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alias 'The Rusty Goat'

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Today's Blog Post and Other Passing Thoughts by Rodney Strange, author, website designer, entrepreneur, over-the-hill wanna-be cowboy, and west Texas' most eligIble bachelor.

Rodney Strange, The man behind the Rusty Goat
Rodney Strange wrote under the pen name 'The Rusty Goat ' for years!


Rusty Goat Today

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Rusty Goat Today

Newsfeed – TIME
08/25/2016 07:25 PM
This May Be KFC’s Top-Secret Recipe
Colonel Sanders’ nephew may have accidentally shown the recipe to a reporter
08/25/2016 04:27 PM
Beyoncé Honors Aaliyah 15 Years Later With a Sweet Throwback Video
The queen pays tribute to Baby Girl
The Columbus Dispatch op-ed columnists
08/25/2016 06:29 AM
E.J. Dionne commentary: Theology gets lost when religion is politicized
Over the past several decades, those who view religion with respect regularly come back to the same question: What has happened to the religious intellectuals, the thinkers taken seriously by nonbelievers as well as believers? In this increasingly secular time, a natural follow-up question ratifies the point of the original query: Who cares?
08/25/2016 06:28 AM
Victor Davis Hanson commentary: Unity suffers in preoccupation with diversity
Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history. The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe.

Odd, weird, throwed-off news

Today's Throwed-Off News

Comic Riffs
08/25/2016 06:23 PM
Here are the cartoons Mike Pence drew while in law school
Here are the cartoons Mike Pence drew while in law school

LONG BEFORE he was trying to draw crowds along the campaign trail for the White House, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was trying to draw humor out of the law-school experience. Hitting the books wasn’t so easy, the Republican vice-presidential nominee has acknowledged in interviews. After thoughts of pursuing the priesthood (he reportedly applied to D.C.’s […]
08/25/2016 11:59 AM
New Google Doodle beautifully salutes the 100th birthday of the National Park Service
New Google Doodle beautifully salutes the 100th birthday of the National Park Service

IN 2009, I hosted filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan at The Washington Post as they came to explain their passion behind their latest project, the documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” What most stuck with me from that day is their belief that we are not merely customers and consumers of America’s parks; we […]
News Of The Stupid
08/25/2016 05:52 PM
Pennsylvania wife accused of stabbing husband for drinking her last beer
Pennsylvania wife accused of stabbing husband for drinking her last beer submitted by /u/bridgesfreezefirst
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08/25/2016 07:43 PM
Burger King Manager Facing Assault Charge For Allegedly Throwing Sauce At Customer
Burger King Manager Facing Assault Charge For Allegedly Throwing Sauce At Customer submitted by /u/philamignon
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Odd, weird, offbeat, throwed-off news

Rusty Goat Gazette

Rusty Goat Gazette

What the world's been doing while you were away!
Latest News -
08/26/2016 12:46 AM
Patrick Reed, Martin Laird share lead at Barclays
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Patrick Reed is trying his best to focus on one cup at a time.
08/26/2016 12:44 AM
Buffalo Bills OT Seantrel Henderson thriving after battle with Crohn's disease
The Sports Xchange
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- One of the feel-good stories of a training camp that sure didn't produce many, was the return of offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson.
08/26/2016 12:42 AM
Washington Nationals acquire LHP Marc Rzepczynski from Oakland Athletics
The Sports Xchange
The Washington Nationals acquired left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and cash from the Oakland Athletics for Max Schrock on Thursday.

Trending Music News

Today's Music News

Trending news in all music genres Music News
08/26/2016 12:01 AM
Britney Spears' 'Glory' Is Out Now: Listen Here
The wait is over: Britney Spears’ new album is here in all its Glory. The pop superstar’s ninth studio album, Glory, arrived as expected...
08/25/2016 11:59 PM
Britney Spears Gets Her Own Twitter Emoji for 'Glory' Release
Britney Spears is getting her own Twitter Emoji to celebrate the release of her new album, Glory, on Friday.  Britney Spears' 'Glory' Is Not an...
08/25/2016 11:59 PM
Britney Spears Gets Her Own Twitter Emoji for 'Glory' Release
Britney Spears is getting her own Twitter Emoji to celebrate the release of her new album, Glory, on Friday.  Britney Spears' 'Glory' Is Not an...
Taste of Country
08/25/2016 06:00 PM
Got Game? Joe Nichols Didn't Used To
Growing up, Joe Nichols says he was about as smooth as a cheese grater when it came to women. Those are his words, and they're shocking when you look at and listen to him now. Continue reading…
08/25/2016 05:00 PM
Miranda Lambert, Chris Young + More Added as 2016 ACM Honors Performers
The performers at this year's 10th Annual ACM Honors are getting bigger and bigger. As of Thursday (Aug. 25), Alicia Keys, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, Dan + Shay and the Band Perry have joined the lineup. Continue reading…


Today's blog post with author Rodney Strange, alias 'The Rusty Goat'
Strange Thinking
08/21/2016 08:53 PM
'When Was America Great ~ Part Four'

The Nineties



In my last blog post, I established the decade of the 1980's as one of genuine greatness with America riding high under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. The dawn of the nineties missed not a single beat as the legacy of Reagan transitioned into a reign of Bush the First. Our nation's economy continued to flourish as we turned the calendar to a new decade. a country full of hope and aspirations.
I found myself in a triple-digit position with a company I had dedicated the majority of the eighties to. With the beginning of a new decade, I relocated my family to a small Texas community of around six thousand that had reaped the harvest of a booming '80's economy. The town had all but posted a billboard at the edge of town declaring that within its community resided fourteen millionaires and one, billionaire, all earning their bragging rights during the decade of the eighties. I, with a salary of a mere hundred grand and some change, did my best to fit into a community whose golf course ranked in the top ten in the state of Texas. It was a bizarre experience for me, a man who had, in his own mind, finally achieved his ultimate career goals, to be humbled by 'the rich and famous' surrounding him and yes, perhaps even snubbing him for his failure to fit in.
Indeed, the nineties could perhaps be characterized by such TV shows as 'The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.' America was drawn to fame and fortune as perhaps never before. Our nation had entered uncharted territory with more millionaires per capita than ever in the history of our existence. We questioned what our next move should families, as communities, as a country. With money in the bank and jungle in our pockets, we experimented with extravagance. We parked two new cars in the three car garages that came with our newly acquired hundred thousand dollar homes. We saved for our children's college educations and spoiled them with wonderfully expensive trinkets. We invested in the stock market and made even more money to fuel our ravenous desires. If wealth and career success is the definition of American Greatness, America charged into the first few years of the nineties in pure, unedited greatness.
While America basked in her greatness in 1991, Saddam Hussein launched an offensive which resulted in a takeover of the country of Kuwait, which held vast resources of oil. President George the First and his First General, Colin Powell, launched a one hundred day war to beat the Iraqi forces back into their own country. America was introduced to its military greatness, with 'Shock and Awe' as CNN showed us raw footage of massive smart bombs precisely picking off one target after another. Desert Storm verified what we already knew...America was just that great! And we thought George the First was great as well, wrapping up the year with an 89% approval rating.
The early nineties was my first recollection of a media that shifted from their traditional role of objective reporting to a more 'how we the media want you to see it' approach. In '92, Arkansas Governor Billy Clinton wooed America media with his saxophone and, coupled with one arrogant and annoying billionaire named Ross Perot, managed to oust George the First from office. As Billy took the helm, America continued its greatness. The economy grew by four percent per year, 1.7 million jobs were created annually, and stocks quadrupled in value. The average household income rose by ten percent throughout the decade and believe it or not, we even had a surplus in the government's budget. Is there a word greater that great? For if there is, America was there!
There are those who bathe in the nostalgia of the nineties who proclaim that perhaps the decade was America's greatest. But it was not without its hiccups. Many Americans found themselves mostly unaffected by the events which seemed so distant from their leather recliners within their carpeted dens, and had it not been for CNN, we might have not even noticed...the Branch Dividians in Waco. Or OJ Simpson and his glove, Rodney King, South Africa's dismantled apartheid, or Princess Diana's divorce and later on, her death.
We discovered hip-hop and Britney Spears, Seinfeld and Friends, and Harry Potter. With our ample supply of cash, we purchased computers with Windows 95 and turned ourselves on to Yahoo and eBay. We went to the movies and watched 'Pulp Fiction' and Toy Story.' Our children bought CDs at an unprecedented rate as boy bands such as 'Backstreet Boys' and N'Sync became even wealthier than the rest of us. We were vaguely aware of some talk about an intern named Monica and...a cigar? But everything was just so Tony the Tiger GGGreat, that even with the Lewinsky scandal, we still gave our president a 73% approval rating.
So we have two back to back decades of American greatness. During that era, Americans saw a twenty-eight percent increase in household income. America had not only become a beacon of hope for the rest of the world, but our greatness lent itself to the world. Planet Earth had reached a prosperous plateau, and one of primarily peaceful circumstances. What fueled this period of greatness? I believe it was the despair of the seventies. America, with her determination and resilience, fought back against the failures of the seventies, with her sights set on, yes...greatness.
It has been said that the only thing people learn from history is that nobody learns anything from history. I think we did back in the era of our greatness, the decades of the eighties and nineties. But perhaps our greatness made us grow complacent. Like fattened sheep, were we doomed to be led to slaughter? As we fretted over the biggest f our worries of the nineties, something so silly...Y2K, a new century, unknown to us, loomed ominously just around the corner. We wrap up this series, 'When Was America Great?' with my next post. In the meantime, take some time to ponder...'When Will America Be Great Again?'

If you were a fan of the nineties, you will enjoy my latest novel 'The Chimera Parables'...see it here

08/14/2016 10:31 PM
'When Was America Great ~ Part Three'

The Eighties



So far in this series of posts, we've raffled through the decades of the sixties and seventies searching for the answer to 'When was America great?' While indeed both decades presented milestones that propelled our country forward, each had their drawbacks, some with dire consequences. As the seventies drew to a close, America was experiencing double-digit inflation, high unemployment, interest rates nearing twenty percent, and a dark cloud of impending doom. Coupled with serious foreign issues with the USSR and a hostage situation involving American citizens and Iran, President Jimmy Carter's presidency hobbled into the eighties on its last leg.
I hobbled into the decade of the eighties as well with an old car that barely ran, a wife and new baby, and a job that paid very little for the eighty hours a week I invested into it. The company had 'promoted' me and forced me into the wilds of west Texas, to a place named after the king of cereal, Post, Texas. My eighty-hour workweeks became closer to a hundred and with rampant inflation, what little raise I had received with my promotion evaporated like raindrops on a hot summer sidewalk. After several months, disappointed, disgruntled, and desperate, I quit my job and moved back to where I belonged...back to the town I had come to call home.
Meanwhile, a movie star named Reagan had won the presidency by a landslide , garnering an eight million vote lead over President Carter. Mr. Reagan had promised to make America great again and amazingly, no sooner had I settled back down in my hometown, everything really did seem to get better. I landed a decent job, bought a house and a better car. I planted a garden and bought a few goats and some chickens. I spent many of my evenings trying to figure out a Rubiks Cube while listening to Joan Jett belt out 'I Love Rock and Roll.' MTV came along and I discovered Madonna, who really didn't seem to be like any virgin I knew. I and the rest of America discovered Pacman which became even bigger than...oh, yeah, John Lennon got shot. Prince Charles married this smoking hot blonde and Reverend Myung Moon married 2,075 couples at the Madison Square Garden, thus the Moonies.
Michael Jackson got rich with 'Thriller' and E.T. and Ghostbusters made our imaginations run wild.
Somewhere in the early eighties as recession came and went, but as the song goes...'we were so poor that we couldn't tell.' Heck, we had survived the seventies! Mr. Reagan would tell us it would all be just fine, and we believed him. We'd just go about our daily lives watching MTV and playing Pacman. I discovered George Strait, Reba, and some boys who called themselves 'Alabama.' While Don Henley and the rest of the Eagles were trying to go solo, I bought a cowboy hat and a pair of boots. In '83 Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America, but then some dirty pictures of her showed up. M*A*S*H went off the air and 125 million people watched their last show. Motorola invented the first mobile phone if you could call it that...the bag phone and Sony invented camcorders. AIDS appeared on the horizon which made us all ponder our pasts.
Urban Cowboy, Gilley's, and Dallas threw many of us into the cowboy culture, which was about the only culture the eighties seemed to have. Fashion left much to be desired and to the best of my recollection, there was nothing whatsoever sexual during that entire decade, except Demi Moore in 'Saint Elmo's Fire.' I have said from time to time that the eighties was perhaps the most boring decade of any I've lived through. Those who observe the rest of us might tell you that the generation of the eighties was a materialistic, self-centered bunch driven by their quest for wealth. Indeed, better times had arrived. Most households had two wage earners and a surplus of cash. And life was good. As Mr. Reagan had promised, government was no longer up in our business. Those who had money to save or invest saw generous returns on their investments. One could buy a hundred thousand dollar certificate of deposit and earn a cool ten grand a year on it...and some did just that. Me, I just tended to my garden and played Pacman, but life was good, nonetheless.
The space shuttle mission was in full swing and I remember how I marveled as I watched the Enterprise glide from the depths of space and land precisely on some concrete runway in some remote desert. I remember the horror on that January morning in 1986 as the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded just after liftoff. But we didn't give up on those space missions, because...America was great in those days, you know!
Let me tell you how great we were in those days. Mr. Reagan told Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall separating Berlin...and you know what? He did it! The cold war ended just like that.
I've spent quite a bit of time researching the events of the eighties in preparation for this article. Sure, there were a few glitches. The Iran-Contra affair was a pretty noticeable glitch, for example. But, boring as I seem to recall it being, I remember the eighties as a time for greatness in America. After eight years, Ronald Reagan handed the wheel over to George H. Bush in 1988 and the following year showed a growth rate of 3.8%, the largest in four years and an unemployment rate of 5.3%, a low of fourteen years. Army General Colin Powell was elevated to the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becoming the first African-American to be nominated to that post. By 1989 the Berlin Wall was nothing more than a memory.
Me? Life was so good that I bought my wife a faux fur coat for Christmas and my son a Gameboy! As I sat in my recliner watching the first episode of the Simpsons, two shadowy figures in a dimly lit room huddled closely, and in muted voices:
Gore: "What is it?"
Gates: "I call it Windows."
Gore: "What do you do with it?"
Gates: "It's like a...window to...somewhere?"
Gore (stroking his chin in deep thought) : "I've got an idea..."
He scribbles three large letters onto a yellow legal pad on the table before him...WWW

Take my word for it...the eighties were indeed an era of greatness for America. Would the nineties be able to keep pace? Next blog...don't miss it!

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