The Curmudgeon Is Moving…

I have studied the possibility of making some changes in this blog to improve the overall appearance, the numbers of hits it receives from readers, and the potential for a more robust site.

The new name is planned to be The Curmudgeon Writes and I will move the blog to the Google Blogger site which is a very robust, great looking site for bloggers.  It was amazing to see the number of bloggers, active or retired but still holding naming rights, who have used “Curmudgeon” as part of their blog title.  The bulk of those are no longer active but those naming rights are still held should those people return to blogging.

As soon as that is finalized later today, I will communicate the final name (in case someone beat me to this name) and how to log on to the new blog site.  I hope, and think, you will be pleased with the change you see.  The tools available are robust and I will have to learn how best to employ them as quickly as possible. The appearance is significantly improved over the platform I’ve been using.

This blog has become an essential part of me over the time it has been alive.  I appreciate all the readers who have followed it and I hope there will be more and more as the new site is populated six days a week with a blog.  I have had no way of determining the actual number of readers the blog has attracted in the past and will have that ability in this new world.  I may be pleasantly surprised or saddened, but that is the chance that has to be taken.

The new address for the blog is intended to be:

http://www.thecurmudgeonwrites.blogspot.com

As soon as that is confirmed later today, I will communicate it on this site…likely the last use of this old site.  Thanks to each of you for reading this version.  I hope you’ll make the move to the new version along with me.

 

 

Damned If You Do or Don’t…

How would you handle getting up each morning knowing that you were already being damned for something you did as well as for something you didn’t?  Our President is polarizing and he has no end of critics…who both criticize for what he has done as well as for what he has not done.  That is more a lose-lose than a win-win proposition, but he chose it.

I try to remember when we had a President that we didn’t pillory no matter what was done or left undone.  Maybe that goes back as far as Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former General whom we placed in the White House.  Maybe it goes back to Harry S. Truman, the Missouri clothier.

As I worked through the list it became apparent that we had far less access on a daily or even an hourly basis to the doings of our government in earlier times, not times before modern communication but times before the polarization we seem to crave these days.  There were times, and I know it is hard to believe for many, when we did not live in a 24 hour per day news cycle.

We might have gotten the morning or afternoon newspaper or even both if we were real news junkies.  And there were, although I’m not sure we knew what to call them at that point in our history, sources that leaned to the left and sources that leaned to the right.  The leanings didn’t seem to be quite so pronounced or quite so drastic as they seem today, but there were political overtones.

We have created what we live with today, and we did so in an anxious, can’t wait kind of way.  We have come to the point where getting the news an hour after it happens seems like a breakdown in technology.  Imagine how our forefathers made it through the days and weeks-long delays for news from the World War II front.  And the Korean front.

And further, imagine only tube-driven radios with no pictures and static for sound that we huddled around to hear the latest, even though it wouldn’t qualify as the ‘latest’ today.  The thing that has changed is simple: we get too much information today and we get it too soon and we don’t always analyze the content for leanings to the left or to the right.  Or, we have analyzed and chosen the left or right intentionally, thus causing us to get what we want but not everything we need to reach fully informed middle-of-the-road opinions.

There is no more middle-of-the-road for news so that we can digest it and interpret it as we choose.  It has already been digested and interpreted when we receive it.  That explains why it is so important for us to know what the slant is to the news from the source we’re using for that news.

People are heard to talk about the ‘good old days’ when they reminisce with friends or when they talk with younger family members.  Those days were slower although an hour was still an hour even then.  Our days are filled with so much it seems we must have more than 60 minute hours and more than 24 hour days.  We are if we permit ourselves to be, inundated with news.  Many of us are addicted to more news more rapidly.

Back to the beginning…

We are quick to damn and quick to praise our leaders depending upon our personal political persuasion.  The 24-hour news cycle is a vicious thing for those who are leading us.  There is no respite.  There is simply no time to take that step back and re-think before we engage mouth or pen.

Our leaders suffer from that and are too often damned if they did or damned if they didn’t.  We suffer from that, too.  We are instant recipients of news, and that does not give us the former luxury of others having noodled and shared their thoughts with us.

We’ve lost a bit as we’ve progressed, and our youngsters will only read about this in history classes if that is even taught.  Makes one wonder what we’re leaving to our children and their children and their children.

More, more quickly, is not always better.

Barnes & Noble, et al…

Given that I am of a generation that has witnessed amazing new technological leaps, the idea that I’d walk into a Barnes & Noble store to pick up a book I had ordered from them probably dates me more than anything else I could say or do.  Yes, I have heard of Amazon, however, I am not yet tied to that entity for any and all things I seek…but that is going to change whether or not I like the idea.

I did walk into the local Barnes & Noble last Friday to pick up a copy of a book I wanted (Google’s Blogger for Dummies, but please don’t tell anyone).  I had ordered it through B&N when I walked into their store and found they didn’t carry it on their bookshelves.  No, I didn’t think about Amazon, but I wish I had given the price difference and the fact that I’d have had my book sooner.

I am not a ‘Nook” person since I love the tactile sensation of the book or the newspaper, but I think I see a change coming…whether or not I might be in favor of that change.

My Barnes & Noble experience was one of some frustration since they seemed only to have employees in places where I wasn’t.  I was e-mailed to let me know my book was ready for pick-up a few days after my visit, and I went back right away only to find that where I placed the order wasn’t where I was to pick up the order.

That was only made known to me after I sought human assistance only to find the two people who seemed to be employees engaged in conversation and seeming to not wish to be interrupted…who finally acknowledged me only to dismissively say that I couldn’t pick up the book I ordered from the department where I had ordered it, but from the cashier where I’d be paying for the book.

There, I’ve vented.  But that doesn’t change reality.  Bookstores are dwindling in numbers.  Barnes & Noble is suffering significantly.  It had a 5.3% decrease in store revenue and, even worse, a 19.5% decrease in their Nook revenue.  Libraries are even competing effectively with Barnes & Noble through the use of Overdrive that delivers Nook books at no cost to the reader.

Barnes & Noble competes with itself with the free Nook books it makes available.

I should’ve been able to see this wall writing the day I stopped at Barnes & Noble when I saw the paucity of customers.  I may be among the last of a breed in terms of my preference for books I can hold, but I will not soon forget that Amazon has anything and everything I could imagine, and I can have it a discounted prices and delivered to my door pronto.

(By the way, I think I will likely be moving my Curmudgeon Blog to a different system that seems to be more accommodating.  You probably got that hint when I mentioned the book ‘Google’s Blogger for Dummies’.  I’ll keep you posted; ideally, the change won’t be too painful for either you or me.)

Unfettered Power…

Unfettered power is also defined as unrestrained power, and this was what a wise Judge questioned providing to the very special Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who is on the hunt to bring down our President.

That is the end game for Mueller…to bring down President Donald Trump, our duly elected President of the United States of America.  Mueller currently has Paul Manafort in his grip and is trying to get a Judge to authorize him to do anything he desires to threaten Manafort in order to be able to make him testify against President Trump.

So far the Judge has refused to give in to Mueller and has told him he, the Judge, knows that Mueller is trying to topple the President with his hopes of destroying Manafort to force him to testify against the President.

Can you even begin to imagine the outcry from the left if these tactics had been in use by a Special Prosecutor whose aim was directed at the destruction of then-President Barack Obama?  Of course not.  That would’ve been unthinkable…even for Conservatives…since Obama was a duly-elected President of the United States of America.

I know that liberals will say that if he had done what Trump is alleged to have done, they would’ve supported that action.  We all know, even the liberals know, that is B.S.

As conservatives, we have become accustomed to being scoffed at, to being ridiculed, to being relegated to the scrap heap of history only to rise up periodically to point out the folly of liberals.  The liberals conveniently forget President Reagan, as well as conveniently forgetting the in-office follies of then-President Barack Obama.  We need not go back so far as President Clinton.

They cheer Obama’s behind-the-scenes out-of-office efforts that have launched an organization the power of which will dwarf anything dreamed up to date by former political chieftains.  The ‘grassroots lobbying’ machine that has been constructed by the Obamas is a frightening look at the seizure of power through the use of modern communications media that uses the general populace as the warriors for the movement.

Our attention is diverted through the antics of the liberals still in power who know full well what they’re doing is buying the Obama Machine time to grow their grassroots machine into a political steamroller.  The Muellers of the political world serve Obama well in that these diversionary tactics draw what scant attention the press would usually pay to Democrat shenanigans away from the Obama family and its well-formed machine that had to have been conceived well before he left office.

The Muellers of D.C. world serve well in keeping the attention on what they seem to perceive as the evil empire of Donald Trump.  Every once in awhile we see a Judge who hasn’t sold out to the liberals stand up to the likes of Robert Mueller who has apparently taken his appointment as the bequeathing of power to destroy the sitting President…no matter what that might take.

This is not what we want to leave for our children and their children, but this is what is being built steadily, day-in and day-out, as the liberals do their level-best to take down President Trump no matter what.  Robert Mueller is the latest tool, the latest weapon in the liberal arsenal, and he is well-suited to the job he was assigned.

Unfettered power is the Devil’s tool, and he will find those who believe in the use of such unfettered power at his beck and call.  Washington, D.C. is awash with such people.  We see them on news broadcasts daily.  We see them on the daily talk shows.  We read their screeds in liberal publications.

Unfettered power in anyone’s hands is dangerous for we all are human and we have human weaknesses.  We see that on display daily from the heart of our democracy and some of us weep silently and work against it while others seem to take great joy in what they’ve wrought.

Giuliani on Comey…

Rudy Giuliani made no bones about what he thought of James Comey during his visit with Sean Hannity Wednesday evening.  Given that Giuliani is part of President Trump’s legal team now, that is probably not earth-shaking news…but the level of his vitriol seems to be elevated and most sincere.

Giuliani said that he wished he had never hired Comey when he brought him into the U.S. Attorney’s office in the ’80s.  He said that he has an open mind so far as “Bob Mueller”, but “I know Comey much better, and I have the indignity of unfortunately having hired him for his first big job.  And. I’m embarrassed that I hired him.”

Guiliani also had the ‘pleasure’ of being cited in Comey’s book. “A Higher Loyalty” where Comey wrote, “There was something of an unwritten code about working in the office of Rudy Giuliani”.  “In his (Giuliani’s) case, the message was that Rudy was the star at the top and the successes of the office flowed in his direction.  You violated this code at your peril”.

Sounds like a bit of a ‘love fest’ between two people who had egos while only one was in the top spot at the time.  That is the way of the world.  Those of us working for a boss, know, or should know, that the boss gets the glory outside the office and elsewhere within the organization while taking care of those who make that possible.  The understanding is that this is part of the internal politics in most organizations.

President Trump’s retaining Giuliani might well have happened in part, large part, because of this antagonistic relationship Giuliani has with Comey.  The assumption would be that Comey likely still has strong similar feelings for Giuliani.  These are two very strong egos, both of which are now part of the dance with an even stronger ego, in President Trump, if it is possible for an ego to be stronger than that of the two now jousting with one and other.

President Trump seems a very astute judge of character, and he also seems accustomed to winning far more often than losing.  The writing on the wall at the moment would seem to be saying:  President Trump is in the position of power and he will win out in this battle of wills, while he takes a few hits as these two bulls dance in the flower beds around the White House.

It seems, from where I sit, that Comey loses a bit of ground every day whether or not he knows that, while the President stays reasonably aloof as his hired minions work their individual magic in his behalf.  Comey seems to be essentially an unlikeable man who is doing nothing to overcome that issue with the public.

I will not be at all surprised if Comey oversteps his charge in his zealousness to win this battle at all costs.  Comey really is not very likable.  Giuliani has the ability to show a charming side when he feels that is appropriate while still being able to bare his fangs as that may be required.

We are still, unfortunately, in the early rounds of this epic fight.  We know we have a President who brought a lot of baggage along with him.  We also, for the most part, know that our President is a very bright guy who knows the art of deal-making which is a very important tool in the Oval Office.  Other than for a band-aid or two occasionally showing, I have to believe that President Trump emerges from this battle intact, or at last reasonably intact, and still our President…albeit with a few more bruises and an even more staunch Democrat Party aiming at thwarting any and all of Trump’s initiatives.

You or I would be cringing and trying to avoid anyone we knew.  Trump is holding forth through the storm…no pun intended.

I expect the Dems to lose face, again, in the final analysis, even though that shouldn’t occur given this set of players and this set of issues.

White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Have you ever pondered the words vile and evil, and noted how they use the same letters?  Vile was the word that came to mind most readily when the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is thought about.  I have not watched this ugly festival aimed by the press at the occupants of the White House.  Nor will I plan to given its terrible episode of last weekend.

I did see clips that turned my stomach.  I saw a vile person who was actually evil in her treatment of people sitting on the dais as they tried to be the adults in the room since those seemed in very short supply.  A supposed comedien, whose name is redacted for the sake of less publicity, was the primary source of humorous venom which was laughed at, somewhat lamely at times, by those in attendance…the press correspondents and guests who make their living by covering the White House.

This was simply DISGUSTING.  Those in attendance, because they wanted to attend, ought to be taking some very serious looks at self.  Those in attendance, because they were told to attend, ought to be talking with whoever made that decision and asking for special dispensation from ALL future White House Correspondent Dinners unless or until the filth that was to appear as humor is expunged from the agenda.

The hero of the evening was Sarah Huckabee Sanders who was seated on the dais in full view of all attendees and who took the brunt of the filth emanating from the performing jerks’ mouth.

Somewhere along the lineage of press people, the gene pool has produced some misfits who, in turn, see fit to employ other misfits who struggle mightily to be humorous.  This annual shi_storm ought to be killed off and stay dead unless or until adults can put it back together again in the fashion that ought to prevail at such an august gathering.

Humor can be cutting and still be humor.  This garbage was anything but funny, anything but humor; it was filthy (some would say ‘risque’) and was cutting to the point that, were I a guest in that audience, I would have stood and left the room.  And, were I in any way, shape or form responsible for the selection of this vile person who chose to spit her venom instead of being humorous, I would be apologizing in  BOLD CAPS to any and all who would hear me out.  And, had I any personal power, this person would find work pretty scarce for quite a while unless she wanted to appear at a hole-in-the-wall tavern outside some small burg in mid-America.

And, once again, Sarah Huckabee rose to the top with her poise and a steady core of Christian strength in the face of evil in the form of a person who wouldn’t know humor if it bit her on the nose.

Finally, if I were President, I’d be giving serious thought to killing off the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, at least as a White House-sponsored event until the organizers could assure me this crap would not occur again…ever!  At the least, I’d have to let each and every editor of all publications whose reporters were in attendance know that I didn’t appreciate this hate-filled spewing and advise that personal availability to their people might suffer in the future.

There are some ugly creatures lurking in the place we call The Swamp.