Thursday, April 12, 2018

Life is a Banquet

Don't nibble on the good things.

Life is a banquet.  Devour it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Words of wisdom, eerily relevant today.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

JFK. I Remember . . .


Today is not a day to celebrate but to remember.  

I was very young and very idealistic.  But I have never been more in tune with or involved in government and what it was doing than those days of the Kennedy administration.  My generation believed that government could work back then; we believed in the Constitution, in equal rights, in the freedom of the press.  

We were warriors, we were involved; we were activists, we lived fervently, rebelled ostentatiously and loved freely; we fought back; we became consequential.  We did not "go along."   

We had a leader who inspired.

Kennedy's legacy through the years has been laced with a kind of blandness as though aside from his youth, his wit and charisma, his attractive young family, he really accomplished very little. This was blatantly wrong.

Now, however, appreciation of Kennedy's accomplishments grows with each passing year. And it should.  True, he allowed Khrushchev to get the upper hand (at first). Also true, that the Berlin Wall went up during his tenure. Indeed, he resided over the Bay of Pigs fiasco and we're all aware of his "indiscretions." But I believe today, that had that young president lived, he might have been one of our greatest leaders. Remember, he had only a thousand days in which to accomplish his agenda.
  
As for his accomplishments, take note: the Peace Corps, the Alliance for Progress, Civil Rights legislation, the Space Program and the introduction of the Green Berets. His major accomplishment, however, was a tight and tense little psychological drama between the USA and the USSR known as The Cuban Missile Crisis, which, without the successful maneuvering of the Kennedys, might have left the world in a state of nuclear disaster.

I guess his potential greatness will never be known which is what happens when someone takes you out before your time. But I think when all is said and done, his star will ultimately shine as one of the brightest.  

I remember and I am grateful to have learned my political abc's under your leadership. You never blamed others for your mistakes -- you took your lumps with calm and grace. You spoke decisively but with care for the feelings of your listeners, with admiration for those in the Press who covered you, with respect for those who opposed you and with dignity that matched the office you once held. 

You made us dream.

I miss you, JFK.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Being President doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are." Michelle Obama

This is the President of my country: 

Someone who has led a life that began with power and money, who has learned he can buy his way to anything; someone who is lazy and lacks intellectual curiosity; someone with no sense of history, who has an untrained mind and who either cannot or will not read crucial briefings but instead must be mollified on a daily basis with adulation. 

Someone who (research reveals) has a history of corruption and money laundering with foreign partners, who admires autocratic and dictatorial regimes, who supports white supremacy and neo-nazism. This man has no respect for our system of "checks and balances," for the Press or for established norms of decency.  This man thinks he is king!  

This man who has become president of our country is embarrassing us in the eyes of the world with every stupid tweet and every garbled and inarticulate utterance. 

This is someone who moves within his world of privilege without contributing anything to it. He is a taker but he gives nothing back.  

This is a man who is unfit, both morally and intellectually. 

He should be removed from office!  

Speaker Ryan, are you listening? 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

When Will These Two Men Act?

Image result for sue mcghee these two men hold our futures
 Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan.
You are there to represent US.  When will you begin to do that? 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Complexities of the English Language -- a reprise.



With the undaunted and continuous reporting on every aspect of our world today, both political and personal -- as a result of the "twenty-four-hour-news-cycle," certain phrases appear again and again in our Media ad nauseum.  It isn't just the talking heads who commit the sin of "pundit drivel."  It's the supposed experts of all fields whom the pundits interview.
We are being proselytized on a daily basis to thinking in terms of the clichéd cliché.

Here are few that have come to make me cringe:  

“. . .having said that...”

“. . .that being said. . .”

“. . .at the end of the day. . .”

“. . .we’ll get to that on the other side. . .” (of the commercial break).

“. . .he allegedly. . .” (did something like cross the street).  

". . .whatever. . ."

". . . it is what it is . . ."  

“. . .what were (are) your feelings. . .?” (asked of someone who can hardly speak because of being choked up with tears after a tragedy in their lives).

". . .sorry for your loss  . . ."

". . .what was going through your mind . . .? (when the gunman shoved the gun in your face). 

“. . . be that as it may. . .”

“. . . so . . . “  (a word currently used to preface the answer to a question – Mike Morell should know better!)

“. . . like . . . “  (Oh, please, let’s get rid of this word used to begin a sentence or to fill a pause.  Like, I'd be over-joyed!)  

“. . . I know what the optics are. . .” The White House Staff uses “optics” a lot.  How about something like, “. . . I know how this appears. . .”

Appearances do matter and so do words.

My latest peeve, however, is the use of “complex” when the speaker means “complicated.”  Yes, the dictionary makes it sound like they are interchangeable.  However, there is a subtle difference in the connotation of the words.  In the case of the word “complex” the connotation is and has always been one of the following: containing multiple interconnected parts; a composite; multi-faceted; a complex system of something.  

"Complicated," on the other hand, is not that complicated -- it connotes difficult to understand, analyze, explain or follow.

Am I the only one who gets rankled with the sloppy use of "I" and "me," "he" and "him" as well as "she" and "her?"  One should give it to "me;" therefore, one should also give it to "him and me" or "her and me."  Please don't let one give it to "her and I," since one would never give it to "I," would they?   I guess it's just me!  

Next up:  my rant on Pharmaceutical commercials.  I’ll bet you can’t wait! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

“. . . the slow undoing of human rights. . .” Part II (JFK Inaugural Address 1961)

This week marks a new low – even for Trump.

May we recap the last four months or so?
         
          Since Trump took office, he has:
          
          Reduced crucial cabinet departments to bare bones and appointed obvious sycophants and liars to head those departments.  (eg; Michael Flynn as Nat’l Security Adviser even though red flags were waving from every direction.) We can add Jeff Sessions, Sean Spicer, Kelly Ann Conway, Reince Priebus, and now, unfortunately -- H. R. McMaster.  
           
          Fired Sally Yates January 30 (ostensibly for disagreeing with the President’s Immigration Order, but really to shut her up for information regarding Michael Flynn).
          
          Fired Preet Bhahra (along with 40+ U.S. Attorneys) a member of Justice who was doing an investigation of Trump’s labyrinthine financial conflicts of interest.  
          
          Dismissed our Press as purveyors of “Fake News,” as "the enemy of the people" and the Courts as “so-called Judges.”    

Discontinued the White House Visitor Log (effectively hiding from the People any controversial visitors’ presence and reasons for being there).

Discontinued press reviews following important phone calls or visits with foreign dignitaries to three or four word statements.

Threatened to discontinue White House Press briefings because of the criticism of White House spokesmen.    

Deftly shifted attention from major (unflattering) news items with other (juicy) news items in an attempt to create media distraction.   

Appointed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, neither of whom have credentials other than being family members, to Special Councel to the President.

Weekend trips to Mar-A-Lago costing the taxpayer millions of dollars.

Personal business trips by Sons and Ivanka including Secret Service paid for by taxpayers.

Fired James Comey, the one who heads up an investigation by the FBI into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia.  (The audacity of this act is almost laughable if not so serious.) 

Demeaned the FBI director (a 30 year veteran of government service) by calling him a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”   

Today, we must add the news story from the Washington Post yesterday about our president’s casual disclosure of classified information to his Russian visitors in the White House (this is one day after Director Comey’s firing) after having barred the American media from attending but graciously allowing the official Russian press (RT)  into the Oval Office.

         Some tremendously generous commentators and supporters like to say that the president is simply on a learning curve and is to be forgiven.  I would say, that my 10 year old granddaughter would have known better than to divulge that information.  Some say Trump is slightly deranged with early symptoms of senility; others think he is just dumb.  

          I think he’s led a life that began with power and money, has learned he can get his way, is lazy, fat, lacks curiosity, has no historical perspective, has an untrained mind and cannot or will not read crucial briefings.  He moves within his world of privilege without contributing.   

          He’s a taker and will take more from us than he is capable of ever giving back.  
         
          Because our forefathers were astute enough to understand the dark side of human nature, they’ve provided us with a system of government that requires checks on the presidency -- Congress, the Courts and the Press.

Under Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, the Congress has abrogated its duty and they, as leaders, should be removed. One is not surprised at McConnell, whose partisanship within the Senate is well-known.  Ryan might have been a statesman at one time, yet today, he’s become a lap dog to the President and his minions.

Fareed Zakaria GPS, Sunday morning on CNN discussed the situation – this was before the WAPO exclusive Monday afternoon.

      "So far, it appears that the Republican Party is losing any resemblance to a traditional Western      political party, instead, simply turning into something more commonly found in the developing world, a platform to support the ego, appetites and interests of one man and his family."
      
            I agree. However, we still have the Courts and the Press – and they are doing their jobs.

But it’s going to be up to us – the citizenry; WE are now the ones in charge and we must remind Trump’s enablers that they owe their jobs to us – not him. We, the voters, can fire them unless they immediately begin the process of forming an independent committee (outside of the Congress) that will not replace the on-going investigative congressional committees, but will instead supplement their findings. 

Without the cooperation of the Congress, we, as voters, have no choice but to take back OUR house. Think 2018.