Ban Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis? Can’t a Southerner Catch a Break?

Reading the reports on Fox News I see that the old adage “if you give them an inch they will take a mile” certainly seems to apply to the Progressive and Black community’s insistence of now doing away with not only the Confederate Flag but ANYTHING that has a historical tie to the Civil War – which as all Southerner’s know is more appropriately called “The War of Northern Aggression.”

The great and wise Harry Reid proposes removing the Statute of Jefferson Davis from Washington, DC. Several other progressive groups are demanding the removal of all statutes of American Historical figures like Robert E Lee from public buildings and parks. Other proposed bans include the singing of “Dixie” – any school named after a Confederate leader – and once again not to be out done by anyone Harry doubled down and has asked the UNLV Administration to considering dropping their “UNLV Running Rebels” Mascot. Funny I don’t remember Nevada being in the Confederacy.

Balance – BALANCE – BALANCE. What happened to a little balance mixed in with some give and take? It seems these days the only acceptable view is the Progressive view and in this moment it’s the rush to do anything and everything that salves the wounds of the Black Community.

I started this morning to send a “letter to the Editor” on this topic but was wisely advised against it by a friend because anything that is printed that goes counter to the current trend of Progressiveness and Racial Improvement would automatically classify me as a “Racist” according to my friend and he is probably right. More on this in Point B of this missive.

Point A: That said let me share my thoughts that started all this. I realize my life view is considered heresy to Progressives and the intelligencia of the media. Nonetheless I am sharing with you my feelings! My goal today is not to be correct from any stand point – political or otherwise but rather to simply share what I perceive to be true for a large portion of Americans – feelings which have been pushed down and demeaned and mischaracterized by the left and the media.

For example: Third, Fourth and Fifth Generation Southerners like Marty and I and our son Tony, from the Core Confederate States – and most likely many other whites scattered about our Nation – understand what would be the politically correct thing to do in the moment for the sake of the Black population we live life with. However, our lives and generational thinking, hold onto a deeply rooted historical culture – and we don’t see another round of “rush to judgement” change on our part as being merited. Today’s demands from various groups show it certainly won’t be the last change we will have shoved down our throats. You could call it selfish and prejudice and I could agree with you and not be offended. Somewhere, sometime isn’t there going to come a point where the thoughts and feelings of the majority are considered in these issues?

I think people groups with different “life views” have a much better chance of successfully living together if each will take the time to understand the other. I hear the Progressive view daily. I guess I’m asking others and anyone who reads this to try and understand my thoughts and the thoughts of people like me.

To be clear I’m not just talking about what the media will describe as pick up truck driving hillbillies – though they are great fun to be with on Saturday night and I feel so much safer with a rifle or shotgun in the window rack. I’m putting forth the position that many whites – Southern and otherwise – of all economic and social classes – across the last four or five living generations – to include a range from the most successful older population – to the current generation coming out of high school and trying to find their way in life – have deep rooted and entrenched positions handed down from generations past. Further, we believe that our heritage and choices also deserve to be remembered and not be swept away by the Progressive movement as if we mattered not.

It may be a hard thing for some to think that feelings and positions such as mine even exist and an even harder thing for anyone to put out there – but its true. It’s possible many Non Southern Whites, Progressives and a fair percentage of Blacks may criticize something they don’t understand and don’t have a answer for. But that doesn’t mean it does not exist.

It also means that I and many like me feel it is time to slow the rate of change – to take into account the thoughts and feelings of the majority and to put some emphasis on BALANCE. We are not alone – however, we are very under-represented in the media and in Washington and politics in general.

Point B: I don’t consider myself or my friends to be a racist. For example: While living in Chicago Marty and I supported an inner city mission in Chicago that helped exclusively – yes Black children. For decades we have been financial supporters of various ministries in Africa which serve – yes Black children. For 15 years I served regularly as a volunteer and Board Member of a rescue Mission in Chicago that provides shelter from the cold winter nights, showers, meals and clean laundry for – yes mostly Black men from the streets of Chicago. Not “homeless” folks but “street people” who made a conscious decision to live on the streets and live off the Social Welfare money stream.

When we moved to Florida Marty and I got involved with a children’s ministry that provided adoption for unwanted – yes mostly Black children. After that we ran the major fund raising effort for an inner city ministry in West Palm Beach that provides after school care, tutoring, food, clothing and mentors for – yes inner city Black children. In addition to the significant investment of time we have given money to causes over the years that provide the basic needs of human life and for “extras” like bikes and toys at Christmas for – yes Black families and Black children.

We have Black friends – one of whom is among the finest restauranteurs I have had the pleasure to know. For four of the past five days Marty and I have spent time in the Jupiter Hospital with a couple – the husband of which is paralyzed from the waist down and has a myriad of health issues. When they are home we bring them food and give them a little financial help now and then and – yes they are Black people. We attend a Church that goes of its way to welcome all persons of color.

We’d be open to having more Black friends but often my mouth’s “filter” clogs up and people aren’t comfortable when I say what I am really thinking.

My friends can tell you I am no saint. Far from it. My point is there are millions of Americans who think like I do who also personally and privately are helping minorities and people of color live life. Hence I don’t consider myself or them to be a racist. I may rightfully be accused of being prejudiced because I want to hang out with people who have the same goals and aspirations that I aspire to – regardless of their color. I think of that process as making good decisions because “bad company corrupts good morals.”


Jurassic World – A Few Follow On Thoughts

Several of our internet friends were concerned about what they may have missed because they had not seen Jurassic Park – or JP Parts II and III. Yes, I had completely forgotten that following the hugely successful and critically acclaimed original Jurassic Park there were two follow up films that I personally did not see. Neither of them were “critically acclaimed” but did post good, but not spectacular box office numbers.

I am happy to report that if you have not seen any of the Jurassic Park films you are not at any disadvantage when you see Jurassic World. All you need to know is revealed in the film and even that is very brief. It’s like watching Super Bowl IV when Kansas City upset the vaunted Minnesota Vikings 23 – 7. Super Bowls I, II and III were distant memories, especially for an NFC fan like myself. Can you believe Super Bowl 50 is coming up. Surely I can’t be that old but my 70th is right around the corner in November.

If money is any indication JW is a winner. It just went over One Billion Dollars (the approximate cost of the Obama family vacations) in Box Office sales in record time.

Finally I read today the female lead – and in our view the leading actor in the film – Bryce Dallas Howard is Ron Howard’s Daughter. Yep – Opie is all grown up and has a beautiful daughter who looks great as a red head. I hear her Uncle Clint Eastwood is also recommending the film.

“That’s all Folks!”

Jurassic World – A Rocket Ship of Enjoyment

Jurassic World is continuously entertaining – it builds and grows from level to level and finishes strong!

Marty, Tony and I all give it a 95% rating and an absolute must see on the really big screen. We don’t do 3-D and the regular movie was plenty in your face, loud and visually stunning.

The thing I liked about Jurassic World the best is even though I knew it wasn’t real with a little imagination it seemed to be. Unlike some of the earlier action adventure movies of 2015 that came off as one big computerized blue screen production – Jurassic had a good mix of human interest sub plots, families, kids, humor, good guys and bad guys, finger biting escape scenes and of course a little romance. Somehow even the Raptors seemed almost friendly and of course the big and bad Indominus Rex was really big and very bad but the scale of the film made him seem believable.

Jurassic is PG-13 which once again shows us how “mature” movie ratings are. We enjoy a little violence with our action scenes but I would be careful about taking a young child because there were plenty of scenes where animals and people had limbs and or heads bitten off or were just swallowed whole. The gore was held to minimum and the afore mentioned dinosaur eats man scenes were over quickly – but it is a bit much for a young child.

That said we really, really liked Jurassic World and strongly recommend you see it on the big screen.

Larry, Marty and Tony

Mad Max, Fury Road – Somewhere in between the violence, action, and fantastic automotive creations the Relationship between Furiosa and Max comes through.

Mad Max, Fury Road is definitely not sweet “Adeline.” If a film were rated solely on violence Mad Max would be “X” for Extra Action Scenes all filled with high speed violence and death. If you are a fan of the original Mad Max movies you know what to expect and you will love this film. If you are new to the genre I strongly suggest you park your sense of reality at the door and turn your “humor” switch up to full volume. It’s almost like the Director is trying to inundate the viewer with long dizzying sequences of maddening action just to test us to see if we can spot the development of the characters and the relationships that clearly build as the film intensifies and a few plot twists develop – including the ending.

Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa looks anything but beautiful but knocks her role out of the park. Tom Hardy (Inception, Band of Brothers, Blackhawk Down, Star Trek) surely made Mel Gibson proud as he time after time stepped in at just the right moment to save the day but never took a word of credit or had much to say -except that he in fact must be “mad.” The rest of the cast filled their space adequately and the Bad Guys are over the top Mad Max Bad.

The plot you ask? What plot? This is Mad Max! Most of the Good Guys win and all the Bad Guys lose!

Other than the characters and the action the two things that were most impressive in this film were the automotive and truck mechanical creation/wonders – and the Desert and Salt Pan of Namibia. Think taxis in Havana and raise it to the tenth power and you will still be surprised by the mechanical wonders that were actually created for this film. I read on the net and heard Charlize tell Jimmy Fallon that almost all of the action scenes actually took place and there was minimal computer manipulation.

In the midst of all this action packed violence how could Mad Max have themes? How could it not? It’s Mad Max! Relationships – Respect without words – Retribution and Hope shine brightly if you are looking for them. That said – this Mad Max – like all the ones that preceded it has no socially redeeming value.

Should you see it in the theater? If you like 3D I’ll bet the action scenes were off the chart in your face. Marty and I get a little dizzy watching 3D and Mad Max in regular D was still a “big film.” If you can spare the time and you are not feeling socially conscious I’d vote for the big screen.

Finally, and to no ones surprise they already have the name for the sequel and I can’t wait to see it.

The Age of Adeline – A Wonderful, Wonderful Film

The Age of Adeline (Adeline PG-13) is a wonderful film for anyone and everyone to see. It reminds Marty and I of how movies used to be, in a time gone by before computer simulations, violence and graphic sex. Back when acting and building characters and relationships were at the core of a film.

I cried, I laughed and in the last fifteen minutes I cried even more as the beautiful and talented Blake Lively (Adeline), her love interest (Michael Husiman), Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn all did a masterful job of the lost art of “acting.” The script was tight and the actors did a superb job of bringing the characters to life as they developed what gives us all hope – love in intimate and long lasting relationships.

The opening scenes that detail how Adeline no longer “ages” requires a combination of innocence, acceptance and trust. Isn’t that a combination of the blessings we all must have to believe that when we meet that certain someone there is hope for a “love that grows old together?”

Maybe its just Marty and I – approaching 70 and having been in love and married for almost 47 years and facing the same unknown future that we all deal with – that moved us to the core of our being. For me personally when I left the theater I felt a sense of calm and peace like I can never remember from a film.

Whether you see Adeline in the theater or wait for home viewing all depends on how long you want to wait to see what I believe will be a film with great word of mouth and “legs” in the rental and DVD purchase market.

We strongly recommend you see The Age of Adeline with someone you love or want to!

Uncle Larry and Saint Marty

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Too much of a Good Thing?

Other than true love is there such a concept as too much of a good thing? Could you ever have too much Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne? Can a husband buy too many Roses for his wife’s anniversary? Has a woman ever turned down just one more luxuriously delicious piece of rich Belgium Chocolate? Can a sports car ever be too quick from 0 to 60?

Is it possible this $250,000,000 Avengers: Age of Ultron had too many fabulously produced, technologically brilliant action packed scenes? In an Action Adventure movie can the good guys ever kill too many bad guys? Can there be a few too many suspenseful and miraculous moments where the poor innocent civilians come within an inch of losing their lives only to be saved by two guys dressed in tights and wearing cups? OK, forget that line.

Marty and I liked “Ultron” and it truly is a technological wonder but it didn’t grab me. There were moments when I was bored with the bloodless killing of evil machines and just a few too many really well done computer generated action scenes. I just can’t bring myself to tell you this is a must see flick. However, if you like this genre you will not want to miss it. On the other hand after awhile I found myself longing for some dialogue, some human interaction. At one point I even asked myself why didn’t we see The Age of Adeline with Blake Lively instead.

Damn I must be getting old!


How God May Bless The USA

All Americans appreciate Lee Greenwood for writing and performing for what many believe is the most Patriotic song written in our life time. I really enjoyed the version in the link below of Lee’s song by The Texas Tenors because they have strong voices, harmonize and there was some excellent video as well.

These days, Marty and I never hear “God Bless the USA” that I don’t think about how great America has been and how God has blessed us.

It was the same way in a similar relationship between God and Israel thousands of years ago when Israel began to “follow after other gods.” To get their attention God withdrew His hand of special blessing that made them great in the land at that time. He didn’t stop loving them but as a Father disciplines a child he withdrew His special hand of blessing to get their attention.

We read in I Timothy that we are to “pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” When Marty and I have our devotions I have that passage marked and I almost choke on my words because I can’t think of hardly any political leaders I want to see returned to office. So we pray for better leaders, men and women who love God and serve Him and us so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives.

To me it seems our best hope is to follow the advice given us in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

May God continue to bless the USA!


The Father of Lies and His Children

Did you by any chance read the Opinion Piece in the Wall Street Journal a few days back – the theme of which is that the Clinton’s – both Bill and Hillary – have been master liars for so long they not only are comfortable lying – they find their constituency of Democrats and The Left accept what they say without question. Even more unbelievable is that their hearers not only believe their lies but they become angry and hostile towards Republicans and The Right for not accepting what Hillary is lying about at the moment.

It just amazes me that so many people – perhaps the majority of American citizens could be so gullible, so willing to believe something that is not true and to be offended when someone from my side of the street disagrees.

I was pondering this conundrum when in our Daily Devotionals Marty and I came across the passage below from John – Chapter 8 – verses 41 to to 46.

We encourage you to read the entire chapter for yourself. To set the stage for the moment Christ was speaking to the people in the Temple at The Festival of Booths and a group of the Political Establishment of the day accused Him of being a liar. Not only that, as we know they were plotting to kill this voice from God. Picking up in the middle of the discourse:
“They replied, We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

Christ says that lying as a tool of communication and manipulation has been around since the creation itself – it started with the devil and he lies – why – because it is consistent with his character.

Uncle Larry – not Christ – says to you: Hillary and many others that are cut from the same cloth frequently lie. Why? Because it is consistent with their character.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Blend Bistro – The most promising new small restaurant opening in North County in the 21st Century

Marty and I had time to kill before a movie at Downtown at The Gardens and we walked past a new place called The Blend Bistro. They have a menu posted on the front door and the food looked very interesting but then the phrase “Organic Food and Wine” caught my eye.

At seventy I’m not concerned about the effect of GMOs in food on my aging body and Organic anything isn’t in the top 10,000 things that I am concerned about in life.

When it comes to food I care about mouth feel and taste. Fast forward to our second meal at Blend and I am a convert. Their fresh organic foods taste better than it’s counterparts. Here’s a sampling of the items we have ordered and really enjoyed at Blend: Onion Soup Gratinee – very tasty. Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs – I’ll be asking Linda to cater them for our next Super Bowl Party. Roasted Stuffed Poblano Chile – there is no way something could be this flavorful and good for you at the same time.

Finally I saved the best for last – Blend’s two Flatbread offerings. Roasted Mushroom & Goat Cheese – Caramelized Eggplant & Brie. The folks at Buccan on Palm Beach would be proud to offer these two crispy, rich and delicious flatbreads.

For dessert the Fudge Cake brought smiles to Marty and our friend Emily – who with her husband Scott treated us for lunch.

We can safely say Blend serves excellent food for the health conscious diner and for us clean eating meat lovers.

Though we did not try any of them “Blend” has a wide-ranging variety of Smoothies and Fresh Press Juices. They serve wine, beer, Sangria and you may bring your own wine for a corkage fee of $15.

We met Linda, one of two owners and she humored an old man who is set in his ways and talked to us about the concept of “organic food.” Her perception of organic is two things: First – organic foods must not have any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). I sort of liken that process to Monsanto altering the DNA of our food for what I’m sure they feel are good reasons. Second – foods that are only served “within season.” If they are not being harvested now Blend isn’t serving them now. Hence, don’t get too attached to the current menu because as season changes so will the menu.

I may not understand what organic food and wines are but I can assure you the food and service is excellent at The Blend Bistro in Downtown at The Gardens. Also, believe it or not they offer a red and a white Sangria that are both excellent. I have never liked Sangria but it was light, crisp and had fresh organic apples bites floating on the top that were very tasty.

Blend’s pricing is very reasonable. “Small Plates” range from $8 to $14 – Salads $12 to $15 – Entrees from $15 to $18 with one Sirloin Steak at $28 – Smoothies are $9 and Juices are $7.

Here’s to healthy, happy and great tasting food! See below for three pictures of items we had Wednesday.

The Blend Bistro – 561-331-8766

Uncle Larry

Cinderella – We made it for 37 Anxious and Boring Minutes

This is it! Marty and I have been officially declared old and cranky!

Perhaps it is our reaching 70 this year. Maybe its living in Florida almost 19 years. What ever the cause – in a sparsely filled theater Marty and I did everything we could to find the entertainment value in the human version of Cinderella but the boredom and telegraphed lines and general corniness overcame us after 37 minutes.

We knew that if we could not find joy and happiness in this classic Disney tale it would officially mean we are now old and grumpy super seniors. We carefully prepared by having a late lunch/early dinner at an excellent new restaurant in Downtown at the Gardens – “Blend.” We shared a bottle of “organic” sparkling wine and very much enjoyed the rich and delicious flat bread and a gluten free and very tasty meatball appetizer.

Alas it just wasn’t enough to overcome the absolute sheer boredom and aggravation we felt watching Cinderella.

I don’t know who the cast is and as a real adult once said “Frankly my friends I don’t give a Damn!”

Great Grand Father Larry – the person formerly known as Uncle Larry