For the love of God, let's try something different.
If I had one wish from Barbara Eden popping out of a magic lamp I would dismiss everybody in the House of Representatives and the Senate in Washington DC. Well, I might want a second wish...like a million dollars walking around money. (Bet you thought I was going to say something different.) Seriously folks, we need to start voting them all out their cushy retirement homes, starting in 2018, regardless of party, gender, race, state…no exceptions! Congress is purposely incompetent and hopelessly gridlocked. It’s long past time to reminded them they work for us.
As I write this editorial today, Congress is meeting to discuss Russia’s involvement in the last election. Why? What do you think is going to come from these meetings? What are they really going to do to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or even Vladimir Putin if they do uncover anything? I’ll tell you exactly what they will do…nothing. Do you think they will un-elect Trump regardless of how many temper tantrums Schumer throws while he is out to dinner in New York? Throw Hillary in the pokey…experts like Trey Gowdy have tried! They may puff their chests and ceremoniously throw a couple more sanctions at Russia, that will be ignored by China, Syria, and Iran…along with a couple of other countries we think are on our side when we throw money at them. What does Putin care, he is worth $70 billion – yes, you read that right. Perhaps the time to look at that issue is before the 2020 election after they have had time to look into the matter a little more deeply. You know, set priorities that are not on NBC's news cycle.
While this circus is going on, a small sample of what is not getting done that might be of a little more importance to us, the American people, particularly since Congress is about to go on spring break:
Due to gridlock, we also have other issues going on in this country that really need to be sorted out, such as:
And, because they have been in Congress for so long, they wield their power to keep the rest of the baboons in place. (If you look it up to see what a group of baboons is called, you will find the proper word is “congress.” I did not make that up.) Once there, Congressman congregate into these little clique’s, like the Freedom Fighters who torpedoed the Healthcare argument last week, thus wasting everybody’s time as nothing else got done, other than keeping the media busy and hysterical. Or there is the Congressional Black Caucus who evidently was formed to represent only 12% of the population. Whites need not apply, as Steve Cohen of Tennessee found out in 2006. And there is the Democratic Hispanic Congressional Office, not to be outdone by the Republican Congressional Hispanic Conference or the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute or the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issue’s. In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi, “what the hell is going on around here?” Aren’t we all Americans and supposed to be represented equally?
Additionally, Congress makes laws for us, the great unwashed, that don’t apply to them. Healthcare and fat pensions are examples. They avoid term limit laws like a baby with a full diaper. They take their little alligator arms to dine regularly with lobbyists trying to persuade your favorite Congressman to jump in the lobbyist ample pocket. They vote on their own salaries. The average net worth is over $425,000, although many are worth well into the tens of million dollars, the richest at a cool $240 million. They travel on government jets, usually at taxpayer expense, to their multi-million dollar homes, or even abroad on junkets. If it were up to me they would be flying on Southwest sitting in the middle seat in order to listen to the people around them.
They exist on our dime, and we let it happen.
They work for us, people!
We can control them through the ballot box.
The comedian Dennis Miller used to have routine he would begin with, "I don't want to go off on a rant here, but..." Then he would go off on a rant. He wrote books about his rants. I loved them and have often tried to emulate it in some of my own rants in my writings from time to time. It is how and why I came up with the title of this blog - Webber's Whipping Post. So, I got the whip out today for some floggings. Feel free to rebut.
Kaepernick - surely I am not the only one delighted this tool can't get a job in the NFL? Released by the 49'ers after the 2016 season, he, fellow football players, and most every sports journalist are howling to the moon that CK has been blackballed. In a classic case of "you had one job to do" the player being paid $11.4 million per year couldn't stand for our National Anthem before a football game for what essentially came down to his own racists views. Journalists and fellow football players call it a violation of his 1st Amendment Rights. I call it karma from hard-working average Americans paying entirely too much money to watch a game they love in order to get away from life's problems, while an entertainer shoves his political views down our throats. Colin my man, we don't pay for your thoughts, we pay for you to entertain us, much like a clown in a circus. Maybe he didn't get "blackballed" - maybe he was "kaepernicked."
Healthcare - I am probably going to get some flack here, but with all the furor going on in Congress right now, when did healthcare become a right? (For the record, our company is delighted to provide great healthcare benefits for our associates and was doing so long before our competitors.) When I was in Ms. Wahl's 9th grade Civics class you paid attention or got whacked and I never read where it was a right bestowed upon us by the Founding Fathers. Why should my tax dollars go towards paying for some schmuck who won't work? (My logic applies to abortions too, but that is a blog for another day.) What's next, some politician promises everyone they should have a car too? Compliments of Jimmy Carter, we already tried something similar with making houses available for all when the Community Reinvestment Act passed in 1977 and we saw how well that worked out for us in 2007. At this time in our history, this country cannot afford healthcare for all, it is not a right, and the government wanting to be the single source payer for anything is a recipe for disaster. (Don't believe that - look at the mess Social Security is in.) President Trump would do well to let Obamacare implode and die a natural death, pass tort reform, and let market forces dictate healthcare.
Protesters/Rioters - are you getting as tired of this as I am? It is becoming childish and boorish. Every day some major news outlet finds a protest going on somewhere and runs with it as a major news headline. Don't those people have jobs? Are we paying the healthcare for those morons too? Did you notice we didn't see too many of those protests during the Obama years? Is that because there were none, or because the media didn't cover it? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Left-lane Drivers - Arghhh!! Every day I drive up and down Kennedy Avenue between work and home. And every day there are numerous people driving in the left hand "passing" lane, usually below the speed limit, because in another 22 blocks, they are going to turn left. They obsessively hang onto that left lane, as if it were their last Oreo cookie, completely oblivious of the traffic backing up behind them. And it is worse on Interstate 57, between about Monee and Interstate 80! In AZ it happens quite a bit on Tatum Blvd, and in FL on Route A-1A, so I realize this is not just an IL thing. But these people are going to get somebody killed and it's time the highway patrol's starts to collect fines and use the money to pay off the national debt. And the irony of this rant, I'm not even a fast driver, but I know enough to stay the hell out of the way of the car behind me!
The Mainstream Media - all of my posts could be about this group of Socialists, but you'd stop reading my blog if I always wrote about them. But get this, the other day a 14 year old girl was brutally raped in Maryland by two illegal 17 and 18 year old aliens (you read that age right) and the mainstream media didn't report it! ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN had nothing to say! The reason why, you might ask? It doesn't fit their agenda because we can't bring light on the problems of illegal aliens. By the way, at the very time this was all going on, the Maryland state legislature was voting on whether to become a sanctuary state. If there are any liberals reading this, answer how you would feel if it was your daughter? The media shapes what you think and one has to be careful what thoughts they are allowed to stick in one's head, or what to omit.
OK, that's enough flogging for the day. My morale has improved somewhat.
A few days ago, March 21, Dawn and I were presented with a gift from the Heavens. Our first-born child, Sarah, and her husband, Matt, bestowed upon us their first-born child. They had a brand-new baby daughter named London Genevieve, and she is a real “keeper.” The term “ripping a hole in the fabric of time” might be a little bit of a stretch to describe her arrival, so instead I will proclaim: Arriving at a very healthy eight pounds, six ounces, and twenty-one inches long, our newest addition to the family is our sixth grandchild. Four girls and two boys. It would stand to reason that I have some general observations, reflections, and/or bragging to do. (As a side-note to my other children and grandchildren – I know that there were grandkids bestowed upon us first that I never wrote about, but little London is the first one that arrived during the existence of this blog. The other five may be a blog for another day.)
Sarah, or “Chili Bean,” as she is affectionately known to me, or “the Baby” by her mother, and her husband, who is the baby in his family, live in Chicago. (Anyone else get the irony of “the Babies” having a baby?) They are easily within stroller distance to Wrigley Field, home of the now World Series Champion Cubs. This then guarantees me that little London will be attending her first Cub’s game this summer, decked in Cubs finery fit for a princess. I would imagine they will stop the game for her arrival. Anyway, this will set her down a path of a life-long love affair with the team her dear old granddad followed his whole life. I am now assured there will be another generation of Cub’s fans in the Webber family. Sweet Jesus, please don’t make her have to wait 59 years to see them win a title like I did!
About the name…London. This was a surprise as none of us even knew the gender of the baby beforehand, much to our old-fashioned delight, so names were not readily discussed either. When we made aware that our new bambino was in fact a little girl, we were then informed her name would be “London.” In the excitement of the moment, and having not worn my hearing aids, I was under the impression I had not heard right. I asked the name again to make sure I heard correctly. I had. London…as in jolly old England. As in the great song from the Cure, London Calling… (I’m gonna have some fun with that as that baby girl gets older because I have little ditties for all of the grandkids! And I swear that song came on my Bose just as I sat down to finish this writing.) But anyway, I had to admit, I had never heard the word London used as a baby’s name.
So, as I am wont to do, I did a little research. Here’s a shocker – the names origin is English? Who’d a thunk it? But get this, in 2015, the latest year of records, there were 2,904 little girls born in the United States named London. There were 3,448 baby girls named London in 2013, and it was the 85th most popular girl’s name that year. At minimum, that is 6,353 little girl wonders running around this country with the name London. So once again, our Chili Bean was out there ahead of us and little London now has a quite lovely and unique, but not altogether, singular appellation. Having said that, I will remind Sarah that we thought we were giving her a unique, albeit old-fashioned name, when we she was born. As I recall, the name Sarah became THE most popular name for girls the following year.
After lunch, we were informed that London’s middle name would be Genevieve. My first thought was to be thankful it wasn’t Bridgette. (Think about that.) My second thought was that it had also been my grandmother’s name. My grandma Gen was the sweetest, most kind-hearted woman to ever walk the face of the Earth. I can say that with authority because I was the “apple of her eye” and she showed it every day. Suffice to say, this boy could do no wrong. I’m not sure if they picked the name to honor my grandmother, or just because they liked it, but it was quite an honor, and even made my mama cry.
So, our newest addition to the family is named London Genevieve Schore. Even though I couldn’t talk Matt into making the last name Webber-Schore, I have to say, I still like it. And I like it more every time I say it. Quite a name. But, so is the name Sarah. And I call her “Chili Bean.” Perhaps “Sweet Pea” will be appropriate for the little tyke.
Little Sweet Pea, I don’t know if I’ll be around to see you grow up, as that is not my decision. I hope to be around long enough to be able to see you play with your cousins and friends, go to school, and maybe even to see you get married someday. But one thing I know for certainty is that you have two of the most loving parents a girl like you could ever ask for and I am so very confident they will take only the best of care of you. If you turn out to be as good as your mom and dad, you will be one fine lady. And my fondest wishes for you are to be healthy, and above all, happy in your life’s pursuits.
My youngest sister, Tami, passed away in 1978. Her fate was due to a car accident at 16 years old. Many of the readers of this blog and Face Book friends knew her, or at least remember her. Even my wife knew her, before I knew my wife! Today, March 18, is Tami's birthday and she would have been 55 years old.
Today is not to tug at heart strings or elicit sympathy. I am not the only person to lose a sibling in some way, and those that have, particularly at a young age, understand the familial dynamics set in motion from such an tragedy. Know that, beyond the emotional toll the heartbreak takes on your parents, there is also a unique set of circumstances for the surviving siblings that comes with the event that would be hard to put into words, even to a master "wordsmith" like me. No, mostly today is just to ramble a bit, bring up some memories, and reflect on what her life might have been had she survived.
Tami's death was over 38 years ago. Hard to fathom that fact. Let me preface this with the fact that I was not living at home at the time, having taken up residence in a bachelor pad in Chebanse. (Can one really claim to living on your own when the "pad" is in a town of 1,000 people and located on the other side of town from your parents...a distance of about 4 blocks.) I had been out of the house for about a year by that time and quite frankly, between work and an overly active social life due to the legal drinking age being reduced, really kind of lost track of what she had been up to. We had made a bargain that if she would do some light cleaning around my apartment she could drive my brand new Chrysler Cordoba, with rich Corinthian leather, on occasion. I don't recall either of us living up to that bargain so much. It kind of fell apart after she, or one of her buddies, put a cigarette burn in the roof.
So now as I look back on her short life, all these years later, most of my now hazy memories are really are of her being a pre-teen, rather than the pretty young lady she was becoming. I know that she was crazy about animals (horses and dogs in particular) and boys...in that order. There is the now fond memory of the ratty looking dog that we just had to keep because it followed her home...on the end of a leash. (My God was that dog ugly.) My mother likes to tell the story of the time she got a call at work because I was chasing Tami for eating all the marshmallows out of my Lucky Charms, and she went out the door. The problem was, she hadn't opened the door - she literally went through it. And I vividly recollect the time she turned up missing during the night, only to have been found in the backseat of dad's old Dodge, door open, sound asleep. She had been sleepwalking, but the really creepy part of the story - my parents kept the doors chained at night to prevent that very thing. To this day we do not know how she got out... as the chains were all in place. Tami had a shock of long blonde hair that she was always messing with and a mischievous, almost sassy smile on her face that seemed to hint that she was up to something... and about to take others with her.
As surely other folks are wont to do with long lost family members, I sometimes try to imagine what her life would have become had she lived on with us, and have come to some whimsical conclusions. Sue me for having my rambling thoughts, but given how life has turned out with our entire family, including cousins, aunts and uncles, and the like, along with our backgrounds and rearing in a small town, with all the good and bad, I envision her something like the following:
Like me, she was a "B' student and I did not get the impression school was any more to her than for social activity. The grades came easy with little work, and a B- or C was perfectly adequate to her in order to keep the folks at bay. I don't believe she had any grand ideas about her life by that time, as quite frankly she had not reached an age to have taken any of that too seriously - she was too busy having fun. Cindy Lauper's "Girls just want to have fun" would have been her favorite song. But in all honesty, there was nothing that predicted she might be the first female president of the US, or go on to have recorded several gold albums or act in Hollywood - those did not seem to fit the personality I recall. I have to think that she would have attended community college after high school and worked at the trucking company sporadically as her social life would allow. Ultimately she would have married some schlep with a slightly checkered past, who would have turned out to become a good hard-working and simple man. She liked to champion the folks that seemed to have some internal struggles and bring out the best in them. Her husband would be at her beck and call constantly, and hopelessly smitten with her...like me to my squeeze! She would have dabbled in various vocational activities, and probably wound up working part-time for a veterinarian or one of the super-sized pet stores. As she liked kids, particularly babies, four kids and three grandkids would be rocking her world right now, plus probably one skinny, scrawny mutt that nobody liked and two aloof cats. There might have even been a horse at a stable somewhere waiting for her daily visits. Her life would have turned out uncomplicated; she would have been happy, and a major part of the glue that would have held the family together.
In stark contrast to my whimsicality towards my baby sister, is the other side of that coin with thoughts on what has transpired in the past 38 years but would not have happened had she lived. Some of these thoughts are extremely private, and since there is no way to prove them, best remain in the dark corners my over-sized head. But if you are fortunate enough not to have gone through this at a young age, I mention this not to taunt, but only so you might consider how this situation would impact events like family dynamics or your jobs and careers. The road not taken as usual, seems endless, boundless, as so inexplicable.
Sadly, time (and an aging mind) does erode memories, and I probably don't think of Tami as often as I would like. But today, I am remembering her and thought I'd share with you.
Miss you "Wamus."
As most of you know by now, Judge Derrick Watson from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has blocked President Trump’s second attempt at temporarily banning Muslim immigration from six specific countries. This comes on the heels of Judge Robarts block-headed move in February. For the record, according to Federal law, this action is Trump’s presidential right, just like President Carter did in the 1970’s, in order to protect the citizens of the country, but that is a blog for another day.
Since this is the second time it has been blocked, both times by a judge from the 9th Circuit, I decided to look a little further into that “special” group of magistrates.
First off, about Judge Derrick Kahala Watson, who was appointed by President Obama: Just coincidentally, this Overlord graduated from Harvard Law School the same year as BHO, but let’s not jump to conclusions. And there is now an unsubstantiated rumor that President Obama made a trip to Hawaii just before Judge Watson’s ruling, but that too may be for a blog another day…feels sort of like when Bill Clinton met AG Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix to talk about grand kids. (Nothing to see here folks, just move along…)
The 9th circuit has appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in AK; four in CA; HI; ID; MT; NV; OR; two in WA; and the territorial courts in Guam; as well as the Northern Mariana Islands. (Where the heck is the Northern Mariana Islands and why do we have a court there? And who has jurisdiction over the Southern Mariana Islands?)
There are 29 circuit judges on the 9th circuit. 7 were appointed by Republican presidents and the rest (22 in case you weren’t keeping up) were appointed by not-Republican presidents. 76% were appointed by Democratic presidents – no wonder it is such a liberal court!
One judge, Stephen Reinhardt, who must have been appointed by Ulysses S. Grant during a drunken fit, will be 86 years old at the end of this month, 2 years older than Ruth Bader Ginsburg of Supreme Court fame. (If you recall, she woke up long enough to tell us she was leaving the country if Donald Trump was elected president. Evidently nobody told her yet as she’s still here.) And tell me old man Reinhardt wasn’t heavily influenced – he is married to the retired Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California, one Ramona Ripston. The step-son of a Hollywood producer, he readily admits to being a liberal and does not consider himself to be bound by the Supreme Court. Think about that – he is supposed to be an arbiter of justice, blind to anything but the law, and yet…he doesn’t care. He could give a hoot about his constant high rate of reversals either. And we can’t impeach him, nor can we stop his salary. I wonder if we can send him to the Northern Mariana Islands for awhile?
Speaking of salary, these judges are paid $217,600 each, meaning they cost taxpayers about $300,000 per year. (By the way, Chief Justice of the US. Supreme Court, John Roberts, doesn’t think that is enough. Don’t know about you all, but I’d take that gig.) That equates to about $8,700,000 per year picked up by John Q. Public. That salary is for the rest of their life too – some pension!
Now, get this! Their rulings are overturned 79% of the time. Yes, you read that right – 4 out of 5 times, this special group of rocket scientists are proven to be…wrong! Would you pay your plumber to come back all 5 times to fix the same leak? How about your favorite auto mechanic to start your car? Would you give your doctor 5 tries to take out your appendix? And the taxpayer pays almost $9 million per year for this…for the rest of their judgeship's lives? While I admit, that probably isn’t too long for old man Reinhardt, it does mean we have to pay for his Judgeship Derrick Watson (51) to play political games for 30-45 more years! (Is it just me or does it seem judges live so much longer than the rest of us?)
It's high time to break up this merry band of adjudicators, folks. Their blocking of President Trump’s immigration ban was for no other reason than political gamesmanship, and that is not their job! Not on our dime. If they are not going to do their job judiciously, they must be removed.
Well, Dawn says it’s time to go home now. I’ve protested, I’ve cried, I’ve pleaded, and even tried to bribe, but alas, my protestations are falling on deaf ears. One of our daughters, very inconsiderately I might add, decided to schedule having a baby right in the middle of our vacation. I asked if they could delay this blessed event until sometime in May, but I have reached that point in our family where I am kind of just merely tolerated and usually ignored, having reached insignificant status. Dawn will not listen to any attempts to stay in the sunny south. I just talk to the hand. So, tonight I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, bound for the Great White North, which I understand is going to be living up to its reputation when I get there. How is my sunburnt face going to look in snow?
Well, anyway I took a nice bike ride out to Bartlett Lake Dam, 50 miles northeast of Scottsdale, on Thursday. My last bike ride in AZ for a while. So, I thought I’d share the beauty with you, as it quite spectacular.
But first, the facts: the dam was built between 1936 and 1939 for irrigation water supply. It was named after a government surveyor, Bill Bartlett…as opposed to something that might have anything to do with the people who paid for it, the native Indians, or the surrounding AZ desert. It is one of six storage dams that make up the Salt River Project, which also includes canals and reservoirs that provide water to the Phoenix valley. It is said, without that project, there would be no Phoenix.
As usual, the sky was a perfect blue without a cloud. The temperatures were in the 80’s, and there was virtually no traffic to run over me and my bike. The roads were a little rough, lots of dips, and plenty of curves, so as to keep your mind on the road, which I almost learned the hard way. Rubber-necking is not encouraged out there.
Lake Bartlett is as high as it’s ever been with water. That would be indicative of having had lots of rain, more so then at any time in the past 7 years. Ironically, that coincides with how long I have been coming down here. Suffice to say, it has been a wet winter here in the Valley of the Sun, so the Sun seemed to have taken the winter off. If it sounds like I am complaining, please note…I am.
Although I could not see the dam from my vantage point next to that railing, I was told that they are actually in the process of draining the dam of some of its excess water. Right after that picture was taken one of the boaters reeled in a really big fish. To his friends, I bet that fish grew quite a bit since Thursday. This area supposedly also has a beach, aptly named Rattlesnake Beach, nearby. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want to doze on a beach named after a no-necked reptilian.
In one picture, you will see there is actually a marina. As I am not much of a boat enthusiast, I did not care to get any closer to the boats, and the picture was more or less taken as an afterthought. I will say I was surprised by the amount of boats docked there, and it did appear there were a few expensive ones at that. OK, I’ve talked enough about boats!
This area is part of the Tonto National Forest area and there are lots of areas to hike through. I saw several cars parked next to the trails, indicating people were, for reasons I’ll never understand, off hiking in the desert and up the hills. You will recall I mentioned sun, heat, and rattlesnakes previously in this blog.
Well, just know that the next time you see or hear from me, I’ll be freezing my keaster up north, while fighting for a spot in line to hold that new grandbaby, which will be our sixth. And a special shout out to my daughter – the one having the new papoose - I was just joking about this being inconvenient. You know I love ya, but I’m beggin’ ya, please have the next baby in June like your mother did you.
So, this past Sunday night I sat down to watch 60 Minutes on CBS, which I have been doing for about 30 years. Dawn had made egg sandwiches for dinner, a favorite to me. Well, actually, anything Dawn makes has become a favorite to me, obviously, but that too is a blog for another day.
Anyway, I watched in fascination as Anderson Cooper interviewed the French Nationalist Front Party presidential hopeful, Marine La Pen. If you haven’t heard of Ms. Pen, she is France’s version of Donald Trump. She goes so far as to liken her chances of election to the recent Brexit movement as well as the election of Donald Trump. When listening to her, she does remind you of President Trump somewhat as she is certainly a Conservative and passionate about making France, the land of the sun-burned armpits, great for the French again, rather than the immigrants that are over-running the country. She recently made headlines when she visited Lebanon’s grand mufti (whatever the heck a mufti is) and when told she had to wear a hijab (headscarf) because she is a woman, told them to pound sand, or something more political. Anyway, she canceled the meeting. But, this blog is not about her – I really don't know enough about her or French politics to report. No, this is about the interviewer, Anderson Cooper.
I was actually enjoying the interview…at first. But slowly and surely, Andy’s liberal cynicism began to creep into the discussion, and you could feel it like the flu coming on. He had to make comments (cracks) about the fact she can’t win, which I recall was said about Trump too, and her rejection of head scarves. This has turned into somewhat of a political football because she mentioned a possible ban on all hijab's, yarmulke's and turbans worn in France in order to take religious friction out of the quagmire that is devouring France with immigration issues. I am not sure if this is a good idea or not, and have never been to France, so I really have no opinion, but it was clear Andy did and was poking the idea.
Like he does Trump, Andy painted her to be anti-Islamic, which she denies. But he got the words out there and into some empty heads watching on TV anyway. He brought up her father, which had run for president 5 times and was evidently some sort of nut job with deep anti-Semitism views. La Pen clearly pointed out she had become estranged from her father, but that didn’t prevent Andy from connecting the dots…nut job dad and now daughter running for president. The damage was done.
He mentioned that she had an admiration for Russia. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump? This was because she borrowed money from Russia to run her campaign when the liberal French banks turned her down. She volunteered to take money from the US or Andy, if they felt like contributing too, and she was adamant about paying it back.
And then Andy flippantly pointed out that France has a 10% unemployment rate, which is twice that of the US. Folks, the unemployment rate in this country, despite what the mainstream media tells you, is not 5%, and he knows that! The government, under Obama quit counting about half the folks that are unemployed or unemployable. But Andy, who is supposed to be a respected journalist and a major news correspondent, just floated it out there as naturally as falling off a log. The epitome of Fake News.
I always knew Andy leaned left, but he seemed studious and sincere enough that the few times I watched him I would give him the benefit of the doubt over at CNN. It always seemed to me there were far more nuts over at the Communist News Network, (later changed to the Clinton News Network in 2016) than Andy. Plus, his 60 Minutes stories were usually interesting. But the way he glibly interviewed Ms. Pen just struck a nerve in me that kept jabbing, right into Tuesday where I am now writing about it instead of exercising in the pool.
So, I did some checking on Mr. Cooper. A former childhood model, he is the son of writer Wyatt Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. Yes, those Vanderbilt’s…with all the money. His mother is worth about 200 million bucks. Andy is worth about 100 million smackers and the most recent information I could find about his salary is that it is north of $11 million per year. With that kind of money and potential inheritance, I might be a little sincerer as well.
He and his boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani live in the Rye House (pictured) in Litchfield CT. At 10,127 sq. ft., it has 18 rooms, an Olympic-sized pool, a tennis court, and a large gardener’s cottage. And Benny, it turns out, owns three gay bars in New York City. The fact is, folks, Andy is another rich east coast liberal elitist who has no idea of what the average man is going through, despite his penchant for going to any disaster zone he can find so he can “report” and “film” about another person’s misery, rather than actually help. It’s called emo-journalism, meant to capture your heart, before he heads back to his mansion in CT.
Recently Andy appeared on that “liberal think tank,” the Late Show, and admitted that he muted President Trump because “he represents annoying people you don’t want to hear”. By muting him, rather than deleting, he does not get the feed but Trump still thinks Andy is following him. Think about that for a minute, folks. The major news anchor of a major news source, mutes the President of the United States because, in Andy’s opinion, he is annoying. He then waltzes out at $11 million per year to report to you, or possibly tell you what to think. Talk about irony!
Why would anyone listen to anything Anderson Cooper has to say – there is no way he can be objective? You might want to keep all this in mind the next time he sticks his mug in your television screen. That is smugness on his face folks, not sincerity. He looks down on us all.
Well, I turned 60 this past week. The Big 6-0! I really never imagined myself at this age. I never thought I’d live this long or be this…old. I realize to many people, 60 isn’t that old and I would imagine my dear mama longs for being 60 again. But I really don’t think there is anyone that reaches this milestone without thinking, “Wow, when the heck did I get this old? Where did the years go?” It always seemed to me like it was special “barrier” that marked you had made it over the mountain and were now on the back side of the hill. I guess that explains the expression “over the hill.”
You hear the cliche’ “you’re only as old as you feel.” I recognize that, but I have to tell you, there is a world, no, a whole universe of difference between what your mind thinks and what your body tells you about your age. If my brain is from Mars, then my body is surely from Pluto! (Remember when Pluto was a planet?) My mind, while as sharp as it has ever been in my life, still resides in the 70’s – it never left! (Uh-oh, here comes a flashback!) The music from that era is still the greatest music ever, and I miss the fashion, cars, art, and the simpler times. (Except for disco – I don’t miss disco!) It seems only yesterday I was running with my friends and I recall all the great times had, the laughter, and in some cases even what was said. (And yet, don’t ask me what I had for breakfast this morning.) Spend your formative years with the likes of Mark, Randy, and Tracy and I assure you that you will have some fond and crazy memories, some of which can never be repeated. But, on the other hand, if today I need some data that is buried somewhere deep inside my noggin for work or other important events, the facts, knowledge and experiences needed are easily drawn upon and nothing short of brain surgery or nuclear fission really seems that difficult to comprehend, at least in some degree. Well, then there is that whole “liberal” thing, which is completely bizarre, but that is a subject for another blog.
But the body, and I have to admit, I’ve not been real good to mine, is a whole other matter. And it reminds me every minute of every day of every possible thing I did or didn’t do for it for the past 60 years. The mind says, “come on, let’s do this” and then the body snickers and says, “yeah right. Fo-get-a-bout-it...go have a sandwich!” It starts in the morning when you first wake up and begin taking inventory of what hurts and what doesn’t. Then you get up, take your over-priced prescription medications and Tylenol…and it’s all downhill from there. The very best your body is going to feel for the rest of the day is when you crawl back into that bed that night. Now I realize there are some of your super-human freaks out there walking 428 miles every day for some un-Godly reason, but I’m just talking about us average Joe’s who conserve our energy for important stuff, like breakfast and getting ready for work.
As I reflect back on the rich experiences I’ve had, the great folks I’ve known, the people I’ve loved and the family my wife and I have built, and then realize the humanity that never had the opportunity to reach this age, and it becomes…humbling. And even more incredible, folks born in the later 50’s are a special breed entering our 60’s, as for the most part, we did not have to work as hard as our parents and grandparents, or sacrifice as much they did. The experiences and battle scars of 60 years of life on this rock have surely taken its toll, but we lived through it, and are that much stronger for it. We are entering our 60’s, generally in better health, and able to more fully enjoy what life and family we have.
So, I think I’ll wear this new age as a badge of honor and quit worrying about what time is left. Next time some whippersnapper calls me “old man” I’ll just smile, as little does he know.