Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’…

Depending on your age and your memory, you might recall this great advertisement that featured John Cameron Swayze and a Timex watch as it went through various abusive testing.  At the end of the test, we heard the background mantra:  It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.  

If you are too young to remember this, or too old to be able to remember this, it was a great advertisement for what was then an upstart wristwatch company working diligently to gain market share from the ‘big boys’.  The prices were extremely competitive and the product was pretty darned good.

As I pondered today’s blog topic and listened to the latest background sounds on my radio this old ad campaign came back clearly and vividly…and it hit me that we have the personification of this advertisement going on every day.  Every time we hear the latest press-driven hit job on our duly elected President, we ought to say to our selves…’He takes a lickin’ and he keeps on tickin’.

He not only keeps on tickin’, he continues to break new ground like we’ve not seen from a President for a long, long time.  He ventures into campaigns such as that of taking on and defeating North Korea’s dictator, something all other Presidents of recent vintage have chosen to ignore.  By “defeating” that dictator, I actually mean that he has tamed that dictator and forced him to recognize he needs to play nice for a change or he’ll even lose his absolutely required support from China.

Where others in the Oval Office have given lip service to the need to find ways to tame this dictator, President Trump has walked up to his front door and rung the doorbell so loudly and for so long the pudgy miscreant had to answer the door and actually begin to ‘play nice with others’ over the fear he’d lose his support from China.

The Mueller investigation would’ve forced other Presidents to cower in the corner, if there is a corner in an Oval Office, when this President essentially says bring it on but be sure you have your chin strap buckled ’cause it ain’t gonna be an easy fight.  I haven’t done anything wrong and I refuse to be brushed away like some crumbs on the Democrats’ neckties.  And, while you’re at it, make sure your own life is in order because I don’t usually let myself get stomped and shoved around without extracting something in return.

Through all these trials and tribulations, when you’d have expected that Trump would be the “shrinking violet”, President Trump has stepped up his game rather than hiding behind his desk…and he continues to win the battles each day brings.  We see the liberals running scared because everything they try blows up in their own faces…and they don’t seem able to learn a lesson from these explosions that have blackened their faces and destroyed their mantra of the day or week or month.

Through all this crap, yes “crap” is the correct word, President Trump continues to achieve things no one else in this office has achieved under similar duress…since there has never been similar duress unless we go back to the era of “Tricky Dickie” Nixon who brought his problems onto himself.

It may well be that time will have to pass in order for the real job being done for us day in and day out to finally be recognized.  That is what made me think of the old Timex commercial.  I have long felt that it is unfair for those who were ridiculed and belittled by their contemporaries to be long gone before the rest of society finally takes notice of all the good that came from those beleaguered people.

There are no current Democrats that can hold a candle to this President’s capabilities and his accomplishments.  There are no Republican contemporaries who have had the courage, and also the desire, to stand up and bang his political foes about the head and shoulders for their inability to see the accomplishments.  Dare not do that; might have to get my hands dirty and it might cost me votes.

Like Timex, there is often a lag between the acts of great people and the recognition that they were actually great people.  That probably will be what President Trump experiences but he has been there and done that in his business world, so he has a good idea of all this timelag…and does it anyway!

He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!

Koreas Appear to Make Peace a Possibility…

The two Koreas, North, and South, seem to have decided to attempt to make peace with one and other and have declared an end to the nearly 70-year stand-off.  The only real thing that has changed recently is the election of President Trump who is planning a trip to Korea soon.

What has occurred to make this seem something desired by the North?  President Trump was elected and he has a no-nonsense approach to things such as the two-Koreas.  Could it be that the North has seen the wisdom of getting out of the nuclear weapons business in return for some assistance from the free world?  Could it be that this new President is not the pussy-footer that past U.S. Presidents have been?  Could it be that his standing up to China has made a China-North Korea relationship seem not as attractive as it was recently?

President Trump is basically the sole change that has occurred in the world to have an effect on this communist relationship.  He is not the typical President who dances around such ‘delicate’ issues; he simply says what he thinks and is certain to remind people that he has the strength of will to back it up if that becomes necessary.

This is simply part of the string of things that have occurred since his swearing-in ceremony that seems to be a direct result of his sitting in the White House.  He does carry a “big stick” and he does not always ‘speak softly’.  That is indeed a different combination from other Presidents of both Democrat and Republican stripes.

For being what the Democrats claim is an abomination in the Oval Office, this know-nothing poseur is making things happen, and he is making it look easy after years of stand-off politics by both sides.   The North Korea-South Korea leaders meet in Panmunjom on April 27th and that is to lead to a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

It seems that sooner or later people of all stripes will need to come to their senses and reconsider what they’ve said and thought about Donald Trump since we elected him our President.  If he is indeed a buffoon, it seems we should’ve sought out a buffoon much earlier.

  • * * * *

Finally, on a different subject entirely, I have a wonderful personal physician who treated me to a word that was not previously in my vocabulary after I confessed as part of a physical examination that I tended to try to add a word that might not be well known to my blogs on occasion.  He made one available to me that I didn’t comprehend and couldn’t imagine how to fit into one of my sentences after seeking the definition.  I shall spare you, readers, the agony he subjected me to, and promise I will try not to do the same to you…and apologize if I’ve unintentionally already crossed that line.  Thanks for being a consumer of the Blog, Doc!

The Ten Commandments (of Logic)

Most of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments.  Some because we study our Bibles and others of us because there was a movie about all that.  There are actually at least two sets of the Ten Commandments and the one that is our subject today is known as the Ten Commandments of Logic.  These are important Commandments although they do not even come close to the original set’s importance.

  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad Hominem)
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (Straw Man Fallacy)
  3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (Hasty Generalization)
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (Begging the Question)
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (Post Hoc/ False Cause)
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (False Dichotomy)
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, a claim must be true or false. (Ad ignorantum)
  8. Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (Burden of Proof Reversal)
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. (Non sequitur)
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true. (Bandwagon legacy)

I would suggest that we keep this version of the Ten Commandments close at hand in the season of high politics since that seems the perfect time for us to be besieged by the use of illogical and indefensible arguments.

The “debate” over the new national health care plan, now known as ObamaCare, where a member of Congress who shall go unnamed, exclaimed that we had to pass it in order to find out what was in it seems, by itself, to be sufficient reason to invoke these ten rules during all times when Congress is in session.  We ought to also carry a small card in wallets or purses that contain these commandments for ready referral when we encounter a nonsensical representation that is full of fallacy.

We are each likely guilty of employing one or more of these illogical points on occasion.  That is easy in the heat of the moment when we are groping for that next, and hopefully, final point in our argument for or against whatever it is that has become the subject of all the passion.

We are reminded that even the use of impassioned jargon cannot be allowed to substitute for truth and for reason.  I have images in mind of people on the floor of Congress who regularly summon such ‘commandments’ to bolster their feeble arguments.  Unfortunately, the idea of stopping that person in his or her tracks and asking them what they think they’re talking about is not permissible in that great hall where the brilliant and erudite discuss what us peons will be required to do next.

Would that these ten commandments had been emblazoned on the walls of that great room during the debate on ObamaCare.  Would that any argument advanced on the floor of Congress be required to be subjected to this set of ten commandments…in the full light of day and not at “O-Dark-Thirty” as was the case with ObamaCare.

 

Perspective…

We’ve all likely heard this word many times in the course of our lives, and we’ll continue to hear this word since it means so many different things depending on your own perspective.  Sort of confusing so we begin with the definition:

PERSPECTIVE:

1a: a mental view or prospect  (to gain a broader perspective on the international scene)

1b: a visible scene; especially: one giving a distinctive impression of distance

2a: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed placing the issues in proper perspective

2b: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance, ie. trying to maintain my perspective

3. the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions

4a: the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relations of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically: representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance

4b: a picture in perspective

We are urged often to try to see this or that from the other person’s perspective, and we are sometimes able to do that while at other times it is an impossibility.  Politics is particularly subjected to the word “perspective” as are the conversations we share with others on various things ‘political’.

We grow up with a fairly well-determined understanding of what’s what…and then we leave home and begin to experience things from all sorts of differing perspectives.  We have differing experiences from others with whom we might’ve been ‘joined at the hip’ and come together later in life only to wonder how he got to that place in his thinking, or how she could’ve possibly seen anything in him to make her want to spend her life with him?

It seems that most everything is impacted by ‘perspective’.  And perspective is impacted by experiences.  Since we each are “products of our own experiences”, are we silly to believe we can share the same or similar perspectives with another person whom we may not even know?  Or with a person we used to think we knew except he or she has changed somehow along this trip of living life?

We know there are optical illusions that seem very real.  Can there also be mental illusions that seem very real?  Is that what we mean by the term delusional?  Is there a possibility that only we are sane in this whole crazy-quilt world?  Or, are we all victims (at one time or another) of this thing known as perspective?

We are each unique beings.  We have had differing experiences which have contributed to the person we are today.  We are likely to continue to have different experiences so we are apparently likely to continue to become even more unique.

Our perspectives will apparently continue to evolve, so our positions on various things will evolve or devolve depending upon who is viewing us and what we have become…and will become next week or next month or next year.

Against this backdrop, it becomes quite easy to see how we change sometimes, or even often, without recognizing that we have changed an opinion or a belief or a position we’ve held for some time.  Maybe, since we all seem to be capable of changing based on perspective, there is not a constant Al Campbell or Shirley Jones or Dean McNamara.

If you think about this from the perspective of a childhood friend from whom you’ve been separated for decades, and how you marvel at who or what that person has become since you originally knew him or her, we can begin to accommodate changes in self as well as in others.  Change is simply reality.

It is all a matter of perspective and our understanding of that perspective.

The Long Game – Pervasive Persuasion

Brandon Morse has posted a piece titled “The Left Needs To Chill Out About Christianity” on Redstate.com.  He cites people openly booing God at the Democratic National Convention, about the feelings displayed over Mike Pence and the display of his faith.  And points at the hate leveled at the Chick-fil-A sandwich chain being the locus of protests which actually saw the chain doing more business, a lot more business, as the result.

He points to Dan Piepenbring’s rant about the opening of a Chick-fil-A store in New York as being unconscionable: “And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.  Its headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.”

Morse points out there are two facts that Piepenburg and the rest of the left need to face.  “Chick-fil-A has delicious food and excellent service, and the vast majority of America is Christian.”

I am not sure that this is a left equals non-Christian thing, though.  I think it is more wide-spread than to be so easy to define.  Believing in Christ is a very personal thing and I don’t see that as being a left vs. right political-style issue.  I think there may well be a “long game” which involves people who simply find it beneath them to believe in Jesus Christ, and who feel the need to somehow belittle those of us who do profess that belief.

I see this as what I would call ‘pervasive persuasion’ as the title indicates.  I believe that those who do not believe in Christ have a deep-seated fear they may be wrong and that this fear settles in somewhere in mid-life as one becomes aware that there will be an end to this physical life and begins searching for whatever it is that causes some to be unafraid, to actually be able to look forward to that next life.

Judeo-Christian values are such that it is not just Christians who practice those values, as Morse points out.  There is something I think that causes non-believers to feel the need to try to dissuade others from believing as something of a ‘self-defense’ tactic.  If they can even convince someone to question his or her faith, then they have helped to assuage their own doubts.

I think the author has missed the point with his title.  The “Left” isn’t the only place on the political spectrum where we find non-believers.  There are plenty of people on the “Right” equally as challenged in their personal belief struggles.  Oxford Dictionaries uses this definition of pervasive: (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people. 

The word can be used to describe almost anything we might see as less-than-desirable.  I might use it to describe the lack of faith while the next person might use the word for exactly the opposite purpose.

We are surrounded by what I choose to call “pervasive persuasion”.  It is found in almost every form of advertising that beckons us to over-indulge or to dare to try something we’ve not tried before.  As a Christian believer, I resent the fact that some would boo, but more to the point, I know they lack an understanding that is essential to their salvation.  That is the real danger of pervasive persuasion.  We’re not talking about a chicken sandwich.  We’re talking about eternity.

Mutual Hatred Society?

James Comey’s new book “A Higher Loyalty; Truth, Lies & leadership” has been released earlier than expected and it is apparently the bombshell that Comey and his publisher had hoped to achieve.  Among other things, Comey compares President Trump to a mob boss: Comey said in an interview that to him, “The demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony,” referring to Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, a former leader of the Gambino crime family, whose testimony ultimately helped convict mob boss John Gotti.”

Vindictive?  Maybe just a touch.  Over dramatic?  I guess!  The book will sell; there is little doubt but that it will become an almost instant ‘bestseller’.  Will it do damage to our President?  Certainly in some quarters.  In other quarters there will be feigned umbrage, but our President might find that comparison a bit reassuring coming from this man.  It will make a lot of money for Comey and the publisher.

Donald Trump is a polarizing figure.  I feel certain he has been polarizing throughout his business career, as well.  A man simply does not change who and what he is as he steps into the Oval Office.  Nor should he.  If we elected that man, we expected to get that man as our President.  Many who disagreed with our choice obviously feel we’re getting what we deserve…and we wholeheartedly concur, to their unending angst.

Is there truth in Comey’s book?  Certainly.  Is there a slant to his book?  Absolutely.  Will all this help it become an instant ‘bestseller’?  Of course; in part that is why it is written as it was and why Comey is selling as he is when Trump is still in office.

From my perspective, James Comey did himself a great disservice for the money and for his personal edification.  He was not, and still is not, accustomed to not being the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.  He is, after all, a storied FBI agent.  He is 6′ 8″ tall and casts a big shadow both literally and figuratively.  He has wasted the time and hard work that he put into his reputation.  He traded that for some kind of personal retribution for the way he perceived himself to have been treated by the President of the United States of America.

There has been no Grand Jury convened over President Trump’s actions in the Oval Office despite many of the Swamp-dwellers thinking that, too, is a great travesty.  Comey has, in my opinion, thrown himself under-the-bus in order to exact some kind of price from a man for whom he has no time and whom he could not tolerate as his boss.  Most of us would’ve thanked him and simply told him we were sorry we couldn’t accept the offer to be part of his team, and graciously left the Oval Office.

This is but another chapter in the D.C. attempt to get rid of a duly-elected President of the United States because the Swamp-dwellers do not believe he measures up to the standards they have set for occupants of that office.  Damn the voters; they obviously shouldn’t have “the vote” if that is how they are going to use it.

Time For Presidential Hardball

The clock is ticking relentlessly toward the final act.  Robert Mueller’s hit squad as a special Special Prosecutor has done almost everything it can do and now seems to be salivating at the thought that President Trump will finally agree to sit down and answer their questions.  Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter has a very concise article in Townhall today that urges the President to refuse to sit for the lopsided interrogation by Mueller and his clones.

His point is that any interview by Mueller and his minions will be stacked to elicit responses that will ultimately be used to convict the President of something, convict him in the court of public opinion if nothing else.  A paragraph from today’s piece follows:

Trump committed no crime, as we all know because nothing indicating he has committed a crime has leaked out of that unprofessional sieve masquerading as a bunch of professional prosecutors that Mueller assembled to do the bidding of his elite masters to both overturn the result of the 2016 election and avenge his humiliated pal James Comey.  The recent report that Trump is not the “target” of an investigation should not lull anyone into complacency – it’s just another flurry in this special counsel’s blizzard of lies.

That Trump has not committed a crime makes no difference.  He is a significant threat and must be put in his place no matter that he doesn’t deserve that and no matter that there is no evidence to cause that decision.  He is a threat, and he beat Hillary out of her rightful position after all she has gone through to get there.  Us voters be damned.  What do we know, after all?

The prosecutors are as partisan as is possible for anyone to be.  They work to pick at and unravel solid threads to create the appearance that something is amiss and needs to be punished.  These are not innocent games nor are they anything but payback for having upset yet another liberal apple cart.

Another paragraph dealing with the process of sitting for an interview and the pitfalls of doing that follows:

At best, through preparation, you just lose less.  But you never win because they always get something they want from you.  Trump faces a team of trained prosecutors who are not guided by ethics or checked by any kind of restraint.  They have already trampled his attorney-client privilege.  One must, in an abundance of caution, assume that they will lie, cheat, mislead, and perjure themselves if that is what it takes to attain their sole goal – Trump’s impeachment and, perhaps, criminal conviction.

There is a trail of political bodies strewn where Mueller has gone before, some deserving of that status and others who simply got run over by the steamroller.  The deck is stacked against whoever goes through this process, especially when the interrogation is conducted by the political enemies of the target without regard to truth and justice.

Firing Mueller will take a toll on the President, but nowhere near the toll that sitting with the man and his team’s convoluted questioning will take.  The lynch rope is all ready; they are just looking for a suitable tree and the President should not provide that out of some sense of courtesy.