Having drank too much eggnog again for Christmas, sleeping that night was a bit of an issue. At one point, I awoke to remove the CPAP mask from my ear to put it back over my nose. Finally managing to grab a few "zzzz's," I experienced the most horrible nightmare.
Evidently, in my alcohol induced stupor, Jacob Marley visited. Scrooge’s former partner was there to “persuade” me to succumb to the media hype of the evils of Donald Trump. When I balked at being infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome, he violently shuddered, then demanded I come back from the "dark side,"…or else. I wondered how he was going to get that message to the other 63 million of us, but was afraid to ask.
Marley spent the night indoctrinating me of the merits and shortcomings of the various candidates among the Democrat party. Like everyone else, he ignored Richard Bennett, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, and Maryanne Williamson, wailing they have about as much chance as being nominated as me. He pointed a meaty finger at me, but I was too frightened to protest. Then he muttered something about wasting valuable time and money.
Next, he brought up Bernie Sanders. Surprisingly, we were equally repulsed. Neither of us were about to endorse a socialist.
Having never had a job before in his life, the 78-year-old "Bern" thinks and acts like a Socialist. Me and Marley agreed…we don't like people who won't work. Being British, it boggled Marley’s mind that a Yank would consider socialism over good ‘ol American capitalism.
Marley was on a roll again, shrieking, chains rattling. “Nearly everyone in the world is jealous of this country, warts and all, and yet there are folks willing to risk losing what they have!” Frowning, Marley shoved a meme from Face Book under my nose. It read: "You can vote in socialism kids, but you have to shoot your way out." Quite poignant, if you ask me.
When I chimed in that "Bern" voters should go live in a socialist country, like Venezuela first, then come back and tell us about their experience, Marley eased up some. But, as best as I can recall the rest of the nightmare, Marley had many more messages:
“Joe Biden,” Marley screamed mockingly. “Bah humbug! At 77-years-old, with dementia breathing down his neck, and having been in politics for 46 years, there’s nothing left from him! Everybody realizes Joe's faults, but as he's the only politician remotely representing the Democrat party of old, mainstream Dems have no other option but that old coot.” Marley showed me scenes of Biden's past, coming down on every side of every issue during a long political career. “Never trust someone been on the government dole that long!” he moaned.
“Plus,” Marley continued, “Mark my words, boy. Joe will not make it to the Oval Office due to the skeletons falling out of his closet. That drug-addled son's escapades and those shenanigans in the Ukraine and China will come back to haunt him.”
I thought to myself, I might have a few skeletons of my own, but methinks Joe's guilty as "h, e, double hockey sticks, too." However, I wasn’t about to share that with Marley…in fear he’d show me my skeletons.
Marley next mentioned Michael Bloomberg, although in a softer voice. “You know, he might be 77-years-old but this guy might just buy his way in.” Marley obviously thinks Bloomy’s a heavyweight. “He seems to be in charge of all his faculties, despite that stupid "Gulp" debacle. You know, he’s worth $56 billion?”
‘As compared to that dastardly Trumps mere $3 billion,’ I thought but dared not mention. Instead I said, “Bloomberg ran New York City somewhat successfully, especially compared to their current mayor,” I chimed in. Marley blistered me with curses horribly at the mention of Mayor DeBlazio. I quickly apologized for bringing it up.
“Just like your boy, Trump, Bloomy’s a businessman first, a politician second,” Marley sniffed. “I find that attribute admirable. You put him on your short-list,” he demanded. I didn’t know I had a list.
About this time, I awoke from my nightmare in a cold sweat, feeling sick. Halfway to the bathroom I remembered the CPAP hose still attached to my schnozzle, pulling the machine to the floor and awaking the Missus. I jumped when she bellowed, sounding suspiciously like old man Marley. As she was already upset about my earlier prodigious egg nog consumption, the contraption clattering to the floor certainly didn’t help her disposition. After forty-years, I probably should have known that.
While in the lavatory, it occurred to me though, it must have been a dream, voting against by beloved Trumpster. Instantly, I felt better, my nightmare was over and Jacob Marley was gone.
Or so I thought. To be continued...
Everyone knows the Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas?” How old were you when you found out it was also called, “A Visit of St. Nicholas?” In my case, 62. Incredibly, most everything known about the concept of Santa Claus and Christmas gift giving is derived from this poem.
Generally attributed to Clement Moore, the verse was first published anonymously in the Troy New York Sentinel in 1823, submitted by a friend of Moore’s.
Seems Moore thought himself too scholarly to have penned such a verse. A professor at the General Theological Seminary, Moore was recognized as the author in 1837, although he never acknowledged it personally until published in a book of poetry in 1844. He included this particular poem - perhaps the most well-known in history - at the insistence of his children.
Unfortunately, there is controversy with who actually wrote the poem. Major Henry Livingston, Jr. also is attributed to have written it - according to his family.
Th Livingston family claim is supported by MacDonald Jackson, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. So certain is Jackson, who has spent his career studying the authorship of various written works, je published a book in 2016 regarding the authorship of the poem.
To add further to the controversy, some white-bearded, irksome columnist printed a purloined oafish adaption to the poem in a company newsletter in 2017. (Not sure his family will claim it) This author sought to acknowledge the plight of lonely truckers hurrying home late Christmas Eve, having been peddling holiday novelties, cheer and food across the country. You see, they too have families waiting for them.
A TRUCKER’S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the land,
Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept the big rigs all manned,
With truckers; days and weeks on the road, delivering freight,
Now trying to get back home, afore it’s too late.
The children are nestled, all snug in their beds,
With visions of Santa and their daddy dawdling in heads.
And mamma in flannel nightgown; such a hectic day,
Had just settled herself down, she began to pray.
She’s uneasy for her trucker to return safe and sound,
She knows he’ll be hurrying to come back ‘round.
To be home with the family by this Christmas morn,
To celebrate this momentous day our Savior was born.
The moon had lain on the breast of the new fallen snow,
She had wanted him to stay, but understood he must go.
Yearning all day; to their home he would appear,
Surely, he’s getting close, no doubt he had to be near.
She thought of his eyes, oh how they can twinkle!
And the withered forehead; now covered in wrinkle.
The silvery hair on his head, long does it grow,
And the stubble on his chin, white as the snow;
He’s getting heavy and plump, a right jolly old elf,
Smiling at thoughts of his belly…in spite of herself.
A wink of his eye though would be what is required,
And be home safely this wintry night, it’s what she desired.
He’s sometimes not shaved and is prone to foul moods,
Tarnished he may be; and sometimes a little rude.
But you see, he’s been cursed on the road; delayed at a dock,
And his travels make sure your Christmas gifts are in stock.
While folks arrange Christmas and merrily enjoy this magic season,
Trucker’s deliver goods all over the country for good reason.
Shelves are to be filled; a livelihood; a way to support a family,
Taking him farther from home than sometimes he wants to be.
Now he’s another lonely trucker on this Holiest of Nights,
Driving highways toward home as Nature puts up a fight.
But he’ll be hurrying on this most magical of flights,
The Lord bringing him home safely would be her delight.
When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,
A big ‘ol eighteen-wheel semi becoming oh so clear.
Yes, it’ a blue Pete, and pulling a white trailer-van,
She knew in a moment…it had to be her man.
More rapid than eagles, the big rig came,
He whistled, he shouted and called her by name.
To the top of the porch! and in through the front door,
He dashed in the house, slidin’ 'cross the floor.
He sprung to her side, and grabbed her in a big bear hug,
She giggled with glee; “welcome home you big lug.
As they sat by the fire enjoyin’ nog in the bright light,
She smiled warmly while whispering,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Christmas is almost over, so I’m getting back to normally scheduled diatribes.
19 minutes. That’s roughly the amount of time it took the Washington Post to call for the impeachment of President Trump - after he had been sworn in as President of the US. And it’s been going on, non-stop ever since – three continuous years. Democrats keep throwing motives for impeachment against the wall to see what might stick. Reasons have included:
* The Foreign Emoluments Clause concerning Trumps ongoing business ventures around the world, suspecting he would take money from foreign dignitaries. Trumps net worth has declined one billion dollars since election so if he’s stealing, he’s not very good at it.
* Collusion with Russia, costing us forty million dollars. This ruse has been debunked. Investigations are ongoing into the perpetrators instigating this travesty of justice. It appears FBI directors were involved, lying to a FISA court, putting them on a level of sedition not seen since J. Edgar Hoover was dressing in women’s clothing.
* Obstruction of justice concerning the Russian collusion claim. Seems the Left didn’t feel Trump should defend himself, but just agree to be hung.
* Access to Trumps personal finances, as well as his family, plus Trump’s subsequent attempts to halt their prying. This was wealth Trump made BEFORE becoming president. I predict this charge will be used again during the upcoming election cycle, and even perhaps after Trumps re-election. I personally would rather see how Congressman made their money AFTER they entered office. Perhaps Dick Durbin and his lobbyist wife would like to go first.
* Trumps alleged directions to the imprisoned attorney, Michael Cohen to lie about details of building a hotel in Moscow.
* After the Mueller report absolved Trump from Russian ties, Democrats shifted gears to claiming Trump used the power of the presidency to leverage the country of Ukraine to spy on Trump’s presidential competitor, Joe Biden.
Unfazed by the possible malfeasance of a former Vice President and his cocaine-addled son to shake down Ukraine, Congress elected to impeach Trump for asking the new Ukrainian president to look into the matter. Want to bet Biden is not the Democrat nominee?
We have been subjected to Adam Schiff’s secret kangaroo court in the basement of the Capitol Building, followed closely by Jerry Nadler’s televised inquisitions. With his pants pulled up under his armpits and napping throughout the proceedings, Nadler is attempting, for the third time in his career, to impeach a sitting Republican president.
This circus is still going on as I type this Thursday afternoon. Democrats and Republicans spent Wednesday alternating grandiose speeches about the merits or atrocities of impeaching the president, neither party listening to one another.
Democrats made their minds up three years ago, regardless of the damage done to the country. They must remove Trump because they know they can’t beat him at the ballot box. Republicans have been outspoken about what the Democrats are doing, but ultimately, have done little except make speeches. I wondered why they even attended the circus.
After nearly three years, the House finally got around to impeaching the president Wednesday night. It was done strictly along party lines without one Republican voting for it, shades of Obama Care. As of Thursday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi was still sitting on the impeachment, rather than turning it over to the Senate, for reasons that are unclear, but obviously political.
Before the House vote was taken, Senator Chuck Schumer attempted to sway matters in advance for the Senate, where Mitch McConnel has said the impeachment vote will die. House Democrats know this so are attempting to dictate the guidelines their Senate counterparts will follow, which might indicate why Pelosi is sitting on it. Or, has I have long suspected, she has gone daft.
Folks, this is not how democracy operates. Liberals are subverting and making a mockery out of our system of government. Impeachment is a solemn and momentous decision - it cannot be a matter of partisan politics. Right before our eyes we are witnessing a public lynching of a president while he has been busy implementing historic economic numbers and trade agreements. To impeach Trump will usher in a stock market crash like no other.
At the same time the sedition of overthrowing a president out of office is going on in Washington DC, next door the state of Virginia is considering mobilizing the National Guard against their own citizens to remove their guns. This is a guaranteed Second Amendment Right of American citizens that Virginia is unlawfully moving to overturn. When the British attempted that act in 1776…well, we know how that turned out.
We’re witnessing a coup, folks. Liberals are fundamentally attempting to alter our country’s system of government in order to usher in a Global Socialist agenda. Historians will wonder some day why we did not throw these people out of our government at the least…or adjudicate them for treason.
If we can manage to keep a Civil War from breaking out in Virginia, we the people must become more engaged to save our democracy before it’s seized from us.
In the immortal words of John Lennon,
“So, this is Christmas,
And what have you done?
Another year over,
A new one just begun.”
These words were from a song by John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, together with the Harlem Community Choir for “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Despite intense research, there’s no evidence Yoko’s microphone was unplugged during the recording. I’m not a Yoko fan.
Until I read the lyrics, I thought the third line was, “another year older.” I’ve been singing it wrong in the shower for 50 years! (Get that picture out of your head!) Either word works – they’re both bummers if you think about it too much. I tend to do that. But I learned some oddities about this popular holiday song.
This time of the year the song is heard frequently on the radio, amongst other Christmas carols. It’s one of the more popular Christmas songs, both in America and Britain. Wonder how many generations that like this song have no idea just who was John Lennon?
Ironically, Lennon didn’t write this tune as a holiday carol in the sense of others, such as “White Christmas” or “O Holy Night.” Instead, it was to be a protest song against America’s participation in Viet Nam...by a British citizen on a green card.
To promote the song, produced in late October of 1971, Lennon decided to rent billboards in twelve cities across the world declaring, “WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko.” The conflict went on another three years, but Lennon did live long enough to see it.
Furthermore, the melody of the song was not Lennon’s to claim. It can be traced to an old ballad about a British race horse by the name of Skewball. A folk song, it was “Americanized” by southern slaves in the early 1800’s, changing the name to Stewball. It has nothing to do with Christmas.
Lead Belly, a blues singer, recorded Stewball. I listened to it but cannot figure out how musicologists can possibly link the recording of Stewball to Happy Christmas. It should be pointed out I lack a sheepskin in musicology, being from Chebanse and all.
Later, other artists recorded “Stewball.” Surprisingly, if you listen to the version by Peter, Paul, and Mary you can hear a resemblance to “Happy Christmas,” even though the two recordings are singing about two entirely different matters.
The “Happy Xmas” song was released too late in the year to reach much of a Christmas audience, but over the years reached enormous commercial success across the world. To this day it has been recorded by a who’s- who of musicians, including John and Ono’s son, Sean.
Now that you have been enlightened in useless Christmas song trivia, Lennon asked a question in the song, “what have you done?” I mean, besides watch Democrats create new reasons to overturn the 2016 election?
Have your accomplished any of the goals you set out to do at the beginning of the year? How’s your bucket list looking? I personally resolved to lose 25 lbs. this year. I only have 30 more pounds to go to achieve that goal. I also resolved to spend a month in Arizona this past October – I got four days in.
Isn’t it funny how life gets in the way of doing what you want? Man plans, God laughs.
But while I was not getting my plans accomplished, I have to say that overall, goals were being accomplished all around me. Our children and grandchildren all got through another year relatively unscathed with the exception of a couple broken bones by our granddaughters. My mother gave us a scare too but seems to be back to normal. Business is good, jobs are plentiful, and everyone’s 401K’s are getting fat.
The point is, perhaps Lennon was being a little tough on us, or was just too absorbed in protesting the war…from an apartment in New York. As the Christmas season rapidly overcomes us, we all should remember life is a journey, not a destination. We already have a pretty good idea of what the destination holds for us. Might as well enjoy ourselves in the short while we are here.
Please remember there are people that might need our help with their journey, and right now is a great time to think about them. Also, let’s not overlook those red Salvation Army buckets and the angels standing out there in the cold tending them, wishing us Good Cheer.
“…and so Happy Christmas,”
We were out for dinner with some other couples a few months ago, in a south suburban beanery. The youngest person in the group was in the fifties and the oldest in the mid- 60’, so we were all “Baby Boomers.” As per usual, the gals were all together on one end chatting about God knows what; and the guys on another end were drinking, cursing, and solving all the world’s problems. The only things missing was a couple of big stogies and muttonchops.
One guy, and I’m being intentionally vague, brought up the question, “Well, come January 1, are you going to partake?” The question was obviously directed as to whether any of us would participate in ingesting marijuana when it becomes legal in Illinois. As mentioned, we were all Baby Boomers, so the subject of whether to partake or not to partake wasn’t really as taboo as the generation before us, but certainly not as common as what I would believe the generations after us have become accustomed.
It was a good question, and everybody thought considerably before answering. Final answers ranged from “heck, yeah” to he “didn’t think so.” One guy coyly said he’d “take the 5th.” Quite frankly, I was surprised by the hesitation to answer, myself included. I’m not sure if the hesitation was due to not really having thought about it before, as it has always been illegal and therefore out of mind, or was it a matter they just didn’t want to reveal their inclinations at this time?
It also occurred to me later that having the wife within earshot might have had something to do with their answers. Some guys might have a thought about his future pot usage, but the wife might have another thought about his pot usage that doesn’t necessarily align with hers. He probably hadn’t checked this out with his better half.
If you think about it, it’s an interesting question for us Baby Boomers, many, if not most of who probably smoked pot in their teens but stopped when all the responsibilities of being an adult mounted. Liquor was legal and easily available without the taboo, so it became an easier relaxant. One could drink in a bar, but it was frowned upon greatly of smoking a joint. You’d likely get tossed out on your ear or the police would be called. There surely can’t be many Baby Boomers however who was never exposed to pot at some time, whether inhaled of not...ala Bill Clinton.
According ABC News, the new law, passed by the Illinois General Assembly – HB 1438, Illinois citizens over the age of 21 can purchase up to 30 grams (about an ounce) of pot for smoking in their home, effective January 1, 2020. Or there is the option of edibles, candies laced with pot, which will allow up to 500 mgs. Or one can buy 5 grams of cannabis concentrate product, whatever that is. Having no idea how much pot any of those amounts are, I am not sure what happens if one were to just to go to another store for more pot. Keep in mind though, you’re employer probably has a whole different view on this.
Illinois is the 11th state to legalize pot. Illinois will sell to out-of-state folks too, but they can only buy half as much – a provision that totally goes over my head. It seems to me this provision is comparable to cutting the proverbial baby in half. If Joe is from Indiana, and it is not legal in Indiana, why would Illinois sell Joe any? Or conversely, if the object is to raise tax revenue, why not sell Joe twice as much?
Speaking of taxes, the tax paid depends on the amount of THC, the stuff that gives you the buzz, in the product. The more THC in the product, the more tax you pay, ranging from 10 – 25%. This is the state tax – the municipality where you buy your pot can add on a tax too, up to 3.75%. My understanding the state is recommending against a municipality tax.
If the law does not specify the price of pot, won’t the black market ironically dictate price? How’s this going to work if the black market is not removed? And the bigger question is, who knows how to get rid of the black market? If everything is equal but one party is selling with tax and one without, where are most folks going to buy pot? After all, there must be Baby Boomers that might try pot in order to give their liver a long over-due break.
Asking these questions for friends.