Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Wasilla Soap Opera

In recent weeks we have seen much in the press about the soap opera being played out in Wasilla, Alaska. First Sherry Johnston, Levi's mother, was arrested for selling the prescription drug, Oxycontin. (No details on whether comedian Rush Limbaugh was a customer.) Then a baby, supposedly fathered by Sherry's son, Levi, was born to unwed mother, Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska governor and VP candidate, Sarah Palin. In recent days word has come down that Levi has quit his apprentice job in the oil fields, due to the fact that he did not have the required high school diploma.

Some wonder why attention is being payed to this group of ne'er-do-wells. I'm sure there are many who do not even believe or know this is happening, because they only read the right wing press and get very little information on their heroes' shady lives. If Sarah Palin had never entered the spotlight and never declared herself a possible candidate for something national, we wouldn't know or care what is going on in her life. If she had never established herself and her family as such examples of Godliness and "small town values" no one would care.

I can not believe that anyone would see her as a viable candidate for any office above governor of Alaska, but since there are many who, for some unexplainable reason, think she could perform at a higher level, we must keep an eye on her. As hard as it is to take her seriously, we have to remember that George W. Bush won two terms as President of the United States. Anything is possible in today's USA.

We cannot let Sarah Palin and her sordid life slip away from us. She must be watched and evaluated, e'er she actually come out and declare herself ready to run for the highest office in the land. We must watch how she conducts herself and the decisions she makes as governor from now on. If she is turned out as governor in the next election, she should be finished, but surprise, surprise, the people of Alaska elected her once, and could do so again. As ugly as it may become, the watch must continue.

Incidentally, I just read that Sarah Palin says that the media is nicer to Caroline Kennedy because of "class bias." I'm not sure how anyone came to compare the two, but, no, Sarah, it isn't class bias. Caroline Kennedy has yet to demonstrate a level of ignorance that rivals yours.

Monday, January 5, 2009

How Bush Threw the Election?

My old buddies at Worldnet Daily are at it again. Now in a new article the head honcho, Joseph Farah (I love that "Muslim" name) says that a "rotten Bush" threw the election to Obama in the last days before the election. Hilarious!

George Bush "threw" the recent election with eight years of a regime of corrupt and un-American leadership. The Republican faithful simply can't understand or will not admit that this man and his supporters in Congress and within his inner circle were so bad that the American people simply wouldn't support them anymore. They cannot bring themselves to admit that a mixed race man may be capable of better leadership and that the voters saw that. Furthermore, they can't admit that John McCain and his air head VP candidate weren't capable of showing the voters how they could do any better than Bush.

How long will we have to endure these mindless excuses for losing? If they continue to fail to understand why they lost, they will fall further into this abyss of bad politics. Those who want to continue to move the party further to the right will ensure its continued loss for years to come. Maybe this is for the best. The United States cannot endure more of the Bush kind of leadership...that is, if we can survive dog hooey that he is leaving behind now.

Southern Gospel Music

I worked for several years in the James "Sloppy" Floyd twin towers across the street from the State Capitol in Atlanta. My office was in the east tower a few floors above the Corrections Department. For many years Hove Lister, the piano player in the video above served the Georgia Department of Corrections in some capacity and was often seen in the building cafeteria. He was an elderly gentleman, who walked casually along and usually sat alone when he ate.

Most of the people around him had no idea that they were sitting near a man, who in the 1950's and 60's was a superstar in the field of what is now known as Southern Gospel Music. The Statesmen Quartet and others like them played to thousands in stadiums, arenas, and theaters across the country. Like their counterparts in country and rock, they toured the country in buses singing day after day, night after night for their fans.

The concerts were not religious events in terms of heavy proselytising and worshipping. The audience didn't wave hands and fall out in a swooning religious fervor. They came to enjoy the music and watch their favorites perform. It was, simply put, a concert. The 1950's Statemen TV show intro above makes no mention of religion. I expect that in today's world they would be much maligned by the "war on" people for leaving God out. In fact, some of these individuals weren't necessarily the most religious themselves. Were many alive today, they might secretly tell you of some of their indiscretions. I expect they had their temptations, much like today's groups and some caved in.

I attended these kinds of concerts a few times as a child. I particularly remember seeing The Chuckwagon Gang at the Forsyth County Courthouse, in Cumming, GA and the LeFevre Trio at a gymnasium in Fannin County, GA. Both were ticketed venues and were standing room only. My mother was a fan of Eva Mae LeFevre, who still lives today.

These groups usually put on great shows. There was comedy and lively action. They showed off their talents with fast tempo songs, slow melodic hymns and of course the obligatory bass solos. Hovie Lister was a big showman, who liked to show off his piano talents as well as his high tenor voice, often switching between stand up singing and his piano in the middle of a song, as does in the following video:

Alas, these days are over now. Bill Gaither has done much to preserve the memory of these people, but they have slowly passed away. Jake Hess, the lead soloist of the Statesmen in these videos passed away this past year in his hometown of Columbus, GA. Hovie is gone also. Eva Mae still lives, but few are still around. I grew up listening to this kind of music, and I have a few cd's, including a great Statesmen cd that I bought at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame a few years ago. It is just one great genre of music that I take great pride in having been exposed to and to which I continue to listen.