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Opinions of the guests are not necessarily the opinion of the GROUCH!

Monday, May 31, 2010

When Johnny Come Marching Home

I am very inspired. I couldn't let this one by the U.S. Military Academy Band go by. If you like it too, leave a comment.

A Little Memorial Day Music

Here are couple of tunes to help you remember Memorial Day and those that gave their lives for our freedom. Click on the players below to listen. If you don't go away with a lump in your throat and a chill on the back of your neck, well, you better go see your doctor, cause you're dead from the neck up. For max effect, hook up to your sound system.

Amazing Grace - The U.S. Navy Band


The Battle Hymn of the Republic - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Remember!

Last Memorial Day I waxed eloquently about Doolittle's Raiders. Today I want to talk about a place that most of you have never heard of. It is the tiny island of Peleliu. Located between New Guinea and the Philippines, this tiny coral rock in September 1944 was the scene of one of the most horrific battles of World War Two.

The 1st Marine Division was tasked with taking and securing this island from the Japanese in preparation for General MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps calls this "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines". That's saying a lot when you think of places like Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

What the U.S. war planners didn't realize was that the Japanese had been fortifying this island along with many others since the mid to late 1930's. They had dug caves and tunnels all through the coral on Peleliu, which is only about 5 square miles in area. There were hundreds of these caves, each containing, machine guns, mortars, or artillery pieces, and all hidden from view by the thick jungle undergrowth.

The island was bombarded by the navy for 3 days in advance of the Marine invasion, but the gunfire proved to be mostly ineffective. The caves and tunnels provided more than enough cover for the waiting Japanese.

And so the 1st Marine Division waded ashore into a meat grinder with every Japanese position firing at them. The Marines were told the battle would only take about 4 days. It lasted over 2 months.

Based on the number of men involved, Peleliu had the highest number of casualties of any battle in the entire war. When it was over, 6500 marines were casualties (about a third of the entire division). The 81st infantry division of the U.S. Army who relieved the marines suffered about 3000 casualties. Most of the 11,000 Japanese on Peleliu were killed.

Peleliu has been the subject of controversy up through today. It was thought by many that the island should have been bypassed and not attacked at all. Admiral Chester Nimitz did not want to attack the Philippines but rather opted to go to Formosa and the Chinese mainland, which would have made attacking Peleliu unnecessary.

I am not here to debate the what if's and what for's. Rather I am here to take a moment on this Memorial Day and think about what those men went through during those dreadful months in 1944. It is hard for me to get my arms around the terror they must have experienced and their fatigue as they endured what seemed like an unending battle just to try and stay alive.

Many men made the ultimate sacrifice on that tiny hell hole in the Pacific. The rest came back haunted for the rest of their lives by the horrors they witnessed and endured. They fought for us and the freedom we enjoy today. We should never forget.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Easy Rider Fades into the Sunset

A favorite actor of mine, Dennis Hopper, died yesterday of prostate cancer at age 74. If you're old enough and not dead from the neck up, you remember Hopper's acclaim to fame in the movie Easy Rider, in which he directed and also starred with Peter Fonda.

In most of his roles it always seemed that he portrayed an unorthodox and rebellious character and in fact he was that way in real life. He apparently had a long and troubled time with the women in his life, being married and divorced numerous times.

Wifey and I enjoyed watching him in the Starz network series "Crash" where he played the drug addicted and emotionally volatile character, Ben Cendars. I can't think of another actor better cast for this role.

I'll miss seeing Dennis Hopper.

Rocking the Fatman

The Morbid Strangers had a large time last night at Fatman's. We had a good crowd and the whole place was rockin'! Thanks to everyone that came out. Our new drummer, Tommy Sowell, is pictured on the right in the red shirt.

Friday, May 28, 2010

World's Cleanest IPOD

Meet my IPOD nano. The old girl has been around since 2006. It is a second generation, 8 gigabyte version. I use it for bringing music to the band, playing bumper music during breaks, and listening to my Rush Limbaugh podcasts.

Yesterday, the old IPOD went through quite an ordeal. I left her in my pocket Wensdee night after band and the next day sweet Wifey washed it. She called me at work, very upset. I talked with her about it. She let it dry out and tried to turn it on, to no avail. The old nano appeared to be dead.

Today after I got home from work I also fooled with it for a bit without success, then as a last resort, I plugged it to my USB computer port and presto chango it miraculously sprang back to life. Somehow the trip through the washer and dryer had completely discharged the lithium ion battery, but now that it's charged it seems to be working normally again.

Yesterday I went ahead and ordered a brand new 16 gigabyte, 5th generation nano, so now I'll have another that will take videos and all sorts of other neat stuff, but I betcha I'll still have use for the old but very clean IPOD. Seems like there is always something new to smile about around here.

Why no Looting after the Nashville Flood?

Dr. Ashmore strikes again!

And Just What are the Damages?

Now we have the story of a Michigan woman, Ginger McGuire who supposedly fell asleep on an airplane. She awoke some three hours after the plane unloaded at its destination to find herself alone and locked in.

Of course she is suing United Airlines for "negligence, false imprisonment and distress".

Now I just gotta wonder how a person could be left onboard a commercial aircraft, but I also gotta wonder how anyone of sound mind and body could sleep through the complete deplaning procedure? Like the idiot kid who held his breath and passed out while driving, I gotta ask, "How much alcohol (or drugs) (or both) was involved here?" Makes me think she asked the flight attendant for too many of those little bottles.

Even if the airline was entirely to blame, exactly WHAT ARE HER DAMAGES? How damaged could someone possibly be from spending three hours alone on an airplane? Oh wait! I just saw that she has the shyster lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, representing her. This was the guy that defended Dr. Kevorkian. I've seen him several times on TV. He's one of those loudmouthed smug bastards that you would want to throw a pie at just for the hell of it. C'mon Fieger, just tell the woman she was not damaged other than getting her feelings hurt, and maybe suffering from a hangover, and that she should get on with her life! Dang! Look at that guy! Talk about a bad haircut! No wonder people like me hate lawyers so much.

I heard Ginger McGuire briefly on Fox News this morning. When asked on what grounds she was suing United, she stuttered and stammered and really didn't seem to know. Seems like Geoffrey didn't brief her (fill her head with BS) very well.

They May Be Right or They May Be Crazy

So, NOAA is predicting that this year could be a busy hurricane year with as many as 14  to 23 named storms with 7 major hurricanes. Hmmmmmmm.........seems like there have been predictions like this ever since 2005, but the years since Katrina have been kinda bust in spite of the best hopes of the globull warmers and the Bush Bashers. Things just haven't been any fun at all since old George W. wiped out New Orleans and gleefully killed all those black folks.

If we do have a bunch of hurricanes this year will they somehow figure out a way to blame it on Bush again? After all, Obama has been the top dog for almost a year and a half now. I guess we'll see if the lamestream media can spin the blame away from him.

I Guess They'll Demand Access to My Music Room

Bob Barr explains that census workers have the power to demand access to any building or room owned by you which you rent out. They can enter the building or room even if the tenants are not there. You can be fined $500 if you refuse to comply.

I hope, I just hope, that Harrison Reed comes around demanding access to my music room. PLEASE HARRISON! PLEASE COME A KNOCKIN'!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luck has Nothing to Do With It

I just read a story on Drudge about a teenager that crashed his car. Why did he crash his car? Cause he was trying to see how long he could hold his breath and passed out. The story began by saying, "driver no stranger to bad luck". The driver apparently is already a paraplegic. He got that way by falling out of a window in college.

I dunno about yall, but I don't think luck had anything to do with any of this. I would guess that STUPID behavior is the more likely cause. There was no mention of the alcohol content involved in any of these incidents, but I can guess.

Most people like this will go running to the state crying, "Woe is me! Woe is me! I'm disabled! Put me on the gubment dole!"

SIGH!


The Morbid Strangers on the Prowl, Saredee Night!

The Morbid Strangers will be playing this Saredee night at Fatman's Store. This is located at the intersection of Highway 412 and Mousetail Road in Perry County, just across the river from the Perryville Marina.

Play time is from 8PM until midnight. Yall come!

Even More Cartoons

Hey! If you don't like cartoons, take a hike!

More Cartoons

More from Dr. Ashmore:

Cartoons

A few cartoons from my friend, Dr. Tim Ashmore:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometimes Freedom and Liberty Require Putting up with Repugnant Behavior

Dr. Walter E. Williams was the guest host yesterday on the Rush Limbaugh Show. Dr. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University and also a prolific author.

If you've never heard Dr. Williams or read any of his stuff, you should take the time to do so. He is absolutely brilliant and his brilliance is accented by heaping helpings of down to earth, understandable, common sense. I told sweet wifey yesterday that his students had to be absolutely captivated by this man.

Dr. Williams was taking calls and the discussion centered on Rand Paul's opinions on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Basically, Dr. Williams (obviously a black man) agrees with Rand Paul in that the Civil Rights Act goes too far in that it dictates behavior by privately owned businesses. In other words if I own a restaurant, I have the right to refuse service to you because you're black, or ugly, or I don't like the way you wear your hat. There is nothing in the Constitution that empowers the federal gubment to dictate behavior to private bidness owners. Several callers disagreed and declared they found the notion of such behavior repugnant and unacceptable.

No doubt this behavior would be found repugnant and unacceptable by most today and I would venture to say that a bidness owner wouldn't stay in bidness very long if he/she engaged in such practices. Dr. Williams' point however was that if we are going to have true freedom and liberty with no gubment intrusion, we are from time to time going to have to put up with stupid, bigoted people along with their stupid, bigoted behavior. Unfortunately we have become too worried about hurting someone's feelings rather than defending liberty and the Constitution. Slowly but surely over the years we have ALLOWED gubment to come in and fix LITTLE problems we don't like at the expense of liberty. Eventually all those little problems mount up and just like a slow growing cancer we find ourselves immersed in tyranny. Seems like anytime we invite gubment into our lives we can never get rid of it.

Later on the conversation on the radio focused on antismoking laws. I remember a couple of years ago when the State of Tennessee banned smoking in all restaurants. I find this a travesty. If I own the restaurant, what bidness does the gubment have telling me that I cannot allow smoking? I remember that several of my so called conservative friends were just overjoyed by this ruling. I remember when Mike Huckabee, RINO extraordinaire, suggested a national smoking ban..........more and more liberty down the drain. Now the gubment wants to regulate salt and transfats and sugar in soft drinks........it never stops.

Dr. Williams posited a situation where the gubment rulers would have a different agenda. What if you were a restaurant owner of a no smoking establishment and the gubment suddenly passed a law that required you to ALLOW smoking in your establishment? Can you imagine the outrage? You, as the bidness owner would have no say in the matter. Yet this is exactly the same thing happening to bidness owners today when they are forced to ban smoking. It comes down purely to a choice between liberty or tyranny!

Dr. Williams also ventured into all of the tyranny and unintended consequences created by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Where in the Constitution is the gubment allowed to tell me I must build a wheelchair ramp at my bidness? Find that clause in the Constitution and I will shut up. The ADA is a monster that I feel should be repealed but that's a topic for another post.

There was lots of good stuff on the Limbaugh show yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Remember, anytime you ask the gubment to solve a problem for you, be careful, you might just get your wish.

Angry About the Wrong Thing

I couldn't help but smile when I read about the president's recent luncheon with GOP senators. According to reports Obama became somewhat unhinged as the meeting progressed, described by one senator as "The more he talked, the more he got upset" and “He needs to take a valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans and just calm down, and don’t take anything so seriously. If you disagree with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re attacking their motives — and he takes it that way and tends then to lecture and then gets upset.” Of course we all know why he became unhinged. It's tough to be caught in a lie.

My interest in this was sparked by the fact that my senator Bob Corker showed a rare display of spine when he said that Obama was two faced. The wind came out of my sails a bit though when I found out that Corker was upset because Obama was lying about promised bipartisan efforts and rather wanted to foist a far left wing agenda on them.

Corker is one of these guys that is more worried about bipartisanship than defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Of course we all know that bipartisanship simply means that we water down our conservative beliefs and agree with Dimocrats.

I am encouraged however that Corker recognizes Obama for what he really is, a two faced liar!

More reading HERE.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lifelock Response

Well, I complained to Lifelock about the credit card offers I keep getting from American Express. They responded to my inquiry and gave me steps on their website to hopefully keep this from happening again. They also told me the following:

"....if you open up new credit, order a magazine subscription, or change your address, you are automatically placed back on these lists by the marketing companies...."

Well I have not done any of the above lately.......  hmmmmm, I did join the NRA in 2008 but I'm not going to renew..........wonder if the NRA gleefully sold my information to Amex? All the more reason not to send the NRA any more money.

Lifelock also said this:


"You will also continue to receive offers from companies you currently do or have done business with..."

This is a possible reason I could be on their harassment list, but it was several years ago I canceled my Amex card and it seems like the offers just started up again a few months ago.....nah I'm thinking NRA...........

I wanna know why you get back on their stupid list if you move or order a magazine subscription? This doesn't make sense. 

Anyway, Lifelock did not choose to ignore me like the NRA did.

A Life Changing Day

Seems like everyday we get up starts out to be just another day. I don't think we necessarily expect anything very important is going to happen. Sometimes we are surprised. 38 years ago today, I got up, ate some breakfast, and headed out to work on my motorcycle, not paying much attention to anything other than the wind in my face and the routine day ahead. I pulled up at the traffic light in front of the shopping center.

To my right there was a white car stalled at the light. Driving was what appeared to be a most beautiful creature, but I couldn't get a good look from my vantage point. I decided I couldn't leave a damsel in distress so I U-turned into the parking lot next to her and headed for the car.

She just threw open the door (I could have been a Nazi rapist or a terrorist or something) and exclaimed, "It just won't start!"

The floats on her carburetor (remember those?) were stuck and the engine was hopelessly flooded. I pushed her car over to a service station and went back home to get my car to take her to work.

She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, long legs up to her neck which made me a physical wreck! Her sweet little face was gorgeous. He voice was soft and sweet. I could tell by just listening to her she had goodness of heart. I went over to see her that night and the rest is history. A little more than 3 months later I married her. Thursday, May 25, 1972, a day that changed my life forever!
God has blessed me in many ways during my life but the best day ever was when I found her!

By the way, if she had been fat and ugly and decorated with hideous tattoos, she would still be sitting at the traffic light.

For more on the day that changed our lives, click HERE.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Big Blow at Lost Creek

I was down at the marina this afternoon working on my boat trailer when it began to thunder to the north. I hurried to get done and then hurried home with my trailer in tow. By the time I pulled up in front of the house it was coming a helluva storm. I just sat in the truck watching, not willing to risk a run into the house. Lightning was popping and the wind was twisting the tops of all the big trees around me. I watched a couple of tree tops fall in the woods and smaller limbs were hitting my truck.

Our power was out for a good while so we decided to go across the Beech River (where they still had power) and get a bite to eat. This is what we found:

Trees down in a neighbor's yard about 3 blocks away.
More of the same.
Their camper trailer covered in branches.
Their house literally cut in half by a large trunk. Fortunately, they were not at home during the storm.
A smaller tree at the top of our hill, snapped like a toothpick.

These storms came up rather suddenly. We were under no watches or warnings. They came in from the northeast and were moving southwest, rather unusual. We live on the northeast side of the hill so we are usually shielded from the gust front of thunderstorms, but not this time.

We had nothing but a lot of small limbs all over the place. Sweet Wifey and I are thankful. I hope our neighbors are well insured.

Why is Opting Out so Difficult?

While I'm ranting about Amex, I might as well rant about DirecTV. A couple of years ago I had a subscription to NFL Sundee Ticket. With this you could supposedly watch any and all games on Sundee on a published list of satellite channels.

It was EASY to sign up for this. All I had to do was go to their website, perform a couple of point and clicks, and PRESTO, I was a subscriber. Well it was pretty much an okay service I guess, although some of the games would be "blacked out".

I found after a time that it was difficult to watch several games at the same time and anyway I found most of the games I was interested in were the Titan's games and these were televised on local channels out of Nashville which I could watch without a subscription. Also, I worked a lot on Sundee so I was away from the satellite receiver about half the time. So after a couple of years, I decided that Sundee Ticket was no bargain for me.

After the season was over, I visited the website and searched and searched and searched for a way to cancel my subscription. There was no way to do this online, so I called the nummer provided. The voice on the other end just couldn't believe that I wanted to cancel and went through a whole bunch of begging and cajoling to try and get me to stay. The guy on the other end must have been a Dimocrat because even when I explained I wouldn't be home to watch the satellite, he proceeded to tell me about the great games I would be missing..............HE DIDN'T HEAR A DAMNED THING I HAD SAID. He suggested I record the games to the DVR. Watching rerun football is like watching someone else have sex.

Anyway, shortly before I resorted to giving him a cussing, he assured me my subscription would be canceled.

August rolled around and guess what! The first installment for NFL Sundee Ticket appeared on my bill. So I called them again and went through the same begging and cajoling with yet another Dimocrat. Finally I was told my subscription would be dropped and my credit card credited. I told them if I had to call them again, I'd dump them and go with DISH network.

A few days later a credit did appear on my card and I got no more charges for Sundee Ticket.

Ya know, life should not be this difficult. DirecTV should have a way on it's website to opt out of things you don't want, and when you tell one of their people you don't want something, they shouldn't argue with you about it.

American Express Sucks

I dunno about the rest of you, but it really pisses me off to get unsolicited credit card offers. I have taken steps to eliminate this and for the most part I have been successful except for American Express. On a regular basis I keep getting offers from Amex.....the latest ploy is to earn two domestic airline tickets (why would I want two domestic airline tickets?) if I'll just sign up for their stupid card.

I have been told that these unsolicited offers increase your risk of identity theft. Besides that, years ago I had an Amex card but I canceled it because:

1. I never used it.
2. I got tired of paying their yearly fee.

When I canceled the Amex card, I talked to someone who sounded like an Iranian terrorist. I was on the phone with him for a very long time listening to his broken English and almost had to give him a cussing before he finally agreed to cancel my account.

Most of the Amex junk mail gives you no contact information, so you have nowhere to call and complain. They make it super easy to get their damned card but next to impossible to try and opt out of their stupid mailings (I never opted in in the first place). This last one did have a 1-800 number which I promptly called. After listening to a canned greeting and a 60 second song and dance about my two domestic airline tickets, I was finally told I'd have to call a different number during normal working hours, Mondee through Fridee, if I wanted to opt out.

I called a few minutes ago. The woman axed for the name and address on the mailer. I told her. She said, "Now is that for Thomas or Thomas and Deborah?"

I said, "You mean you have more than one name on file? Eliminate all the names at this address from your database."

I was getting very irritated.

What is even more irritating is that Lifelock is supposed to take care of eliminating this nuisance on my behalf. For what I pay them, they should be doing the calling to Amex. I logged in to my Lifelock account and sent them a not so nice email about this. I have yet to hear back from them (I hope they are not planning on ignoring me.....it won't be pleasant).

Sigh! I'm done complaining now!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Grouch at the Dayton Hamfest

This delightful picture submitted by Russ, WD4JHD. Too bad I couldn't have been born rich instead of good looking.

Texas vs. California

My friend, Dr. Tim Ashmore sent this to me yesterday. I got a smile. Maybe you will too:

Governors  of two states jogging with their dogs along a trail. Coyote  jumps out and starts to attack dog:


California :
#1. Governor starts to intervene and then realizes he  should stop; the coyote is doing what is natural.

#2. Call animal control. Animal control captures  coyote and spends $200 testing it for diseases and $500 relocating it.

#3. Call Vet. Veterinarian collects dead dog   and spends $200 testing it for diseases.

#4. Governor goes to hospital and spends $3500  getting checked for diseases from the coyote and getting bite wound  bandaged.

#5. Running trail gets shut down for 6 months while  wildlife services conduct a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is  clear of dangerous animals.

#6. Governor spends $50,000 and starts a coyote  awareness program for people who live in the area.

#7. State legislature spends $2 million investigating  how to better handle rabies and how to possibly eradicate it.

#8. Governor’s security agent fired for not stopping  the attack and letting the Governor try to intervene.

#9. Cost $75,000 to train new security agent.

#10. PETA protests the relocation of the coyote.



  Texas :
 #1. Governor spends $1.23 on a .380 ACP Gold Dot  Hollow Point and he and the dog keep jogging.


 And we wonder why California is BROKE…

In Defense of Rand Paul

Well the left has proceeded to trash Rand Paul, Republican senate candidate for Kentucky. They are claiming that Paul wants to repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Of course Paul never said this. What he did say was that he thought the law went too far in that it regulated discrimination by private bidness.

I agree with Rand Paul. I can take the purely libertarian view on this issue which would be that the gubment has no bidness telling private individuals how to act and behave. The key word here is PRIVATE! I do not believe in discrimination and any private bidnessman in this day and age would be foolish to select customers on strictly racial lines. After all, black is black, white is white, but money is always green. But I stop at the notion that the gubment should be able to dictate to me who I will or won't serve. I guess with me as a physician it goes even farther in that I believe no physician should discriminate against anyone based on race. To do so would violate my oath in the eyes of Hippocrates and God. However, if I am the owner of a restaurant or corner grocery store, I have no such ethical obligation.

Regulation of private bidness has opened the Pandora's Box to other areas of regulation. Now the gubment tries to tell you what to eat, when you can and can't smoke, prohibition of gun rights in restaurants etc........hey if the gubment says no to guns in restaurants aren't they violating my second amendment rights? What about that? Funny how the gubment operates in ala carte manner when it comes to which of our rights they think they can take away. What will they think of next?

I am old enough to remember when there were separate black and white waiting rooms, when blacks sat in the back of the bus, went to separate schools, and could not go in to some restaurants. Back then I did not think much of it. It seemed the norm (gimme a break, I was just a kid). Today I find such behavior reprehensible. No doubt the Civil Rights Act was needed and necessary.

I'm sure the left will do their dead level best to trash what appears to be an honest and decent man, but I would expect nothing less from them. The talking heads on Fox yesterday didn't seem to think this would hurt Paul very much but they felt he did need to be very careful about the things he said.

OMG! Wouldn't wanna offend anyone, now would we?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Drummer for the Morbid Strangers

At long last it appears the Morbid Strangers band has finally found a new drummer. We have been more or less drummerless since last November. Our new guy is Tommy Sowell. He is from Jackson, Tn. and has a lot of experience and seems to have found a comfortable new home with us. We actually have a gig booked for June 18 and are talking about getting back into the saddle again and booking more regular gigs for the summer. It will be nice to get back to playing regularly again.

I'll post more on upcoming gigs soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beware of Your Census Taker

Well the other day I was perturbed about the census taker visiting my music room, A few days later, he visited our house. Now I wonder if our nosy census taker is perhaps a sex offender!?!

It happened to a woman in New Jersey

You just never know. Glad to see our almighty federal gubment is looking out for us!