Jerryaughtry’s Weblog

August 26, 2009


Filed under: Book Review,Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 10:35 pm

Speak no evil of the dead. This is a southern maxie. If you don’t believe it, find yourself a southern funeral. The worst a person is, the more preachers they’ll have. Sainthood visits the deceased before it is over.

We’ve seen mostly this with the good Senator Kennedy of late. And, I’m not one to shatter the myth, i. e., pointing out his sins. I liked him and often thought that the burden of being Ted was just enormous.

What objective person would have to say beyond a shadow of a doubt, however: He absolutely championed the cause of the poor.

There were scores of pieces of legislation with his name stamped on it that I didn’t even know about, i. e., making it possible for handicapped persons to get around: how great is that! Equal assess for women sports. Meals on Wheels. How many of us “plain” folks knew that? More, more, more.

I think he was a fallible human being, like all of us but placed politically where he could do some good. And, for who he was, he evoked the spirit of Jesus who constantly dealt with the plight of the poor. I think that Ted probably read the New Testament.

But, we can’t deny the memory of Mary Jo Kopeckne (I don’t have a clue on why I remember her name) who died an awful death of drowning while with the good Senator.

My favorite movie, Scent of a Woman, where Al Pacino makes my favorite speech of all times kind of sums it up. He’s defending his young friend and says something like, “When the stuff hits the fan, some men run and some men stay”. Ted ran and it would be disingenoous not to say so.

Has he made up for it all these years. I don’t know and am not his judge. But, I don’t think any of us would say that he’s not tried. In my faith, it is inevitable that he will be judged not by human standards but by God’s criteria. For whatever it’s worth, God bless Ted on his journey.


August 23, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 2:19 pm

NEVER ANSWER QUESTION YOU’RE ASKED, Answer the question you wish you’d been asked? Politicians and media types actually go to school to learn how to do this. When these people, applying their spin, operate like this, they are not lying but they are not telling the truth either. So, what are they doing? SPIN.

For instance, I listened to some program the other day when an interviewer asked an insurance company rep. whose company has paid millions of dollars for lobbying, plus with this company, the CEO made this obscene amount of money last year–the question: what has your company gotten for all the millions paid to lobbyists? Her answer, SPIN, something like, “We in the insurance industry are doing all we can to get out to the American people correct information.” I felt like, “Why can’t this woman answer a simple question? Rediculous. Basically, she was only applying what she had learned in class on how to “spin.” She surely couldn’t tell the truth: “Yes, we’ve paid out millions of dollars to lobbyist to muddle the water about health care so people will get confused, especially the ignorant. Also, we’re trying to influence a few bigots and zeolots and if we are lucky, they will go out and interrupt town hall meetings with the misinformation that the millions have bought us. And, let me say, ain’t America grand? We only want what is best for all Americans”. Yeah, right?


When I was a young chaplain in Germany, a young commander called for help. A young wife of a soldier had been sextually assaulted by another soldier. I met with the wife to convey empathy. In the course of the conversation, she told me what had happened. The soldier perpetrator who happened to be a good family friend came over, they put on some music, started dancing which led to kissing which led to the bedroom. The wife conveyed that it was completely consentual which she had told her husband. He refused to accept it. The young commander talked to the husband. I did. Nothing would convince him. Don’t confuse me with facts, I have my mind made up.

What we are talking about here is the same as the herds of Americans who refuse to be persuaded by facts. For instance, there are no “death panels” in the Health Care Reform bill. Never has been. The inundoes were started by some woman on Fox News, passed along by Sarah Palin, for one, and when confronted with the facts refused to recant and was bold enough to say she wasn’t. Guess what, there are literally thousands who still believe it, facts be damned DON’t CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS. I HAVE MY MIND MADE UP.

THIS IS WHAT MAKES US LOOK BAD. We, meaning us, bailed out AIG, and now we are paying the new CEO, 7 mil: is somebody asleep at the wheel, here. And, I don’t want to hear such things as “we have to pay for talent.” There Is less expensive talent
out there and maybe better. What about some guy like Liddy, the former guy, who did it for a buck a year.


Yeah, dreaming is the best term I know. For once, wouldn’t it be nice if a politician, once elected, decided to do what is best for the country and reelection be damned. DREAMING.

August 15, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 12:51 am

Who Are These People. Is this the same crowd I see watching televangelist. Originally, I heard about their lack of civility on NPR(National Public Radio). This guy called into the program and told how disruptive the town hall meeting he had attended was.

I decided to check it out for myself and watched two town hall meetings on C-Span. Sure enough. To call them raucous as we say in the South would be an understatement. Mostly, they were people shouting about various aspects of health reform. In one case, one guy was all in Sentator Arlen Specter’s face hollaring and being
down right disrespectful. I would have punched him out. In typical “political correctness,” the politicos are calling it democracy in action. Give me a break! Rudeness is rudeness. In my favorite cowboy movie, Lonesome Dove, a bully hits one of the cowboys, trying to take his horse. Call, a main character, beats the bully senseless. When things calm down, Call says, “I hate rude behavior.” Now, that is what I’m talking about.

ELECTIONS in Afganistan. I remember the first election. What an inspiration. Those purple fingers. Democracy at work. Guess what? It didn’t work. Besides bemoaning our involvement in a tribal culture that like Iraq is so vastly different than our own– A culture of tribes with loyalty beginning and ending there. An attitude toward women that at best is mired in the Middle Ages. Issues of corruption, nepotism, adinfinitum. We are in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” scenario. Give up Afganistan and install the Taliban. Stay tuned!

August 4, 2009

Potporri of OPINIONS

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 7:44 pm

THE ONLY NEWS YOU CAN TRUST IS FOX NEWS. What!!!!! After a couple of weeks in my native state, I can assure you that I am the only Democrat in North Carolina.

My 9 year old grand daughter wanted the experience of working on my brother’s peach farm. Mostly, I just sat around and talked to people who came to get peaches. Frances Leigh said, “Opa, you didn’t do much work, you just talked.”

“Frances Leigh, I am the public relations guy.”

I would say that I dialogued with a minimum of two hundred people and not one will admit to being a Democrat. I kept kidding them that I was convinced that the President stuffed the ballot box. Most of them ere “Fox” news types–a term I’ve coined. It says it all: non thinking, believing any opinion said on Fox to be the truth, and a general reinforcement of what they already believe.

Since I now live in San Francisco, getting into a discussion was pretty easy and most of the time a snap. Here come the jokes about America’s facorite city. We talked immediately about “gays.” Although North Carolinians no longer still believe that “gay means happy,” there is a sizable group who are still “there” and it is always a talking point. I’m pretty bad about making remarks myself–slap, slap. This is a true story. A couple of dear friends are visiting from my hometown. I say to them, we must visit the “Ferry” building. The wife, looking puzzled said, “What, you mean they have their own building.” I guess you had to be there.

America is a country of 300 million plus: that is a lot of people. And, from where I sit, our strength is in our diversity, even of opinions. I get it. Those who are Fox News types are not going to change, even those that I call family and and as we say in NC, blood relatives. I would I think if there were compelling arguments on a subject, I would at least listen.

I think Walt Rowsow was in the ballpark, although he was advising presidents but I think it could apply to the general public. The former and now deceased Republican advisor said that what a President needs to do to govern is get sixty percent of the people for him. 25% will be against everthing. And fifteen percent are out to lunch. I think I would change the percentages and apply across the board to Americans–50% are relatively open to issues (meaning from my perspective that they will listen), 35% are against everthing and are not going to change their minds, (they are listening to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh). And, there are at least 15% out to lunch. They don’t vote, could care less, and mainly say, “how does this affect me?

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