Tuesday, April 29, 2014


DID WE REALLY LIVE IN A BETTER TIME? My wife and I were raised in the 1940's and 1950's, graduating from High School in the late 50's. The idea for this post has been rocketing ( OK maybe not rocketing) around in my head for a number of days now. A number of things have been on the news that brings this about.  And the subject?  Senior Prom.  There have been news shows with news anchors asking people to write in, well # in or e mail or something and tell if they attended their senior prom. And a local station has been telling about a group of people asking women to donate their old prom dresses to their group so they can give them to girls who can't afford a dress. And there was a story of two high school couples who went to a restaurant for dinner prior to attending the prom and an older couple picked up the check for the high schoolers, because "watching them brought back good memories". So, I am going to blog a little bit about a prom in a small town high school in the 50's.
The high school we attended had a Junior Senior banquet prior to the prom. I know other schools of that time did this also. The premise was that the Juniors would decorate the Gym, decide on a menu, and arrange for someone to cook the meal. This usually was the high school cooks, but they received some funds for the food and their work to do this.  This banquet was usually in the evening before the prom. those invited were all juniors and seniors and their parents, faculty and members of the school board. After the meal was over, the Gym would be cleared of tables, chairs moved to the walls and a live band would provide the music for the prom.  The prom was a dress up affair, but the whole community was invited to attend and there was a charge for admission. this money helped defray the costs of the banquet and the decorations for the prom.  So, yes, the Senior Prom was a family affair. While the Seniors were the High Light of the evening, and the banquet was hosted and paid for by the Junior class, the whole High School community turned out for the dance part.  The largest cost was probably the prom dress for the girls.  Boys a suit, ( A tux was almost unheard of in our part of the world in the 50's) and the price of a corsage for a date, if they had one.  Date or not, we all attended.
Now fast forward to today.  Senior's go to the prom.  Who else attends? Cost is a Tux for the boys and a dress for the girls, often a hired Limo to take them as well as a meal in a restaurant with a date, or maybe a group of couples, if they decide to go that route. Families are not really involved, except perhaps in the planning and money stage.
Does any one know if there is such a thing going on in the manner I described my wife and I  were involved in as high shcoolers?  Just wondering.
I just can't help but think that something has been lost by eliminating the family from the activities and for the juniors to have the opportunity to learn how to plan and host a banquet. But then, maybe with a class of hundreds, the logistics would be horrific. Who knows.  Still, I feel that something has been lost. AND THAT IS THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Monday, April 28, 2014

On Being Politically Correct

LET ME JUST SAY UP FRONT:  In my last post I mentioned the Rancher Bundy situation, and my feelings about the government vs. citizen and the lack of all the facts. I also mentioned that I agreed with Mr. Bundy, at least up to a point.  Now for the up front statement. I do not agree with Mr. Bundy's statement about Negro people. I have known, and am friends with several people who are Negro, and I like them.  And the ones I know are just people living and working to support themselves and their families.  Also this week, there are reports of a NBA team owner making anti African American statements, and the outcry that these statements have caused. I reperat, I don't agree with their statements. However;
Are not these people, Mr. Bundy and the NBA team owner entitled to their opinion? Why do they need to apologise for voicing their opinions just because they disagree with what is considered the politically correct opinion. Why do they, or even I, need to walk around on egg shells, as it were, because I might offend someone.  But others are allowed to voice their opinions on any thing, even though what they say or do may offend me. 
A face book post attributed to Actor Bill Cosby blasts the current trend of "African Americans". He states in that post that he don't understand them.  They are not from Africa, and many of them can't trace their lineage to Africa. They are Americans, period. They happen to be Black, and they may have ancestry that traces back to Africa, but they are not African.
I guess if I am going to be politically correct, I am English, Scottish American. And who knows what else may be mixed in. So I repeat, I do not agree with the statements made by Mr. Bundy or the NBA owner, but I feel they have the right to express that opinion, if they feel they need to. And they will suffer any backlash from people and the public accordingly. But they should not be required to apologise for what they feel.  AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Monday, April 21, 2014


AND JUST WHAT ARE THE FACTS?   There is much in the daily news about a lot of things. There is much in the daily news that is mis leading.  rarely are all the facts reported.  Case in point. the recent news article I posted about when a woman from out of state drove away from police, twice.  All the news reported was a 45 second clip showing the cops breaking out her van windows and shooting at her tires.  But this post is not about that. So what is it about?  Well, I'll tell you.  Almost.  Why almost?  Cause I. like the news people, just don't have all the facts.
Take the current ongoing case of Rancher Bundy in Nevada.  On the surface, it seems the government is trying to take over his land.  And I side with Mr. Bundy.  One thing that is in the news on this is that Mr. Bundy owes one million dollars in back grazing fees.  Probably he does. But, several years ago Mr. Bundy made a decision to quit paying the BLM because he said they weren't using the money he paid for the purpose they were supposed to use it for. He offered to pay the County, but they refused to accept his money.  They were probably right. So who is right and who is wrong.  My uneducated opinion.  Both of them.  The BLM as a government agency probably wasn't using the money as they should. Mr. Bundy is right in that he feels the BLM wasn't doing their job.  And about the recent armed conflict. Who won.  My opinion. No one won. While the citizens claim victory because the federal officers "backed down", I feel the officers chose the better path. to allow the situation to escalate to the point of blood shed would solve nothing, so retreat at that time was probably the better part of valor.  You can rest assured that this situation is not over.  How will it end?  We will see, but I fear for Mr. Bundy, and ultimately the rest of us as citizens, especially in the west.
Did you see in the news that Mrs. Obama wants to speak at the commencement exercise of 5 Topeka Kansas High Schools.  All five schools will come together in one place to listen to her speak. There is now a petition started by one of the students protesting this.  Why? Well, according to the news article, the statement is that graduation from High School is something for the kids to celebrate as a school, not with 4 other schools who have no relation to each other. And one parent is quoted as saying Mrs. Obama doesn't know our kids. This is about her, not our children.  On the surface, I agree with the students and their parents that are objecting to this. I wouldn't want to listen to Mrs. Obama in any case.  But the facts. What are they. Whose idea was this? Where did this idea originate?  With the schools or with the White House. And if the White House, why did the schools go along with it?  Once again, the news article left a lot of facts out.  Stay tuned.
And the last issue, at least for this post. Unemployment.  According to the news, unemployment is down. Jobs are up. But, the facts don't really support that. So what are the facts? Well, as far as I know them, at the end of last year, congress cut off unemployment for the long term unemployed. So, they are no longer on the unemployment rolls. They don't have jobs, they are just not listed. Jobs are up? Not really. There are areas of rising employment, but for the most part, there are still a lot of unemployed people.  But it looks good in the news to say that unemployment is down. Again, stay tuned.  Congress brings up the issue of restoring this long term unemployee benefit from time to time, but right now, they are mostly looking on what to do to be reelected this fall. After that, who knows.  In any case, I am sure that many facts will be left out and we will be left to guess what really happened.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


DO YOU LIKE BACON?  Well, most people, including me, likes bacon.  But does it seem like there is getting to be more and more uses for bacon? Used to be a time when you could go to a food dispensing place and buy a burger.  Now, every where you turn, there are bacon burgers. Or bacon wrapped hot dogs. Even bacon flavored milk shakes.  Bacon wrapped turkey's. Now we are told that the price of bacon is going up because there is a virus in pigs in China.  But this virus won't hurt people, but, well, the price is still going up. Time was when someone made a better than average wage, or got a raise in pay, they were bringing home the bacon.  Just a term, I realize, but still connected to bacon.  Why Bacon?  I don't know.  Why not Ham? Or hamburger. Or T bone steaks.  Or mutton? Or Chicken?  Still don't know.  Just a term, I guess. Still, every where you look, there is a reference to bacon.  Well, the price is going up, the quality is going down, and we will continue to eat bacon. Or bring home the bacon.  My advise.   Just don't make a pig of your self.   AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK