Wednesday, 6 June 2012

You Oughta Be Green

One of the guys in the White House administration....came up and admitted today....that if you had a job shuffling a broom along in a factory....you had a green job.  In fact, if you drove a bus....you had a green job.  And if you worked in a bike repair shop.....you had a green job.

I read through the simple definitions of this, and came to realize that my dad....for all those years as a farmer on the side....had a green job, and just didn't know it.  Me at age fifteen and working on the farm, and hauling hay in the midst of a hot July afternoon?  I had a green job.  My brother, driving the tractor and plowing?  He had a green job.

It's an amazing thing to go back and realize that Reeder (my old school bus driver) was a early green jobs guy, and never knew it.

The truth is....there are literally thousands of job descriptions that the government has not released to the public.....but are clearly green jobs.  A guy digging up a septic tank.....ought to be in a green status.  A guy hauling soybeans down to the silo operation....ought to be in a green status.  A gal who is sweeping a sidewalk in Montgomery.....ought to be in a green status.  Heck, we could probably classify fifty percent of the jobs in America....as green.  The negative of this....is that it really irks the Germans.  They can't stand when you make up bogus rules like and pretend to be green....when you really aren't.

Here's the thing....we could take all one hundred senators, and convince each one to take up a second job on the side.  Take the two guys from Bama.....we could convince them to both agree to drive a school bus once or twice a month, and then label them 'green-senators'.  We could take the two folks from Arkansas, and ask them to help dig a septic tank two or three times a year.....and they could be 'green-senators'.  Folks around the world would take note of this, and start to weep over our absolute belief in greenness, and environmental affairs.  We'd get all kinds of positive comments, and then we'd be seen as a really great nation.

Secretly, I think this might President Obama's ultimate plan....to green us back into something.

Personally, if my old bus driver (Reeder) was around to comment on this....he'd have some choice words which couldn't be repeated in a family atmosphere.

The Wisconsin Episode

After watching the Wisconsin episode last night, there are a couple of observations.

First, there's an exit poll that occurred that explains a lot of the mess.  Around sixty percent of the voters yesterday said you ought to conduct a recall only if the guy you are recalling.....has done some illegal stuff (like breaking laws).  Two out of three voters said that.  Governor Walker apparently had done a lot of things, but he hadn't broken any laws in the brief twelve months of office.

Second, if I were Romney, I wouldn't take much out of the whole episode.  Maybe Wisconsin might be capable of going toward him.....but I suspect that the President will put ample campaign funds into the state and still make it a very tough race.

Third, the unions spent a fair amount of their capital on this one race.  They've lost funding that they could have spent elsewhere.  Over the past six months, they've also lost around half of their membership, after the new rules went into effect that folks could quit.  Your days as a big union boss in the state.....are numbered.

Fourth, I see this lingering problem.  There are likely a thousand couples or more in the state, where there's a Republican wife and a Democratic husband.....or vice versa.....and the couple is bound to divorcing.  You can imagine this new trend starting in Wisconsin and likely spreading across the nation.  So amongst the various filters you have for marrying someone.....you might be asking their political feeelings, after you ask about their church status, their economic status, their NCAA football status, and their lusty feelings status.

Fifth and final.....as I flipped through the channels....I'd stop occasionally and watch the MSNBC channel last night.  The air went out of their balloon, and you could sense they really wanted to find something else to chat about.  I'm guessing a fair number of hardcore Democrats kinda feel the same way.  If you hang around folks like this who were all chatty the past week....talking up the impending Democratic win in Wisconsin.....go up and give them a big hug this morning.  They need that hug to feel like they can continue on.  A hug would make their day.  Don't say anything.....just a hug.

Tobacco Road

Last weekend, I ended up watching Tobacco Road (the movie), from 1941.  I had never watched it, and it was playing on Turner Classics.

I admit, it is played at full blast as some highly dramatic piece.....loaded with humor all the way through.  It was difficult to put this all into prospective.  It's a movie that you probably want to watch two or three times.  Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck's piece with Henry Fonda) was pure dramatic stuff, with strong lines.  But you just couldn't put Tobacco Road into the same type of movie experience.

So, if you have two hours, and ever get the chance to sit down and watch Tobacco Road....please do so.  My advice is to watch the scenes with Charley Grapewin in particular....the old dude.  He probably should have gotten an Oscar for his efforts.

The 6th of June

The 6th of June always ends up being a significant day for me.  It is Normandy day.  It is the beginning of the end of World War II.

You can always bring up the significant value of Iwo Jima, Gettysburg, or Shiloh.....but at the end of the day....Normandy is this all or nothing moment.  An impossible landing on the beaches, and a major German fight mixes to this end result of potential failure.  Another hundred German soldiers at the right spot, or four tanks laid out in a better tactical situation, or more beach fortifications....would have tripped up the invasion, and meant a retreat.  Eisenhower would have resigned, and left in disgrace.  Another invasion attempt would have been six months off in the future.

The odds of you suriving in the first twenty landing craft on the beach?  No one digs down into statistics....but it's safe to say that the odds are terribly in favor of you dying on the beach.

It didn't matter if you were the first guy off the craft, or the last guy.....you likely lay at a cemetery at Normandy.

It didn't matter if you were from some farm in Iowa, or some Brooklyn neighborhood.....if you were in the initial wave, you likely lay at a cemetery at Normandy.

It didn't matter if you were the son of a sharecropper or the son of a minister.....if you were in the initial wave, you likely lay at a cemetery at Normandy.

It didn't matter if you were a bourbon drinker, or clean-cut pure soul from a dry county in Bama.....if you were in the initial wave, you likely lay at a cemetery at Normandy.

If didn't matter if you were a risk-taker or always playing it safe....if you were in the initial wave, you likely lay at a cemetery at Normandy.

If you were amongst the lucky ones, landing four hours into the invasion.....you had a pretty great survival situation.  Eight Hours?  A magnificent survival situation.  Twenty-four hours?  It's not even worth talking about.

Normandy becomes an immortal two hour episode where some guys were lucky, and most weren't.

So on this day of 6 June....you might want to take one brief minute out and think about what it takes to walk off a landing craft on Normandy Beach, and what a guy is willing to accept on statistics.  A lot has passed in fifty-odd years, and I doubt that we could ever repeat an episode like this.