Plink, Plank, Plunk

Yesterday, Peg and I ventured out into the big world to visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Back in January, while driving into town I spotted a bill board advertising the place. It only took twelve weeks for us to make it there, now I am sorry we did. This museum like most museums is so large that it takes more than one visit to see it all. The museum is new, very modern in design, two stories tall, and huge. Within its walls are instruments from every country in the world. Do you know how many countries exist? I don’t even remember how many continents there are, and that is important because the country displays are within rooms classified as continents. Only the United States and Canada are separate rooms because they are so big, and well, because the museum is in the United States.

We used the escalator to move us up to the second level where a tour guide asked us where we wanted to start. We chose to begin in Africa. That was a bad move because we spent over an hour and a half looking at the primitive flutes, and lutes of the various countries within Africa. MIM has a unique display for each country. The instruments are flat against a wall or supported in mid-air on display around a video screen. We received a headset and a black box at the ticket counter. The unique feature of this black box is that when one walks to within range of a video screen it begins to play a video of natives playing the instruments on display. This allowed us to hear the instrument and to see it played. Many of the videos showed scenes of native craftsman chopping, carving, and sanding wood to shape it into something they could make sound with. Strings are usually animal hair or other body part. One instrument called the thumb-harp has a series of metal fork-like handles attached to a sound box. As the musician plunks the various length metal prongs they plink, plank, or plunk into the sound box to make a note.

By the time we hit Asia, Peg and I were beginning to fade. She carries a purse loaded with at least ten pounds of stuff and I carry a bowling ball belly that plays hell with my back. We literally raced through the Mid-east, South America, and Europe, and intended to skip the USA and Canada. As it turned out I got lost in Europe and we wound up running through North America. That is when I began to get glimpses of some fabulous displays and regretted our move to start in Africa and not North America.

While in the African room, I looked at a map of the continent which displayed all the different languages spoken in Africa. I quickly realized why Africa is still so primitive. Imagine if we lived in a place where every state is a country and every county within a state has its own language. I have enough trouble understanding regional dialects much less different languages. There exists, however, a universality among these many people s. It is in their musical instruments. Somehow, the good Lord gave us all a talent and want to create music, and deep within our brains is the blueprint for how to make sounds using tubes, skins, and strings. Just about every country has a form of stringed lute, drum, and flute.

Peg and I hope to return and to begin the tour counter-clockwise the next time.  Here are a few photos of the displays.

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Is This the America I Want?

Ten years ago, I read a book by a little known author named Dinesh D’Souza. The book is “What is so Great About America?” I know what is good about America because I live it, but I wanted the perspective of a young man who came to America from India. He had to learn what is good the hard way. In my mind, he would re-educate me on that which I take for granted.

D’Souza’s book did not disappoint me. He learned very quickly the basic reasons the people of the world admire America, and why some want to destroy us because of our success. I won’t get into the details of the book except to say the word “LIBERTY,” plays a huge role in why America is great.

Yesterday, Peggy and I met up with a group of friends at the AMC movie-theater for the 11:45 a.m. showing of a film titled “2016: Obama’s America.”  The movie is an excellent documentary based on D’Souza’s more recent book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”

Dinesh D’Souza is expert at unraveling Obama’s background from Obama’s book “Dreams From My Father,” and Obama’s flowery speeches designed to mask his true intentions.  Throughout the film D’Souza explains from where Obama derives his ideas. D’Souza then ices the cake by showing us how Obama’s actions comply exactly with his policies. There is no doubt left in the viewer’s mind that the stated policy and the action are congruent.

There are some amazing scenes in the movie taken in India and Africa, in villages where people live in extreme conditions. My mind’s eye saw these scenes evolving in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and every  city in America. It is not a pretty picture to imagine yet our current direction under Obama will lead us there.

D’Souza interviews Obama’s half brother George in Africa. George seemed like a nice man although somewhat shy about answering questions. George is the antithesis of Barack who answers questions endlessly as though his goal is to run out the clock. George answered in short concise phrases. George’s answer to one question in particular stayed with me. The question asked if Kenya was better off after it broke the colonial ties from Britain. George answered by citing other African countries like South Africa where whites have led longer, and who are better off than Kenya.  (I’m sorry George, but isn’t that a bit racist?)

Another policy exposed is Obama’s desire to level the USA with the rest of the world in nuclear weapons. D’Souza displays a map of the world showing the number of nuclear warheads Obama is leading us to. The revealing graphic showed Russia with 1500 and the USA with zero.  The Muslim countries had more nuclear weapons than America.

Near the end of the film we are sitting in a classroom full of first or second graders reciting and singing praises to Obama’s greatness.

The most shocking fact came near the end; a graph of the debt America will carry in the future. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that so much debt will lead us into a standard of living equal to that of the hovels and tin shanty villages of India and Kenya.

After the movie we went to lunch where eight of us discussed the film and its messages. Some thought the movie was long others like myself thought it went like the speed of light. After our discussions I concluded those who thought it long leaned toward the hope and change concept.

If you care about America, you must see this film to learn for yourself  how Obama defines Hope and Change, then ask yourself is this the America I want?

Black Mamba

I got the inspiration for my latest cartoon from an old saying that I’ve heard since childhood; “he speaks with a forked tongue.” I was researching serpents with forked tongues, and came across the description of the “Black Mamba.” This is it! I said to myself. This serpent describes exactly what I want to convey to my readers. The Black Mamba is from Africa. It is the deadliest snake in the world, and in a single bite he can inject enough venom to kill twenty adult humans. The symbology was there.

Our current leader has African roots, and he is changing the country in a way that will kill many of us with a single law sold under the guise of improving the world. His message is two-faced; he speaks with a forked tongue. On one side he sells the cool aide to the masses that they are underprivileged. They need government health care. From the other side of his mouth he preaches that the seniors have too much health care, and need to give it up to finance the needy.

Well, I’m  here to tell you that Medicare was an invention of  Lyndon Baines Johnson, a democrat president that wanted to have as his legacy to be the great benefactor of seniors in the country. He sold it to us by convincing us that it was “insurance.”  That is why we pay into it. If it’s insurance, why is it always going broke, and why is it seen as the current nemesis entitlement?

Our new president wants his legacy to be that he saved mankind by giving them free health care. He is proposing to finance the plan with funds from Medicare. He does this at the time when seventy-six million baby boomers are joining the system. Does that make any sense to you? He says we won’t lose anything. In my mind, my doctor just took on a whole bunch of new patients. Now, when I call for an appointment, it won’t be in three weeks, it will be in three months. That is, if he still accepts me as his patient. At his current patient load I am lucky to see him for five minutes because he is running so far behind. His argument is that he gives his time to the really needy patients.

I can’t wait for the improvements to begin under the new socialized- liberal- progressive health care reform to kick in. How about you?

BO Really Believes We Are Stupid

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

In the summer before Barack Obama enterred Harvard he spent time visiting his relatives in Kenya. He had to reunite his soul with his black family. During that visit he and his sister Auma went on a safari. BO writes very eloquently about the journey to see wld animals is Kenya’s National Park. His driver, a Kenyan named Francis, related that he worked for a travel agency that sponsored the tour they were on. Francis and his family of six children lived on a small farm. They raised coffee. Francis complained about the taxes he paid. Even though he was a small business owner in a small African country he had a hatred for taxes.

Here is the dialog from “Dream Froms My Father,” (pp 352-353)

“Francis looked into the fire, combing his mustache with his fingers. “I suppose it is not only the government’s fault,” he said after a while. “Even when things are done properly, we Kenyans don’t like to pay taxes. We don’t trust the idea of giving our money to someone. The poor man, he has a good reason for this suspicion. But the big men who own the trucks they use for the roads, they also refuse to pay their share. They would rather have their equipment break down all the time than give up their profits. This is how we like to think you see. Somebody else’s problem.”

I tossed a stick into the fire. “Attitudes aren’t so different in America,” I told Francis.

“You are probably right,” he said. “But you see, a rich country like America can perhaps afford to be stupid.”

I do believe BO got the  idea to raise taxes from this comment. Even in Africa, small business owners hate to pay taxes. They consider the rich countries “stupid,” for doing so.  Is this why BO had to destroy Joe the Plumber? Poor Joe asked him a legitimate question about taxes and BO let it be known that he was all for raising taxes on small businesses. BO really believes we are stupid.

BO will destroy this great country with his plan to socialize us. He has hypnotized too many people into believing that he can give us everything. He has promised it will cost you nothing. He will take it from the very “stupid” rich companies who already pay well over half the bill for Uncle Sam’s excesses. BO thinks these “stupid” rich companies are a bottomless well. They are not, and when the well runs dry, guess who will get the bill? Shortly after you get a benefit, you will pay tax on the things he gives you.  If you don’t believe that, look at the Democratic record of dealing with Social Security. The only ones to win in his plan are the fat cats in Washington who will be paid exhorbitant salaries to administer the new give away programs. In the mean time, the citizens of foreign countries will benefit from our “stupid” rich companies who have fled to avoid paying taxes.

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