Monday, May 30, 2016
It is Memorial Day, which is rightly a day to remember our fallen heroes. The men and women who died while in service to our country, while in defense of our freedom and liberty, deserve the plaudits they receive on this day.
Another tradition exists for some, the visiting of family graves in local cemeteries. I explore that tradition a bit in my column for today's Boston Herald. If you have a few moments to read what I wrote, I hope you'll enjoy it.
In any case, I wish you a wonderful day, however you spend it, and I thank you for coming here.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
No reason for you to stay here, folks. The good stuff (if I may be just a tad unhumble) is over at the website of the wise and wonderful Boston Herald. As a matter of fact, here's a link that will get you there quicker than Hillary Clinton saying "Yes!" to a six-figure speaking fee offered by Goldman Sachs.
All seriousness aside, thanks for coming here. Now, go away.
Soon, with more better stuff (but probably someplace else.)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
John Nance Garner was Vice-President to Franklin Roosevelt from 1933 to 1941. He is usually remembered for a trenchant observation concerning the office he held. He said the vice-presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”
He actually used more colorful language, but the journalists of that day cleaned it up. I'm sure you can imagine what word he actually used instead of "spit", so no need for me to give it to you. In any case, the idea he espoused was that the office has no real power.
While Garner’s characterization of the office is generally true, there is one undeniable fact concerning the second-in-command. That person is always first in line for succession to the presidency itself. And that makes the choice of Donald Trump’s running mate worth a lot more than a bucket of warm (fill-in-the-blank).
Trump is unlikely to win in November. However, he’ll probably be running against just about the only person he could possibly beat, so if voters somehow find Ronald The Donald preferable to an eminently unlikeable and dishonest Democrat, he could pull off an upset. If so, we need a contingency plan.
I have a way we can take down both Trump and Clinton. Let me explain.
While the choice of a running mate has generally been at the behest of the presidential candidates, there is nothing in the rules of the Republican Party that guarantees such a thing. Rather than rubber-stamping Trump’s choice at the convention in Cleveland, Republicans could decide to choose someone completely different. All it takes is more than one person declaring for that spot on the ticket for it to go to a vote among the delegates. And while delegates may be pledged to Trump, they are not similarly in bondage to his choice of running mate.
The reason this is such an important matter is that Trump has already laid out plans for committing acts, while president, that would undoubtedly end in his being impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate, if those bodies have the cojones to do so. Among other things, he has openly called for the commission of war crimes, the gutting of the first amendment, a religious test for entry into the country and the general trashing of due process and equal protection. Trump is odds-on to commit an impeachable offense within days of being sworn in.
When he does, it would be helpful to have a sane vice-president in place. And that brings us back to defeating Clinton. If the Republicans choose a vice-presidential candidate able to string together three sentences without committing foot to mouth, it might sway significant voters away from the carpetbagging Hillary. Then that sane person would be ready to step into the presidency when (not if) Trump is impeached.
There you have it. Two odious birds with one well-aimed stone.
Of course, I have little faith in Republican leadership getting it right in Cleveland. They have yet to show an ability to outsmart this boob, which speaks volumes about them. They’ve been handed numerous golden opportunities to crush this metaphorical cockroach, but have blown it every time. They’ll probably take this final chance and squander it by nominating someone utterly incapable of capturing the swing vote.
A blind squirrel may eventually find a Kasich, however, so here’s hoping.
Soon, with more warm spit.
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Tubman on $20 bill from HERE
You may have heard word from the Treasury that our paper currency will be undergoing cosmetic changes. The biggest deal is that Harriet Tubman will be on the front of the twenty-dollar bill rather than Andrew Jackson.
I think she’s a fine choice. Harriet Tubman offers something for everyone.
There are the obvious superficialities - she was black, she was a woman - so those who feel we have to have icons representing certain physical characteristics will be pleased. She was a magnificent freedom fighter, a slave who escaped and then helped other slaves escape, and what could be more in line with American ideals than that? She should also be recognized as a hero by those who believe in the second amendment, since she carried a gun regularly and wasn’t afraid to make use of it. The religious right should be pleased as she is likely the most overtly Christian person ever represented on our money, professing to have visions wherein God would speak to her directly and offer guidance. If those things aren’t enough for conservatives, the man she’ll be relegating to the back of the bill was basically the founder of the Democratic Party. What’s not to like?
There will be new faces on other denominations, mostly added to the backs in place of musty old buildings. For instance, the ten will no longer feature the United States Treasury, but will instead have a grouping of five female suffragettes. On the back of the five, portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson will replace the Lincoln Memorial.
All in all, that will make nine new faces on bills. Should this trend keep up, our money is going to get awfully crowded. Nothing against any of these people, but I think we could make better use of our cash.
If the government wants a truly informed citizenry (a debatable proposition, but we’ll forgo that for now) how about doing away with portraiture altogether and instead using that space to reproduce the most important WORDS in our society? How about we make our money a mobile civics class?
If we put the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other such magnificent building blocks of our republic in front of people’s eyes every day, there would be little excuse for someone not knowing what those things say. If someone tried to abridge one of your freedoms, or tried to advance their own agenda in direct defiance of the laws of the land, it would be nice to be able to sigh loudly and say, “Do you have a dollar bill? Read it, you dope!”
People like pictures on their money, though, so I’ll suggest a way to make portraits more educational. Load our bills with the likes of Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Andrew Johnson, Marion Berry, Anthony Weiner, Rod Blagojevich and other politicians who have been impeached, resigned from office in disgrace, been imprisoned or otherwise been caught – perhaps literally – with their pants down. Make it a picture including that for which they are best remembered – Watergate, a crack pipe, an intern on her knees. That way, those seeking office could be forewarned concerning evils they may be contemplating, perhaps changing their ways before it’s too late and they show up in the rogues gallery.
Since these changes to our money won’t happen until at least 2020, we could reserve a spot now for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and save time later.
Soon, with more better stuff.