How Dare He!

Andrew McCabe was once a member of the White House Theatrical Troupe–so called because at any given moment many top officials work in an “acting” capacity. McCabe was acting Director of the FBI (and, I might add, never nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, or even a Tony).

Unfortunately, McCabe neglected to learn the rules. According to the rules, 96.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. In most cases they are unnecessary because “people tell me” or “I’ve heard” is sufficient to substantiate a statement.  The rules further state that facts are, fluid, dynamic and always changing. And most importantly, anything with which you disagree is “fake news.”

McCabe, instead, looked to, of all places, the United States Constitution for guidance. In this case, he questioned whether the 25th Amendment should be considered. Using the Constitution is really hitting below the belt. It’s a good thing he got fired before he could invoke any other sections or amendments to the Constitution.

Who does he think he is, anyway–James Madison?

 

Seen It All Before

In the last few millennia, I have to admit, I’ve seen a few things that weren’t funny, true, or worthwhile the first time around, but keep repeating:

– Emperors or other leaders making promises they will never keep.
– People being surprised by such broken promises.
– Sycophants who line up to serve the current emperor;
the same sycophants who served the previous emperor, who had a totally different
set of values;
and who will line up before the next emperor, regardless of his values.
– Emperors and their advisors who sit in their towers to determine what is best for
others, without ever consulting with them, and having never experienced their lifestyles or challenges.

It falls upon philosophers and teachers to attempt to warn of such issues; the issues that damage societies and eventually destroy them. Such was the fate of Greece, Rome, the monarchies of Europe, and the explorer nations.

Unfortunately, over the same millennia, none of the rich, the powerful, or the elite have paid the tiniest bit of attention to any of our warnings. I am not surprised, but my greatest desire is that some day I will be–at least once.

God

While I haven’t actually lived 2300 years, I’ve been sentient–in one form or another–throughout all that time. It has its advantages. For example, I believe I have a better understanding of God than those who’ve only been allotted a lifetime of three-score plus ten years. So here goes:

God – Don’t try to figure Him out–you can’t. Don’t try. Don’t interpret on his behalf. If He we human think we can speak for Him, it would make him crazy.

Scripture – Scripture, regardless of the flavor (Torah, Bible, Q’ran, Words of Bahá’u’lláh, whatever) is a book of lessons. It is not a historical record!

Why?

God is not affected by time. That’s why He, when asked His name, replied “I Am!” He probably created time for us pathetic humans (by His standards) to sort things out. To Him, however, the past, present future, and whatever, are all at his–so to say–fingertips.

God’s relationship to man – God has sent many prophets, one of which was a piece of himself, which we perceive as his Son, and who we Jesus. Now the bad news for many who claim to follow Jesus.

  1. Jesus was a Jew. You know, the Jew–who people love to hate and blame for everything. Hitler wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last (even though his bloodline may have had a bit of Jewish blood in it.
  2. Jesus was not blond-haired with blue eyes. He was a person of color. People in that part of the world are not, and at His time COULD NOT BE, BY VIRTUE OF HISTORY, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
  3. Jesus’ earliest followers saw Christianity as the next step for the Jewish faith and the Jewish people. It wasn’t until God knocked Saul off his horse with a lightning bolt (or whatever–God can use whatever he chooses) that anybody realized that Jesus came for everybody.
  4. Jesus spoke Aramaic. He did not speak Old English as in the King James Version of the Bible.  
  5. Jesus did not instruct his followers to restrict the teachings of scripture to the elect clergy of the Catholic Church.

So where does that lead us?

  1. There is a God.
  2. He loves us.
  3. He has jumped through hoops to try to get our attention
  4. We keep modifying our image of Him to fit our personal biases and benefits.
  5. He forgives us.

All in all, that’s pretty awesome. Thank you, God,

A United States President

 

tyler
John Tyler Gravesite, Richmond, VA Courtesy Wikimedia

Pardon me for not writing much lately because everything seems so contentious, so I avoid writing anything that might be offensive to the President, Congress, any City Council, or PTA, anywhere.

It’s not as if I don’t like writing about politics and presidents. With my love of history–considering I’m a historical figure myself–I naturally, I find them fascinating. However, I’ve decided to limit myself to politicians from the 19th century or earlier, one of the most fascinating of whom is John Tyler, our tenth president.

Originally a Democrat, he became a member of the Whig political party (gotta love the name–and it has nothing to do with hair!). The Whigs did not have a platform, choosing instead to campaign against Martin Van Buren and the Democrats, blaming them for the poor economy that had begun three years before the election.

The Whig’s candidate, William Henry Harrison was elected president in 1840 with John Tyler (“Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” was their slogan) as his vice president. Harrison died of pneumonia 31 days after being inaugurated, and before the cabinet could declare Tyler as “Acting President,” he assumed the title of “president.” He was derided, behind his back, as “His Accidency.”

As president, he was often at odds with the mainstream members of his party; he was a fan of tariffs and frequently vetoed bills–even those from his own political party. His reason was that he believed the president–not Congress–should set policy. Members of his cabinet resigned and a number of his nominees for the cabinet were rejected by Congress. There was talk of impeachment, and the Whigs expelled him from his own party. One of his major efforts was to annex Texas to protect it from Mexico, although Texas statehood did not occur while he was in office.

After the attack on Fort Sumter, Tyler signed Virginia’s Ordnance of Secession in November, 1861 and was appointed to the Confederate House of Representatives. He died before the first session in February 1862.

Tyler was the only President of the United States whose casket was draped with a foreign flag (the flag of the Confederacy). He was also the only president who was named an “Enemy of the State.”

Taking One for the Team

There is a reason I lived 24 centuries ago. Even though I never succeeded in finding an honest man, my chances were far better then than now. The lamp I carried in my search remains unlit.

Here is the Washington Post article that convinced me that honesty is not valued in your time.

Today, 800,000 federal civilians are working without pay and 380,000 are furloughed. A small (about 2 percent ) pay raise was planned for all federal civilian workers, but this was frozen by President Trump.

But not to worry.

Senior political employees in the White House will get raises, including Vice-President (does that mean he’s president of vice?) Pence will be getting about a ten thousand dollar pay raise. No longer will Vice-President Pence have to struggle to make ends meet on $230,7000 (plus expenses), but will have his pay increased to $243,000 (plus expenses).

That’s the 21st century version of “taking one for the team.”

 

 

Which Way Did They Go?

There was a time, or maybe I just imagined it, when the conservative party had clear goals and objectives:

  1. People should take personal responsibility for their actions.
  2. Try not to spend more than you earn, and to the degree possible, avoid going into debt.
  3. Values are important.

Where did the people who believe that go? They were either replaced by, or became the ones who now espouse different values today:

  1. “It’s not my fault! I can’t remember! My attorney did it!”
  2. “If there’s a huge debt, but I’m gone, it doesn’t matter.”
  3. Value = Personal Benefit

Well, it’s just as well, those pesky idealists are a nuisance. However, Reagan is probably spinning like a gyroscope in his grave.

I Hate You, Pick Me!

Today, pride and self-promotion are the primary driving forces; in other words, today’s philosophy is, “It’s all about me.” This cannot lead to good things for the nation in either the short term or the long term.

As the White House uses and discards people, there is no lack of others eager to step into those positions. These same people, last week, last month, or last year, were condemning the very administration to which they now bow and scrape for a piece of the action.

Power is that seductive; these glory seekers contradict their own statements without apology. John Adams told us that “Facts are stubborn things . . . ,” but many people are far more stubborn than facts.

The revolving door in Washington, DC will continue to spin. Ambitious people will step in—regardless of qualification or commitment—willing to do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to wrap themselves in prestige, even if it’s only for a short while.

 

*“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Adams, ‘Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,’
December 1770, US diplomat & politician (1735 – 1826)