LAW IN FAR WEST TEXAS: This is the old Presidio County Annex Building where I held court as Pct. 2 JP for two years before Commissioners built a new county annex. The county jail was 60 miles away to the north in Marfa, an incentive to all concerned to resolve issues in “initial hearings” before “heading north”! Hard to think about a tiny courtroom inside but imagine the old judge being called out at midnight by deputies some Saturday night to referee a domestic dispute. Cars parked all around this building and in-laws and out-laws all lined up outside to put in their “two cents” with the judge. A lot of memories, yes. [Personal Photo]
By Dan Bodine
Idiom “tilting at windmills” from Miguel de Cervantes’ Spanish novel, Don Quixote seems apropos in today’s U. S. culture war.
(Note: A long one, dear readers. Hang in!)
Our current U. S. Civil War II (aka, Culture War) exploding now acts something like an imaginary kill-all virus that’s crept in, no? Casting suspicions about us. I’ve heard political commentators argue we’ve made tilting at windmills chic again, i.e., someone defiantly going after imaginary happenings and objects that were out there to git ‘ya!
Personally, I can’t fully grasp this fight now. Too old and too many weeds in the garden, maybe. But of what is it as a civil people we’re supposed to be so damn scared? Does the religious right want to neuter us sexually? Take all our property and wealth? Assign a mean, dispirited mother-in-law to all downtrodden and disinherited waifs?
Current Republican politics seem to be centered civilly enough around lawmakers. But there’s a military curtness about it, too. Continue reading →
GUN-TOTING FAMILY: Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), posted this Christmas picture of himself and six others on his Twitter account several years ago holding firearms that appear to be machine guns and semi-automatic weapons. (Photograph: @RepThomasMassie)
[Yeah, I’m feeling they’ll be a version # 2 on this topic later. Will appreciate all comments. — d.b.]
By Dan Bodine
When U.S. presidential candidate Ronald Reagan endorsed the Religious Right at a take-over-the-nation religious affairs conference 43 years ago coming up in August this year in Dallas, I actually cried on my way back home to nearby Cleburne.
I was a staff writer, editor for the local daily newspaper, and covered that 1980 Dallas national election event mostly out of curiosity.
Earlier New Right‘s news releases coming across the desk relating to merging church and state were dead on, too, it turned out — e.g., this was a beginning of another long crusade toward Authoritarianism — and I felt as a country we’d never be the same again!Continue reading →
Texas Instruments headquarters in Plano north of Dallas on what use to be North Central Expressway, coming from downtown. [Commons Image courtesy of lighthouse.app]
By Dan Bodine
Hee, hee! I knew I’d hear a better one someday! The recent snow storms in California — as rare as they are for the state — have uncovered one. An 81-yr.-old man has survived almost a week snowbound in his auto thanks to eating croissants and candy that he had with him, CNN reported Thursday.
Reading about the U.S. Navy’s plan for “Chaplains to serve as counselors aboard all Navy destroyers by 2025″ brought back a frightening time almost 55 years ago when I rode a bosun’s chair from the aircraft carrier I was on, over to one of these “tin can” destroyers — all to fix it’s radar IFF unit.
Memorable, it was, yeah! Some of my ol’ seafaring days as a Navy electronics technician back during the Vietnam War era. Continue reading →
Hee, hee! A true one about an ol’ Navy sailor once caught in an airport layover between duty assignments, and broke after boozing away his travel leave money! Memory stirred from long waits by thousands of Southwest Airlines passengers in the current weather-delay odyssey. Worries in layovers, they are. But don’t say rescue angels don’t exist! Continue reading →
Heck, if’n it starts up and runs, no problem, right!? (DMT photo)
By Dan Bodine
Yeah, the sky has fallen upon my beloved ol’ Ford garden pickup. And I’m fit to be tied. Kinda. I’ve been accused of not fiddling around on it enough, while driving it some, too. And now I’ve burned the transmission out! Is there anyone or anything else we can hang for it? Fiddling around with ignorance, maybe?
MYSTERIOUS? A Honey Locust tree, seen 11 years after purchase at a nearby discount nursery chain store and subsequent planting, apparently is root-bound, needing help. It’s staying alive but doesn’t grow in size from one year to the next.(Desert Mts Times Photos)
By Dan Bodine
I don’t know what else you’d call a “years-old, not-growing” tree problem like this but a root-bound case of some sorts. And not being a tree surgeon, I’m befuddled on what I need to do to help it? If, indeed, that should even be on list of worries now that fall has begun.
This Honey Locust — aptly named Sweetie Pie — was a good-size tree when purchased at a local chain nursery. Continue reading →
FRIEND OR FOE — Ever dropped your beer (or all your homework, your plate of food, etc.) when your auto hit a pothole like this? A small, troubled newspaper chain I co-owned once had this idea to draw publicity to a county reunion celebration … [Image courtesy istockphotos.com]
Lord, Lord, Lord! Cooking in a pothole! Why didn’t the late Don McNiel and I think about this to capitalize on the City of Alvarado‘s road potholes, when we had that small, troubled newspaper there in the ’80s in North Central Texas?
Would’ve been better publicity to help the city, yes, and also for us, too, frantically seeking more advertising revenue! Our idea, instead, was a “Pothole Blues” song contest. That didn’t lift our blues much! Continue reading →
The Tamarisk trees — or Salt Cedars, as they’re mostly called in Far West Texas’ Big Big Country — were planted by the Corps in the early 1900s to help stop soil erosion in flooding. But in other times in the dry desert mountains, with their huge root systems, they’re also “water hogs”! This is a story of an angry neighbor wanting something done about a tree on an adjacent property he felt was “stealing” his plants’ water. [Commons Image courtesy of Dreamtimes]
By Dan Bodine
This idea of a volunteer code ranger to arbitrate disputes civilly to improve neighborhoods is too good to be true, right?
Say, someone trained by the city to softly suggest to another neighbor, a yáhoo maybe, or a building owner, he/she ought to scratch their heads about yard improvements? Cuttin’ down trees, maybe? Cleaning junk outta yards? ‘Cause they’ve become an embarrassment? Or worse, hurting people?! And thereby unravel a potentially dangerous knot? Continue reading →