ERROL CASTENS: Politics, rioting and other ways to shoot oneself in the foot

From the hodge-podge of mental BBs bouncing around inside my cranium:
• A union representing workers at the Olin Corp. centerfire ammunition plant in East Alton, Ill., has reportedly declined a new contract offer, with the result that the company says it will move 1,000 jobs to Oxford, where it already manufactures rimfire (itty-bitty) ammo. Among the concessions the workers wouldn’t make was to give up each year’s fifth week of paid vacation.
There’s a particular irony to the idea that a union representing ammunition workers would shoot itself in the foot.
• I was just wondering: Are Frenchmen willing to riot after age 60?
• It’s nice to be such a regular at a place that the folks running it know what you want when you walk in. It doesn’t change the taste of the coffee one whit, but I feel appreciated as a customer when I walk into my second office and the folks behind the counter already know I want dark roast in a mug, not a paper cup, and that I may or may not order a bran muffin.
• Speaking of regular and bran, most of us guys don’t understand that yogurt commercial. Who’s going to wait for two weeks in hopes that yogurt will “promote colon health” or however they say it? If you want to be regular, ladies, collard greens and whole-grain cornbread are a girl’s best friend.
• Two years ago, it said a great deal about how far we’ve come as a country that an African-American, Barack Obama, could be elected as president. This week, it also said a great deal about that same sort of progress that African-Americans Allen West and Tim Scott could be elected to Congress – as conservative Republicans – from Southern states.
And it’s kind of nice that a second Deep South state has elected a governor of Indian-American ancestry.
• On football weekends in Oxford, when tempted to block a narrow street or someone’s driveway with your vehicle, ask yourself, “Where would Jesus park?”
• The trouble for double-bitted murderer Lizzie Borden was all a misunderstanding, just because her father spoke Southren. When Little Lizzie approached her dad with one of those questions that fathers don’t want to ponder, Mr. Borden responded, “I don’t know, dear. Go ax your mother.”

Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

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