Jerryaughtry’s Weblog

November 28, 2008

Amazing Grace

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 6:43 pm

A very unusual and pensive movie. Must have gone directly to video and I don’t know why. The story is so intense that getting it on a movie of two hours is pretty tough. They got the basics: one man’s passion for doing away with the slave trade. It was the driver in his life. What a wonderful thing to have a passion and never give up. And, I might add: to have a forum, a pulpit, to get the message out there and to actually change things. As an aside, I will admit that there was some wishful thinking on my pet cause of National Community Service but without much of a chance to make a difference. And, can anyone think of anything more terrible than trafficing in human souls. Well, asking a few Americans to fight our wars is not far behind.

There were lots of nuances to this movie, the protagonist’s sickness for one thing, probably chron’s disease. Then, there was the song, Amazing Grace, the power of a hymn was simply overwhelming.

Some things weren’t totally fleshed out as well as they could be but OK. It sure struck me, although subtle in the movie: the English slave trade was greatly enhanced by the Americans. And, it surely didn’t escape me that America who practised the slave trade and helped others do it a little more than a hundred years ago has now elected a President who very well is decended from slaves God bless America, we are still trying to get it right Good movie, 2 parachutes.


November 26, 2008

Afganistan as Training

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 8:21 pm

Thanks to $$$ for his good art me in Forum. I couldn’t agree with him more on Iraq, what a mess. The so called “surge” only worked because we separated the factions and then armed the Sunnis. Not a bad strategy but one that is built on a house of cards. Time to get out and if only the Iraqis would not approve the security arrangement. What a lucky break for us. Regardless, we have to get out and let what happens happen. Alfganiatan is another story. Even though we are still dealing with a tribal people like in Iraqi, still, we have a chance to restore, relatively speaking, the country. What the military has to do is deal with Afganistan, as a “training” mission. Think about it, the military spends millions of dollars in places like the National Training Center a
In Ca for places exactly luke Afhanisyan. Why not. We have executed a counter insurgency approach that will work but is a long time effort and one that has a chance. And, it is perfect for us but has to be in am environment which means staying.

November 22, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 3:55 pm

Thank the Lord, the political season is maybe close to neing over. And, it is time to get to “figure out how to right the country.” For what it is worth, I do have one last comment. Rarely in life, do we get a chance to have a “do over” or as they say in golf, a mulligan, or maybe another chance to right a wrong but it appears to me that the state of Georgia has a shot.

Here it is, in 2002, Saxbe Chambliss absolutely maligned Vietnam vet and triple amputee, Max Cleland, during the Senate campaign. Even John McCain called his comments outrageous. Chambliss called into question Cleland’s patriotism. Get the picture, here is a Vietnam vet in a wheelchair, legs been blown off along with one arm and Chambliss questions his patrotism and the voters bought it. Now, they have a chance for a “do over” and I hope they get it right this time.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 3:33 pm

I doubt seriously if many folks from Eastern NC will be seeing the movie, MILK. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay (in some parts of NC, gay atill means happy) politician in the country or so we’re told. I first became aware of Harvey Milk when I read the book, Harvey Milk, The Mayor of Castro Street. It was one of those books that reminded me of this joke. A Grandmother sent an 8 year old a book on penquins. The mother said, “Write your grandmother and say, ‘thank you’ for the book on penquins.” She wrote, “Dear Grandma, thank you for my book on penquins but it told me more about penquins than I care to know.” Consequently, when you say “something is a Penquin experience, It means that it tells you more than you want to know”. Randy Shilts book on Harvey Mill was a penquin experience. It told me more about gays than I care to know.

The movie, Milk, however, is interesting and holds your interest as a political movement. It is not based on Shilts book but would have made a more interesting movie.

Milk is a political movie and for me, the story is not there. It is a part of the total story but not all of it that the movie makes the central part. And, in many ways, it is an example of how movies can make whatever they want happen, happen. And, Milk, is an example the story it tells is only part of a bigger picture.

During a couple of weeks period, give or take a few days, events happened that changed the course of San Francisco politics. Add them up: the “Jim Jones” saga, the killing of the mayor and Milk by Dan White, a deeply troubled former fireman and policeman and one thing never mentioned, former Army paratrooper.

There’s so much intrigue and points and counter points that no way can it be summed up in a review. The movie will play well in San Fran and most cities where’s there’s a large gay population bit doubtful if it will get much of a looksee in Peoria. 2 parachutes

November 21, 2008

Xmas Letter

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 3:12 pm

I was about to say”can you believe this?” But, thought better of it. What is it about getting older that one day it is Monday and the next one is Friday. Help!

We hope that you’ve had a good year, honestly and that just what you had hoped for, happened. In the country, it surely appears we are in a mess but we are resilient people and will turn it around. I always feel sorry for the struggles that many go through and realize that for most of us, we simply lean into the wind and shoulder on but others lose homes and face other losses. I’m sad and wish I could relieve the pain. We pray and look to a brighter day.

And, we have the hope of a new president. Our family has been pretty much united in thinking we needed change. The fact that we have elected an African American speaks well for the country, I think.

For us, our lives are charging ahead. The big event for the family this year is Rachael’s James Raz. His sister Lilly and cousins, Lupe and Frances Leigh, were thrilled that they’d have a boy to kiss and hug on. Meg and Gav are still in academic medicine and busy. Meg was all into politics and we all had to keep telling her to take a deep breath. Amazing how you can look at your adult kids and realize they haven’t changed all that much.

Lupe, age 12 and Frances are into all sorts of things as I call Meg’s: activities central. It is soccer, sewing, piano, not to mention school and homework. Of course, as supportive grandparents, we are always, “tell is what to do.” Ok, it’s Lilly and Italian class on Friday, Frances Leigh and Irish dancing on Tuesday, you get the picture. We love it. I can’t begin to tell you how many I talk to who would give anything to be this close to their grandkids. We are so lucky, so grateful. Of course, my line to Meg and Rachael, “where else are these kids going to get their wisdom if not us.” The nobody is home look.

Retirement has worked put well for us. I was a little worried that we’d be sitting around looking at each other but the great thing about San Fran is that it is a paradise for someone who loves to hang out. Coffee shops, every ethnic restaurant imaginable, and surprisingly inexpensice if you are a local.

So, after all this rambling, what can we say? Please stay in

November 18, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 6:05 pm

There is nothing left to say almost about the Inauguration. It was, in my opinion, simply the best America has to offer. Usually I pay scant attention but, like most Americans, this year was different. Our new President was selling hope. And, not in a bad way but laced with realism. His speech was simply superb and he hit every toprc that are hot buttons because they are real. He didn’t let us oft the hook. Issues like greed and hard work and time and hope–all fixed in there together. Made me very proud.

Our new president ls from a different generation. The issues aren’t black and white but class, the inequties, the lack of opportunity between the haves and have nots regardless of race.

To say his task is formitable brings a smile, try impossible. I don’t think
he can fail. Anything is going to be a step forward. I personally think he is the right and best man for this time in history. He is smart and a cool head, it appears. He has assembled around him the smartest people in America. So, it is shoulder to the wheel and leaning into the wind. Let’s get to work!!!

November 17, 2008

The Military Of The Future

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 3:27 am

Your editorial in Sunday’s Times was “right on.” As a retired military officer with a big investment in the military, I would only add one gigantic caveat, we simply cannot afford a Volunteer Army with the size and mobility to fight present and future wars. Adding troops? From where? We are paying huge bonuses to retain soldiers with critical skills with no end in sight. And, while the economy is probably going to help recruiting, building up and retaining Forces to the neccesary levels is going to be difficult, if not impossible.

We have yet to face the fact that we have to return to some system of the draft. My suggestion is in the form of community service. Youngsters between the ages of 18-26 would have a choice of a myriad of possibilities such as Teach America or Habitat for Humanity or they could design their own.

If we had some sort of conscription into Community Service where all would serve, enough I believe would be challenged by military service that the size of the armed forces could be maintained. We would always need a military cadre and specialized soldiers but intially foot soldiers would fill the ranks as their community service Modeled on a combination of some form of what Israel, South Korea, and even Germany does, we could make this work. We are smart people and our plan should be long range.

November 16, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 4:29 pm

My dad loved FDR. I have always been fascinated with that aspect.aspect Fad was raised dirt poor, I my went to the 2d grade but was a math genius or close tout. Nut he had nothing on common. Fdr never Dow a days hard work and that is all my Dad every knew. However, they wrtr both men of ideas. And, if my Dad wet around moe, he would cacel invoking some FDR and hid ideas. First if all hey the mprgshes trstructies we beef to do this and quit fretting about how long it will tale. Part of our econy is built arpnd spending but that is translated as confidence The government need to convey to the people what we are doing and it ain’t bailing out the rich. I like this economist from Prinaton, Alan Blinder. Good ideas. Create new jobs by new spending. And, let’s make spreading the wealth practical; generous unemployment benefits. And, do some of the things that FDR did, large scale public works, working on the infrastructure, many of the social prpgrams. And, we can’t listen to the sloth Sayers. I like Blinders concept of Trampoline as opposed to net. It catches people ok the way down, while tossing them back up where they can get I’m the game.

Part of our problem now is that out country is so big, overpopulated that the simplest things get incredibly complicated. But, we can’t let that stop us. President Obama would do well up keep in mind Walt Rostow’s idea of what a president or anybody pm public office needs to tho l about. To do the job, you need half the people with you. A fourth or more are against everything and 15 percent ate out to lunch.

November 15, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 12:49 am

Before the Rains is one of those movies that slipped under the radar. In fact, it was so far under that I’d never heard of it. It is a British movie, I think. Are there British movies, other than Masterpiece Theater of which I’m a huge fan.

The basic story is a tale of India march
ing into Independence. The story is told by way of an entreprenual tea farmer who makes stupid personal decisions which have really bad consequences due mainly to the enomous cultural differences.

I can’t tell much about the story without giving it away. However, the redeeming aspect of the movie was something I had not expected. The culture clash was so osviousably transparent with unintended consequences that jumped out at you big time. If we ever had any doubt why Iraq and Aflganistan will not work, see this movie.

The India culture in Before the Rains, although different than Iraq and Afganistan display the same tribal and klan mentality. So foreign to us. The sense that we can’t understand it: the “stoning” mentality of a culture locked in the stone age. Although this sounds like a putdown, not from any objective view. It just is and we simply can’t understand it.

A good pensive movie that makes you sigh and think. 2 parachutes.

November 12, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 9:48 pm

On occasion, I’ve seen this group of mentally challenged kids hanging out at my favorite coffee shop. They take up about half the space and mostly just sit and sleep. Pretty severely callenged I think. One day I’m in and they come in. They sit around for an hour or so as I’m messing on my iPhone. They leave and as I’m headed out, I see the proprietor cleaning up. It dawns on me that they never get anything, don’t spend any money. This day the owner expresses his displeasure that they mess up the bathroom in particular. It is not mean, just fact. I calculate that they would spend maybe $20. I slip the donation in the tip jar in their behalf I like it.

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