Friday, July 17, 2009

POWs and family

I just began reading "Tears in the Darkness" which recounts again the Bataan death march in the Philippines in 1942 early in WWII.

Several years ago I read "Ghost Soldiers", Hampton Sides' retelling of an end of war story about some of these men in a POW camp.

One of my many uncles, Bill; no longer living, was a POW for the duration of the war. He suffered his entire life from many of the injuries and illnesses he sustained at the hands of his Japanese captors. He always walked slightly bent and had hearing loss as long as I can remember. But as child the thing I remember most was that he never talked about it. And it was one of those things that children were not allowed to ask about.

He was one of my favorite uncles and we visited frequently until I got older. Sad to say he was killed in a freak accident at a landfill some years ago.

When I read Ghost Soldiers I imagined he could have been one of them. When I started with "Tears" I wondered the same.

In a weird sort of way I was disappointed to find out that he was just a plain old POW. He was captured on Corregidor, a Philippine Island that saw tremendous battles during the war. From there he was shipped (literally) to Japan where it seems he spent the war working in a labor camp. I don't know much more than that.

I had hoped maybe he could be "posthumously" a celebrity of sorts.

He still is a hero to all of us in a different way. He fought briefly for our country but he served. He worked most of his life at the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana, Texas where they made ammunition and such.

So even though it's not Memorial or Veteran's Day, here's to you Uncle Bill!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Here comes the Judge

I'm not about to weigh in on whether Sotomayor will or should be confirmed or not. I have no doubt she will be the next Supreme Court Justice.

Here are my 2 cents:

1st penny - why don't we just all save ourselves a ton of time and accept that when a Democrat is in the White House, they will pick someone who shares their views. The same goes for a Republican. This dance to see how close we can get to saying-without-really-saying-but-we-all-know-what-it-means-anyway is just that; a dance. Conservatives can kick and scream but in the end will lose. Let's just move on and save the posturing for another time and another battle where it might make a difference.

Here's my 2nd penny: AL FRANKEN ON THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE!?!?!? I had no dog in the Minnesota Senate hunt and if he is who they elected - then so be it. But for him to step right in with a seat on this committee? Obama won fair and square so he gets to pick his nominee. Franken won so he gets to go to the Senate. But I don't get or understand in anyway shape or form, how he is qualified or ready or should be on this committee.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

change is good

A couple of years ago in another or former life, I started a blog under the name Red Bridge Rancher which paralled our farm website -

Two problems - after months of trial and error I realized I was not a website designer and more importantly last summer we sold all our sheep. So right now we aren't much in the way of ranchers or farmers. Still have dogs, three horses, a cat and two steers but that hardly qualifies us for much.

The old blog name didn't mean much without the ranch part so ... I found a new name for my blog, which I will continue with the usual fits and starts and I got the name which comes a lot closer to being what it should be. I never intended to be anonymous but the old name probably didn't click with most people right away.

So in a sense I'm moving and I really have no idea what that means in terms of google's blogspot but if you go to hopefully it can re-direct you to

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not quite ready for Prime Time

I admit it was a mistake (his and mine) for McCain to pick Palin and mine to like it but you have to admit it was a gutsy and inspired choice.

She just wasn’t ready (think Quayle.)

As much as a liked her (c’mon everybody thought she was pretty) she didn’t have the gravitas or the mettle to make it on a national scale as a Veep. The hockey mom/pit bull thing could only carry her so far. I also realize no one gave her a fair shake but then her handlers did her no favors either by putting her out in situations where she wasn’t ready.

I have no idea what she is trying to do now but even with a lot of cramming, super fund-raising and plenty of exposure in the lower 48, she will never be able to overcome the image most people have of her. If she honestly thinks she has a shot in 2012, she is wasting her time.

I haven’t done a politically oriented entry in awhile (too much going on that I don’t understand) but this one caught my eye and ear.

I’ll say again what I said in 2004 and 2008 – if the GOP wants a chance at anything (just adjust the years forward by 4) they must find, recruit, train and prep a minority.

Don’t count Colin Powell out just yet – no matter what he has previously said.