We did it before

In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces bombed the factories in Schweinfurt, Germany which produced the ball bearings necessary for the production of German aircraft, tanks and trucks. Knocking out a component vital in the production of the machines needed by the German military helped bring Germany to its knees. Pretty simple logic.
Every day on the news we see ISIS or ISIL or Al Queda or Hamas or whatever they are calling themselves driving around the desert in pickup trucks with “warriors” in the beds of the trucks or large machine guns mounted in the back like mini-tanks. Notice anything about those trucks?
Now we’re probably not going to reactivate the B-17 Flying Fortresses of the US Eighth Air Force to bomb Toyota truck plants throughout the world but it might be a good idea to tell Toyota that their continuing supply of trucks and truck parts to the Middle East will not be tolerated as long as those vehicles are being used to mechanize the terrorist armies.
There must be someone at Toyota who remembers an ally of Germany who had its factories destroyed during World War II.

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Cuisine

Almost everyone has eaten a taco (tah-koh), a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla (tawr-tee-uh) folded or rolled around various fillings. Now with the surge of immigrants flooding across the southern border it’s probably a good time to become familiar with other food items of Mexico and the Central American countries.

The burrito (buh-ree-toh) and enchilada (en-chuh-lah-duh) are popular items made with tortillas wrapped around various fillings. The taquito (təˈkēdō) is very similar to the flauta (flów taà) which is a tortilla wrapped around various fillings not to be confused with the chimichanga (chìmmee cháang ga) which is a tortilla wrapped around various fillings.

The easiest way to identify the various Mexican and Central American foods is to remember that items beginning with the letters, B, C, or E are rolled from right to left and all other items are rolled from left to right.

If instead of rolling up the various fillings you serve them on a flat tortilla you have a whole new menu but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

I like baseball

The summer is slipping away and I’ve only gone to one game with my nine year old grandson. He’s still at the age where a question, “Do you want to…?” gets an “okay” before you finish asking so off we went to an Indians game.

Great night for a game, pretty good seats and a pretty good game. We saw two Indians home runs, two double plays and a sensational catch in right field. We also saw the hot dog, peanut, cotton candy, Cracker Jack, pop and pop corn vendors. We went for the lemonade and pop corn.

After an infield popup went sky high I began a lecture on the infield fly rule which brought the question, “can I get cotton candy?”

“No, too sticky.”

He asked me about going to games when I was a boy so I told him about how there were times when the grounds crew had to shoo away dinosaurs from the pitchers mound but that only brought the response, “why can’t I have cotton candy?”

“Too sticky.”

During the seventh inning stretch everyone in the stadium, except the communist couple sitting a couple of rows in front of us, stood and sang, “Take me out to the ballgame” and then settled in to watch the last two innings when most of the vendors disappear. This is where a wise grandparent says, “Let me know if you see the cotton candy guy again.”

In the top of the ninth, with the Indians leading by three runs, the crowd was on its feet with two outs and two strikes and let go a roar at a called third strike which brought a couple of fireworks shots, “WE WIN” on the scoreboard and the song, “Cleveland Rocks”.

“Fans, the totals on the scoreboard are correct. The Indians thank you for attending” and we walked down the stairs and waddled with the crowd through the concourse. When we turned to walk out the gate the attendant standing there who has had a stone face since the adoption of the designated hitter rule smiled as my grandson reached out and took my hand.

I like baseball. Isn’t it great?

The blacktop

Every night my dad would get out of the car that carried him and three other men to and from the railroad depot. He’d see me running his way and wave and then put up his hand to tell me not to cross the blacktop road.

I remember he would sometimes wear a tie that looked to me like it had black and silver moons and I remember how tall he seemed when he was walking toward me. I remember those things and how he changed from daddy to dad and I remember that his hair was dark brown, almost black, and I remember that was how I still saw him even when he laid there in the hospital dying almost fifty years later. He laid there slipping in and out of consciousness and when he would smile at me I waited for his hand to go up to tell me not to cross the blacktop.

Not at all

The National Basketball Association champion San Antonia Spurs announced the hiring of Becky Hammon for the position of assistant coach. The statement released by the team praised Ms. Hammon for her star studded , sixteen year career in the WNBA and highlighted her leadership skills, which the statement says, “…will help the team maintain the performance levels that led it to a championship”. A number of sports writers questioned this hiring but avoided saying that there was any part of the decision related to her sex and an attempt by NBA to head-off possible gender discrimination issues in management hirings during this critical time for the NBA following the Los Angeles Clippers debacle and the problems that situation has caused for the league.

In a related story, in what was seen as a surprising development also questioned by a number of national sports writers, Mark Hanford, VP of Operations of the National Football League Oakland Raiders announced the hiring of Ralph “Cinderella” Jansen as the team’s Assistant Director of Player Development.

Mr. Hanford said, “Ralph brings a new insight to the position and we look forward to having him help the team move in the right direction or something” before denying that the Raiders had tagged Mr. Jansen simply because his sexual orientation may make it easier for the Raiders and the NFL to fend off employment discrimination cases.”
“Ralph brings a wealth of football knowledge to our organization, said Mr. Hanford, and we are excited about tapping into the experience and knowledge of a person who helped lead the Sunnyside Middle School Tigers football team to an undefeated season and North Suburban League championship in 1994.

“I must admit, though, continued Mark Hanford, that it didn’t hurt Cinderella’s presentation when he showed up for his job interview wearing a Ralph Lauren creation in Raider’s silver and black.

“She looked fabulous, just fabulous——Go Raiders”.