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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The United States of Oceania?

The United States of Oceania?

We have survived into the second week of President Trump’s America and to say this has been a newsworthy few days is an understatement.  In just over one week there have been over a dozen Presidential Executive Orders including some that impose unconstitutional overreach on specific segments of the population.  Through it all, the President has opted to attempt to underscore his legitimacy by floating the rightwing go-to argument of pervasive voter fraud.  This is playing out before the backdrop of the overarching intertwined issues of which facts, (empirical, experiential or “alternative”) will determine truth, who will control the frame of the message and which source or sources will be recognized as a legitimate deliverers of it.  This real...

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In honor of the 44th President

In honor of the 44th President

As the Presidency of Barack Obama enters its final hours, I wax nostalgic and remember fondly the breath of hope his victory in 2008 gave many of us in the face of frightening national and world events.  His impressive fifty state grassroots campaign for President of the United States bore the embodiment and inspiration of his book, The Audacity of Hope.  Eight years ago President Obama and Vice President Biden assumed the reigns of national leadership in the wake of the worst economic meltdown since the Stock Market crash of 1929 and proceeded to rebuild the nation’s financial credibility among other monumental tasks.  After two terms of his predecessor, President Obama’s articulate speech alone went far to restore a sense of pride in national...

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Transitioning into resistance mode

Transitioning into resistance mode

One of my more caustic memories of the 2016 campaign involved an incident experienced by my local Democratic state house candidate.  One of his campaign signs placed along side of a busy thoroughfare was vandalized.  An obvious Trump supporter stapled a placard over both sides of the sign with the following message: THE SILENT MAJORITY STANDS WITH TRUMP Locally speaking, I can certainly confirm that sentiment given how soundly the Democrats were defeated up the down the ballot along this the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66.  At the national level however it fails to withstand scrutiny given that the winner of the Electoral College lost the popular vote count by nearly three million.  The President-elect seems to have lost some support since the election...

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