Monday, October 31, 2011

Yes, for Life

A week from tomorrow, 8 November 2011, the Colonel and his fellow Mississippians will vote on Initiative 26.  The question on the ballot is, "Should the term 'person' be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?"

A "yes" vote will amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word “person” or “persons”, as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.

In practice, such a definition of personhood will protect unborn children from infanticide within the territorial confines of the state.

As the two or three dozen of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon can well imagine, Initiative 26 has generated no little controversy and placed the Colonel's state (Sorry, MSU, but it's the Colonel's state, too) squarely in the cross hairs of the sharpshooters on both sides of the abortion argument.

Out-of-state Pro-Choice advocates have flooded the state in numbers not seen since the Freedom Riders of the Sixties, obfuscating the debate with fear-mongering and falsehoods.

And, therein lies the greatest irony of ironies. 

One would think that those who consider themselves the heirs of the righteous Civil Rights movement and wave highest the banner of social justice and defense of the defenseless would hear that the drummer leading this parade is beating out a far different march.

Despite the canards and protestations to the contrary, it is clear to those who think for themselves and fall not in line with the current cultural definition of "cool," that the abortion rights movement is about nothing more than convenience.

Based on a "right of privacy" not found in our Republic's Constitution, and cloaked in the supposedly unassailable right of a woman to decide the future of the child she carries, the practice of pre-birth infanticide has destroyed more American lives than all of the wars in which America has participated -- each and every year, since 1973. 

The Colonel finds no little irony in the fact that the vast majority of those currently climbing the ramparts of class warfare to protest the ravages of rampant capitalism on the defenseless middle and lower classes, will, in the same frame of feckless mind see no contradiction of conscience in their support of a practice that has decimated two generations. 

The Colonel has long-since ceased attempts to debate the issue on its merits with those who oppose his position.  It always ends the same way.  After the Colonel has simply and completely demonstrated the scientific, legal, and moral bankruptcy of the euphemistically-named "Pro-Choice" position, his opponent has either attempted to obfuscate the issue with off-topic canards or resorted to name-calling.  The Colonel, taught by the best, is unbeatable in the latter and has no time for the former. 

Many of the Colonel's friends and acquaintances have taken umbrage with his support of the criminalization of abortion.  Were every one of the small circle of his acquaintances and even smaller circle of his friends to oppose his position, the Colonel would maintain it still.  It is a matter of his most jealously guarded principles of manhood.

Real men -- gentlemen -- know that there are a few very important things worth fighting for, even when others would back off in the ill-conceived notion of "civility" or the inane, suicidal concept of "tolerance."  Real men -- gentlemen -- have no higher calling than to fight to protect the most defenseless among us.

The Colonel votes Yes, for Life.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pigskin Prescience

The Colonel would once again like to thank the Ole Miss season ticket holders in Section H of the hallowed halls of Vaught-Hemingway stadium for selling their tickets to the opposing team's fans.  This week, however, the Arkansas fans were refreshingly different than the Bama Bandwagon Boors who invaded the Colonel's space last week.

Despite witnessing yet another epic gridiron collapse by his Rebels, the Colonel actually thoroughly enjoyed his weekend.

Some of the Colonel's Ole Miss NROTC classmates were in town for our annual reunion to reminesce, catch up, share sea stories, and give stern (and not-so stern) advice to the current middies in matriculation preparing for careers as naval officers.   The revelry was interrupted by a football game, to which the Colonel dutifully marched and assumed his appointed place of duty.

The Hog fans sitting in front of him seemed pleasant enough and the Colonel felt comfortable enough, when his Rebels had jumped out to an early 17 to nuthin' lead, to reassure them that they would indeed enjoy the rest of the game just as much as Rebel fans had enjoyed the initial quarter of play.

"Y'all don't worry, now.  You're gonna win this football game."

The Arkansas fan squinted out from under his hog hat and gave the Colonel a look the picture of which he is quite sure is in the Diamond State Dictionary alongside the definition of the word "quizzical"

On cue, the Rebels imploded.  Arkansas scored 29 straight points and the game ended in their favor, 29 to 24.

As he bade the Hog fans safe travels home, one turned to the Colonel and asked, "Can you really see the future?"

"No," the Colonel responded, "but I got a great view of the past."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bama Bandwagon Boors

There is nothing more pathetic to the Colonel, not even fair-weather fans, nor even his own perennial passion for lost causes, than a bandwagon fan. 

The Colonel would like to pause at this juncture and thank the many Ole Miss season ticket holders in his section of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium who sold their tickets to Tide fans for last Saturday evening's game.  Were it not for that contemptible act of cowardice and capitalism, the Colonel would not have had the pure joy of having every one of his beliefs regarding Alabama fans confirmed.

It should be said that after cheering lustily for his Rebels' early first quarter successes, the Colonel settled resignedly into his seat and actually admired the play of arguably the finest football team in the land.  His Rebels were trounced by a far superior team, as he expected.  Alabama is awesome.

Their fans..., not so much.

Call him an old-fashioned sportsman, but on the rare occasions that the Colonel has visited other stadiums to watch his Rebels play, and on the even rarer occasions when his Rebels enjoyed success on foreign turf, the Colonel has never dreamed of mouthing off and acting disrespectful to the home fans.  And, anytime the Colonel has witnessed fellow Ole Miss fans crossing that line, he has been quick to provide corrective instruction.

With all that said, the Colonel would like to expose what he believes is the most odious actor in all of sportsfandom.  The Colonel calls him the "Bama Bandwagon Boor."

The Bama Bandwagon Boor doesn't just cheer for his team, which is expected.  He sits in the middle of the other team's fans and taunts them on every play.  

The Bama Bandwagon Boor speaks about Bama's successes in the first person plural, "We're gonna beat y'all lak a drum."   

Most egregious of all, the Bama Bandwagon Boor never set foot in a classroom at the University of Alabama.   

The Colonel is not referring to the those who for whatever reason did not pursue post-secondary education.

The Colonel refers specifically to the despicably disloyal low-life who went somewhere else for his college education, and cheers instead for Alabama.  Nothing else in his life of viewing a plethora of pathetic sights does more to stir the pangs of pity in the Colonel's hardened, shrivelled, walnut-sized heart.

Case in point is the twenty-something preppie punk in Bama colors seated in much too close proximity to the Colonel and his Lady, and their perpetually spring-loaded for a scrap #2 son last Saturday.

Early in the game, obvious pass interference by a Bama defender was ignored by the refs.  It wasn't a close judgement call.  It was blatant.  The Colonel's #2 son loudly complained, "Here we go again."   

The punk began mocking loudly, "Conspiracy, conspiracy!"

#2 leaned in and opined that "even a moron could see" that it had been pass interference.

To which the punk responded, "Who you calling a moron?  I went to Vanderbilt!

The Colonel and #2 were stunned speechless at this disloyal punk's brazen admission of his Bama Bandwagon Boor club membership. 

#2 might have been speechless, but the Colonel easily detected that he was on the verge of initiating physical hostilities.  As much as the Colonel loves a good scrap, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda was in attendance and as the punk had yet to cross any line disrespectful of her personally the Colonel didn't want to subject his lady to the spectacle of her men bloodying this boor.  So, the Colonel resorted to the tried and true method of dealing with errant children.  He cranked his facial features into the scornful scowl mastered by few, but common among Marines, put his vocal chords on the stun setting, pointed his bony finger at the punk and commanded, 

"Siddown and SHUT UP!"

The punk Bama Bandwagon Boor blanched and obeyed.

Which leads us to the Colonel's final observation regarding Bama Bandwagon Boors. 

They are cowards.                

Friday, October 14, 2011

Booing the Bear

Alabama is in town tomorrow and the Colonel is praying for a mercifully quick and huge blowout.   The Tide are four touchdown favorites over his Rebels, but the Colonel believes that is giving the Ole Miss squad far too much credit.  Bama's lead will likely be four touchdowns by the end of the first quarter of play.

There are a few perennially positive proponents among the Colonel's friends who view this particular David and Goliath tilt in the same light as others in relatively recent gridiron history wherein the heavily under-dogged Rebels rode a wave of mediocre play less significant that a ripple on one of the Colonel's farm ponds into a contest with a highly ranked team and emerged a miraculous victor.   

Making Tim Tebow cry in the Swamp three years ago, comes to mind.  Florida, the two dozen or so of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon will remember, went on to win the national championship that year.

But, not even in the Colonel's kindest comparisons can he place the current Rebel football team in league with the '08 nine and four, Cotton Bowl Champions squad.

The Colonel fondly remembers an Ole Miss - Alabama game from the increasingly far distant past that were the halcyon days of his matriculation at the cultural center of the southern universe.  Bear Bryant had achieved great fame (infamy in some quarters) as Bama's coach and he and his team were roundly booed as they took the field at Memorial Stadium in Jackson.  Ole Miss pulled off a 10 - 7 upset and, as it was the Bear's anniversary of the beginning of his air-breathing ride round Ol' Sol, the Ole Miss fans ceased booing the Bear long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" to him.

The Colonel harbors not even the slightest expectation of a similar outcome this year.
Oh, and did the Colonel mention that our star running back and half of the starting offensive line have been suspended for the game?  Not that it would have made any appreciable difference against a Bama defensive unit that many pro scouts believe could start in the NFL -- right now.  

The good news for 'Bama is they will be able to save a few bucks this year.  There won't be a need to pay off the refs to steal a close game.

The equally good news for Ole Miss fans is that the game won't be close enough to have it given to the Tide by the refs.  That has happened far too many times and the Rebel fan base's hearts, already stressed by fried chicken clogged arteries and the loss of every beloved tradition that made trudging into the stadium to watch the inevitable second half collapse at least spiritually worth the effort, can't stand many more shocks to the system without suffering complete calamitous collapse.  

However, the Colonel is nothing if not fiercely loyal to his alma mater and its football team; and so, he will trudge into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium tomorrow afternoon, cheer lustily as his Rebels take the field, and remain rooted in his assigned place of duty until the bitter end.

Oh well, at least the Colonel can look forward to booing the bear.   

Monday, October 03, 2011


This past weekend, the Colonel's adopted hometown, the not-so thriving community of Abbeville, Mississippi (Population: 419), held its annual Autumnfest.  The weather obliged with blessedly cooler temperatures worth festing and a good time was had by all.

Abbeville's Autumnfest has something for everyone.  Arts and crafts vendors, food booths selling southern staples from homemade peach ice cream to funnel cakes, bouncy houses for the kiddies, and an after-dark street dance to live music--all packed into space at town center so compact that one can stand anywhere and watch all of the action everywhere.

Yet, after witnessing a handful of Abbeville Autumnfests firsthand, the Colonel has begun to detect the unmistakable texture and taste of a stale cracker.  There is no identity beyond the name of the town, and a palpable sense of going through the motions.

Abbeville is no Mayberry.  It once was.  But "progress" by-passed the town thirty years ago and although residents remain in mostly well-maintained homes, town center is now a hollow shell.  

The Colonel knows full well that the town's leadership will take great umbrage at his descriptions.  They have worked hard to revive Abbeville.  It has thus far failed to respond to resuscitation, despite efforts to refurbish the few remaining buildings that formerly housed businesses.

One could easily say that the poor economy is mostly to blame for Abbeville's plight.  But the truth is Oxford (cultural center of the southern universe and home of Ole Miss), with a plethora of businesses easily serving a relatively prosperous population of permanent residents and university students, is only a fifteen-minute drive down the road which, straightened three decades ago, bypassed Abbeville and left her to dry up like a shallow oxbow cut off from a river's course.  Progress is an unsympathetic beast.

There are some, the Colonel among them, who believe that Abbeville's fires of relevance can be rekindled.  The trick will be to use just enough of the town's history as tinder without burning down all of the traditions and sense of community upon which the present citizens (many of whom have lived in Abbeville their entire, long and short, lives) rest their senses of self.

The problem is that, as with any town, large or small, politics of the personal-power-preservation persuasion all too often displace positive leadership. 

The Colonel doesn't pretend to know the weave of even the first thread of the political tapestry here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.  There is way too much history, even for this history buff, to understand.  But, he is enough a student of leadership to recognize a people in political paralysis.  

No personal indictments intended by the Colonel.  He knows, loves, and respects many of the actors in the play.  They are good people. 

But the play has no script, no discernible plan for subsequent acts.   

In this, the Colonel's beloved town is no different than most, he guesses. 

And certainly no different than his beloved Republic.

If Abbeville wants to survive it must have a plan to expand. 

So must our Republic.