Saturday, November 28, 2015
We knew it would happen somewhere, but we prayed it would not. We were still basking in the glow of the love we feel when our families come together for a grand meal. There was not even time to eat the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner before it happened. Another terror attack!
A radical Islamic extremist, like those Senator Ted Cruz obsesses about, did not perpetrate this attack. A Mexican, like the ones Donald Trump demonizes, did not perpetrate this attack. It wasn’t an illegal alien, and not even an immigrant that struck terror in the hearts of the people of Colorado Springs. It was a “good ole American.” Once again, it was a good ole “White Extremist” (and crazy, too) killing and maiming, changing people’s lives forever.
By the time this paper is printed, we should know if this attacker was an anti-abortion extremist. It seems too coincidental that the attack took place at the Planned Parenthood building where anti-abortion protests take place six days a week. Whatever his motives were, we know he didn’t kill in the name of peace and love.
According to the Washington Times in June 2015, in the fourteen years since 911, white supremacists and anti-government radicals have killed nearly twice as many people as jihadis. These are the kind of terrorist we don’t talk about. These are the kind of terrorists we don’t pay attention to. We shrug them off as being odd, as being loners. We justify some behaviors as Second Amendment rights. We cannot identify these people by the color of their skin or by the clothes they wear. There’s not much we can do to prevent these kinds of attacks, but we can make sure that we don’t condone hate speech. We can make sure that we don’t foster environments that promote violence against whom we don’t agree.
As an example, last week Ted Cruz was delighted to announce that he received the endorsement for president by Troy Newman, one of the most infamous anti-choice leaders. As president of Operation Rescue, Newman is nothing more than an Anti-Abortion terrorist. Newman has said that in a perfect biblical society, abortion providers would be executed. Cruz said of Newman’s endorsement, “I am grateful to receive the endorsement of Troy Newman…We need leaders like Troy in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice.” By killing those doing their legal job?
Another example. In early November, Republican candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal, pandered to Kevin Swanson, by speaking at his National Religious Liberties Conference. As we know, “religious liberty” is code for “hate gays.” Kevin Swanson (ironically from Colorado) is a religious talk radio host who advocates that the government execute gays, but only after they are given a chance to repent.
Why are we surprised when a crazy goes off the deep end and kills innocent people? How can we expect people to act in a sane manner, when those seeking to be the leader of the free world, not only agree with people who advocate murder, but are also grateful for their support? What message does that send?
In the President’s address to the nation this week about the Paris terrorist attacks, he said, “If you see something, say something.” Keep that in mind as you go about your daily activities. You can’t recognize a terrorist by the way he looks, but if he does something seemingly suspicious, don’t worry about looking silly. Run like hell and call the police.
The community of Blount, located at Highway 42 and Blount Road, will be a busy little place this weekend, full of the Christmas spirit. Cross Link Meadows will have an old fashioned Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday, December 5. While you’re in the area, stop by the Trading Post located just before Paran Baptist Church. They are having a $1.00 sale and you will have hundreds of items from which to choose. If you’re searching for items to re-purpose, this is the place for you. Also, back in the woods is a place called The Store. It’s harder to find but worth the search.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
We find ourselves in a moral conundrum after the horrific attacks in Paris last week. At least some of us do. There are those that feel, “Hey, my family is safe, who cares about all those orphans and widows from Syria?” Turning our backs on refugees and immigrants is not what this country is about. If so, we should tear down the Statute of Liberty.
The fear mongering that is going on with politicians is shameful. Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to rabid dogs. I admit, Candidate Ted Cruz’s argument that our country should block refugees from coming in may have some validity. According to Ted himself, his father fought along side Fidel Castro for four years in the 1950’s before fleeing to our country. Because of our refugee policy, Ted Cruz now has all the advantages this country has to offer. Ted Cruz is also deemed a U.S. citizen by virtue of our birthright citizenship law. Just think. If our country had used the vetting process back then that we use today, we would not be subjected to Cruz’s anger and vitriol.
And Donald Trump. Mr. Anti-Immigrant! Mr. Anti-refugee! Concerning Syrian refugees, he will build a wall. Neither Christians, nor Muslims from Syria may come in. He wants a Muslim registry and ID cards issued. That sounds eerily familiar. Oh yeah, Nazi Germany. And my favorite, he says he will “bomb the s***t out of them.” Gee, I thought those 28,000 bombs that we’ve dropped on them already were real. And more troubling, Trump says we have to close all Mosques.
Like Cruz, Donald Trump is a hypocrite of the highest order when it comes to immigrants and refugees. Trump is married to his third wife, Melania Kanavas, from Slovenia, a former Communist bloc country. Trump married the nude model in 2005. Mrs. Trump became a naturalized citizen one year later in 2006. Hmmmm.
Lest we forget, Trump was also married to another Communist bloc country native, Ivana Zelnickova Trump. In order to obtain a foreign passport, she conveniently married a childhood friend to immigrate to Canada. She did not become a U. S. Citizen until after she married the Donald. Trump and Vladimir Putin have lots in common. They both love former Communists.
Most ironically is the fact that both Trump and Cruz want to abolish the 14th Amendment that grants birthright citizenship.
Obviously, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and more citizens of this country than I can fathom, do not have a moral conundrum. Enough of all that doom and gloom stuff!
I have always loved Thanksgiving even before there were Black Friday sales. Throughout the years, I have great Thanksgiving memories, and what good are memories if you don’t share them?
Last year, I shared with you the Thanksgiving memory of when I cut the chicken’s pecker off. (In case you missed it, not that kind of pecker!). This year I want to share my memory of the funniest Thanksgiving. This is at the expense of George, but I know he’ll forgive me because he didn’t leave then.
This memory is about the first Thanksgiving George and I spent together and our first family gathering. I was a senior in high school and George was a freshman in college. We had been dating for nearly a year and my sister was hosting Thanksgiving dinner. We were both nervous. After everyone was seated, my sister sat the platter with the huge turkey in front of George and as she handed him the carving utensils said, “You can carve the turkey this year!” I wanted the floor to swallow both of us up. I somehow knew he had never had a big fork and knife in his hand, not to mention sliced a turkey.
He didn’t panic and ended up passing the test with flying colors. Instead of fleeing, he went with it. As he sat there with the carving tools poised over the turkey, he said, “Where do I start?” My sister said, “You start with the breast.” George held one side of the turkey with the knife and lifted the other side up and peaked under. Then he peaked under the other side. The look in his eyes literally said, “I don’t see a breast!” By then the entire family burst out in uncontrollable laughter. And made a memory.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you make a memory!
Friday, November 13, 2015
You don’t miss something until you need it. That’s the only way I can explain why I never realized that complimentary seating has disappeared from department stores. I have endured a year-long saga with my knees. Thanks to Dr. Dana Peterman and her great staff at Healing Arts Physical Therapy in Forsyth, I am finally able to go shopping unassisted. Although my knees are working properly, I still need to build my stamina.
Last week I was having a rack attack and there’s not a better place to feed that craving than Belk Department Store when they are having a big sale. After about thirty minutes, I realized that I was exhausted and needed to rest a moment. I started looking for a place to sit down. I was incredulous that throughout the entire clothing section, there was not a single place to rest. I finally found a place, IN MY CAR! I literally shopped ‘til I dropped.
I’m not picking on Belk, as I now understand that most stores have removed chairs that used to be available for people that need to sit. It’s a conspiracy! It’s a war on the infirm! I’m sure Obama is responsible for this! Where’s my buddy The Reverend Al, Al Sharpton, when you need him?
I called the manager of Belk and asked him “Why don’t you have chairs for your customers in case they get tired?” He said, “We have to use the space for merchandise.” I told him, “I would have spent a lot more money if I had a chair for two minutes.” He then told me that I should have asked a store employee and they would have gotten one from somewhere. I thought, but didn’t say, “ Are you kidding? Store employees are almost as scarce as chairs.”
I think there is something far more sinister to this disappearing chair issue than a space problem. I will continue to investigate. In the meantime, if you are in a store and can’t find a chair, DEMAND one (if you can find a store employee.)
By now you must be wondering why I’m telling you this. I thought it might help you understand how a liberal thinks. It’s issues of this nature that I care about. I could give a flying doughnut what design is on a Starbuck’s cup. Besides, our new Dunkin’ Donuts has snowflakes and snowmen on their cups if that’s important to you.
Nothing new happened in the Presidential circus this week. Donald Trump is perfecting his stand-up comedy routine on the Iowa crowd. He spent 95 minutes telling an audience last Thursday that “I’m a good Christian. Everybody knows that.” “I’m gonna fix things. Everybody knows that.” “Ben Carson has pathological disease. He says so in his book.” “Five minutes in a bathroom can’t cure that.” I give his speech a “thumps up” for its hilarity. I particularly liked the part where he first appeared to be undressing when he demonstrated how a belt buckle wouldn’t stop a knife. You can’t pay for entertainment like that.
The Republicans had their fifth debate last week. Carly Fiorina did nothing to dissuade me that she is not an Avatar. John Kasich pointed out the ridiculousness of Trump’s mass roundup of eleven million Mexicans. I liked that, but evidently the right-wing focus groups did not. When the feasibility of doing such a thing was questioned, Trump pointed to Dwight Eisenhower’s mass deportation in 1954 called “Operation Wetback.” He intimated that it had to be a good thing because it was a plan by a nice guy as evidenced by his slogan, “I Like Ike.” Can things get any more bizarre?
Yes they can. Ben Carson spent his week trying to convince voters that he did in fact try to kill his mother with a hammer and he did try to murder someone by stabbing them with a knife in the stomach. He blamed the liberal media for questioning what he said in his own words, in his own book.
The Veterans Day observance at the courthouse last Wednesday was a top-notch tribute to Monroe County veterans and all veterans who served our country. If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next year, 11-11 at 11 a.m.
Friday, November 6, 2015
The democratic process to elect our president has taken a nosedive. We’ll have to leave it to history to decide if this is the moment in time where we took a wrong turn.
Fox News sponsored the first 2016 GOP debates. Fox News set the criteria that candidates must place at least 2.5% in four national polls to be in the debate. The four polls were not specified. Other media outlets followed suite with this criteria. This week, Fox Business News will host the GOP debate and have applied criteria using the four polls of their choice. In lieu of the CBS/New York Times poll that is highly regarded, they chose the worst performing poll in the last election cycle, the Investors Business Daily. This new process designed by Fox News and the GOP has eliminated candidates like, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki before the first vote has been cast. We have trivialized our democratic process by breaking it into three groups decided by the Media: Adult table. Kid’s table. And the “You don’t even get to eat” table.
Don’t misunderstand. As a Democrat, I don’t have a dog in this fight other than concern for our country. I am concerned that instead of candidates being culled by the voters; media is culling them. We have long accepted the practice that the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary have been used as an introduction of candidates to the country. It is a “meet and greet.” We never quibbled about these states being first to choose because we knew the choices made by those two states were seldom indicative of how the nation would vote. And it still isn’t! However….
This year, by the time the GOP has their caucus in Iowa and primary in New Hampshire, there may not be a viable candidate left for the GOP voters. Lacking money and lacking the mentality to say outrageous things to attract attention, some really good presidential candidates may have been cast aside by this new electoral process. When the GOP gets over their anger and wants a President for the good of our country, who will be left?
Due to his wealth, Trump may have the capability of persevering, but Ben Carson appears to be on borrowed time. Whether or not it is determined that Carson fabricated his offer of scholarship to West Point is inconsequential. I’m more concerned with other more troubling things I’ve heard him say on national television. He says he was a young kid full of rage. He admits attempting to stab someone with a knife but hit a belt buckle. He says he tried to hit his mother in the head with a hammer. He spoke of other acts of violence. Then he said he over-came it and became a famous neurosurgeon. Good story. Nothing matters more in politics than a good story. Remember how far Zell Miller’s story of helping his poor ole Mama haul rocks to build their cabin took him?
Carson’s own narrative via his books and many speeches has created his persona. Since his “story” is what he’s basing his qualifications for President on, thorough vetting by the press is expected and necessary. Every word uttered by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has been dissected and investigated. Sorry Mr. Carson. You do not deserve special treatment by the media.
Despite Dr. Carson’s good story, am I the only one that wants our President to be smarter than a 5th Grader? Ben Carson justified his lack of governing experience by saying, “Every signer of the Declaration of Independence held no elective office.” Huh? Does he think there was no government before that time? No colonies? No Continental Congress? Does he think that 59 men just decided to sign this document? He also said in defense of his inexperience, “The Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.” Luckily The Ark didn’t hit an iceberg. Then he states that the Egyptian Pyramids were built by Joseph to store grain. I have no comment about that. He said, “Obama Care is the worst thing since slavery.” Even fifth graders know healthcare is not worse than human bondage.
Finally, Ben Carson’s testiness when confronted by members of the press asking for clarification of some of his previous statements, tells me that he didn’t go into this endeavor with his “eyes wide open.” Get it?
Sorry you missed my column last week. It was great! It was huge! It was the best ever! However, the Editor didn’t have the space on the Obituary page to print it.