Take My Governor…. Please

Ok, I admit that there are probably a lot of you who don’t get the above quote. It is a play off of Henney Youngman’s famous quote “Take my wife… please”. You had to be around in the 1950s and 60 to remember “take my wife”.  This isn’t really the topic of today’s post but I wanted to start it out with a little humor.  The funny kind, not he weird kind that will come. Here is a quote from Wiki:

Youngman’s wife, Sadie Cohen, was often the butt of his jokes (“My wife said to me, ‘For our anniversary I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before.’ I said, ‘Try the kitchen!'”, or “my wife’s cooking is fit for a king. (gesturing as if feeding an invisible dog) Here King, here King!” Also, “Last night my wife said the weather outside was fit for neither man nor beast, so we both stayed home.”) but in reality the two were very close, with Sadie often accompanying her husband on his tours. Youngman remained married for over sixty years until his wife’s death in 1987, after a prolonged illness.

Source: Henny Youngman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ok, now on to the weird humor. I don’t know if you have heard or not that Donald Trump picked the governor of my State as his running mate.  I know he wasn’t Trump’s first choice, or even tenth I imagine, be he did announce it yesterday.   I th2016-07-16_11-16-55.pngink he really wanted to make one of his kid’s VP but couldn’t decide which one.  I don’t know what Mr. Trump had in mind with this pick but I sure am glad to hear that Pence won’t be governor of Indiana come next year.

But then again he was probably going to lose anyway but this is more of a sure deal. Mr Pence is not particularly  liked, even by many conservatives. He was no better than even in the polls against his rival and when a Republican isn’t several points ahead in Indiana it doesn’t look good for him.  If you remember Pence at all it will probably be his stands against minorities, especially homosexuals.  If he has trouble winning in a very conservative State how is he going to help Trump?

The Trump/Pence ticket acronym is a good one T/P.  There are already many jokes about it. “TP– put it in the toilet where it belongs” is the best one so far. I’m sure with  Pence being on the ticket it shores up the ultra-conservative vote but that seems already a sure thing for Trump. After the media get down with Pence there probably won’t be an independent, let alone a Democrat that will vote for him.   Since the only minorities that the GOP even likes is their own party this choice just doesn’t make sense to me.  But that is actually a good thing.  I just can’t stomach the idea of Trump with his finger on the nuclear button or even in the Oval Office… Yeh for Tp,  couldn’t live without it….

How To Exclude…

I guess Mr. Gingrich is still trying to be the VP choice for the egomaniac  candidate. His words below are a total affront to the basic meaning of America.  It is equivalent to the witch hunts or at least the McCarthy years and taunts me as the primary dark side of politics and religion.  But before I get to that lets look at Gingrich’s statement:

2016-07-15_08-01-35“Every person here who is of a Muslim background” should be tested to determine whether he or she believes in Shariah, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scriptures.Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduces Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 6. Getty Images

If they do, he said, they should be deported — even if they’re U.S. citizens. Gingrich added that anyone who simply visits any website “favoring ISIS or al Qaeda or other terrorist groups” should be guilty of a felony, “and they should go to jail.

“The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Gingrich’s call to “test” Muslims in the U.S. as well as the truck attack.

“When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that American Muslims be subjected to an Inquisition-style religious test and then expelled from their homes and nation, he plays into the hands of terror recruiters and betrays the American values he purports to uphold,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.

Source: Newt Gingrich Wants Tests for All U.S. Muslims After Nice Attack – NBC News

There are just too many politicians going as deep into the gutter of politics as possible today!  I wonder if Mr Gingrich would settle for making Muslims wear large cloth patches on their clothing so that everyone would know they are Muslims.  Maybe that is good enough for the “cafeteria Muslims”? What upsets me even more than his words is the lack of words against his thoughts by the rest of us.  This guy has gone completely off the rails so to speak!

Looking at this from a higher level brings out my disgust for the very concept of exclusion. It is happening far too often now in both politics and religion. America is the land of immigrants and Christianity is about inclusion. To turn both on their heads is shameful to say the least.

I know fear is a powerful emotion but it is just grabbing far to many of us in both realms. The current thoughts that drive exclusion are:

  • We need to only allow those who think, look, and behave like us in our midst….
  • Anyone who questions any of our personal principles must be avoided at all costs….
  • Our safety is much more important than our principles…

Too many in our religious circles have tunnel vision when it comes to what they they allow to challenge their fixed beliefs.  They want to exclude anyone who doesn’t tow the line.  They fear that if they allow differences of opinion that they will fall down a slippery slope into oblivian. Take out the word “religious” above and put in the the “political” and the same thing applies.

Jesus, if he was about nothing else, was about inclusion. The founding fathers of our nation were also about inclusion. To twist their words for a personal agenda is both dangerous to us as a society and deadly to our basic principles.

Letters To The Editor…

I occasionally write a letter to the editor of our small town newspaper. They allow me to put my two cents into the topic at hand. But since our town is so small I am often reluctant to chime in on some sensitive issues for fear of being labeled by my neighbors.  Anonymity is not an option in small town living.

When I ran across this “letter to the editor” from Buffalo NY it got my attention.  To me the author spells out the relationship between government and religion  as concisely as possible:

2016-07-12_15-39-41.pngLike the Bible, the writings of the nation’s Founding Fathers can be cherry-picked to lend credence to otherwise specious arguments. While some of the founders saw value in religious (albeit Christian) practice, the main thrust of the First Amendment of the Constitution is actually freedom from religion. Surely, the Constitution writers remembered that many of their ancestors came to these shores to escape the prosecution brought on by that dark side of all religion: its inability to tolerate disagreement.

Indeed, they did not rely upon religion to restrain vice and wickedness. To cite Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”: Governments are formed in reaction to the inability of moral virtue to govern the world. “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness: the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.”

Source: www.buffaloNews.com

I discovered the massive cherry picking that goes on in most religious circles in order to justify their particular flavor of religion but I hadn’t thought of it also applying to how we view our founding documents. But the right to bear arms found in the 2nd amendment is a glaring example of cherry picking.  Almost all gun rights advocates ignore the first words of that amendment and concentrate totally not the last ones. They ignore the reason to have guns and therefore try to make it a blanket statement that everyone should have guns.

Yes, I discovered years ago that the freedom of religion amendment was mainly about freedom “from” religion as pointed out in the quote above.  Believe what you want just don’t try to force those beliefs on me in the name of the State.  That is my mantra via my proudly displayed “Coexist” decals on all my vehicles.

I love the last quote from Tom Paine’s “Common Sense” articles. That is a new twist for me.  Negatively restraining our vices, that’s a good one…

The Gem of Southern Illinois…

This morning I put out a post of the cons for my recent trip into southern Illinois so this afternoon I wanted to give you a gem to counterbalance it. That gem is Giant City Lodge.

Before I do that I want to give you a little background on my habits during my uRV trips. I usually stay the night at a State park at during the trip. Part of my ritual is to get up early as I usually do and find a local restaurant that serves breakfast.  I do have a Coleman stove in the uRV but it is yet to be used. The microwave is primarily for heating up Big Mac and such that I buy  as carry-out for dinner. Camping just doesn’t include cooking and washing dishes if you ask me.

So as I was sitting at the campsite I got out the brochure about the Mississippi River routes in Southern Illinois that brought me to this place and found one of the highlights was the Giant City Lodge. I thought it was kind of strange to have a state park lodge as a highlight so I thought I would try it as that is the park where I was camping.

The next morning when I pulled up to the front of the lodge it was nice but not much different from most of them.  But when I got inside I found something completely different. I have been to many national park lodges and this one could compete with almost any of them for its beauty.

It was built by the CCC during the Roosevelt years of the 1930s.  I don’t know how long it took to build or how many people worked on it but it must have been quite a crew.  I happened to get their just as they were opening for the morning so except for one other elderly gentleman I had the dining room to myself. It was a very peaceful meal looking out the massive windows onto the beautiful courtyard.  Now without further ado here are some pictures for our enjoyment:

 

(Click on any of the pictures above to go to a larger slideshow view)

I want to close the post out with a little about the title of the park. While driving up to the park I never did see a Giant City, just a few small towns?  I guess the original inhabitants had some grandiose plans that just didn’t attract enough potential people to live out.  :)

 

It’s Hard To Be A Law Abiding Citizen..

I will say again but this time add a kicker, It’s Hard To Be A Law Abiding Citizen…When So Many Aren’t. It just seems human nature, the dark side that is, to not want to do what you are told. This is characteristic of our teenage years but goes way beyond that for too many of us.   We know there are concepts of the common good and the rule of law but somehow they don’t apply to us.

What brought this thought up was my recent uRV trip to southern Illinois. As usual I traveled almost exclusively state and county roads and quickly discovered that enforcement of traffic laws in that part of the country seems to be ZERO.  I never saw a police car during my total seven hundred miles of travel.

I want to make a blanket statement and that is at least 90% of the adult population in the U.S. break the law weekly if not daily. No, they might not rob banks or kill anyone (although with all the guns and taverns around I wonder why) but what they do is totally ignore our country’s traffic laws.  They run red lights on a regular basis and most often exceed the clearly posted maximum speeds by at least 10 to 20 mph. There are also the tailgaters, I seem to get the most upset about them!

I make it a rule while traveling the country in my tiny RV to never go faster than the posted limit but that is very difficult to do without a lot of stress. Here I am going 55 mph and many are passing me going 70 or more. Some dangerously so… They pass on curves with double yellow lines!   Even 18 wheelers were ripping by me and within a minute or two were gone from site they were going so fast..

2016-07-11_12-42-37.pngThe “rule of law” as far as traffic laws are concerned is just totally ignored in many parts of the country.  It seems law enforcement agencies have raised a white flag and handed over our streets to speeders and reckless drivers.

Just for the heck of it I looked up the statistics of the worst drivers by State.   It surprised me that Illinois is about in the middle of the pack.  Montana is the worst but as usual Texas isn’t far behind in any “worst” category.

2016-07-11_12-20-58.pngDon’t even get me started on the “distracted drivers” out there. It seems every other car had a driver with a phone welded to his ear and was more involved in conversation than with driving! I do like my road trip around the USA but I just wish people would drive more sensibly, at least while I am around.  :)

Sadly I know there are too many people that have so little control over their lives that they think they have to constantly risk it on the road in order to get someplace a few seconds earlier. They just don’t think they have the time to obey traffic laws. The absence of law enforcement means lawlessness, especially on our roads.

Chewing The Air…

2016-07-13_10-52-22.png

Snippet BannerWhen I saw it was only going to get up to 87 today I dreamed about all the finishing touches I could put on the inside remodel of my micro-RV. I started the work about 8am and by 9:30 I had to call it quits. The temperature was only 82 but with the humidity so high from yesterday’s rain I was drenching in sweat.

I know it gets hot in the Southwest but I still cling to the belief that it is not the temperature that gets to you but the humidity. When you can chew the air it just feels hotter. I really want to finish up the latest tasks but I guess I will do it in 20 minute intervals.  Thank God for air-conditioning…

Bill Clinton takes on protesters in coal country

I know it is quite chic to be a Hillary and Bill basher right now. Especially with the Basher-in-chief, read that as Trump, tweeting almost hourly  lies and conspiracy theories about them.  But I must admit that I do miss Bill Clinton sometimes.  My 401k especially misses him!

He might not have been able to keep his zipper up but he was the master of logic in his thinking. The rally in West Virginia shows that he hasn’t lost it. He says things that I would have said in the same circumstances.  He just has a way of putting things in very simple and real terms. Let’s look at some of his most recent quotes:

2016-07-07_09-30-45.png“I’m not like a lot of people. It doesn’t bother me to have protesters at rallies,” the former president began.

“I’m glad they come, because I think one of the biggest problems in America today is we seem to be less prejudiced about a lot of things, except we don’t want to be around anybody who disagrees with us. You notice that?”…

Hillary Clinton seemed to confirm that perception in March, at a town hall in Ohio, when she said that a transition to clean energy would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She later said she had made “a misstatement,” but the comment contributed to her loss Tuesday in West Virginia, a state whose Democratic primary she had won by a landslide in 2008.

“I think ‘Make America Great Again’ means that we’ll make it like it was in the 1960s, even if [we] have to put another wall up,” he said. “Well, if you think you can do it, have at it, but no place else in the world that mines coal has been able to do it.”

“Don’t tell me we can’t bring different kinds of jobs,” he admonished. “Don’t tell me you’re not smart enough to do it, and don’t tell me nobody over a certain age can learn this stuff.”

SOURCE:  Bill Clinton takes on protesters in coal country – The Washington Post

Bill Clinton is a debater. He loves facing off with those who might not think as he does. Now that he will no longer be seeking a political office  he doesn’t parse as many words as most politicians.  He is free to say what he thinks and often does just that to the embarrassment of his wife.

This post is  very much aligned with the one from yesterday about being replaced by robots. Let’s face it coal is quickly becoming yesterday’s energy resource and therefore needs to be replaced by other commodities. It is as simple as that. But the problem is that there are just too many in certain areas of the country who depend solely on coal as a means of income. There is little else available to bring income into the family.

We can’t go forwards by going backwards, it is that simple. Now I admit that it will be decades, if it even happens that rural Pennsylvania and especially much of West Virginia can replace coal jobs. The short term solution will probably be to simply move someplace else. But that is emotionally hard for some to do…

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