Reflections. What a Change…

What a change the Democrats have entertained/undergone since JFK.  For those who have forgotten, JFK was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  He was our President from January 1961 to November 1963 when he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.  JFK would not recognize his former political party today.  His fellow party members of that era are largely forgotten by the Democratic Party of today.  Oh, they feign having similar views and similar goals, but they are anything but sixties Democrats.  Their positions have hardened and they, as humans, seem to have hardened.  In fact, JFK might be more appealing to Republicans today than to today’s Dems.

I remember that time in my life and marvel at how wonderful that era seems in contrast to the present time from a political point of view.  I know that history has a way of softening some of our memories, but there is also that part of our memories that remind us of the drastic, yes drastic, changes the Democratic Party has undergone over those intervening 5+ decades.

This last half-century has been tumultuous in many ways, frightening in some ways, satisfying in some ways and has sped past as I reflect on the years that have passed since that day.  One of the things, though, about this past decade is the far more angry approach taken by the Democrat leaders as they confront the Republicans.  The Dems have a visceral reaction to virtually everything Republican.  By visceral, I mean that they have feelings of anger in their very beings that negate their abilities to react as thinking and caring politicians far too often.  Their feelings seem to come from some deep, dark place within than from a thoughtful processing of facts and goals.  When they succumb to that irrational process, they become blind to facts and are simply driven by a kind of hatred that is not at all healthy, for them or for our country.

Democrats of JFK’s time would not recognize the party of which they were significant parts were they to come back today.  Democrats of today, a very few of whom were alive in JFK’s day, might have a very tough time supporting a JFK today were he to be reincarnated and return to politics.  Such has been the change in their party’s positions over these past fifty years.

Certainly, the Republicans have also changed.  The idea that Donald Trump is our President today and wears the Republican badge is likely remote and difficult to accept to the very elder Republicans among us today.

Times change.  Some of the changes are for the better and some seem suspect in that regard.  I recognize that my thinking has changed over time and yet my party affiliations have not changed, although I am more conservative today rather than less conservative.  I suspect that I am not alone.  It seems a difficult task to remain as we were when we’ve experienced so much in the intervening fifty years.  Being conservative, I do find myself having difficulty with the party with which I vote.  It isn’t as conservative as am I.  Of course, I think I am right and the party is wrong in this regard.  But my personal choices are limited to what the Republican Party gives me since the Dems are way out in left field as I see it.

Frankly, I have difficulty in determining if I have simply grown crankier, or if my party of choice has grown more timid as I have grown more conservative.  I suspect it may be some of both.

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Something To Think About…

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules, just as any game has rules.

The first set of rules:  Everything that you didn’t spend during each day will be taken away from you.  You may not simply transfer money into some other account.  You may only spend.  Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.

The second set of rules: The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say it is over; the game is over.  They can close the account and you will not receive a new one.  What would you personally do?

You would probably buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love, right?  Even for people you don’t know because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every cent, right?

ACTUALLY, THIS GAME IS REALITY!  Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank.  We just can’t seem to see it.  THE MAGICAL BANK IS TIME.

Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.  What we haven’t lived up that day is gone forever.  Yesterday is gone forever.

Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time…without any warning!

So, what will you do with your 86,400 seconds?  Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about that, and always think about this:

Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!  Here’s wishing you a wonderfully happy day.

Start spending those 86,400 seconds, and spend wisely since each second is irreplaceable.

(Author unknown; a few grammatical changes were made to improve the flow.  Please let me know if you know of the author’s name.)

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Take a Stand Instead of a Knee…

This will be among the most memorable phrases from this entire debacle within the vaunted National Football League and it is attributed to a Chattanooga man purported to be the head of companies advertising on NFL games is reported as saying, CEO of companies advertising on NFL games, Allan Jones,  “Our companies will not condone the unpatriotic behavior.  When I see Colin Kaepernick lecturing the ‘oppressed’ wearing a Fidel Castro T-shirt you realize the hypocrisy to this stupidity. The next time someone asks the public to finance a stadium this will have a very long-term effect.”  He has reportedly ordered all commercials for his three companies pulled from all NFL games for the entire season.

As I said yesterday, football, even professional football, is a game; a game with huge chunks of money involved, but a game nonetheless.  It has no more significance than that.  It does not give players in that league the license to make statements about issues they may or may not thoroughly understand.  It especially has not the weighty cerebral significance to provide players of that game the right to engage in political protest as a part of the ceremonies leading up to that game. Of course, there has to be a political ‘tie-back’ to our President, Donald Trump.  We have to come to accept that it is his fault that NFL players are ‘acting up and acting out’.  After all, everything is his fault.

Those of us in the “muddled masses” are to be protected from our own thoughts since we obviously are near next-of-kin to the Neanderthals.  Thank goodness, it seems, that we are smart enough to elect leaders at all levels, but our brilliance then is finished until we elect a new set of leaders.  We are to have no more opinions unless those are related to the ethereal realities of NFL football.  We certainly should not be opining about the conduct of football players who, frankly, seem more than a little bit out of their element.

Emotion is a huge driver of us humans.  If we can be whipped into a froth, a frenzy, we can make all kinds of dumb decisions.  We, collectively, do that virtually every day in one or more ways.  We flock to the sales outlets the day that the newest Apple ‘thingy’ is introduced.  That, after all, admits us to a very select group of people who are “with it”.

We tend to imitate those whom we idolize…and we idolize people who shouldn’t be idolized at all just because we see them a lot or they scored the winning touchdown or they tipped over a statue of some old dude about whom we knew nothing.  We wear t-shirts extolling this or that person.  We demonstrate, unfortunately, that we can be had very easily.

So, we come to the next chapter in the saga of NFL football and we will now tune in as much for the pre-game antics as for the actual game.  And the fake kneeling down when the National Anthem is played is just that…fake.  It is somehow intended to make us tie our President, Donald Trump, to anything and everything bad.

Frankly, I do not believe for an instant that either you or I need to be led, or misled, by an NFL player or two or many.  I think we both are very capable of making our own decisions and drawing our own conclusions.  And, yes, once in awhile we’ll make the wrong decision…but that isn’t going to be driven by whether or not the NFL children take a knee or link arms or whatever during our NATIONAL ANTHEM!  

They would be wise indeed to show us all they really do know what our National Anthem means and that they really do appreciate the opportunities this great country has afforded them to become millionaires simply because they can run and throw or catch or kick a ball.

I do not think that either one of us needs to be preached to politically or otherwise by anyone of those NFL players.  I do think they might even threaten their elite world since it is us buying the products and services of those that advertise before, during and after their games that in large part determines how much money they’ll take home each week.

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Citizen Legislators…

Our country started with the idea that people would go to Washington, D.C., serve their constituents for a time, and then return to their regular lives as another took their place in Washington.

Over the course of time, that approach seems to have lost favor with the idea that career politicians are the correct answer.  At least, that is what appears to have occurred since we have a preponderance of career politicians and once the careerist is in office, there is scant little thought given to limiting the terms he or she will serve.

Our politicians, especially at the national level, have been made an elite group for whom everything is covered and there are few if any real wants left unsatisfied.  Those at the state level are still with their constituents and are usually in their home areas regularly so they can stay in touch.  That is a bit more difficult for an official from Superior, WI than for the official from the capital city of Madison, WI.  There are similar situations for most at the state level in almost all our states.

The danger for those who are disconnected from home for lengthy periods is simple.  They become engrossed with the pampering they receive in our nation’s capital and that is a nice feeling for many.  There are parties.  There are lobbyists.  Promises are made.  The atmosphere is alive, electric almost.  The constituents are at home, for the most part.  It has to take a particular kind of person to be able to withstand the temptations of the office to which elected.

The attraction to power may be likened to the moth that simply cannot avoid being drawn to the bright light.  Humans are just that…human.  We each carry our frailties with us every step of the way.  If we are close to home, we have, I believe, a much better chance of staying in touch with reality.  Even if we travel through the week, coming home is that solace at the end of the busy week for which we hunger.

It takes a very strong and very mature person to withstand the rigors of national office.  That is not for the weak in willpower, nor is it for those who have lost their bearings over time.  Among the things needing to be addressed is that of the sense of power conveyed to the holder of the office.

We see Senators and Congressmen/women who appear to have lost all touch with the realities you and I face each and every day.  Those are the people who seem to be so out-of-touch with the reality that we wonder what has happened to them.  Those with a strength of will and a guiding faith work their way through the temptations of national office.  Those who are weak succumb to the siren’s calls to stray from what they knew was right and what was wrong to a newly defined set of rights and wrongs.  That is such a gradual change that even strong-willed people might succumb, but where certainly those without strong wills will be pulled into the depths.

If you step back and take a look at the various politicians that you have questions about, I’ll wager that the majority of those folks have served for years.  Not every longterm officeholder is in that group, but those who are may well need to come home.  You and I determine when it is time for them to come home.  Our votes have that power.

Remember your power every time you walk into the polling place to cast your vote.  Remember, also, the pride that we saw as the people who vote in countries where this is not the gift it is for us, as they emerged with the purple fingertip to show they had cast their ballot.  Maybe we should go back to that and get away from the flag sticker for our lapel or jacket.

Maybe our system is now simply too easy.  Remember, the next time you find yourself upset or even angry over a vote taken in an elected body with which you disagree.  You are the person who can make changes to that body with your vote and your talking with other voters to help them understand there may be a better choice for that office.

We are indeed a free people and we need be mindful of that each and every day lest we lose some of those freedoms without even being aware they are gone.  We have that power in America, if we’ll but choose to use it.

If we don’t use it, shame on us.

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Foaming At The Mouth…

The liberal press and the liberal newsies that are token parts of whatever remains of the conservative press are so enraged that they can be described as nearly foaming at the mouth.  Spittle flies when they try to talk about the cause of it all…the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.

Anything and everything “Trump” inflames these people; it seemingly takes them into a certain ‘netherworld’ from which they can only rant and rave with nonsensical thoughts and accusations.

Professional football players apparently think they can justify kneeling during the playing of our country’s National Anthem because you and I elected Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton to be our President.  They, quite obviously, are not sufficiently educated to understand what our National Anthem means, and why we stand for its playing before such events as a football game.

They are not involved in anything remotely approaching what those who gave their lives for us were involved with.  They play a game.  Those we remember during the playing of this National Anthem gave their all and many left that on the field of battle…which differs so significantly from the field of football as to create an otherwise laughable comparison.

Google “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and see the copious references that pop up.  Have us Americans finally slipped the last cog as Europeans have expected would occur for centuries?  Congress, too, suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome or TDS.  It is very nearly impossible to avoid displays of TDS no matter how carefully one treds through his or her daily life.

At first, I, like many others, thought this apparent illness would subside as President Trump took office, but that did not seem to occur.  Instead, this mysterious affliction seems to have grown into something approaching a physic plague that deprives otherwise reasonable and seemingly intelligent people of their abilities to reason and to act like normal people…like Americans.

Even professional football players who are awarded evermore exorbitant amounts of money for athletic prowess bestowed on them by the Almighty at their birth have succumbed to TDS as we see when they feel they have to blatantly hold our National Anthem in disrepute for all to see.  Rather than to seem the strong professional athletes they used to appear to be, they are now the whining jerks who decided they have to demonstrate their angst.  This has now become a full-blown protest amongst the pro football players.  These very well-paid men, paid for their athleticism rather than their wisdom I might add, are using their status to tell the rest of us what we ought to be believing or disbelieving.

Rather than to seem the strong professional and somewhat rational athletes they used to appear to be, they are now the whining jerks who decided they have to demonstrate their angst.  This has now become the preferred outlet for what Hillary Clinton has been feeling since the last national election.  They apparently think they, too, were somehow cheated by this massive conspiracy that we know as The Electoral College.

We think Kim Jung Un is deranged.  Take a look at some who suffer from TDS.  North Koreans bow to Kim Jung Un because to not do so is to die figuratively or literally.  Those with TDS are simply suffering from their personal whining over Hillary’s failure, yes failure, to win an election.  An election that was fairly and squarely decided in keeping with our Constitution and recognizing the wisdom of our Founding Fathers who created the Electoral College.

GET OVER IT!

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A Couple of Things…

Myopic Maverick?

I don’t know about you, but I am more than a little ticked with Sen. John McCain (with a very questionable ‘R’ behind his name) who has made his political brand that of the ‘maverick’.  He has been more, at least in recent years, a ‘closet-Democrat’ than anything else.  The term maverick is defined as an unorthodox or independent-minded person.  In reality, he claims to be independent-minded but I don’t recall that last display of independence except when he sticks his finger in the eye of the Republicans.  He runs as a Republican but votes as a Democrat far too often for my tastes.  He is obviously unorthodox, for sure, but has a more distinct liberal leaning in his aging years.

McCain the war hero has long ago disappeared.  McCain the waffler has been around for at least two terms.  McCain the unreliable Republican is in evidence on a very regular basis.  His home state, Arizona, has been a conservative state which is now leaning toward the liberal bent.  That may well have been the driving force behind his ‘maverick’ personal re-branding.  The state’s leaning has been apparent for some time and McCain might simply have observed and decided he’d change a bit along with his constituents in order to maintain his status as a U.S. Senator.  Going along to get along has never been very attractive to the person doing so!  Even a war hero!

NFL Players/Owners Denigrate Our Flag & What It Stands For…

The disrespectful members of the various NFL teams and some owners/team officials who seem to be waffling are dangerously close to permanently harming the NFL franchise.  This has very little, if anything, to do with ‘free speech’; and the team owners have the same rights that any employer has so far as the activities of their employees under contract in the workplace.

The seeming politically sensitive owners have come dangerously close to finding themselves in trouble with the fans.  The idea that these ‘heroes’ have little or no regard for the flag representing our country and what it stands for suggests they ought to be fined by the league and fined significantly.  This may well be another offshoot of us having elected Donald Trump as our President, and of the liberal media having sort of chided and encouraged this childish display through their coverage of those ‘protesting’, if this can be called a protest.

This is a disrespectful display that flies in the face of every living and dead member of the armed forces who gave their lives or served with the knowledge that they might give their lives in ultimate sacrifice for their country.  It seems there might well be a bunch of “snowflakes” wearing NFL uniforms.  A significant fine by the owners, and certainly by the league if the owners continue to be spineless, would probably go a long way toward them developing an understanding they can’t use their podium for political statements, and certainly not during televised games.

Too many in that rarified world seem to think their feces doesn’t emit an odor.  We vote for politicians, not for NFL players, at least while they’re playing.  The NFL and its players have a very real obligation to remain totally and completely apolitical.

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Maxine & Her Peeps…

Maxine Waters (D-CA) is a regular newsmaker given her propensity for voluable claims that litter the media.  “Maxine the machine” is one of those political Energizer bunnies and she is oft-quoted since she is quite quotable in addition to being quite voluable.  A veritable font of quotations if a media outlet isn’t particularly particular as to what it prints/broadcasts.  If a media person has a bit of space to be filled, this is the politician who can fill it and much, much more.  There is, of course, the warning that ought to be issued before every statement about suspect validity, but that is never seen maybe with the exception of this blog and others.

“Maxine the machine,” says it, and it is presumed obviously the next of kin to words found in the Gospel, therefore it is printed/taped, etc. and distributed to the hungry ‘news’ organizations.  Unfortunately, there are people who believe this “claptrap” and who see it as anything but “claptrap”.

Maxine said within the past 48 hours or so that she can “guarantee” that President Trump has colluded with the Russians with the intent to undermine American democracy.  Of course, the media mavens made absolutely no effort to ‘fact-check’ probably because they recognize there is a near total absence of fact in much of what Maxine has to say, and fact-checking would simply be a waste of time and print space.  Maxine literally calls the White House staff the “Kremlin Klan” bringing both Russians and The Klan into the equation jointly.  She is really good at what she does…if you like that sort of thing.

She is quoted in the Washington Examiner as saying:  “Here you have a president who I can tell you and guarantee you is in collusion with the Russians to undermine our democracy.  Here you have a president that has obstructed justice.  And here you have a president that lies every day.”  Of course, she “urged Congress to pursue impeachment”, as  she babbled on

She went on to the effect that Congress can say impeachment is whatever it wants that term to mean, which is obviously true and we know that Congress as a body is capable of nearly anything.  Ms. Waters has made quite a name for herself with her edicts that Congress can define any crime however it wishes to define it.  High crimes and misdemeanors is a phrase which Congress in its wisdom can make mean whatever suits it that day, or week, or month according to Rep. Waters.

It is most interesting to note that seldom anything happens with Maxine’s charges and yet those charges are always printed/broadcast without regard for the fact they are very likely bogus if she is to be judged by her past claims.  Almost seems like media collusion.

The media in this case, and others too numerous to mention, appears a witting accomplice everytime it rushes to press with a comment from Rep. Waters.  I suppose that to ignore Maxine would be to court massive charges from her of being racist.  That having been said, is there not a point in time when Maxine Waters, or anyone of her ilk, is to be called out and made accountable for her speech?  It certainly isn’t going to be done by her constituents as we see from her re-election record.

For those of us who recognize her rants for what they are, ‘calling herself out’ is what she does to herself almost every time she says something.  She is so accustomed to the press rolling over and printing whatever her rant of the day is, that she likely doesn’t even comprehend what she is doing any longer.  It is simply what she does whenever there is a camera and/or a microphone…or even a reporter with pad and pencil.

That would also explain her votes and her selection of party banner.  That her party has done nothing to distance itself from her suggests strongly they do not care if they can count on that vote no matter the issue.  Let her rant and rave.  She’ll always be there when they need that vote.  And, she is both female and black.  That is a very dangerous political combination to try to correct from the party’s point-of-view.  After all, a solid vote is a solid vote

And she seems to have that District in the palm of her hand for so long as she wishes, so why even contemplate changing her style.  Truth be damned.

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