.

Joe, while my father fought the Japanese, my mother visited German POW's and taught them the difference between Americans and Nazi. You dishonor Americans like my mother with your fear mongering. Those German POW's went back to their homeland with a vision of American goodness. It was the basis for the New Germany.

All of that was done officially within the rules of the Geneva Convention...and we won! That is the strength of old school American character. No sooner than we started torture in Iraq, the resistance began to grow. That is what happens when the good guys go bad. Bad guys don't win in the long run.

Now, you want to use the same fear that brought us torture to scare us into giving up the strength of the internet.

No, Joe! I say No! I say no to you, and I say no to those who follow you blindly.

I am not afraid of our enemy. We are stronger than they. We are better than they.
If you and your sheep have your way, we will be more like the enemy and less like America.  Stop trying to make America like the worst of nations.  We are the greatest of nations.  We are great because we say No to people that want to lower our standards.

No, Joe! No! No! No!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Right Way and Wrong Way to Kill Fire Ants

Randy R. Cox

Who wants to know the right way to kill fire ants? There are lots of fun ways and green ways and old wives tales to kill fire ants. Some work; some don’t work at all.

Don’t bother with the corn meal or grits. The story goes the worker ants will carry the meal or grits deep to the queen, feed it to her, and then it will swell in her stomach and she will die. The only thing that will happen if you feed the fire ants is they might get a little more fat than they would have otherwise. It doesn’t work.

There is a right way and wrong way to kill fire ants. Boiling water will kill them
and the grass around their mound, but this is only a little more effective than stomping on them. You won’t kill all of them; they’ll be back!
If you do this repeatedly, they will move somewhere harder for you to reach with a real method. The fire ant just keeps coming and coming.

A few years ago, a few authority sites promoted a wonderful green way to kill fire ants. Club Soda or carbonated water poured directly into the center of the mound was supposed to push out the oxygen and replace it with carbon dioxide and suffocate the ants.

It sounded great; but it didn’t work.

Other ways widely reported but also ineffective are baking soda, winegar, molasses, plaster of Paris, and aspartame.

One of the new ways that might have some use, but not yet proven involve totally drenching the ant mound in a solution of dishwashing liquid and citrus oil.

Bait treatments work. They are designed to be taken deep into the mound and fed to the community over time. The good news about bait is it doesn’t require dangerous poison to be sprayed everywhere over a general area. The bad news is if it is stored in a garage or storeroom anywhere around petroleum products, the ants won’t touch it.

Some places sell worm castings or worm feces. It is supposed to be a good organic repellant, but it sounds more like fertilizer to me. It is probably better for the grass than bad for the ants.

Researchers have introduced various varieties of Phorid flies to certain Texas counties and reports are they are spreading to more. The fly dive bombs the fire ant and injects an egg into the fire ant. The egg hatches and eats the ant from the inside out.

You can’t purchase these flies or acquire them in any practical way. All we can do is hope they work in the long haul and hope they don’t introduce new problems to the delicate ecosystem.

Chemicals, especially orthene kills fire ants. If you use this method, be careful to not kill any of the native ants like the black sugar ant or especially the large relatively peaceful red ant. They are natural enemies of the fire ant. If you kill them, you’ll have a bigger problem when new fire ant invaders come later. You won’t have the allies that you had before.

Remember the horned frog, or the horny toad as they were called in North Texas when I was a boy. They used to be everywhere, but we don’t see many of these anymore. Some say the poison set out for the fire ants killed them, but other sources say the horned toad is inclined to feed on the ants, but are overwhelmed by the aggressive nature of this species. It is said the ants smaller than the red ant, but extremely aggressive will swarm over the horn toad and enter the nostril. Once inside they sting the toad and clog up his breathing tubes until he dies.

New exotic solutions will continue to emerge in the future. We’ll all continue to try them and be disappointed for the most part. We can always hope. When we’ve had all we can stand we can turn to materials that do work and finally win the battle if not the war

How Not to Kill Fire Ants

Randy R. Cox

They say everything in Texas stings, bites, or scratches. If you don’t want to find this out first hand, you need to know how not to kill fire ants.

Back in the last Great Depression—1984--a lot of small Texas business men were forced to find jobs to supplement their struggling businesses. Our Art Gallery was a ghost town, so I took a construction job to keep the doors open. I met another small Texas business man in similar shape and we worked together for a couple of months.

He was a welder assigned to work with an electrician…me. He had a country welding business in west Texas. Over the long ten and twelve hours days we soon ran out of true stories, but before we got to that inevitable position, he told me about his fire ant problem.

All my stories are true, but some of them are more true than others. This one is gospel.

Folks with work during these days were prone to lower the wages and insist we take breaks on our own time between 12 hours shifts rather than during them. This old welder was the only worker on the job happy with the wages and conditions.

He said farmers wouldn’t pay much for welding or anything else for that matter. He said if he charged a living wage, they’d just do the welding themselves. So he was making what seemed like a fortune. They paid time and a half for overtime, and he thought that was like winning the lotto.

Anyway, he said he lived in a trailer on about 50 acres of land. His trailer was on blocks a short distance from a country gravel road, and across the road from him was a real house with a front porch that ran across the full front of the old farm house.

He had never spoken with his neighbors, but they waved as often as they saw each other. Folks in Texas waved at everyone in those days. Anyway, like everyone else in Texas, he had an ongoing battle with the fire ants, and the ants were winning.

One Saturday morning, the welder was shaking his head at the new mounds the antshad built under the walking stones he had placed from his driveway to the trailer. He had tried all kinds of poison and he was worried that his dogs were eating as much of it as the ants were. He suddenly had an idea. Ants breathed oxygen just like people did. He thought he might just fill their hole with Acetylene and let them breathe that for a while.

His neighbor and his neighbor’s wife were sitting on their porch watching him as he unrolled the rubber hose from his welding truck parked in the driveway. He waved at his neighbor’s and they waved back.

He stuck the torch of his rig deep down in the fire ant hole, and stepped well back as those ants attacked the torch in full force. He turned on the Acetylene and waited for the gas to filter through the network of the mound.

Just then his wife called out from the trailer. He had a phone call.

He jammed the handle on his torch handle to keep the gas flowing and went into the house to answer the phone. He intended to take care of business quickly and return to his project shortly.

Once inside, he was distracted by whatever problem the phone call presented and he forgot about his project. After a longer while than was prudent, he hung up the phone and suddenly remembered the hose he had left flowing. He ran outside and turned it all off.

A lot of the ants were dead and those that were still moving were moving slowly. He thought he had “done good!”

He rolled up his hose and put the torch away. He waved at his neighbors on the porch across the road and again they waved back.

With his rig all buttoned up, he looked back across the road at his neighbor just in time to see him pull out his pipe. Before he had time to process this new development, the neighbor flipped open a Zippo and lit the pipe.

The flower bed exploded. Dirt and fire ants filled the air. His neighbor and his neighbor’s wife were stunned and covered with dirt. They began to dance. The dance grew intense and the two swatted and scraped at their bodies. Soon articles of clothing began to be ripped off and fly off the porch.

The old welder got to know a little more about his neighbors than he really wanted to know.

This is not the best way to kill fire ants! Don’t try this at home!

The internet is full of old wives tales on how to get rid off fire ants. Fire ants are relatively new to North America. What do the old wives know about fire ants? If the horned toad or the lizard can’t handle the fire ants, the old wives are not likely to know what to do.

Other ways How not to kill fire ants

To get right to the bottom of the problem and rid yourself of the fire ants before they rid themselves of you you’ve got to use orthene. It works!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wearing Hats indoors or out be wicked cool

Wearing hats indoors or out be wicked cool!

After Eve talked Adam into eating from the tree of knowledge, they suddenly saw their head was naked. People have  been trying to look cool ever since. The fig leaf just didn't cut it in the early world or in the modern one. 

People wear hats for all kinds of practical reasons. A construction worker wears a safety hat. A fireman wears a hat to protect him from falling timbers and burning debris. Baseball players wear caps to keep the sun out of their eyes. 

Whatever the reason you wear a hat, you might as well look cool--wicked cool is even better. It’s worth giving a little consideration.

Nobody asks  what you think about the things you pass on the

street or at work day after day. You get what they give you.  From the top of your head down to the ground you stand on, you get some choice in what you wear. What you put on your head tops it all off and makes a personal statement to the world. 
If you have nothing to say, then wear nothing.  If you want  to stand out in a mediocre world, hold your head up high and put on a cool hat. Pick carefully. It’s your head. 

Here are a few  questions you need to ask yourself. Look in the mirror with your hat on  as you answer these questions.

  • . Does the shape of you hat complement the shape of your  head?  If your face is oval, you can wear just about anything you like.If your face is v-shaped, you'll need a small brim to minimize the differences of width between your forehead and your jaw.  If your face is round, try something that stretches the total presentation of your head.  A tall crown might add dimension to your face.  Something with a few angles might contrast well with the symmetrical design of your face.  Stay away from large round brims.  Medium to large brims are okay as long as they are not so large as to flop about and frame your face concentricly.  If you have a long face, a wide brim will give you balance.  A short crown will de-emphasize the length of your face and give spruce up your overall appearance.
  • Does the shape of your hat match the shape of your body?  If you are tall, a wide brim works best.  If want to emphasize your height, a tall crown will do that; if you do not want to emphasize your height choose a shorter crown.  If you are medium to small in stature, a larger hat will make you look smaller, and choose a narrow brim with a short crown. If you are a large person, then a large brim is okay; choose the crown to suit your face.
  • Does your hat fit properly?  If your hat is too small, you'll just give yourself a headache.  If it is too large, it will blow.  Either way, you won't be wearing long.
  • Is the style of your hat appropriate for the season or occassion?. The hat should fit the occasion, but it is better for the hat to express who you really are than project the occasion only with no reflection of your true personality.  It's okay to choose your hat to show who you want to be as much as who you are.  You grow into your hat.  The hat makes the person; don't be afraid to redefine who you want to be.
There is only one hard and fast rule.  Look cool!  Look wicked cool!

A Texan Takes Another Look at Arizona Immigration Law

Okay, I've been chastised for my opinion on this law by some people that I greatly respect.  I was told the Police were mandated to stop people that looked like they might be illegal.  I was told the Police were not required to have good cause to ask for identification.  I've been listening to a lot of talking heads, and they say things that terrify me, so I decided to do a little more investigating in case I made a mistake supporting this.

I have not read the law.  I am not a lawyer, but I will read it when I can find it!  I hate that lawyers are so powerful in this country that they make it illegal to give a legal opinion about a law unless you are a lawyer.  That is bunk unless you are charging for that opinion.  We are expected to follow the law even if we are ignorant of it.  I believe freedom of speech gives us a right to give our opinion about any law.  If we give our opinion, it would naturally be a legal opinion...except we can't give "legal opinions" because that would infringe upon the lawyers trade.

Excuse me.  I got off topic!  Anyway, I've examined my "non-legal opinon" on what I know about this law so far, and I still like it.

I understand Police are barred from using race or ethnicity as the sole basis for questioning.  So far so good.
I'm told they can only scrutinize people whom they stop, detain or arrest for violations of another law.

Okay, if they have laws in Arizona that  everyone violates like we have in Texas, that could be a real problem.  In Dallas, Texas  it is a violation of the City Ordinance to  drive down Main Street in an automobile.  It seems horses might be frightened and go berserk.  Now if ever there was a law that needs a demonstration, that would be it.  We should need to change laws like that.  Otherwise, if a person is violating the law, he should be stopped.  If he is stopped, his identification should be checked.  If he is illegal  he should be detained and due process of law should begin.

Some are worried about mundane calls to the police department about trash in the yard and cars parked on lawns.  Well, if the law forbids that, then let due process happen.  I am not happy about those of us that may forget to bring our papers with us.  I sometimes run down to the gym for a workout dress in sweats...and forget to bring my wallet.  If I did that in Arizona, I could spend six months in jail.  Ouch!  That's a little harsh, but probably not as harsh a penality as I would get if I made a small stupid joke about a bomb on an airline. The requirement to  carry paper is legitimate concern, but a person in his home parked on a lawn should be able to produce his identification when asked.

I predict Texas will soon pass a similiar law.  Texans hate it when another state proves to be farther to the right than we are.  We also have a huge illegal alien problem.  Maybe I would call them "undocumented" workers if twice illegal aliens hadn't plowed into the back of my vehicle with an uninsured junker.  Any of you "undocument worker" advocates want to pay those bills?

Once I  traded an old truck in for a new one, and then two years later, got a call from a lawyer trying to sue me for running over two people on a motorcycle leaving them is terrible shape.  It seems my old truck was resold to some illegals that never bothered to change the title over to their name.  They just renewed the old registration until the accident where a truck load of them ran in all directions except toward the victims.

I didn't have to pay for those injuries, but it took many phone calls, finding scanning, and sending old records to the lawyers before they stopped bothering me.

None of these things would have happened if those criminals had been stopped at the border.

I am really tired of being called a racist because I want my country's borders secure.  My best friend is from an old Mexican family, now a citizen of the United States.  I love the Mexican culture so much that I decided to learn the language about five years ago.  I can speak it well enough that I was on standby to go to Chile to adjust earthquake claims for a while.  I love Mexican food so much I'm 30lbs over weight.

For decades I've defended the right for people to speak Spanish in Texas.  Spanish speaking Mexicans died in the Alamo trying to win independence for Texas.  Most of those who died in the Alamo were citizens of Mexico.  Some of those that rode with Sam Houston were not Mexican citizens, but then few of them died.

None of my forefathers died in the Alamo!  My great great great grand mother spoke Cherokee.  Sam Houston negotiated a treaty with the Texas Cherokee to stay neutral in that war.

I do sometimes joke with those Americans that think everyone should speak English.  Why don't they speak Cherokee.  It was the most common language of many of the southern states for the first hundred years of American History. 

I want Mexican citizens to have good paying jobs in Mexico.  I'd like to go to Mexico legally and work myself so I could learn even more about that beautiful culture, but I want the traffic across the borders to be monitored and legal.

If Americans suffer because we forget to carry our identification, that will not make me happy and I reserve the right to change my opinion on this after a few border states give it a try.  I'm willing to sacrifice a little to make the Federal Government understand the need for them to secure our borders.  I really don't like that, but the lack of enforcement has created a mess in our country.

I'll never be for turning illegals away from the hospital when they are broken.  Just send the medical bills to their last employer!  If we were to deny medical care to people from other countries, that country would be justified in denying Americans care when they were injured in those countries. I don't think we want that to happen.

If they are going to live and work here, we've got to educate their children, When the parents are stopped committing even the most insignificant crimes, they should be sent back.  Let those children that are American citizens stay with relatives, social services, or go back with their parents until they reach the legal age of consent.  It's a problem, but it was created by criminal trespassing parents...not Americans.

If a child from an illegal is born in America, I'll always be for providing those children with citizenship in the counrty they were born in.  If we don't honor our constitution and  do that, we'd be like Kuwait who has millions of 2nd and 3rd generations of native born people who are disqualified from citizenship.  Those people are stateless, and I think that is a crime against humanity.

I know it gives the tea baggers a headache to think about all these things when they just want to get rid of people that talk and look differently than they do, but they need to think about all the issues before they support a law that greatly affects a lot of people.

Okay, I'm done.  I don't like to get political.  This blog is about more important things than politics.  This is just something I think we all should consider deeply.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anger at Arizona Immigration Law

I am angry and disappointed with the passage of the new Arizona Immigration Law that makes it a state crime for illegal immigrants to not have an alien registration document. I am angry with fat cat congressmen and senators that were too busy taking legal graft from special interest lobbyists to protect the borders of our country from invaders.

I am angry and disappointed with my friends the hard working Mexican people.  They sneak into my country and take jobs that my fellow American citizen is competing for.  They take them at wages that my fellow American finds too low to support their families.

Mexican National Flag, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

I am angry and disappointed with liberals who fought to make the proper term “illegal alien” politically incorrect in favor of the milk toast “undocumented worker” euphemism. What part of the word “illegal” do they not understand?

I am angry and disappointed with  conservatives who took every opportunity to mouth the words, “They just take jobs Americans don’t want.” What part of supply and demand economics do they not understand? That was a dishonest statement the first time it was uttered and became even more dishonest each time it was repeated.

Americans want  jobs that pay American wages. Why in the world would Americans want difficult, dirty jobs that pay Mexican wages? If they wanted those jobs they would go to Mexico.  Oh wait!  Mexico will not allow them to take jobs from Mexicans!  By turning a blind eye to the borders, conservatives undermined the supply and demand elements that say they are so proud of.  Market principles, left alone, can make everyone in a particular economy wealthy, but when the windows are flung open to less developed economic cultures, poverty consumes the worker class.

We were one of the only countries in the world that has never had to check travel papers as citizens freely travelled from community to community. Now, because of weak enforcement of immigration laws, Arizona has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants lurking in the shadows. Arizona was left with little choice but to do something to control what the federal government refuses to do.

I’m especially angry with Americans who use illegal drugs —200 billion dollars per year—yet they continue to prefer wealthy super criminals to handle that traffic over passing intelligent laws to regulate an industry that Americans clearly want. I don’t want those drugs. I have no use for them, but I recognize a huge number of Americans do want them. I’d prefer low cost legal drugs for them so they could curl up in a drugged stupor until they had all they could take or dreamed their way into eternity without stealing from their neighbors or killing their grandmothers for a fix.

By keeping unenforceable prohibition in force in America, we drive dollars into the hands of the criminal element. We drive prices up so junkies have to steal more and more to feed their habits. It also feeds the horrible forces of evil in our neighboring countries that rise to support the demand of our drugged up citizens.

If it wasn’t enough to open the gates to our borders, we feed evil forces on the other side of the border with our drug money so that law and order gives way to chaos and mayhem. The workforce that survives that horror brings some of it with them as they infiltrate our country.  No wonder there is so much new violence and crime. 

Now the states have to act to protect citizens from the invasion. In the process, we will all have to carry identification papers like in a Nazi or Fascist country.

For decades we’ve rounded up a few of these invaders and sent them home. They only came back as soon as they could pay another coyote the fee. If they needed work that badly, maybe we should have given them six months of labor building a stone wall to protect our borders. How long would it take for 480 thousand people to build a nice secure wall protecting Arizona?

Our working classes would have commanded a larger wage via the natural forces of free market. With that higher wage and a federal program to keep unnaturally low wage pressures from eroding the market, the prices of houses would have matched the price of wages and the huge numbers of foreclosures just wouldn’t have been necessary.

We can solve all these problems. It begins with protecting our borders. Imagine if we regulated rather than prohibited the drugs that Americans insist on buying. In a moment we would solve the cartel problems in Mexico, Columbia, and other South American countries. Wouldn’t it be nice if we encouraged our Mexican friends to develop their own economies so their people could stay home to earn money instead of having to come to the United States?

It all starts with protecting our borders! Is that too much to ask?

Now I've vented!  I don't like that I'll have to carry a passport and driver's license with me next time I drive from Texas to California, but I'll get used to it.  We've always had people in Texas that speak Spanish; they fought to free Texas from Mexico.  I've always supported their right to speak Spanish in Texas.  They earned that right when their relatives died in the Alamo.

Some silly Texas school book Nazis took the Spanish names out of Texas history books.  They can rewrite history, but they can't stop the Mexican influence in Texas, Arizona, or the United States of America.

I might be angry and disappointed, but I'm not crazy.  I've been learning to speak Spanish for a couple of years now.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Why not make a margarita out of sour limes?  Learn to speak Spanish and support our website in the process.

Click Here!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cotton Ball Hanging on a Screen Door

Randy R Cox

Why was the cotton ball hanging from a screen on Grandma’s house? Longer than long ago, well maybe not that far back, but a lot of years ago, the baby boomer generation used to see cotton balls hanging from strings on the screen doors, usually on the houses of their family’s elders.

Often it was an aunt, or a grandmother, and sometimes on our own homes we would see the little cotton balls but seldom understood why.

I saw them, usually tied to a bobby pin with a short piece of cotton string. In those days “children were to be seen and not heard.” We heard that a lot. Maybe that’s why we never bothered to ask. At least I didn’t ask. I wondered, but I never asked, not until I was 40 years old anyway.

In north Texas where I grew up, we were very cautious about poking anything though a screen. Most of us didn’t have air conditioners, and those who did would still open a window when the weather would permit. Seems like it didn’t get as hot in those days as it does now, but I understand that is a highly debatable position these days.

Anyway, we all knew then that a mosquito could somehow climb through a metal screen without someone enlarging the hole with a bobby pin. So why would someone do that? Did they want to let a mosquito in to feed off us poor kids who ran around barefooted with our shirts off?

I remember sleeping on the screened in porch of my great Granny Eades’ old homestead in Dixon, Oklahoma. Granny Eades was a midwife to the Choctaw Indians around there. It was said that she was Black Dutch, herself, but it was many years before traditional Choctaws laughed and told me that Black Dutch was what light skinned Choctaws called themselves to avoid the problems that came with being an Indian.

Anyway, I’d watch that cotton ball dance lazy like with the wind on that screen door while I swatted at those pesky mosquitos that played “New Moon” on my skinny little body.

Sometime during the hot summer night I’d always fall asleep and by morning I’d always have enough blood left in me to make another day…but I never had enough gumption to ask Granny why those cotton balls were there.

The years passed and the cotton balls grew fewer and fewer, and to tell the truth I found girls and sports a lot more interesting than cotton balls so they just didn’t cross my mind.

My great grandparents began to die off, and my grandparents began to get old themselves. Suddenly I started to ask questions about things I should know but didn’t about our family, the depression, and lots of little things that had changed since they were kids. Still, the cotton balls didn’t seem all that important.

My wife, artist D. Bell found an old abandoned house in central Texas that caught her interest, I saw one of those cotton balls hanging from a rusty screen door. It was tied to a bobby pin, just like I remembered, but the old ball of cotton was now a droopy lump of dirty fiber. Debbi painted an oil painting called, “Tattered,” I loved the painting, but it sold. We have photographs of almost all of Debbi’s paintings but somehow the photo of that one has disappeared. Discovering that old homestead with the lump of cotton on a string brought back memories and set me upon a quest to finally solve the mystery of the cotton ball on a string.

I began to ask around. Some didn’t know what I was talking about. Others would smile and remember but they never knew exactly what had been the inspiration for the wispy little mobiles. I had exhausted all my own family resources and was forced to put my quest on hold for a while.

A few years went by and I was talking to my wife’s grandmother Mamie Lyn Bell. I believe she was about 95 at the time and I asked her every silly question that came to my mind. She was wonderful woman full of life and memories of old. Among her many adventures, she had met Orville and Wilbur Wright at the State Fair of Texas when she was about 13 years old. They invited Mamie Lyn and her sister to cross the rope and come inside where they could get a better look at the “Kitty Hawk” or whatever plane they had on display at the time, Aeroplanes were new fangled gadgets back then.

Anyway, one of the questions that I asked Mrs. Bell was the illusive mystery of the dancing cotton ball. “Ohhh!” she laughed getting excited at the memory of those things. She was capable of giggling like a schoolgirl at that age but with much more dignity than Orville and Wilbur must have witnessed.

Finally she told me. “It was to keep the flies away,” she said. “We’d hang them on the screen door to keep the flies from coming in when the door was opened. It was said the flies would see that cotton ball and think it was a spider egg.”

Well, once you hear that, it sorta makes sense, doesn’t it? A sneaky old fly wouldn’t want to come through the door of a house where a giant spider waited to catch ‘em.

Recently, I ran across some other curious people from my generation speculating about the cotton balls. Tennessee’s columnist Patricia Paris of or Texas author, Delbert Trew They all figured out it was to scare off the flies but I don’t think any of them mentioned the spider egg concept.

I thought it might be a good thing to write about this for all those people on the same quest to find out why the cotton balls once hung on thousands of screen doors around this land, but most of all for those who have never seen a screen door much less a cotton ball on a string. There may come a time in the future when knowledge like this might be useful again. Anyway, for those not blessed to have someone like Mamie Lyn Bell to teach them about the old ways, this may at least answer one of life’s many mysteries.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Want Something Great--Get it!

Randy R Cox
If you want something, want something great!  If it's great, you should have it.  The greater your dream the more important for the world that you reach it.  Reach for the stars!  Build a colossal dream and go for it.  A world full of dreams is a better world than one full of despair!

Don't let the failures in life trip you up.  Whether they are events in your life or people in your way, failures can pull your eye away from you goals.  Don't let that happen.  The world can not afford for you to get diverted from your dream.

Most of the world has given up on the desires of their heart, but a few have found the way to fulfill one dream after another.  These people stand out because they are headed straight to another victory.  Find those people and follow them.  They know what they are doing; they have done it before.

Listen to people who know what they are talking about.  Follow them.  Your dream is at the end of the walk they are taking.

One of those people that know the secret is Will Smith.  Follow him!  Listen to him!  He knows what he is talking about.  He knows where he is walking.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Playing Terrorist

by Randy Cox

When I was a kid growing up in Gainesville, Texas over 50 years ago, we had a lot of fun playing Cowboys and Indians, but what we really enjoyed was playing WAR.

In those days, kids played with cap guns and rifles if we had them, wooden sticks if we didn't. For weeks after a John Wayne movie played at the State Theater or the Plaza, we would pretend to be John Wayne. There could only be one John Wayne at a time, so we took turns. We had one John Wayne, a couple of other G.I.s, but half of us had to be Germans or Japs.

We had ladders set up on trash cans to be airplanes. We had picnic tables for tanks. They didnt' move around a lot, but they were pretty good for shooting our sticks or crawling up on top for throwing grenades as we shot each other and delighted in the sounds of war that we made with our mouths.

We drew battle plans in the dirt, and we talked freely about the best way to kill our enemy whether it be Germans, Japs, or John Wayne.

We didn't worry too much about parents or the neighbors though, and we only got in trouble when we stopped trying to kill each other with the toy guns and started flailing each other with our fists. A good fist fight could end a bitter war in those days, and the peace would last for a couple of days.

We got in trouble a lot, but not really from fighting our wars. We knew the limits, but if we strayed and trampled a flower bed, there was a stiff price to pay. There was a strange feeling of safety and wellbeing that came with fighting wars that we didn't have when we played sports. We took the sports seriously and when things didn't go right one of us might blurt out a word that was unacceptable. War was okay; bad words would get our mouths washed with soap. Yuck!

Half a century has gone by, and I don't see kids playing war anymore. They don't have toy guns either. They might have real guns, but toy guns are more unacceptable than bad words. I hear children curse in front of their parents and they laugh at dirty jokes when they're not telling them.

Now days, our enemy is not the Indians, Germans or Japs. We don't really call them enemy anymore, unless we are complaining about one of us giving comfort to the "enemy" by asking questions about the war or maybe just wondering why we have to give up so many freedoms to be free. Today, we call the enemy, "Terrorist!"

Now that is a scary word. Our kids can't choose up sides with some of them being Americans and the others being "terrorists". That would not do at all. Since terrorists don't have rights, it would be dangerous for a group of kids to be terrorist even even for a minute.

If two little backyard terrorists huddle together drawing plans in the dirt to kill John Wayne (Maybe Jeremy Renner)it wouldn't take long for CNN to do a full story.

The old WWI and WWII doesn't seem nearly as serious as the War on Terror. War is not a game today. Kids don't play terrorist!

It's unthinkable!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Best Selling Posters: Why Use Best Selling Posters to Decorate

You've spent a fortune in money and time developing your fine art collection. Why would you want to mix cheap,best selling posters in with expensive colectibles? Simple! Fine art can overpower your living enviornment.

The images of fine art are so strong they can dominate the mood of your domicile. The object of collecting art is to control your enviornment, not let it control you. Inexpensive poster art can lighten up you living space with images that keep you in tune with the times.

Fine art especially expensive dead artists connect you with the past. That is good. Most of the great things we have today came from the past, but not everything. Some things new are also good. The well balanced person wants to have a firm foundation in the past, but a readiness to move into the future, to experience the best that it has to offer, even if it is only good for the moment.

Not everyone can afford to collect expensive fine art, but everyone can afford posters.

A trick some of our patrons used was to sprinkle a few large metal frames around the casual living areas of their homes, gamerooms, places like that. They would size the frame to match the wall and furniture. Then they would put a smaller best selling type poster on top of the mat board with gummy o's at the corners. When the poster's time was up or something newer caught their fancy, they would keep the frame but replace the poster.

It could be a favorite movie, a recent sports event, a new hero--adventure or politic. It could be a fad or hobby that brings light to your life. You can bet that all of these things will have inspired a poster.

Celebrate the interests you have, while you have them. That is getting the most out of life. When your interest moves on, out with the old; in with the new! Keep the frame; change the poster.

If you see a poster you like while visting those quaint little shops in the quaint little places you explore while on adventure. Get it! Celebrate your interest and your adventure.

If you have a bit of trouble finding what you want. Check out our affiliate All Posters. They have over 500,000 posters to choose from. You can definitely find what you want here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free Market Medicine Is Not So Free

The free market warriors rush to the town hall meetings to defend their beloved free market.  With necks as red as the stripes in our flag, they rail against "socialist medicine", but what they call free market medicine is not so free when you look at it.

Americans think they love to defend free market medical care.  When the subject of high cost of medical care comes up, those against reform always jump to defend the free market.



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I love the free market, but it has little to do with the practice of medicine in the USA.  I love free market, but I have no clue where these guys get the idea that medical care in America is a free market. 

If one of those free market defenders read this, I'd like to hear you explain exactly what makes you think it is free market. I challenge you to correct me if I'm wrong.  Set me straight with a comment at the end of this post, please.

Foremost in America one can only buy medicine with a prescription from a doctor. That is not free market; that is governmental intervention. Now it might be a good thing…but it is not free market, and it drives up the price of medicine by forcing a doctor’s visit. It imposes a fee to a third party. A buyer can not bargain with the seller of medicine. He must pay a third party for permission to buy from the sellers. That is regulation.

In Mexico, people are free to buy the medicine they believe they need. In America, people are forced by the existing system to pay a doctor for permission to buy medicine. Now, it is very common for doctors to prescribe a number of medicines to the same patient. Very often, one of those medicines reacts with another. My wife’s grandmother was taking about 15 different medicines. She developed a horrible rash. The doctor prescribed a new medicine. She continued to suffer.

Finally, my wife looked all the medicines up on the internet. One of her perscriptions was known to cause rash when used with another of her medicines. She called the doctor, told him about it, and he said. “Tell her to stop taking “X”.  What is so great about a system like this?  That doctor added cost to the medical care of his patient, but how helpful was the fee he collected to prescribe something that was hurting her rather than helping her.  The doctor required by the rednecks great "free medical system" hurt the patient.  No pharmacist would have ever allowed those two medicines to be used together...but the regulated medical care system of America forced the unneeded doctor onto the patient. 

I think everyone ever treated in our great medical care system has seen this abuse of medicine, not once, but many times.  They know this happens, yet they close their eyes to it and continue to protect the coersive regulations of our current system.

As the defenders of free market assemble in mobs to shout at the town hall meetings, they spew hate at the  idea of government regulation, but defend it at the same time. They shake with emotion, but they do all this in an amazing cloud of illusion. When they defend the existing system, they defend intense regulation.

It also leads to a relationship between doctors and drug companies which results in abandonment of perfectly good medicine that is beyond the protection of patents. Doctors don’t prescribe old cheap medicines because the medical journals ignore them. There is no money in them…only healing power.

In the so called, “Greatest healthcare system in the world” this  a problem.

There is nothing free market about granting a monopoly to one company preventing free competition. If you don’t think that drives up the cost of medicine, you are beyond reason. Maybe it encourages research…but it is not competition. Don’t justify patent protection by calling it competition. It is not! Don’t pretend to be against regulation on one hand and champion the monopoly of patent on the other. It is a dishonest position.

Advocating patents and intellectual rights is a fair position, but not if the advocate stands upon a free market soapbox.  That is a great oratorical lie that is accepted because of the ignorance of the masses.  All I'm trying to do is get people to apply the right labels to their opinions. 
Finally, the actual free market between doctor and patient is so tiny that it is almost impossible to see a doctor without insurance of some kind. Insurance drives the market. In a free market, the buyer negotiates with the seller. How much negotiation is done between doctor and patient? That is not free market! Stop saying it is!  The poor patient that walks into a doctor's office with no insurance but his wallet is the only free market that exists in America.  Where is his champion?

The same defenders of free market that shout at the town hall meetings see these timid souls come and go while they wait in the waiting rooms at their own doctor's office.  Oh how they rise in collective groups to defend the free market, but oh how quite they are when these insignificant souls are abused at the counter of their local doctor.  Where is their courage for the free market, when one of these lost ones try to purchase treatment with cash?  Their voice is silent!  Their eyes choose not to see!  The truth is, "They hate free market medicine!"

What is insurance? It is a social collective pool where all pay into the pool, but only those who have need take from the pool. The many pay for the few.  Of those voices that rise above the others at the town hall meetings, how many of these guys do you expect are part of the real free market that pay cash for their medical care?

I'm a member of the IBEW labor union.  Besides being a blogger, an insurance adjuster, an art dealer, a real estate investor, and owner of several businesses, I'm an electrician.  When I'm not working as an electrician, I pay as much as $800 a month for self-pay health insurance.

I don't believe many of those speakers at the town hall meetings are paying their own insurance, and I almost know that none of them are free market people who pay cash for their treatment.  Many of them have insurance through their government jobs.  I love the dishonesty of those guys.  How about the military?  They have government health care, don't they.   It certainly is not free market!  I never begrudge a military man for his compensation.  They deserve more than they get, but I do require them to be honest.  If they want government health care for themselves while others pay $800 dollars a month, let them say so.    It is dishonest of them to say they fight for our freedom, then advocate the current system that takes away freedom to both buy medicine or bargain with a doctor hooked on the drug of social collective medicine (health insurance).

There is nothing free market about our current health care system. Those who call our system free market are just not paying attention to reality.



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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Art Posters Change Your World


Randy R Cox

Art Posters  change your world in ways you may never have imagined.  Art poster prints are a great way to defineyour own space. I’ve preached for years that the world doesn’t ask us what we want to look at as we travel through the streets, but at home we get to choose. I’ve created, collected, and shared fine art with others for years. I’ve sold a few posters, but I just never thought of posters as a way to change your world.

Marilyn Monroe, c.1954

Marilyn Monroe, c.1954

Art Print


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We just added as an affiliate. Now, our main website, earthimpressions offers a choice of over 500,000 posters. I was so amazed at the selection that I spent a couple of hours plugging various subjects into the search box to see what they had. When it comes to posters, they have it all.

Fine art prints and originals are still a great way to personalize space, but they are very expensive and tend to hang around longer than your taste for them might endure. With a poster, you can choose something whimsical and timely. When you tire of it, you can give it to a friend or to a stranger and make a new friend. For yourself, you buy a new one to suit your current mood and taste...

There are so many art posters to choose from. There are old posters, vintage posters and abstract posters. There are advertising posters which are really cool for old products, and there are fine art posters. Sometimes advertising and fine art combine as in the case of Andy Warhol.

If your home and office is decorated with powerful majestic images, a few posters mixed in can lighten up the space and give the soul some room to breathe. Original art is often heavy and takes itself very seriously. Posters take us back down to earth, and that is an important concern for us at earthimpressions.

I can’t believe I haven’t paid more attention to art posters over of the years. They are fun! I feel like I’ve wasted a good part of my life missing the opportunity to enjoy this accessible art form.

In just a few minutes of browsing the search window, I’ve seen movie posters, antique posters, band posters, baseball posters, basketball posters, and hockey posters. Of course, for summer fun there are beach posters.

Twilight - New Moon

Twilight - New Moon


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If you are getting frown lines on your face, consider humor posters. Do a search for humor posters or funny posters and pick something that makes you laugh. Frame it and hang where it is the first thing you see when you step into your home. Enjoy it until it no longer soothes the frown lines, then give it away and invest in a new one.

If you work out and plan to live a full 120 years like I do, pick out an anatomy poster and display it t where you exercise so you can learn the names of all those muscles you work so hard to reveal as you melt off that fat.

Deep Muscular System of the Back of the Body

Deep Muscular System of the Back of the Body

Giclee Print

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I know you are in a hurry to get whatever you need to do done, but let me take one more opportunity to remind you that the world doesn’t care what you look at as you travel from one place to another. The world gives you trash, ugly buildings, ugly cars, and ugly people doing ugly things to each other.

At home, and to some degree, at your workplace, you get to choose. If you live in ugly surroundings, it’s your own fault. The fine art I’ve sold for years is very expensive, but very rarely does anyone come back after spending a lot of money on something I talked them into (I was always upgrading customers to the next level) and tell me they regretted spending it. Once acquired, fine art is just too rewarding to regret.

Now, with posters even the most modest budget can afford beauty. The greatest paintings from the most exclusive museums are available in poster form for very low cost. Do yourself a favor. Find something and begin to build a home environment that makes you feel good. You deserve it!

Earthimpressions is proud to be a paid affiliate of...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miracle Survivor in Haiti

Randy R Cox

As rescue workers leave,  a miracle survivor in Haiti was pulled from the rubble yesterday, 11 days after the quake.  22 year old Wismond Exantus Jean-Pierre  was deep beneath concrete and wooden wreckage of a hotel grocery store.

He survived the intital quake by diving under a desk.  In the days that followed, he visualized a revelation that he would survive.  He managed to find cola, beer and cookies for sustenance.

Shortly after his rescue, the miracle survivor in Haiti was shot in the back by Haitian police.  Taking food from a grocery store is considered looting.  Looters are shot!

Of course, the 11th day miracle survivor wasn't really shot.  I just wrote that to make a point!

He did salvage food from a grocery store, but he was greeted as a hero with a strong will to live.  The day before a couple of men on the street were shot by police for looting.  They were carrying large bags of rice when the police saw them and acted swiftly.

Whether one is a hero or a criminal depends upon timing.  Had the two men who were shot been allowed to carry that rice back to their neighbors, they might have been interviewed on CNN as heros for feeding their starving neighbors.  Instead they may be dead--looters, criminals of the worst lot.

Since 9-11, we no longer have time for due process.  Terrorists and looters don't have rights.  The two looters shot in Haiti were not in America, and the miracle survivor wasn't shot at all.  I hear and read the terms looter every evening on the news.  People are starving and sometimes they find food. 

We sit upon our couches and decide the heros from the criminals.  It only takes us 20 seconds.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trickle Down Economics and Natural Order


Randy R. Cox

Trickle Down Economics and Natural Order is the first means of wealth distribution to operate in Nature.

Wolves, monkeys, and even chickens recognize status. The top dog runs the pack! When food and other provisions are abundant, the top dog feeds off the best meat and then the lesser dogs eat. The left over parts of the carcass trickles down to the lowest dog in the pack.

The more abundant the available food supply, the better the scraps that trickle down to the lowly expendable dogs at the bottom tier. When things get tight, the lower status animals are expected to stand aside in favor of the higher ranks.

Among humans, during recession the layoffs happen to the lowest classes first and trickle up to higher and higher classes as the economy worsens. Seldom does the top ruling class experience any lifestyle change at all. Later as the economy adjusts and gets better the increase trickles down to the survivors at the bottom.

That’s the way it is in the natural world, and that is the way it is starts among humans.

That is Trickle Down Economics. For animals it is the natural order of things, but for human being it is primal order. Before the development of civilization, people organized into social communities. The top status humans get the largest share of wealth, the lower status humans get the trickle down.

The natural order of man is to gravitate from the primordial trickle down distribution of wealth to a less primitive distribution of production. When cave men first started raiding their neighbor, the weaker humans grouped with the stronger humans in hopes of a less violent end for themselves. In exchange for protection, the weak would serve the strong and accept whatever the strongest decided to allow them. The strongest would protect the weak, but the price was heavy. The weak learned to take what he was given without complaint.

Man, having the potential of higher development than the monkey, tends to demand a more gentle culture. In the higher social orders, the leaders pride themselves on generosity. The higher the social order, the less extreme the differences in lifestyle between the highest status and the lowest become.

Will Rogers is credited with coining the term, Trickle Down Economics. He said, “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.”

Ronald Reagan lowered taxes on the rich with the promise that the extra money would trickle down to the middle classes.

Before there was “trickle down economics”, there was “horse and sparrow theory.” In the nineteenth century, it was believed that if you feed the horse enough oats, enough will pass through the horse to feed the sparrows in the streets” John Kenneth Galbraith claimed that the horse and sparrow theory helped cause the Panic of 1896.

Trickle down describes the primordial state whereby weak animals join with stronger animals to hunt or forage in a pack. The alpha male rips the best portions from the kill, gorges himself, then leaves the rest of the carcass to the next in line. From top to bottom, the lower ranked members of the pack of dogs share the kill, each counting himself fortunate to have the scraps from the higher ranked member above him.

When provisions are scarce, the weaker members are expected to stand aside so the higher status members can remain strong.

This works when all the members of the pack are animal like in behavior. When the intelligence of the whole group improves (as opposed to just those at the top), those at the bottom team together to balance the strength of the alpha members by the sheer numbers. It is a more advanced economy, tending to the democratic. There the weaker individual members strengthen themselves, again through numbers, and obtain a better portion of the spoils. In higher forms of civilization the leaders are expected to exhibit great generosity to all members of the group, especially the less fortunate.

In the sophisticated culture group, the lower status members are smart enough to reject the leadership of self-serving alpha types. In the higher life form groups, the weaker members, in aggregate, will turn upon the self-serving member and depose them.

In primitive cultures the lower life forms will sacrifice to the higher status members, subjugate themselves and serve them without question. As the culture advances, those at the bottom will resist servitude. The most advanced cultures will not allow the dictatorial power bases to exist, but advanced cultures rise and fall.

The development of civilization does not happen in a straight line. The alpha personalites are in the gene pool and constantly test their power. The less alpha types have differing amounts of tolerance. Sometimes the lower members will champion the domination of the alpha types; sometimes they will band together to resist it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Search and Rescue Trumps Security

Randy R Cox

The need to search and rescue trumps security.  We watch people die in Haiti as the help they need moves slowly.  There are many fears of violence from gangs and angry people, and maybe there are a few actual incidents of violence, but something seems wrong.  There is too much holding back.  There is too much fear!  There is too much caution.  Search and rescue trumps security!

Last night apparently a team of doctors from Belgum were ordered by their Chief Coordinator, Geert Gijs, also a doctor, to retreat from a UN hospital site they had set up with patients under their care housed in tents.  Someone passed on rumors of gangs in the night, and the doctors took their supplies, left the patients, and disappeared in the night.

The UN team left CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with almost no equipment to do the best he could with almost nothing to work with but victims.

The UN teams seem overly cautious, but at least they were there for a moment.  Where were our American teams?  The Haitians could see our ships offshore.  We know what the Haitians were waiting for as they bleed and die, but what are the Americans waiting for, security?

When Lt. General Russel Honore was asked about the UN teams leaving their patients, he said it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard of.  He said search and rescue and evacuation trumps security.  I agree with Gen. Honore,  search and rescue trumps security.

I'm not a doctor.  I'm not a rescue worker.  I'm only an American citizen, but I have one vote.  I am not happy with the decisions  authorities are making in these matters. 

I've spent some time thinking about this issue and here is what I have decided.  It is just common sense!

America should be willing to risk at least as much to save our friends as we are willing to risk to kill our enemies.  Our brave military often put themselves in harm's way to seek out and destroy our enemies.
We expect our troops to protect themselves, but we don't expect them to run from a fight.  We don't expect our helicopters to ground themselves with rumors of occasional groundfire.

Americans are never happy when we have to aggressively kill the enemy, but we all know there is a price to pay for freedom .  Sometimes a few of our best will die protecting the greatest country on earth.  When one falls a dozen more will rise to take his place until the job is done.

I believe America is equally willing to risk their lives to save others.  The Bible says there is no greater gift than to give one's life for another.

I think it is imperative for the greatest country on earth to be willing to risk at least as much to save our friends as we are willing to kill our enemies.

There is not a lot written about security theory of rescue teams but there is some.  Mostly the authorities in control of first responders put security of those teams first.  Now, I know  the rescue workers are far more willing to put their lives on the line than those in authority who often rule from safe zones and make decisions based on rumor, emotion, and an almost absolute safety-first attitude.  Every day we hear of heroic acts as these men and women hurl themselves into danger to save complete strangers.  Sometimes these heroes don't survive.

I think we need to reevaluate our rules of rescue.  People are dying stupidly and needlessly because of placing security concerns over safety concerns.  We need to change the way our leaders think...or we need to change the leaders.  Search and rescue trumps security.  We should be willing to risk at least as much to save lives as we are willing to risk to take lives.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heroes in Haiti the Curse of the Earthquake

Randy R Cox

From the rubble of the earthquake in Haiti, heroes arise. In a land hit over and over by tragedy now suffering a curse of Biblical proportion, something wonderful is happening. At every pile of rubble, heroes risk their lives to pull survivors from the edge of death.

Last week, many of these people were down and out, bent to base subsistence by the horrible economic conditions in their country. Today, these same people have shown an incredible strengh of character as they meet the challenge of this horrible event.

Concrete crumbles in Haiti because the building codes there were almost nonexistent. Very little reinforcement steel was used to hold stucture together, but the metal missing in construction is showing itself in the metal of those brave souls who tunnel and crawl through the wreckage to find life in the dark shadows of death.

I've always believed it was better to be a part of something that is bad and getting better than it is to be a part of something that is great but getting worse and worse. Before the quake, Haiti was a miserable place to live.

The earthquake took whatever good was left and crushed it to dust!

There is nothing left in Haiti but the hope of the people. Almost everything has been destroyed but the will of the people. I have watched these people work together to make the best of an impossible situation, and I have been impressed. When Katrina struck America, I was ashamed. People in power on both sides of the fence saw the tragedy in New Orleans, Missippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida as a political football rather than an opportunity to do what the people of Haiti are doing with nothing but their bare hands.

In the days, weeks, and even years to come, we will see lots of pain coming from Haiti, but I look for hope in the eyes of those many heroes that are working so tirelessly as I write this. I see a light in those eyes I've not seen before. I know they had 4 hurricanes hit them in 2008, and I'm not sure our media gave it the coverage due. We had our own problems with Ike, but we basically ignored Haiti.

Those in Haiti did not ignore that destruction, but learned from it. We didn't hear it much when it happened but we are hearing now how those hapless people pulled themselves from that rubble and began to rebuild, again with little more than their bare hands. It looks like their will grew hard as steel and their muscles grew strong after those storms.

When the earthquake hit Haiti, while the earth continued to quiver and shake, the hereos went to work. The infrastructure of authority has disappeared, yet the order in Haiti makes New Orleans look like anarchy.

A chill runs down my spine as I remember the gunshots in New Orleans after Ike. I think some of that was signal fire, like John Wayne used to fire shots to signal the posse or calvary. Some of it was from people trapped in the upper floors of their homes blowing holes in the ceiling to permit escape. It didn't take the National Guard long to announce they were being fired upon. What a mess? Rescue slowed to a crawl as the rescue workers and their commanders retreated out of fear.

We see order and people helping people in Haiti. In New Orleans we saw thousands waiting and waiting and waiting at the Astrodome. We heard from political leaders on both sides blaming the other side for the failures. It took forever for help to come. I remember how a group of survivors walked the freeways to save themselves, only to be turnback with shotguns by the police of a nearby parrish.

I am proud of the heroes in Haiti. For those who survive this horrible event, I believe good things will happen because they are ready to make it happen for themselves. Rev. Pat Robertson says Haiti is cursed because of a pact they made with the devil to get rid of the French. He points out how much worse it has always been for Haiti than for the other end of the same island the Dominican Republic.

I don't know about the curse of Haiti, but the light in the eyes of the heroes is a blessing. If there was a curse, I think a Higher Power may be ready to renegotiate a better contract.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why won't the homeless go to the shelters?

by Randy Cox

The nights have been dangerously cold and the authorities have shown a rare concern for the homeless over the last few weeks.  They arranged shelter and transportation, but many of the homeless shun their help.  The talking heads just can't understand it.  Why won't the homeless go the shelters?

I was going to write a blog about it, but while researching and reading a good response from a literate street person, I realized that regular people don't really care anyway.

Sometimes decent, intelligent people fall through the cracks and find themselves on the street.  It doesn't take them long to find out the shelters are designed for alcoholics, drug addicts, and the mentally ill.  The shelters  require their guests to come in early, eat, then stay put until morning. 

In the morning the guests are driven out at daybreak after breakfast and not allowed back in until check-in time.  The guest is allowed a minimum of personal possessions, so for those who have more than a bag or two of junk, there is no place for them here.

Even if the down and out has only a few nice items, the shelter is a perfect place to lose what they have left.  These places crawl with thieves and bullies that will take whatever attracts their fancy.  It is easy to get in a fight at the shelters.  Fighting is a good way to find oneself in prison.  If you can't afford a good lawyer, a bad one will be appointed for you.

Street people know they can freeze to death on the streets, but that can take time..  Death can come suddenly in the shelters.