While Ron DeSantis is worried about children reading about two male penguins taking on the care & feeding of a baby penguin, and Jim Jordan is worried about accusing the FBI of discriminating against Republicans, and other Republicans are worried that white people are losing their status as the majority in this nation … there are more important issues at hand that our congressional ‘leaders’ seem not to see.  Children are dying in schools by gunfire.  Polar ice is melting, temperatures are warming, our air/water/food supplies are in danger.  People are reaching adulthood without being able to function in the workplace or in life because our education system is failing.  People – mostly Blacks, Jews, and LGBTQ people – are being abused and killed by a bigoted society who thinks there is only one sort of viable human: white, straight, and Christian.  There are people sitting on billions of dollars, laughing at each increase in their investment portfolio, while others are sleeping in cardboard boxes under highway overpasses hoping that someone will give them a dollar for something to eat in the morning.

Priorities, people!!!  A line from Harvey Milk in the movie “Milk”

“Worry about gun control, not marijuana control.  School supplies, seniors, not the books we read.”

I don’t know if Harvey Milk actually said that, though it does sound like something he would have said, but the principle is sound, whether fact or fiction.  Here is a list of my top five priorities …

  1. The environment
  2. Human rights
    1. Civil rights
    2. Women’s rights
    3. LGBTQ rights
  3. Education
  4. Guns
  5. Wealth inequality/poverty

That is not to say that nothing else matters, for certainly many other things matter, but … we need to put things into perspective somewhere along the line!  I honestly don’t give a damn what is on Hunter Biden’s laptop, but I DO give a damn that our children are being murdered in schools around the nation.  I don’t give a damn about Kari Lake’s inane claims of election fraud while more than half a million people in this country are homeless.

The ’United’ States of America needs to get its collective priorities straight. What will still matter 20, 50, or even 100 years from now?  Will Hunter Biden’s laptop still matter?  I think not … in fact, I don’t think that in that time frame anybody will even know … or care … who Hunter Biden was.  Will gun deaths still matter?  Will poverty and income disparity still matter?  Will ignorance still be a factor in who rules nations?  Will we have potable water to drink and plentiful food to sustain life?  Will women be forced into second-class citizen status around the globe?  Some things matter … really matter.  Other things are just minutiae designed to distract us from the things that really do matter.  We need to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

What is on your top five list of priorities?

Our Own Worst Enemy

The Republicans say we cannot afford to continue some of our programs.  They’ve even tossed about the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, but quickly backtracked when their own constituents started raising ten kinds of hell.  Now they are focusing on cutting environmental regulations, public health (such as CDC), education, job training, rental housing assistance, and economic security and social services programs.  They are against raising the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts – the kind that would cut into the pockets of those most in need, not the pockets that are already overflowing like the wealthy corporate executives.

But WAIT!!!  I’m confused.  Okay, so the old person who worked 40 or 50 years of her life, gets approximately $1,500 per month from Social Security – a program she paid into with every hour she worked throughout her life.  Her rent is $1,200 per month, electricity/gas costs her $225 per month, her medications cost around $300 per month, and … well, she better have a 401(k) to draw from for food, fuel for the car, cleaning supplies, and any other essentials.  She’s not exactly living high on the hog, is she?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … members of Congress are pulling down a minimum monthly salary of $14,500 … nearly ten times that of the elderly retired person … and they aren’t doing anything that we elected them to do!!!  They’re slacking!  They are ‘investigating’ non-issues from the past rather than figure out how to make ends meet in the future.  (Perhaps the answer is to cut their pay in half!!!)  They are making media appearances right and left to keep their loud, foul mouths front and center in our attention, rather than putting their noses to the grindstone to do the work of the people.

The solution to balancing the budget, reducing the debt and eliminating the deficit is relatively simple.  If every person pays his/her fair share of taxes, if corporations pay a flat rate on every dime of profit they see, the same rate you or I would pay if we had six-or-seven figure salaries, then guess what???  We could meet our debt obligations, continue the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid programs, and still have a surplus at the end of the year!  It has been done before, y’know.  And the icing on the cake is it would reduce the horrible wealth inequality … only slightly, but still better than it is now. And can you just imagine how much better off the next generation of retirees would be if we actually … gasp … raised the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to the proposed $15 per hour?  Why, people might be able to pay their bills, have a little extra for such things as a night out at the movies or to buy a new book, and still manage to save for their old age!

So why isn’t this happening?  Why haven’t the loopholes enjoyed by the wealthy been closed, why has the government continually lowered corporate tax rates rather than raising them?  Because, my friends, our ‘honourable’ members of Congress are being paid a nice sum by those corporations to keep us under their thumbs.  Period.  And yet, we keep voting them into office.

Why is it so hard for some to see that they are their own worst enemy?

The East Palestine Disconnect

My granddaughter has, rightly, taken me to task for not giving more attention to the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, just a few hundred miles from our home. But, try as I might, I have been unable to stay focused on it long enough to write a post. The disaster has become both a political football and a racial one, thanks to certain politicos, and I find myself growling and cursing every time I try to put fingers to keyboard. Jeff, however, has no such problem and has written a well-researched, timely, and passionate post about the disaster and the situation to date. Thank you, Jeff! I owe you one!

On The Fence Voters

So Donald Trump visited East Palestine, Ohio, yesterday. Visiting the scene of the crime is what immediately came to mind when I saw him arrive in “Trump Force One.” But what I saw from many in that community was nothing of the sort. There were cheers, clapping, and fawning – something resembling a rock star coming back on stage for an encore.

What in the hell is wrong with these people?

I’m sorry. I do not mean to lump everyone in East Palestine into the same camp. Indeed there are folks there who despise the man. But let’s face it. Trump got over 70 percent of the vote in that area in 2020. Certainly, those are landslide numbers by any stretch of the imagination.

And what they do not know, at least most of them, is that when Trump came into office in 2017, he gutted scores of regulations spanning…

View original post 1,192 more words

Good People Doing Good Things — Young People Today!

“Young people today!”  I heard that in my own youth 70 years ago, heard it when my children were young, and we still hear it today.  And sure, some young people do make you shake your head and wonder where their brain is hiding, but on the flip side, there are an awful lot of young people out there working selflessly to make a difference in the lives of others, to be ‘good people.’  Every now and then I like to focus on those good young people, for they are our future and seeing the good works they are doing gives us hope for that future.

As the youngest volunteer with GlamourGals, a nonprofit aimed at building intergenerational relationships between teens and seniors in care facilities to end elder isolation, Spencer Murray at the ripe age of 9 years, was determined to show that even the youngest person can make an impact. When visitors were not allowed to visit nursing homes and care facilities at the height of the pandemic, Spencer thought how lonely older people were because they couldn’t be around their loved ones and couldn’t give others hugs or even high fives without being at risk. Although he couldn’t give someone a high five in person, Spencer could give them a high five in another way.

Spencer realized that he and his friends could make cards for those living in care facilities while ensuring the safety of seniors and volunteers. Each card features a note, pictures, and a “high five”: a colorful paint handprint. To help build a sense of community within the volunteers, especially those who lived in different states, Spencer would set up monthly Zoom calls with his peers to make cards and catch up with one another. Spencer didn’t stop at just asking his friends to volunteer; he’s also had support from area Girl Scout troops, dance studios, and students from all grades at his school.

Since starting this project, over 3,000 seniors across the country have received a high five card from Spencer and his friends! As he continues his work, Spencer hopes that people never underestimate the power of a child, but more importantly, that each person who receives a card has a smile, a laugh, and hopefully one day, maybe even a hug from him!

For Laiba Yusuf, age 10, serving one’s community is a family affair. After volunteering with her sister and mother, Laiba found that she was most passionate about supporting people impacted by hunger, poverty, homelessness, and mental health, especially seeing how interrelated these issues were. Wanting to ensure that people of all backgrounds had access to essential services and resources they may not have otherwise, Laiba created the Kindness for Buddies Campaign in the summer of 2019.

To best provide for her community, Laiba’s first step in her campaign was to create partnerships with organizations that work directly with large numbers of people in need. Through conversations with groups like the Canadian Mental Health Association360°Kids, and Inn from the Cold, Laiba was able to learn about items and services that were most needed by those she wanted to help. With this knowledge, Laiba began organizing fundraisers—selling flowers, fruit baskets, and holiday-themed gifts—and collection drives, including one of the only back-to-school drives in the region!

Over the last three-and-a-half years, Laiba has raised over $35,000 to support organizations as they provide essential services in areas of hunger, poverty, homelessness, and mental health, and her back-to-school drives provided over 1100 backpacks filled with school supplies for youth across Ontario! Kindness for Buddies has also given Laiba the opportunity to establish peer tutoring sessions in math and reading, host pet therapy mental health events, and donate hundreds of pounds of fresh produce through pop-up farmers markets!

Growing up outside of Philadelphia, 17-year-old Aditya Sirohi has seen the firsthand impact of hunger and homelessness. As someone who is easily able to empathize with others around him, Aditya began to think about ways he could be of service to those most in need, especially those—like many in Philadelphia—experiencing poverty, hunger, and homelessness. In 2020, he joined a TEDxYouth group where he and other area youth discussed issues they were most passionate about. Wanting to turn conversation into action, Aditya founded Hand4Hand.

Hand4Hand works to activate youth to bring positive change to the communities around them. Because the nonprofit was founded during the early days of the pandemic, food insecurity was rampant and nonprofits struggled with increasing costs, much of Aditya and his team’s initial focus was on making and distributing hot meals. Throughout the year, Hand4Hand serves hot meals in downtown Philadelphia on a bi-weekly basis, increasing their events to every week during the summer. They’ve also expanded their programming to making cards for people living in assisted care facilities, collecting at and school supplies for youth in foster care, and donating seasonal clothing in partnership with area shelters and nonprofits.

Since 2020, Aditya and the Hand4Hand team have supported over 10,000 people! Through Hand4Hand Aditya hopes to serve as a place where youth can volunteer, especially first-time volunteers, as well as to act as an inspiration for others who may want to launch their own initiatives. He believes volunteering not only makes communities more aware, empathetic, and inclusive, but that every act of service, no matter the size, creates a ripple effect and provides youth with the ability to make change in the area directly around them and support wider sustainable change.

These are just three examples of young people with a heart and a conscience.  With kids like this in charge, perhaps we really can build a better world!

Good People Doing Good Things — Little And Big

Hody Childress was an Air Force veteran and afterward became a farmer in his hometown of Geraldine, Alabama.  Now, Geraldine is a small town by any standard, with a population of only 910, up from 801 in 1990!  So, everybody pretty much knows everybody else.  One day back in 2012, Hody went to the local drug store to pick up a prescription and as he was chatting with the pharmacist, Brooke Walker (who is also the owner of the drug store – told you it was a small town!) he learned that sometimes people cannot afford their prescriptions.  No surprise there, right.  Well, Hody Childress pulled out a $100 dollar bill, handed it to Mr. Walker, and told him …

“Here, this $100 is for anyone who can’t afford their prescription. Do not tell a soul that the money came from me. Tell them it’s a blessing from God.”

And that, my friends, is not anywhere near the end of the story.  From that day until his death on January 1st of this year, Mr. Childress gave the pharmacist $100 every month to help families pay for their medications.  Now, $100 might not seem like that much, but remember … Hody Childress was a farmer … he made his living the hard way and he was far from being a wealthy man.  For ten years, he gave the people in his community $1,200 per year to help them purchase their life-saving medicines.  In my book, that makes him a ‘good people.’  But there’s still more!

Late last year, when Hody realized he was nearing the end of his life, he was unable to leave the house, so he entrusted the job of delivering that $100 to the pharmacy to his daughter.  His daughter was stunned … she had no idea her dad had been doing this for the past ten years!  And as these things tend to go, word got out after his death, and several members of the community are now committed to carrying on his tradition of donating to the pharmacy to help those who cannot pay for their medication.  I give two thumbs up to Hody Childress and those who are following his example! 👍👍

So, Sunday was the big annual event, the Super Bowl.  No, I didn’t watch it, don’t know who won, don’t care.  However, one thing did draw my attention.  Think how much food is bought to be served at each such event.  Tens of thousands of pounds of food is bought, stored and prepared for sale to fans through concession stands.  Food vendors operate on the theory that it’s better to have too much food than to miss a potential sale of a single hot dog, so naturally they overstock.  It is estimated that some years, as much as 140,000 pounds of food is thrown out at the end of Super Bowl Sunday!  But not this year!

Regina Anderson, executive director of Food Recovery Network, is coordinating a campaign to rescue leftover food on game day. Equipped with refrigerated trucks, pallet jacks and lift gates, FRN and other groups will utilize student volunteers from Northern Arizona University’s FRN chapter to scoop up surplus food, load it into a refrigerated truck and quickly deliver it to the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

“The food that we’re getting from the Food Recovery Network on Super Bowl day will provide substantial help to us,” said Jussane Goodman, director of community engagement with Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Another group, Arizona-based nonprofit Waste Not is partnering with the NFL’s environmental program, NFL Green, to try to limit the in-stadium food waste once the game wraps up. Waste Not will be collecting food from a number of local NFL sponsored Super Bowl events in the days leading up to the game itself, and also from the stadium

“For context of how much food we move, our records for the last Super Bowl indicate that we and NFL Green provided nearly 70,000 meals to our partners in the Phoenix Valley, alleviating hunger for thousands,” said Hillary Bryant, executive director of Waste Not.

And on a final note, an update to a previous story

Remember the ‘good people’ I featured on a Saturday Surprise post back in December … the one where an elderly man, Joey White, had become lost during the terrible winter storm that hit Buffalo, New York, and a woman heard his cries for help, brought him into her home, and took care of him until his family could come get him?  Well, that woman, Sha’Kyra and her boyfriend, Trent Alls, received quite a surprise last week!

Because of what Aughtry and Alls did, the NFL gifted them two tickets to the Super Bowl last Sunday in Arizona. Delta Airlines flew them there.  Aughtry and Alls’ kids also got a surprise: a free four-day vacation for their first-ever trip to Disney World, thanks to JetBlue and The Vacationeer.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video … grab a few tissues first, though.

Contradictions Of “Life”

Just a few of my rambling thoughts on this Saturday night/Sunday morn.  America doesn’t need to be made “Great” again, it just needs to be made “okay” again.  Right now, it is not okay.  America is a study in contradictions.  Setting aside the political contradictions for another day, the societal contradictions are tearing the nation apart.  Taking a look at just one of those contradictions … life.

I find it interesting that the anti-abortionists call themselves “pro-life” when they really are not.  They are quite simply just against abortion and against the rights of women to make their own life’s choices.  IF they were truly ‘pro-life’ they would also support measures to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry at night … in fact, that no person goes to bed hungry.  They would be advocating for help to feed the poor and provide housing for the homeless, they would be staunch supporters of such things as the Affordable Care Act, food and housing assistance for those in need, and more.  But as a whole, the anti-abortionists support none of those things that would help preserve human life.  Next time someone tells you they are against abortion, ask them how much money they have donated to humanitarian relief, to organizations that help people climb out of poverty.

Along the same lines, it is a curiosity to me that we support medical science and their efforts to increase human longevity, and yet we speak of ending Social Security and Medicare, a move that would decrease human longevity drastically, or at the very least make those ‘extra’ years ones of poverty and struggle.  Think about it … governments and foundations spend billions of dollars every year for medical research to find cures for the illnesses that kill people, such as cancer, stroke, heart failure and more.  So, in 1950 in the U.S., the average life expectancy was 68.14 years, and today it is 79.11 years … thanks to medical science, we have gained approximately 11 years of life.  But … how will we spend those 11 years?  Will we spend them being hungry or homeless, begging on the streets for scraps of food?  WHY bother to help people live longer if we are not willing to help them live better?  I’ve long said that quality of life matters far more to me than quantity, and I firmly believe that.

And speaking of quality of life … life is not simply the act of being born.  Being born is a minute or two, but it’s what comes after that is defined as life.  So, if people are so determined to force women to give birth to babies, then why aren’t those same people working to ensure that when those babies are grown in twenty years or so, they will have potable water to drink, sufficient healthy food to eat, and fresh air to breathe?  Climate change deniers tend to also be those who claim they are “pro-life” when speaking of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.  They claim that there is a higher power looking after the planet’s environment, and therefore they can go on driving their gas-guzzlers, flying on jets, eating beef every night, keeping their heat or air-conditioning running day and night, with little or no regard for the environment.  Well, I don’t know anything about a higher power, but I DO know a little bit about climate science, and at the current rate, those babies people want born today won’t meet that 79.11 year life expectancy, for they will slowly die from lack of food & water, from lack of breathable air, and from diseases caused by those lacks.

And lastly … if those who claim to be “pro-life” truly believe that every life is important, then why are they also “pro-gun”?  The leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States is guns.  The pro-life crowd would criminalize abortion, but fight against any form of gun regulations.  So … force the woman to give birth to her baby just so she can watch him be gunned down seven, eight, or twenty years later?  If they actually give a damn about life, they would be staunch advocates for strict gun laws.  Are they?  No.  Another school shooting?  “Awww … too bad … thoughts and prayers …”  The sole purpose of a gun is to end life … isn’t this a direct contradiction to being “pro-life”?

Just a few things to think about next time someone steps up on his soapbox to talk about their “pro-life” stance.  LIFE is more than simply being born.

State of the Union

I am always amazed at the degree to which our friends on the other side of the pond understand our own political/social situation. David Prosser, as always, gives us his own view of Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address. Thank you, David!


Since the State of the Union speech earlier his week I hav been following political analyses ofwhat Mr Biden said and the reaction of both the press and the public to it.Shockingly it does not appear taht the press is fully behind Joe Biden yet and the Public still don’t seem to think he’s performing his job.Both are strange given that he has created over half a million jobs since January and has the economy under control and has even shaved a vast amount off the National Debt.

This man is performing better than the miracle of the loaves and fishes for the people of his country. Now maybe when you’re close to the action you can’t see the wood for the trees, and perhaps because Joe is the quiet man he is, not constantly blowing his own trumpet, no-one sees the good he does close up. But good there…

View original post 551 more words

What Gives … ?

The media assessments of President Biden’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night have been overwhelmingly positive (I refer to actual news media and journalists, leaving out the likes of Fox and NewsMax that I do not consider to be legitimate news venues.)  More than a few have called his address the “best State of the Union ever!”  The speech highlighted Biden’s accomplishments, which contrary to public opinion, have been significant, especially given the opposition from Republicans in Congress.  And yet … despite his accomplishments, Biden’s approval rating remains low.  Robert Reich asks (and partly answers) the question:  What gives?

Why the discrepancy between what Biden has achieved and what Americans think about him?

Robert Reich

8 February 2023

My friends,

As I mentioned last night, I thought Biden’s second State of the Union address was superb. It was one of the best State of the Union speeches I’ve witnessed — and I’ve witnessed many.

Biden’s record so far has also been impressive — even though for the first two years of his presidency, the Democrats held a razor-thin congressional majority, and the Republican Party has become more traitorous and treacherous than at any time in modern American history.

Yet despite Biden’s impressive record, only 42 percent of Americans approve of his presidency. That’s barely above the 41 percent at his last State of the Union address, and a lower approval rating at this point in his presidency than any president in 75 years of polling except for Trump and Reagan (who at this point was hobbled by a deep recession).

Despite Biden’s significant achievements, fully 62 percent think he has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his presidency. Majorities believe he has made no progress on his signature initiatives — from improving the country’s infrastructure to making electric vehicles more affordable to creating jobs.

And even though jobs are being created at an almost unprecedented rate, unemployment is at its lowest since 1969, and inflation is dropping, Americans are deeply pessimistic about the economy.

So what gives? Why the discrepancy between what Biden is achieving and what Americans think?

Let me add a few thoughts of my own.

First, let me stress my belief that Joe Biden has been an exceptionally good president. The only reason I bring up his low ratings is to try to understand why, despite his achievements, most of the public doesn’t seem to share my view.

Opinion polls are notoriously inaccurate, as we’ve all witnessed in the last major elections. Yet Biden’s consistently low ratings across almost all polls — and the bizarre fact that he’s polling no better than Trump did at this point in Trump’s presidency — can’t be blamed simply on inadequate polling methods.

Many of you blame the media — both Fox News and its radical right imitators, as well as the mainstream — for minimizing Biden’s achievements and exaggerating his inadequacies.

I largely agree. Fox News and other rightwing outlets continue to poison America. As to the mainstream media, as to anyone who reads this letter knows, I’ve been deeply concerned about its “two-sides” ism and absurd attempts to draw moral equivalence between Republicans and Democrats.

That said, only a small fraction of the public is exposed to Fox News or to the New York Times or the Washington Post. The media alone can’t account for Biden’s low ratings.

I want to suggest to you three other culprits that to my mind are playing a larger role.

First is the legacy of Trump, along with the deeply cynical and angry divide he has spawned in America. Even if George Washington were president right now, some 40 percent of the public would likely despise him.

Second is social media, which has become a cauldron of ever more extremist rage. Under Elon Musk, for example, Twitter has become less of a “public square” than a hell-hole of hate. No national leader is immune to such relentless battering.

Third and perhaps most importantly is the continuing crises that most Americans find themselves in. Some two-thirds of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost no one has job security. Adjusted for inflation, the median wage continues to drop. COVID is receding but “long” COVID is taking a devastating toll. Fentanyl and related drug poisonings continue to rise.

Joe Biden and his administration have made important progress. Their legislative victories are important. The American Rescue Act helped millions survive the pandemic. But most Americans are still hurting. Hopefully, by the fall of 2024, the hurt won’t be nearly as bad.

A Strong, Intelligent, Compassionate Speech

The president spoke non-stop for over an hour, stuttered only a few times (I, too, am a stutterer and would not have done nearly as well as he did!), and gave a passionate, intelligent, well-reasoned speech.  There were one or two points on which I might have disagreed, but not strongly.  I have some views on his speech, as I’m sure those of you who watched it do, and I’ll share them here, and be happy to hear what you thought, as well.

First, over the past several months, I have heard many say that President Biden is too old for the job, that his mental acuity is declining.  Folks, let me tell you something … if you watched the speech last night, there can be no doubt that he is as sharp as ever!  I could not have given a speech for that long, incorporated that much, and still had the stamina to shake hands with a few hundred people as I tried to leave the building!  He knew what he wanted to say, was passionate in his views, empathetic where empathy was called for, and he was strong where strength was needed!  He made no bones about the divided Congress and some of the Republican antics, and he plainly stated that if certain bills came to his desk, he would veto them!

He did something that has not been done before, as far as I know, in the history of State of the Union Addresses … he gained bipartisan agreement to an issue.  He garnered a verbal agreement to take cutting Social Security and Medicare off the negotiating table in cost cutting discussions connected to raising the debt ceiling.  That, folks, may not seem like much, but believe me … it is.

He had energy, he had passion, he has a strong desire to overcome the partisan obstacles that are hindering this nation.  Those who say he is too old … think again.  Yes, he is old and in that, my biggest concern would be that something – a stroke, heart attack, or death – would overtake him at some point, but … John F. Kennedy was the youngest president when he was elected in 1960 … and look what happened.  To those who claim he is too old and shouldn’t run again, I ask you this:  Who better?

Give me a name … tell me who else you see out there who could not only win an election in 21 months, but also lead this nation as well as President Biden is doing?  I can think of a number of younger Democrats who, at some point in the future, might well be excellent presidential material:  Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Hakeem Jeffries come to mind almost immediately.  But not today.  First, none have the name recognition nor backing, the political capital, that would be needed to propel them into the Oval Office.  Second, given the rising climate of bigotry, propelled by many Republicans such as Ron DeSantis … well, you see the problem.  Of those three, one is LGBTQ and the other two are Black.  No, it shouldn’t matter … it really doesn’t matter … but it would quite probably be enough to keep them from winning the election in 2024.

I hate that presidential elections now last for the entire two years prior to the actual election.  It means a number of things:  we are deluged with campaign ads and requests for donations for two full years; our elected officials are too busy campaigning for the next election to do their jobs now; the dynamics turn on a dime and the potential candidate who is ‘on top’ today may sink to the bottom tomorrow based on one leaked piece of information, whether fact or fiction.  It’s like being on an out-of-control carousel!  That said, it doesn’t change, so we must face the reality and prepare for it.

If the Democrats continue bemoaning President Biden’s age and occasional stutter, if they keep saying he shouldn’t run, that he isn’t mentally sharp, yet they have no better option, they are in effect handing the 2024 election to whichever Republican candidate becomes the nominee, likely Ron DeSantis.  The Democrats need to bite the bullet, such as it is, band together and throw their full support behind the president.  If they fail to do this, the party will be too divided to make an effective showing in 2024 and will hand the presidency to the Republican Party.

President Biden was impressive last night … his record of accomplishments, coupled with his strong address last night prove he’s still up to the task of leading this nation.  He is intelligent, and of equal importance, he is a genuinely good person who cares deeply about people — ALL people.  Unless Democrats have an HiH (Hero in Hiding), a John F. Kennedy or some other candidate with “the right stuff”, then they need to unite behind the candidate who has already accomplished much and who has what it takes, despite his age, to get the job done.

So … what did you think of his speech?

State Of The Union — Peace or Chaos?

Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, President Joseph Biden will give his second State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress and numerous guests.  Among the guests will be Row Vaughn and Rodney Wells, the parents of Tyre Nichols who was brutally beaten to death by police in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 7th.

For a number of reasons, there are additional security concerns this year. The magnetometers have been removed from the entrance to the House chamber, one of the first moves the Republicans made once they gained the majority in the House.  Also, according to a Capitol Police bulletin …

“… recent incidents targeting politicians and law enforcement agencies within the past month indicate that there is a heightened threat toward government officials.” 

Lest you think this is just so much hyperbole, I would remind you of the vicious attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and then I would further remind you of the violent attempted coup at this very same Capitol on January 6th, 2021.  There can be no doubt that there is a danger brewing under the surface in this country, and further that there are far too many fools with guns out there – some whose offices are in this very same Capitol building!

Capitol Police have constructed a non-scalable fence around the Capitol grounds, and are taking other security measures, no doubt fully remembering January 6th.  Will it be enough?  Today, there are a number of representatives sitting in Capitol offices who played a role in one way or another in the events of January 6th.  They should be disqualified, but somehow they escaped the 14th Amendment that prohibits anyone who has previously taken an oath of office (Senators, Representatives, and other public officials) from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.

I admit to being … concerned … about tomorrow night’s events. I still feel the horror of January 6th, still see the hatred that is festering in this country, hear the voices chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.  Not a single one of the plotters and schemers behind the insurrection are in prison, but are all free men & women, free to plot further rebellion, and relatively few of the ‘foot soldiers’ of that day are in prison. So yes, I am concerned.  I hope that my concerns are ill-founded and that the events of tomorrow evening will go off without a hitch.

Now, about that State of the Union …

It’s probably just as well that I wasn’t invited to give the speech, for I’m sure President Biden will do a far better job than I would.  The “state of the union” seems to be, in my ever-so-humble opinion, a disaster.  This nation is more divided than at any time in the past 150 years, perhaps longer.  Fully half of our elected officials no longer remember their oaths, no longer care about this nation as a democracy but rather would turn it into an autocracy at the first opportunity.  And outside of government, thanks to the divisiveness of our leaders, thanks to their lies and corruption, We the People are also divided … in a way I’ve never seen before, not even in the days of Jim Crow or Vietnam.

The current state of the union is that it’s a bloody mess.  This is not the fault of President Biden, who has been quietly getting the job done, has managed the impossible in a number of areas, but is rather the fault of We the People.  It was US who elected the corrupt politicians who now sit in Congress and make decisions every day that are ruining our lives.  It was US who were so poorly educated that we fell for the rhetoric spouted by the likes of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Marge Greene, Ron Johnson and so many others.  It is US who have opted for the entertainment value rather than the seriousness of purpose, have voted for the clowns rather than the intellectuals.

I have no doubt that the President’s message tomorrow night will be one of hope, one that highlights the positive rather than the negative, and that’s as it should be.  The response from the Republican Party will be given by none other than former Press Secretary under Donald Trump, and current Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  I hope that the night does not turn into a three-ring circus of the sort the Republican Party is known for.  At the least, it will be interesting … let’s hope that’s all it is.