This will be the first in a series exposing the mainstream media for being political factotums for the left wing and how in pursuit of the all-mighty dollar, they have evolved to a point that they are really not that much different from a socialist rag. (A factotum is a hack or a go-for.)
I came across this photo while trolling Face Book the other day. Someone had put a caption on it “Nothing screams “women’s rights” more than glorifying a religion that enslaves women. What reality are these snowflakes living in.”
The caption pretty much nailed it. These gals look like perfectly upstanding young women of child-bearing years. If they had children and you harmed one, they’d more than likely and rightfully tear your head off like a mama bear. And yet, there they are protesting, or being paid to protest by any one of the left-wing nut jobs bitching about whatever Trump does. The media has them stoked into this reality because of the election results. There are so many things wrong with these snowflakes’ message that you’d get bored reading about it. Plus, I’m relatively sure you intuitively understand what’s wrong without it being pointed out.
Obviously, these are low information voters, more than likely jobless, but they represent what is wrong with our media. Why was this news, and how did it find its way into my head? After nearly eight years of silence from mainstream media on Obama policies and any possible negative effects of his executive orders, why is the media so intent at looking underneath every rock for a morsel on Trump to blare in our faces? Why is there so much news on the women's march that didn't include the pro-life women?
Is it because the media was wrong about Trump becoming President? Probably. Is it because they want Trump to fail? Seems that way. Do they like fueling the wrath and empty heads of low information voters with sensationalistic headlines that seem to trumpet the end of the world as we know it? Evidently.
Folks, the mainstream media is poisoning our youth and the low-information people in a blatant attempt to sell news. Once again, follow the money. Already impressionable with short attention spans, these snowflakes get their news in short snippets and never bother to dive into the meat of any subject. (I did it recently with Obama’s clemency pardons, but I admitted my mistake and you didn’t see me blocking traffic or shutting down airports.) t is the headlines and slant that sells, keeps the media in business, and their stockholders happy.
If the money angle wasn’t true, the media would be out there doing their jobs, reporting and showing shocking video of the horrific sacrifices women make under sharia law. If you are not aware of this fact, then it would behoove you to find out and spread the word. And once that information became readily known there wouldn’t be a woman in the US anywhere to be found holding up such a foolish sign, including these three morons. Instead they would be marching to reject the plague that is sharia law and blocking airports to keep it out of this country because they sure as hell wouldn’t live that way of life.
As promised in the Home Page, it is my intent to share some of my ongoing writing projects. Today I am releasing the first chapter to the sequel to Whipping Post. To be titled "Against the Wind", I have this novel about half finished, and I am hoping for some input from readers as far as further interest. Your comments would be very much appreciated. Hope you like it.
“Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then…”
From the song “Against the Wind,” by Bob Seger
Thursday – Socorro Texas
Besieged by a blistering sun bulging above the barren desert backdrop, and bucking an abnormal twenty-mile-per-hour headwind, a solitary trucker kept the hammer down on the brawny diesel engine. Driving a sleek, black Peterbilt model 386 conventional tractor-trailer rig, Virgil Waters pushed the tractor-trailer rig eastward into the fiery sun. He should have been long past Odessa by now, with five hours of bleak desert terrain behind him, rather than staring at its yawning expanse stretching out relentlessly ahead.
Virgil was irritated. Once again, Lady Luck was showing him her nasty temperament. After what seemed an eternity, a Mexican driver had finally arrived with the trailer from across the border, six hours behind schedule. The poor bastard claimed to have been held up in customs, which was indubitably not out of the ordinary. The Saxon Brothers Trucking dry van Virgil was pulling was crammed with boxes of computer monitors bound for Roanoke Texas, just north of Ft. Worth.
Virgil was thankful he could finally hit the highway and earn some money. For the past five years working at Saxon’s, this trip had been Virgil’s assigned route. He preferred this dedicated run. In his mind, it beat the hell out of having to run all over the country, never knowing where he was headed next. He had been there and done that for a number of years and knew he had no desire for that lifestyle again, even if it meant waiting at the border for his loads to arrive.
His dedicated run consisted of hauling consolidated freight, or LTL’s in trucker-speak. The freight consisted of everything imaginable in assorted various sizes, weights, and piece counts. The LTL shipments would start from the Dallas-Ft. Worth multiplex areas from a variety of different shippers distributing products in the west.
Once hooked up to one an LTL trailer in Dallas, Virgil would truck, or beat feet in trucker lingo, seven hundred miles straight west through desert and mountain oblivion, mercifully concluding in the city of El Paso Texas. Virgil was to deliver the loaded trailer to a small, overly-priced satellite terminal Saxon’s leased in El Paso on the east side of the city. Upon arrival, the driver could turn around and, like a ping-pong ball, head right back to Dallas again. This back and forth freight made up his dedicated route.
If ever there was a conurbation established smack-dab the middle of nowhere, it was the town of El Paso. The city is located on the north side of the Rio Grande River, where the Rio isn’t actually so Grande, just across the border from the vast and dangerous city of Ciudad Juarez Mexico. There are times when a person can walk across the river without getting the tops of their shoes wet.
The region had been inhabited by tribes of humans, including the Manso, Suma, and Jumano Indians for thousands of years before the Spanish ever stomped a boot in the dusty desert sand. Don Juan de Oñate is credited as the first explorer to reach El Paso in 1598, almost a hundred years before the Pilgrims hastily fled Mother Europe. Originally part of the territory of New Mexico for over two centuries, El Paso was greedily gobbled up in a land grab by the state of Texas in 1850.
Upon arrival to the El Paso terminal, another Saxon-employed driver peddled the freight around the sprawling city consisting of 250 square miles within the Franklin Mountains and surrounded by the Chihuahuas Desert. The delivery process would normally take the entire day, depending on the amount of freight crammed in the trailer.
Once Virgil’s log book allowed, or with some other drivers – even when it didn’t, the next trip would be a load of either electronics for one shipper or auto parts for another, depending on the day of the week.
In a somewhat expanded version of the maquiladora system, a process that allowed raw materials and equipment into Mexico duty free, to be assembled and sent back to the States, electronics and auto parts, as well as a multitude of other goods, were manufactured with absurdly cheap labor in Juarez Mexico. Virgil chaffed at the thought of all the large US corporations moving their production lines out of crumbling factories all across America to build huge and beautiful factories tantalizingly just south of the border. They not only took good jobs away from American workers, but were taking advantage of the Mexican labor with miserable wages as well. In his mind, making obscene profits off the backs of workers was just not right. When wages began to increase nominally in Mexico, he heard some manufacturers even headed off to China in search of even cheaper labor. Virgil knew he was a part of that process by hauling the freight, but he had to feed his family too, and this was the best job he could get.
Once manufactured, finished product is loaded onto a variety of American owned trailers, including Saxon’s, for shipments bound for the United States and Canada. The Saxon trailers are then transported over the border to the Saxon terminal by drivers from Mexican-owned local cartage companies, but not before enduring a miserable lengthy wait in blistering weather through mile-long lines at the border in order to pass clearance at Customs.
Lately, it seemed as if this cross-border process with the electronics shipments was getting further behind, making it increasingly difficult for Virgil to make a living. Over-the-road and regional drivers at Saxon’s, as with most trucking companies, were paid by the mile, not by the hour. Virgil was considered a regional driver. Delays were costly to drivers because he didn’t get paid to wait for the freight to reach the Saxon terminal. When the loads were ready on time, a driver could accumulate 3,500 miles a week running back and forth between Dallas and El Paso, making for an excellent pay check.
Delays however, cost drivers at least one leg of the trip, and sometimes an entire round trip. A driver had little to do but sit and wait, often watching television in the small driver’s room while listening to other drivers complain, or hanging out at the truckstop irritating the waitresses, or cleaning their truck. Virgil’s truck was spotless, inside and out.
There was another driver from Saxon’s, Jimmy Dale Tolliver, JD to his friends, which ran the same route as Virgil. They were supposed to be on opposite ends of the state when the schedules were running smoothly. If Virgil was in El Paso, then JD should be in Dallas, and vice-versa. Recently, it seemed they were both being delayed so long in El Paso that they were invariably running together more often than they wanted. And on this sunny dry day, JD’s rig was just ahead of Virgil, battling the same scorching sun and unrelenting wind hurtling down the road at seventy miles per hour.
The only difference between the two Saxon Brothers trucks on this day was that Virgil’s rig was black, and JD’s was white – the company color scheme at Saxon’s. Lately, the trucks were being pinstriped so as to add a little flair to the dull black and white color scheme, but even then the design was the same regardless of the color of the truck. The drivers called it tattooing, although most were more impressed with the way the trucks looked now with the fancy pin-stripped swirls. The fact that swirls were not skulls, or football team logos, or anything else other than the official company swirl did give a driver something more to complain about though.
All the trucks were the same model of Peterbilt with Cummins engines, and for conformity purposes, every truck was spec’d identically from a mechanical aspect. A driver’s only choice was whether to drive a black truck or a white one. The new drivers didn’t even get that choice; they drove what was available, and then, just due to a naturally contrary nature, usually wanted the other color. Many of the drivers of the white trucks swore the black trucks ran faster, and vice versa.
Still aggravated by his wait and feeling the need to unload on someone about it, Virgil picked up the mike from his CB radio to shout at JD.
“Hey, big ‘un, ya still awake up there,” Virgil asked sarcastically.
“That’s a big ten-four, Virgil my man,” JD’s gravely voice boomed through the small speaker mounted on the dashboard of Virgil’s truck. “Say, how’s my butt lookin’ back there?”
“Looks the same as it did last week when I was held up.” Virgil answered acerbically. “Seems like these damn computer loads keep gettin’ further and further behind schedule.”
Virgil was all too aware that JD was hauling an auto parts load, and it had not been delayed. Auto parts were rarely delayed as there was a schedule to meet production lines. Delays with automotive shipments were going to cost somebody dearly, so glitches were rare. Computers weren’t on quite the same critical schedule because they were going to a distribution center, rather than directly to a production line. Drivers that had the audacity to deliver late to a distribution center were usually “punished” by being made to wait a day, or even a week to be unloaded. Drivers called this “hurry up and wait.”
Computer loads were also more likely to be stolen as well, so there were many more rules to hauling computers. Regardless of which type load was hauled though, it paid the same to the driver.
As the schedule was supposed to work, each driver would haul east bound electronics one week and then auto parts the next. Unfortunately, when loads were behind, it altered the schedule for both drivers. The result was that Virgil was getting more of the delayed electronics freight, which was costing him more time, and JD had to wait in Dallas for the consolidated loads. People outside the trucking industry could not possibly understand the dynamics and ultimate ripple-effect delayed freight had on a driver, or even multiple drivers, and sometimes even the families of the drivers. Of course, even if the shipping public knew, why would they care about the schedule of some truck driver, Virgil thought?
“Know what ya mean, my man,” JD replied.
Virgil detected a smirk in JD’s response, but it was hard to ever know when JD was being sincere or just busting somebody’s balls. JD must have sensed Virgil’s thoughts because he replied again, before Virgil could respond.
“It’s messin’ with our schedules, little buddy” JD agreed. “And your beauty sleep too!”
Virgil grinned before responding. “Look who’s talkin’ ‘bout needin’ beauty sleep, you ugly bastard,” Virgil taunted back into the mike that dangled from the roof of the cab from a multi-colored bungee cord.
“Seriously though, we need to say something ‘bout this to the old man,” Virgil complained. “I’m tired of Gary giving us that placating bull that never leads anywhere. It’s cost me seven hundred miles a week over just this past month.”
The ‘old man’ Virgil referred to was John Saxon, the founder and owner of Saxon Brothers Trucking. Drivers that had been with Saxon’s for any length of time called him ‘Old Man Saxon,’ although never to his face. He earned the title by being more of a father-figure to all of his employees, particularly the drivers. Having been a driver himself for many years, he was one of ‘them.’
Gary, on the other hand, was the operations manager and had never driven a truck in his life, a topic of some discussion, and ridicule among the drivers, although it was unjustified in Virgil’s opinion. Gary had been around drivers and trucks long enough to understand what needed to be done, but he wasn’t always honest about the reasons.
“Not me, dog!” JD replied apologetically. There was a bit of lull in the conversation before he continued. “I’ll remind you I just got back on this run not too long ago…after that little…uh… misunderstanding.”
This time it was Virgil that smirked. When it worked properly, this was one of the best routes to be had in all of Saxon’s. Only the most senior drivers were given these kinds of dedicated routes. JD had been assigned to the route for a couple of years until he got into an argument with, what he said he believed at the time, was no more than a Hispanic day laborer on the dock at the terminal. As it turned out, that day laborer was the new El Paso terminal manager for Saxon Brothers Trucking. He had been hired specifically by John Saxon to make changes with dock workers and replace a few local drivers over their serious lack of safety practices. As the old man succinctly put it on more than one occasion, “he was tired of the god-damned tail waggin’ the fuckin’ dog at the El Paso terminal.” Evidently, JD might have been part of that tail.
The manager, a small, wiry, and no-nonsense man by the name of Raul Gonzalez, had been working the dock that day instructing in the proper technique transfers were to be done. He was the son of proud Mexican immigrants striving for a better life for their children. Raul was determined to become successful in order to support his small family, which now included his mother living with him after the death of his father. He hadn’t appreciated being interrupted in his safety presentation by a company driver complaining about a load.
A smile broke out on Virgil’s face as he recalled that day. On that particular day, Virgil was on schedule, and it was JD who was being made to wait. At the time, JD, a mountain of a man, was sporting shoulder length bleach-blond hair, a gold earring, and a massive handlebar mustache that hung from both sides of his chin. A yellow bandana and purple tights were practically the only items that were lacking from his attire that separated him from the professional wrestling circuit. His appearance was menacing even before he opened his mouth and unleashed the gruff gravelly voice that sounded as if he was constantly losing a battle with laryngitis.
The result of the clash had been that it was requested JD’s presence in El Paso become less frequent. In other words, stay out. In typical Solomon-like fashion, old man Saxon kept JD off the run for three months, letting heads cool before allowing the burly driver to resume the route. JD, who had had to go back to running all over the country for awhile during the imposed sabbatical, had vowed he was not going to be making any more waves with Raul.
“That was no misunderstanding, big boy,” Virgil shouted back. “Ya’ll was just lucky Raul didn’t whoop your ass. And I bet he could he do it, too!” Virgil teased.
“Hey, me and Raul is cool, man,” JD croaked before changing the subject. “What you say ‘bout us stoppin’ up here at the truckstop for some breakfast? I’m so hungry I could eat the asshole right out of a walrus.”
“Nah,” Virgil replied, somewhat repulsed by JD’s remark as an unwanted visual of his trucker buddy and a walrus formed in his mind. He tried not to think of it, but it was like trying not to think of a zebra when someone said ‘don’t think of a zebra.’
“I’m just too far behind this week,” Virgil continued. “I need some miles. I’m gonna push this load right on into the terminal so that I can get another. If he’s not lyin’ to me again, Gary says if I get back in there right away he’ll turn me back ‘round for another one on this week’s check.”
Virgil didn’t actually believe Gary would lie to him, but he was known to stretch the truth a little. Freight dispatching was usually a moving target and Virgil often marveled at some of the miracles the operations guys had to perform.
What Virgil didn’t tell JD though was that he needed the money. His wife, Bonnie Jo, was distressed that he had been gone so much lately with so little paycheck to show for it, thanks to sitting too many hours in El Paso. She understood the situation, and was not upset with Virgil directly, but the smaller paychecks weren’t helping to pay the bills either.
The situation was being further strained by the fact their son, Virgil Jr., whom they called VJ, was soon to graduate from high school. He wanted to go on to college to get a business degree. Due to some past medical bills over a bout of breast cancer Bonnie Joe had recently overcome, the Waters’ hadn’t been able to save enough money to meet the tuition, so they were going to have to pay as they went along.
Ironically, VJ wanted to go to UTEP, the University of Texas at El Paso. John Saxon had promised there would be a management training position waiting for the boy when he got out of school. Nobody from the Waters’ family had ever gone to college, and Virgil and Bonnie Jo, youthful sweethearts married right out of high school twenty-two years earlier, were determined to do whatever it took to get their only offspring into a university and, hopefully, employed with management at Saxon’s. And if VJ did go to UTEP, Virgil would be able to see his son on his frequent trips to El Paso.
“Suit yourself, dude,” JD replied. “I’m gonna stop here and look them pretty waitresses over there at the choke-and-puke. Maybe take a shower too. I’ll see you on the backside.”
With that, JD eased the Peterbilt onto the exit ramp of Interstate 10, the engine retarding jake-brake baffling loudly as the rig slowed up the ramp. Virgil gave the air horn a long blast as he went by the exit.
They would never see each other again.
When I learned a few days ago, that as one of his last acts, President Obama was commuting the sentences of 332 people, including the traitorous Chelsea Manning, I was outraged. And I surmise most of you were probably were as well, but chalked it off as one of those things that are beyond our control. I decided right then and there that this matter would be my next blog post, and by God, I was going to castigate our ex-president for his blatantly liberal actions. After all, I thought, how in-your-face could one be to pardon that many people on your last full day in office?
So, I set about gathering information to prepare this editorial so as to make sure I gave my readers something other than the fake-news we are spoon fed daily by the current media. I thought that surely this would be a slam-dunk piece to write and publish. What I found out is that this matter is not as cut and dried as one would think and that there is a possibility that I had jumped to conclusions, and as much as it pains me to say this, there is a chance I could have been wrong!
Now, before the die-hard conservatives think I have lost my cotton-pickin’ mind or defected to the other side, let me explain:
First off, in my opinion, there is no excuse for pardoning or commuting the sentence of the traitor Chelsea Manning. Mr. or Ms. Manning, whichever he/she is at this moment, should have been hung, again in my humble opinion, and it should have been before we paid for that sex change. But that is only one person in over 1,715 people who were granted clemency by Mr. Obama. In the past, this country hung their traitors. This was merely an act of Obama giving Conservatives and the military a giant middle-finger on his way out. Perhaps Manning will find his/her way to another form of justice at a later date.
But I also found out there is a difference between a sentence being pardoned and it being commuted. Don’t know about you, but I didn’t know that, as I thought they were the same. The word that applies to either a pardon or commuted sentence is termed clemency.
Someone who has been pardoned has been convicted of a crime, done the time and/or paid the fine and is already back among us, or in some cases even dead…for decades! The act of being pardoned merely removes the crime from your record and a pardoned person can go back to being a normal citizen or grave occupant. Obama didn’t pardon that many people in his eight years in office, 212 to be exact, less than all modern-day presidents except the Bush’s. On its face, this issue really does not seem like that big a deal, and had not convinced me to change my mind on giving Mr. Obama the tongue lashing he so richly deserved.
Commuting a sentence though, which Obama now leads the Presidential league in issuing, is an entirely different matter. Commuting a sentence is like issuing one of those little yellow cards in Monopoly whereby one gets out of jail free. Just open the door, let the offender out, all is forgiven and you can go back to your family. And I thought I had a problem with that.
But, for my readers I dug a little deeper. And here is where it gets murky in the corners of the inner workings of my head. I learned that 98% of those people who had their sentences commuted were in for drug offenses. Well, I didn’t believe that, regardless of the source. So, I went to the Department of Justice website as they give names, locations, crimes, and terms. Admittedly, I didn’t read all 1,503 of the people granted commutations, but I read enough that my eyes were starting to cross, so I then scrolled randomly and everyone I stopped at was involved in some sort of drug activity. There was one guy convicted of murder and had a life sentence, although it appeared he had merely been present at the time of the murder, and has an IQ of about 60. He had done considerable time, and I really have to wonder if Obama did the poor man any favors by letting him out into current society.
My stance on the lawfulness of drugs is a subject for another blog for another day, so for the sake of discussion lets push that issue to the side. I don’t personally know any of the people Obama let go, but it did appear they had all done considerable time and had been vetted carefully by the Obama administration before having their sentences commuted. None flew a plane into a building, gunned down innocent people while in church for being black, or blew up a building containing a daycare center. Perhaps some of the drug dealers and users learned their lesson or dried out in prison and if so, America might just be better off not having to incarcerate them at the ridiculously high costs associated with imprisoning people. And possibly they will contribute to society and someday in the future, President Ivanka Trump, our first female president, will grant them a pardon too. For those that didn’t learn their lesson, they will be back in the gangs, and in an act of Darwinism, some will be killed and others will get caught again and thrown back in the pokey at a later date. (I understand one has already been shot and killed in Saginaw MI!) In the meantime, America played the percentages, won some, lost some, and saved the taxpayers considerable money in the process.
There is another factor in play here that made Obama the all-time leader. Unlike past presidential administrations, Obama’s requested petitions of clemency from people. And he got over 36,000 of them for his efforts. That means the Obama administration only granted clemency to about 5% of the applicants, as compared to Harry Truman who seemed to let everybody go that requested it. OK, actually it was only 41%, but that is a considerably larger number than Obama, as was a surprise to me again.
So, in the end, maybe the Obama clemency acts might not have been such a bad thing after all. I may have jumped the gun due to my misunderstanding of the word pardon, which was used by the media, or that my initial knee-jerk reactions were just plain wrong. Or, it occurs to me that I could be wrong about my position with this blog post, too. What do you think?
The Senate Minority Leader, NY’s Chuck Schumer appeared on NBC this morning with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, bloviating about his plan to derail some of President Trump’s cabinet picks. He claimed that Trump’s picks were “poorly prepared” and that the Republicans should be “embarrassed” by them. He wants to “win the fight” and hold up some of the picks.
Given his tone, one must wonder if he really cared which picks were held up, as long as he was able to stomp his feet, hold his breath, and demand someone…anyone, listen to him and his band of lunatic-fringe bandits. Country and constituents be damned, we have to win one for Lefty.
And today he also doubled-down on his intention to block President Trump’s SCOTUS pick. The only problem with that statement - President Trump hasn’t informed anyone yet who that pick will be, but by God Mr. Schumer wants to block it. What statesmanship for the interests of the American public?
The next time you see Mr. Schumer’s mug plastered across your 60” flat screen television, you might want to remember a few realities about this guy who looks down the end of his nose at anyone not considered a Congressman, a banker, or a lobbyist with bucks to spend.
The 66 year old, strictly left-wing, Brooklyn-born Schumer has never held a job outside of government in his life. He went straight from Harvard Law School to the NY State Assembly, starting in 1975. Let that sink in…he never practiced law with that fancy and expensive degree! Evidently he must have found something more lucrative. In 1980 he was elected to the US House and stayed there until he moved on to the US Senate in 1998. When his current term is up in 2022, he will have been on the government teat for 47 years! (And we’re worried about how long the occupant of the White House is in office?)
In a particularly tough political battle in 1982, Schumer snuggled up to Wall Street, various NY law firms and securities houses for campaign donations. They have been in his pocket ever since, having become his largest campaign contributors since 2010. You would do well to remember that the next time you hear a Democrat threaten to “clean up Wall Street.” But, read on dearest reader, because it affected you…
Mr. Schumer was up to his considerable chin in the subprime and foreclosure mess in 2008, having been accused by financial and banking experts of personally causing the downfall of the 2nd largest bank failure in US history. He did so by instigating a panic among its shareholders with an ill-timed public release of letters he had penned to regulators. This, after he had taken steps to protect the mortgage industry from stricter government oversight. It is said these acts saved financial institutions (the industry contributing to his campaign) billions in higher taxes. He also limited efforts to regulate the credit-rating agencies that had been proposed by the Bush (43) Administration. And then when it all collapsed, he voted to bail them out…on our dime.
Speaking of the Bush Administration, in 1991, during the term of Bush 41, they proposed to place the DARPA network on the public domain. Stay with me here, folks because I had never heard of DARPA either. Mr. Schumer argued that it would be a “waste of taxpayers money to essentially give away the Defense Department Technology.” DARPAnet became the basis for the internet we use today and “Chuck U Schumer” voted against it.
Long known as a publicity hound, Senator Bob Dole joked that “the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera.” Even Barack Obama intoned that when Schumer showed up at a banquet, he brought along the press as his “loved ones.”
And oh by the way, former disgraced US Congressman Anthony Weiner, of sexting fame, was an aide to Mr. Schumer.
Is it any wonder both President Trump and Lou Dobbs called him a clown? A clown of your nightmares.
...as told to me by my grandfather, circa 1967
The dogs all had a convention,
They came from near and far,
Some came by a horse,
And a few others came by car.
Before they could even enter,
Or even take a look,
Each was told to take their asshole,
And hang it on a hook.
They were soon all assembled,
Every son and squire,
When some dirty son-of-a-bitch,
Stood up and hollered "FIRE."
The dogs, they all jumped up,
Without a second look,
Each one grabbed an asshole,
And left an empty hook.
So that is why to this very day,
A dog will drop a bone,
And smell another's asshole,
To see if it is not his very own.
WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULD SAY IN HIS FAREWELL SPEECH TUESDAY...
Scratching and clawing to preserve some sort of legacy, President Barack Obama will give a farewell speech this coming Tuesday in Chicago. Here is what he should say...
"My fellow Americans, and to you illegal immigrants too;
I picked Chicago to give my farewell speech, not because it is considered my home town, but it is where I learned the tactics that got me to the White House and keep those pesky Republicans in check. Where else could a community organizer have accomplished what I did by doing it the 'Chicago Way'.
So, to begin with, I want to apologize to far-left liberals, the disenfranchised, and especially black Americans, for believing blindly in me so deeply and passionately, despite the fact that in eight years, I did absolutely nothing positive for you. Look at how much I helped the LGBQT community though;
I'm sorry to the middle class for insuring twenty million Americans and unleashing a massive bureaucracy, all on your backs. I knew it was not going to be affordable and that you could not keep your doctor, but hey, I tried. And I really thought someone in Congress would actually read the darn thing before they voted on it;
I express regret to BB Netanyahu and the Israeli people for trying to undermine your election just because, well, I didn't like you. But when that failed, I was able to turn our back on your country with the United Nations, despite the fact your country is the only democracy in the Middle East and has always had our support. Hopefully, your people will be able to endure, even if you do not;
Now that I think about it, I really regret adding nearly $10 trillion to the national debt, knowing full well we may never be able to pay that money back. I had no idea that was more debt than all the 43 presidents before me, combined;
And for causing race relations to reach a low not seen since the 60's, I apologize profusely. That was just a joke about having a son like Trayvon. Probably, in retrospect, I should have never let Eric Holder unleash such a great divide between the black community and law enforcement groups. I know realize ALL live matter in our country;
You know, I really did think ISIS was a JV team. Who knew they would be such a pain in the as..butt. I guess I should have listened better to my generals and headed this off before it got so much traction. My bad;
And as I look back on it now, I probably should have not taken so much of Warren Buffett's advice and, well, his money. Perhaps we should have allowed that whole Keystone XL Pipeline thing. After all, Mr. B is sufficiently wealthy and could have done without the extra revenue on his personal railroad. I guess the construction of that pipeline might have created some more jobs and efficiency for our oil imports. Sorry, dudes;
Man, I know I really need to apologize to Conservatives and Tea Party groups for allowing the IRS to target them. I knew that was not the way America works. And I also know people like Lois Lerner and John Koskinen belong in prison for their actions. With a little luck, America, maybe the Donald will take care of my omission;
Then there was that little matter of Lisa Jacks followed by Gina McCarthy running the EPA. Oops. Sorry about that, too. I know they acted like Czars and throttled business with their constant edicts and dishonesty to the American people about mans effect on global warming. I now realize they didn't do such a great job and that may have been harmful to our economy. Hope it doesn't leave too bad a mark;
In hindsight, all those executive actions might not have been the best idea either. For that I ask for forgiveness too. Boy, I hope Mr. Trump doesn't throw them all out, though! Gee Whizz! I ask you, what would you have done with that do-nothing 13% likability Congress?
Yeah, I suppose I should have golfed less. And I might have at least brought it up to Michelle to quit spending so much of your money on her personal travel, but come on folks, we all know how mean she can be. Besides, the girls and my mother-in-law got to see the world and isn't that important?
And finally, that whole backing of Hillary Clinton thing. Well...I knew she was not qualified to run this country and that she was only after more power and your money. Her and I used to email back and forth about some of the stuff she was pulling off, but we never dreamed you all would find out. But...you know... I told you about all this when I originally ran for president back in 2008. Now I have my legacy to think of and I just know the Donald isn't going to keep it all intact! So I ask you, what would you have done in my place? Sorry, folks, I just didn't have another option. Gosh, I hope you understand and will think warmly of me.
Well, I got to get back to DC now. They are building that new wall around our new home and I need to be there to supervise its construction to make sure none of those illegal aliens are able to get in our house. I just don't trust those people, folks. See ya."
It would seem as if most Americans, other than the fringe-winged zealots, would agree that perhaps our Congressman have forgotten they work for us, instead of the other way around. Somewhere back in the ‘90’s our Congress began overlooking “us” while concentrating instead mostly on “them.” After-all, there were fundraisers of which to make an appearance, war chests for re-election to build, golf matches with buddies, breakfasts with lobbyists, occasional votes to attend, as well as free ball games and celebrity galas to attend at night...all on our dime. That much extracurricular activity didn’t leave much consideration for the great un-washed among us.
So, while most of the country was taking a holiday Monday the 2nd, or at least trying to get over their holiday hangover, the 115th Congressional Republicans were actually back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, a day before they were even due. Seems incredible that our Congressmen would meet a day early when they were due to introduce the new members on Tuesday, a day of grandeur and posturing…a party normally reserved for each other.
Evidently, a Republican Congressman, or perhaps a group, decided Monday would be a good day to sneak one under the wire from us. Business as usual with the media asleep at the switch or others still trying vainly to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Makes me wonder if all this Wiki-leaks and email scandals have someone nervous that the shoe is about to drop on the GOP side real soon. Anyway, they met on Monday to castrate the Office of Congressional Ethics, effective immediately.
According to Wikipedia, the Office of Congressional Ethics was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2008 as a nonpartisan, independent entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of the House of Representatives and their staff and, when appropriate, referring matters to the U.S. House Committee on Ethics.
So, Donald Trump was elected with a mandate to “drain the swamp.” But he doesn’t take office until January 20th. Surely, I am not the only one that finds it devious that the GOP would want to rid themselves of that onerous committee the day before they were to reconvene, and 18 days before Mr. Trump took the Oval Office. And how were we alerted to this? Twitter! And by whose account were we notified? Why none other than the Republican President-Elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
Now we can sit back and wait to see what GOP Rep has some dirty laundry to be aired shortly. And you will have Mr. Trump to thank for the knowledge. And as a bonus to the liberals, it might even take some heat off of Hillary!
There is a new sheriff in town folks, and it appears he is looking out for all of us sordid souls outside of the Washington beltway. We’ve never seen that in our lifetimes. We need to let this play out.
As this is my first blog post and it is being written the first day of 2017, I thought I might start out with a look back at the year that was yours' truly. I promise it is not my intention to fill this blog with everything about Alan. I realize that nobody finds me as interesting as I do, even my mother, and particularly my wife, and if this blog is to be a success, it certainly can't be just about an overweight, weak-kneed, middle aged guy that somewhat resembles Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead fame. Forgive me for the over-use of the word "I", and it certainly is not my intention to sound like Barack Obama, but this first post is about me, and is actually rather somewhat poignant.
As I enter my 60th year on this planet, I have to say that, from my viewpoint, 2016 was one of the most profoundly significant years in my life. That is not an exaggeration, folks. Consider that...
My wife and I started out the year renting a home in Arizona. We finished the year owning a home in Arizona. Check that off the 'ol bucket-list. Now, the home only needs me in it. I love Arizona - the mountains and desert seem so peaceful, and to borrow a line from an old Eagles song, "I get a peaceful easy feeling." The dry air helps immensely with creeping arthritis and sinus issues. If you have never been to Sedona, you need to see what truly could be described as "God's country."
In March we were blessed from our #3 daughter with a new grandson, and let me tell ya folks, this one is a real keeper. We have never seen a happier, more outgoing baby. And on the subject of babies, we learned that our eldest daughter is going to have her first child in March of this year. Given that our other four grandkids are normally adjusted and healthy, to date we have been so truly blessed.
In August I smacked a golf ball with a 6 iron onto a green and into a hole 154 yards away. Or was it a nine iron? It was my second hole-in-one...twenty five years apart. If you've never had a HIO, the sight of watching the ball drop in the cup never fades. Consider that some avid golfers go their whole life without a HIO and it is truly a special moment. In my particular case, a HIO is about 10% skill and 90% flat out luck. My golfing partners would probably say I may exaggerated on the percentage that is skill. Let them mention it on their own blog.
After 108 years of futility, in which I admittedly gave up on them a few times, the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series. That too is something I was fortunate enough to see in my life time, particularly when you consider people like Ernie Banks and Ron Santo never did. Kind of ironic when you put it in that perspective, huh?
And speaking of sports, as I write this my beloved Green Bay Packers are starting on a March towards another Super Bowl. Who knows, they may be champs by February, and I like their chances. And the Blackhawks are favorites for a Stanley Cup. Could my teams "run the table" this year?
Exactly one week after the Cubs won the World Series, Hillary Clinton did not get elected, despite her preordained coronation. Now I realize that may not be so special to some readers, and I'm not trying to make a political statement. I am just informing you of what was a special moment that made up the year of Alan that was 2016. Suffice to say, I am not a Hillary fan.
Business too has been good for our companies. We've had better years, but we have certainly have had worse. I have relegated many of my duties to my nephew and to date, he has done a superb job. After 42 years of having my nose to the grindstone, I can now say I am in the process of learning how to back off. Believe it or not, folks, that is not as easy as it sounds. I can see some benefits coming my way.
My wife, children, and grandkids, are all blessed with good health right now... knock on wood. Me, if I'd take a little better care of myself, I might become healthier too. Perhaps I should consider a resolution or two, although I promise not to bore you with those in future blogs. And we all know how those resolutions go.
So as you see, all-in-all, despite the reports by the media that 2016 was such a horrid year and wishes of good-riddance, the "year of Alan" might have been considered quite wonderful by those on the outside looking in...with one notable exception. And, in terms of my life, this lone exception was incredibly momentous, with effects that will haunt me the rest of my life.
Memorial Day, May 30th: I was standing at the foot of the bed in my parents' bedroom in the tiny town of Chebanse Illinois. They have lived in that house for nearly 55 years, it was the home I grew up in. At precisely 11:34 that morning I watched the last breath my father would ever take leave his lungs. I recall vividly at the time that it seemed he took my breath with him, but there was nothing more spiritual, if that is the right word to use. It takes my breath away just to write those words. The man who taught me everything I know today, of which allowed me to be in the position to even have the year I crowed earlier about, who was such an incredible force of nature, was suddenly gone...just like that. No spiritual rising image, last parting words, trumpets blaring, or angelic background music. The image of that last breath, to realize that he was there and then no more, haunts me and plays over in my head, with no rhyme or reason, several times a day like an unmanned movie reel.
I realize there may be people reading this that have had similar situations with their loved ones, and in that regard, my pain is no greater than theirs. We all suffer loss, and most bury their parents - it is a fact of life. And don't get me wrong, dad and I had our differences; life was not all wine and roses. Sometimes our relationship was strained in fact. But I'm starting to understand the old cliché that time heals all wounds, as the strained parts of our relationship are fading into obscurity, but not so much yet for that sense of loss. The movie reel keeps playing, and I am powerless to stop it or to be warned when it will go on again.
That sense of loss was particularly poignant this 2016 Christmas as I watched my mother cope with, first reaching their wedding anniversary by herself, followed five days later with her struggling through her first Christmas in 62 years without her husband. Given my own relationship with my wife, I cannot imagine the strength and courage it would take to sit in the middle of what is supposed to be a joyous season, and repress the urge to cower alone in a corner of a dark room with a bottle of spirits, and your thoughts. A petite woman, she looked so much smaller and frail as we watched the grandkids tear open their presents, completely and innocently oblivious of her pain.
I called her on her anniversary. She was still in Florida then. What are you supposed to say, "Happy Anniversary?" How lame would that be? What could be happy about it? On the other side of that coin, are you supposed to avoid it and not say anything, as if he, or the anniversary never existed? Obviously, there is no correct answer. She's a strong woman and in time will learn to cope, but like other widows, she will never forget.
Nor will I. The movie reel is playing again.