Rules of self-governance at age 230

Rules of self-governance at age 230

Happy Constitution Day to all my friends, lovers of reason and readers of this humble blog.  It was the product of several months of intense negotiation between delegates representing wide and varied common and opposing interests but it was on this day exactly two hundred and thirty years ago which was a Monday that the final product was presented for approval to the body of the Constitutional Convention of the United States assembled in the Pennsylvania State House.  To say it was the finest work ginned out by the ultimate sausage factory of its day in an understatement. In the end only 39 of the original 55 delegates signed their name to it but few if any were likely completely satisfied with what has become an enduring system of rules and law of a nation still...

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A moral and humanitarian failure of leadership

A moral and humanitarian failure of leadership

What benefits any person, group or nation to gain all the material wealth in the known universe but to ultimately lose the very essence of the core of their own soul?  That is one existential question which Yours Truly has been forced by public statements and actions (or lack thereof) made by certain government officials to ruminate upon during my fortnight hiatus from blogging.  Even being on vacation visiting an elderly relative in San Diego and reconnecting with two old shipmates could not insulate me from all the air getting sucked out of the media atmosphere with evermore sensational news items emanating from the White House with seemingly every news cycle.  The incumbent *President has been masterful at playing the distraction card, especially to those he...

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Watergate: An enduring memory of my youth

Watergate:  An enduring memory of my youth

All democracy is a work in progress.  For better or worse and despite being under constant threat of compromise since its founding, the grand American experiment has met the demands and overcome multiple imposed stresses as well as all manner of intense strain up to and including civil war.  In my lifetime that radical idea of democratically elected men leading a constitutional republic has survived egregious insult in grand fashion.  I fondly recall those halcyon days of my youth during which it was emphatically demonstrated via the mechanisms of government that the United States is a nation of laws and not of men or women.  Saturday, June 17th was the forty-fifth anniversary of the arrest of five men for the unlawful breaking and entering of the Democratic...

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Respect for the butcher’s bill

Respect for the butcher’s bill

Of all the federally observed holidays on the American calendar, the one slated for the last Monday in May has for me always been the most somber and sobering.  I’m sure most people who have sustained the loss of a loved one regardless if their lives ended on active duty in the armed forces or not share my sense of gravity related to observing the sacrifice of the nation’s war dead.  I was a teenager when I became aware of why a day was set aside specifically to honor those who did not survive hostile action during their military service.  In my junior enlisted years I was acutely aware of a select few whose lives ended on active duty, stateside in homeport due to illness, accidents or from physical anomalies which contributed to their demise.  Being...

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One hundred years of American might

One hundred years of American might

When the Central Powers of Europe mobilized their armed forces in August 1914 and the Allied Powers mobilized theirs in response, it was widely believed by many on both sides that the conflict would be glorious, short-lived and decisive.  Few of the pro-military interventionists gave any credibility to the prospect of a protracted, drawn out stalemate that became known as the Western Front.  Despite a great interest by many in America eager to join that fight, there were enough combat veterans of the Late War Between the States of half a century previous serving in policymaking positions to exert the necessary influence to keep their nation out of the fray.  With the business of America being business, sale of war essentials to customers from belligerent nations...

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Leftoverture at 40 still crisp by Kansas at 44

Leftoverture at 40 still crisp by Kansas at 44

Online purchase of two tickets, four rows back from Stage Left:  $216.00 Pre-concert dinner of Coneys, Frito Pie and iced tea:  $8.95 The cheapest swag item and two skunky draft beers:  $43.00 Taking in the sounds of one of the most iconic bands of my youth in the same venue where I paid to see my first ever concert forty years ago to the very evening:  PRICELESS!!! You read that correctly.  Forty years ago, on what was then a Friday evening March 25th, 1977, Yours Truly paid his way into the Old Lady on Brady to see his first-ever rock concert.  As I gazed around that grand auditorium before the show last night reminiscing on where I sat as a high school senior awed by the showmanship of the headliner of that Spring Break kickoff rock & roll spectacle, I...

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