States make ‘disturbing cuts’ to unemployment benefits: Ya’ll want it fixed? Just ask a redneck!

Unemployment BenefitsAn interesting article caught my attention this morning titled, States make ‘disturbing cuts’ to unemployment benefits, authored by Jake Grovum, Pew/Stateline Staff Writer. You can read the article by clicking the link of the photo above from the article.

The irony of this article, is that the continued stretching of unemployment benefits have, in the words on some economists, perpetuated unemployment. How can this be? people ask!

On the one hand, some people (how many I do not know — likely not the majority) just do not really seek work once they get on unemployment Continue reading

Thanksgiving: A reason for thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!  And a big thank you to everyone who is kind enough to read what I write!

St. Mary’s County Stuffed Ham: Made last year by Aleck Loker then 13 – carrying on the tradition

Today, regardless of our political preferences, we should be thankful that we live in a country where we can argue, be smart, be ignorant, be rich, be poor, worship a god (or multiple gods with many names), or worship nothing at all, own property, or own nothing, and still have an equal chance to select our leadership and decide our Continue reading

Chesapeake Morning:For the Maryland born, or those that just wish they were!

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4:30AM, day breaks, the world still sleeps
unsullied by anticipations, frustrations and regrets that rise as the tide throughout the day.

For now a still, simple peace reigns free.
Crisp, cool air kisses sleep away.

Soft rumble, low throttled outboard carries you down the creek to the bay.
Birds stir, saying morning, nice to see you, good luck, good day!
Leave some scraps for us to take away?

Some dip, their wings
tickle the wave-tops
seeking to connect sea and sky.

The bar approaches, yet no drinks served by this establishment.
Motor-cut! Stillness, at first deafens . . .
A gentle lap, lap, lap as the waves caress your skiff.

Up on top of the culling board, a new world to see.
Long tongs in hand, plunge to the bottom,
tease, tease tease, the shells collected,
piled for the their trip to the surface.

CRRRRAAAAACCCCKKKK the handles slap,
hand over hand, drag your prize to the surface
21 feet to the tip 16 to the surface
moment by moment the journey lags
the catch breaks the bays wet grasp.
spray and shells soak the board at your feet.

Close your tongs, repeat!

The board, full no place to stand, in decent to the deck you sort, measure and cull the rock bound jewels. Splash, splash, rejects return to their aquamarine nursery
to filter and feed till next you meet.

A salty breakfast perhaps lunch as well.
A taste of Kessler to cut the chill.

This load barely afloat
to the buy boat goes.

Now, the day well on
life’s accumulated baggage awaiting night
to cleanse for tomorrows rejoinder.

You gotta love the Chesapeake Bay!

For all of my friends from St. Mary’s County, This ones for you!

Latest Book: Delusional Ravings of A Lunatic Mind by Tom Loker

new book by Tom Loker

As I wait for the eventual completion of my book on health care, currently in rewrite, I have put together a book of my best articles from this past year on this blog. The book is now available as an e-pub on Kindle and Amazon and others in the growing list below. (check back here as the list grows) The paperback version will be available in the next few weeks so stay tuned. I will put up the various links as they become available.

We put this book together for those of you how like the blog and Tom’s articles to share with your friends and relatives. And if you don’t like Tom’s writings we would like to point out this book will also make a great gift for those people you don’t like as well! Inside the pages you will find articles about healthcare, history, politics, the economy and a few creative pieces centered on St. Mary’s County Maryland, where Tom grew up. We do hope you enjoy the the stories!

e-Book Links:

Amazon – Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006G2Q9OC

Barns & Noble – Nook http://tinyurl.com/7cg9mew

Powell’s Books http://tinyurl.com/83ven8p

Diesel Bookstore http://tinyurl.com/74agmps

eBookMall http://tinyurl.com/7jbhl9s

Printed Book Links

Just released to print… Dec 15, 2011

NOW available at Amazon B&N and other booksellers.

The First Oyster: Natures New Treat

Aside

I have often wondered, who ate the first oyster and the circumstances surrounding this amazing feat. Whoever it was either was exceedingly desperate or exceedingly brave! Perhaps, they were both!  I now know who it was!  It was you!

Chesapeake Bay Oysters: Natures Treat

A glint of light  – Sparks

Drawn Interest – Bottom Rocks

Water Races – Swift with this tide

Shimmering light – Bottom dances to syncopated rhythm

More moons than rocks – Some yawn

Rocks don’t yawn!

A smile – hints of motion

More than sun and surf – partners in deception

You bend, you stare.

More than meets the eyes – Natures transformers

Your hand under the surface,

 you touch – a click

Moonscapes craggy surface – oval – edged stone

Above the water – a rock again

Ready to skip across the slew – or fell a bird for supper

No! – More lies within!

A slight line, a fringe

The thin edge weeps

What would a god hide inside such a strong box?

Twisting and puling – no bonds do break

Stone knapps stone – searching for the point within

At last a crack – the gods tears weep out

Your blade finds purchase

Wedge and Pry to find the prize

Such a vault – Gods Food?

Taste it? – Eat it?

There must be a first

Sweet tear drenched morstle

Heavens Elixir – Hungers Reliever

Natures New Treat

As always, your comments are appreciated!

Chesapeake Blues: soft rock

No nettles seen – that’s good! The nets push flipping tender tasty morsels up and over – the gulls know

Manila twines tugging pants, hauling succulent prizes

Live boxes holding true their promise

Only hours when treats remain

Eat me now is the current state for in but a few moments this tender treat will be replaced with pinch – a hard case

Quick to the kitchen – shear, snip, snip prepared.

Just flour or crumbs – dipped, some salt – a bit of pepper

Cast iron is the transport to bliss – hot sizzling lard the agent of change

In

– sizzle – sizzle – sizzle.

Out!

Another use for newspaper.

Pure delight – bliss the true tastes of home.

St. Mary’s County: Our Home

Home: St. Mary's County

August 14, 2011
Tom Loker

St. Mary’s County, Cicadas buzz, warm summer nights.  Hot and humid – to everyone else, but to those of the county, it is just somehow right!

A few hours ago a summer thunder-squall made its way across the bay – a Virginia gift.

An Adirondack chair on the front porch – the one facing the water – the stars shimmering as the cooling breeze from the bays and rivers offer some respite.  The astral show above – a perfect closure to the vibrant hues and shades of the evening sunset – now closing Nebraska, or Oklahoma’s day continuing its way around the world

Sitting here in this now and then, the smells of honeysuckle & mulberries, tobacco & corn, cows & pigs, fish & crabs, oysters & beer –the bay and the earth commingle in a distinctive perfume familiar to those who have called this land home.

“You must be Judge Loker’s grandson, Dr. Ford’s nephew.  He operated on me in 54.  I went to Leonard Hall with your uncle Billy.  I remember your dad and Dipsey Combs at Bailey’s most days.  Your cousin ….  is married to my cousin…”

The ties to each other are the comforting linkages that make each, at once exceptional and ordinary.  To put on airs or fancy ways can only cover a few beats from our common roots.

Rich or poor, we eat as one. Crabs, fish, muskrat, ham (stuffed and old), potatoes (new), goose, duck, deer (never venison), kale, field cress,  winter cress (greens), magical oysters steamed, fried, stewed,

I want to meet the first person who decided you could eat an oyster – but God bless him for his courage.

scrapple, cracklin’s, beer and bourbon, whiskey and wine.  A common fare we all share.

Obligations run deep in blood but it is the duty of neighbor and kinship that drives us. The love of God, born in our state’s founding charter of religious tolerance and freedom for all and our dominant catholic faith instill further the love of land and water.

Where ever we are now, in this physical world, one of us only needs to sit outside in the evening…  Take a sip of beer or whiskey…  Lean back – find the stars in our  eyes…  Close them and we are at once home.  St. Mary’s County.