Most people should be familiar with the old phrase "Ace In The Hole". It refers to something very special only to be used when things are not going as planned or at the most appropriate time and place to insure success.

In football, a coach may have his team practice a certain play only to use that play once in a game or an entire season. Then again he might not use that play if he does not have to. That play becomes his insurance in case things do not go as planned and his team is in trouble. That play thus becomes that team's "Ace In The Hole".

Originally posted in New American Journal on May 13th

MOBILE, Ala. – Thoroughbreds charging around the final turn and down the homestretch. Blinders strapped on the sides of their faces to keep their attention on the finish line straight ahead. Preakness Stakes at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore. Second leg of the Triple Crown later this week.

Image:  Horse and Human Blinders, by Walter Simon

A few months ago there was an explosion of train tank cars of crude oil in Canada. One exploding tank car ignited another, then another, then another, etc. Final results were half a town wiped out and dozens of people killed or injured. The blast area of that explosion was estimated to have a 5 mile radius. If you allow a "storage tank city" to be built close to a community, you are asking for trouble.

"Son, don't let nobody take your watermelon", was a phrase my  grandfather used often when I was a kid, referring to something you had of value that others wanted. Sometimes others will try to devalue what you have in an effort to make what they have seem better. Their efforts to make what you have meaningless could be a by-product of envy, greed, jealously or spite.

Industry along Mobile's riverfront.  Photo by Karen Savage, flight by Tom Hutchings

One of my favorite television shows today are reruns of the hit series from the 60's called "The Untouchables". The word "Untouchable" referred to the good guys or FBI.  Federal Agent Elliot Ness and his crew were given the task of bringing down the Mob led by Al Capone and Frank Nittie. Whenever the Mob wanted to move their operation to another city the first thing they would do is call in their tough guys and give them cases of money to buy out the locals and change any law that could hinder their operation. That way they would be operating within the confines of the "new law".

By Jose Cardenas. On May 16, I was taken to jail in Montgomery, Ala., along with six others after we sat outside the Alabama legislative chambers and refused to move as bigots inside were ramming through their revisions to the shameful HB 56.

While in handcuffs, I couldn’t help but recall the terror I once felt when I was a child who felt his future was in doubt. 


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