Swamp Cabbage For Supper
Posted on 02.28.09 by Danny Glover @ 9:31 pm

When I lived in Tampa, Fla., for a year in the late 1980s, I found and fell in love with the PoFolks restaurant chain.

The food and atmosphere are much like what you’ll find at Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel or similar chains — simple country cookin’ for a reasonable price, served in a place that feels like home. It’s the kind of place where the “poor folks” used to eat on special occasions, if they had some disposable income.

I loved PoFolks so much that I chose it as my dining spot a few years ago in Greensboro, N.C., even though I was there for work and could have used my expense account to eat much higher on the hog.

My mind drifted to PoFolks just now as I read a story at National Public Radio that mentioned swamp cabbage. It’s one of those dishes, like mudbugs in my wife’s home state of Louisiana, that poor Americans ate to survive but that the rich lately have embraced as their own. The rich just give their foods highfalutin names like hearts of palm or arugula, which is a fancy word for the leafy green dish most Southerners used to know as rocket.

To hear NPR tell it, we all may be rocket eaters again soon. Floridians are leading the way with a return to their swamp-cabbage roots.

Filed under: Entertainment and Family and Food and Human Interest and Rednecks and Technology
Comments: 4 Comments

Sen. Bobby Byrd, A Man Of Principle
Posted on 02.28.09 by Danny Glover @ 8:16 pm

I’m no fan of Sen. Bobby Byrd. I voted against the West Virginia Democrat the one chance I had after turning 18 and while still living in our home state.

I simply can’t bring myself to support him in word or in vote because of his pork-barreling ways. Even though the money he funnels back home helps West Virginia, and literally has created jobs for people I know, I oppose pet projects on principle because they corrupt the appropriations process and because they are bad for the country as a whole.

Byrd obviously doesn’t agree with me on that point; he has different principles. But no one can deny that he is a principled man, and he proves it time and again. The latest example (hat tip to Quin Hilyer at AmSpecBlog):

[Byrd] is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

While it’s rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.

For that kind of integrity, Bobby Byrd long ago won my admiration even though he will never win my vote. He was right to challenge the Bush administration on the same grounds.

Filed under: News & Politics and People and West Virginia
Comments: 1 Comment

Joe Manchin’s Enlightened Redneck Crusade
Posted on 02.28.09 by Danny Glover @ 6:03 pm

As hard as it is for me to believe now, I had no interest in a career tied to politics until I took my first class in political science at West Virginia University.

The introductory course, taught by the renowned professorial duo of Robert DiClerico and Allan Hammock, was required, but I did not expect it to point me toward becoming a political writer. I wanted to write human-interest features for magazines (and still do). But two weeks into their class, I was hooked; I chose political science as my minor. Two years later, I decided I wanted to be a statehouse reporter in Charleston, W.Va.

During my senior year, another of my political science professors, David Hedge, suggested that I apply to become a Frasure-Singleton legislative intern. I did, and in the winter of 1990, I was one of several people in Professor Hedge’s class who won an internship.

That’s where I first met Joe Manchin up close and personal. I had interviewed him periodically before then because he represented a state Senate district within the coverage area of the newspaper where I worked part time as a reporter, but I decided to “profile” Manchin.

Now I’ll tell you a dirty little secret about reporters: When we choose our own profile subjects, it’s because we either love ‘em or hate ‘em — and it’s usually because we love ‘em. (Just ask all of the reporters who have written glowing features about Barack Obama.) I wanted to profile Manchin because I admired his reputation as a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state who wasn’t afraid to buck his party. He practiced the kind of post-partisanship Obama only preaches.

Filed under: Hatin' On Rednecks and Human Interest and People and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

Worst Male Name In The English Language
Posted on 02.25.09 by Danny Glover @ 1:16 pm

The password for access in this scene from “The Family Guy” is the worst first name for a male in the English language. Just my luck, it’s also my name

An acquaintance who shares the name sent the clip to me. Now he knows why I use the nickname Danny, which is based on my middle name.

Filed under: Family and Just For Laughs and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

I Thought No One Liked Pennies
Posted on 02.25.09 by Danny Glover @ 9:31 am

Changing the design of a coin does wonders for reviving people’s interest in it. And so it is with the new reverse design of the Lincoln penny:

Rather than wait for banks to obtain a supply of the first of four commemorative 2009 Lincoln cents, impatient collectors are bidding prices on today’s modest supply to incredible levels.

EBay became the source for numerous 50-piece Brilliant Uncirculated rolls shortly after the Feb. 12 ceremony honoring Lincoln’s 200th birthday and a limited release of the new cents. Prices varied widely from lot to lot, but even buyers at the lower end of the spectrum paid dearly for their coins.

Winning bids for 25 rolls sold on Feb. 16 and 17 ranged from $26.99 to $52.99 per roll. The total realized of $914.21 averages $36.57 per roll.

I’ll wait for local banks to get a supply of the new pennies rather than pay a huge premium for a coin that isn’t even worth the metal used to make it, but I am eager to see it in circulation.

As for the fate of the penny, count me among those who wish the government would take it out of circulation. The penny long ago lost its value as a useful tool of commerce.

Filed under: Coin Collecting
Comments: 1 Comment

‘The Crappiest Generation’
Posted on 02.24.09 by Danny Glover @ 12:15 pm

My wife pointed me to a version of this clip on Facebook, so I found a copy of it via AmSpecBlog to share here.

The spoiled mindset that comedian Louis CK captures beautifully in this skit is precisely why my wife has been saying for years that America needs another depression.

After having suffered two layoffs in a year, we’re not wishing worse economic times on anyone. But if they come, we may be the better for it as a country, and “the crappiest generation” (also known as “Generation We“) may begin to appreciate why we came to know their great-grandparents as “the greatest generation.”

Filed under: Entertainment and News & Politics and People and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

Crimes Of Foreclosure
Posted on 02.24.09 by Danny Glover @ 10:51 am

This woman in San Antonio, Texas, is a vandal and should be punished for her crime.

At risk of foreclosure, she had her brother deface a home that she doesn’t own.

The house doesn’t look like it’s worth much as is, but are we supposed to feel sympathy for a woman who undermined the value not only of the property her bank is about to legally repossess but also of the other homes in the neighborhood?

No one should give Mary Ann Herrera a penny to help her stay in that house. Her selfish, callous and destructive behavior should not be rewarded.

These kinds of crimes, along with former homeowners who are illegally breaking and entering the properties they lost for failure to pay their debts, are becoming commonplace. The Wall Street Journal reported on the disturbing trend a year ago.

Filed under: Business and Culture and News & Politics
Comments: 2 Comments

Thinking Outside The Juice Box
Posted on 02.23.09 by Danny Glover @ 8:36 pm

Years ago, I had a boss who kept telling me to “think outside the box.” He could never explain in practice what he meant by the phrase, so I ultimately decided thinking outside the box meant working for someone other than him — and writing a column called “Inside The Box” because that’s where I think. Just call me a “boxist.”

My column, which ran in a local newspaper for a few months, was dedicated to the proposition that all thinkers are not created equally — and that those who think outside the box more often than not make foolish decisions. Thinking outside the box “has something to do with eating McPizza, drinking New Coke and dating the office intern,” I wrote in my first essay.

I was reminded of that column today when I read this blurb on the blog PRNewser:

Tropicana recently went ahead and changed its iconic “straw in the orange” packaging, but consumers are none too happy. After a plethora of complaints, notably via social media, the company has decided to forgo the new look (which cost Tropicana $35 million) and return to their original design.

So to recap, Tropicana blew $35 million for a new box when its customers loved the old box. That was an expensive way to learn that thinking outside the box — or doing something different just for the sake of being different — isn’t as enlightened as the “outsiders” would have you think.

Filed under: Books and Business and Outside The Box
Comments: 2 Comments

Ric Flair: ‘Red Is Green’
Posted on 02.21.09 by Danny Glover @ 8:05 pm

In my younger and less enlightened days, I was a huge fan of professional wrestling. I never saw it as anything more than redneck entertainment, even before the World Wrestling Federation renamed itself World Wrestling Entertainment, but it was entertaining in a twisted way.

Ric Flair was one of the guys we all loved to hate back in the day, so when I saw that CBS Evening News had done an interview with him, I couldn’t help but watch all 12 minutes. He talked about the toll the sport took on his body over 35 years, including the scar tissue on his forehead from cutting it thousands of times to make it bleed for dramatic effect. But he has no regrets.

“Red is green,” Flair said with a laugh as the cash register in his mind no doubt rang with memories of all the championship matches he won. Watch the whole interview:

And now for a flashback to the days when professional wrestlers denied the fakery of their work.

Filed under: Media and Sports and Video
Comments: None

Join The ‘Chicago Tea Party’
Posted on 02.20.09 by Danny Glover @ 8:28 am

Everyone is talking about this video of CNBC business commentator Rick Santelli blasting the Obama administration’s plans for a mortgage bailout. His rant occurred on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

I would join the “Chicago Tea Party.” How about you?

Filed under: Business and News & Politics and Video
Comments: None

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