September 20, 2017

The Week 4 NFL Bottom Ten is up and there is a new #1!

It’s rare when last week’s top team loses and does not retain the top spot, but that’s what happened to Indianapolis, as Cincinnati – still the worst franchise to never win The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy – takes over at #1.

Click here or scroll down to read The Bottom Ten.

The Daily Dose and The Thought for the Day will return.

Thanks for reading,

Gaylon

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 4

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 4
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Lead, follow or get out of the Cincinnati Bengals way.

If there’s one thing Bottom Ten fan(s) have learned over the years, it’s never count out the Cincinnati Bengals. Even with some recent winning seasons, veteran Bottom Ten watchers know the Bengals are never too far away from contending for The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

And while Cincinnati glories in its return to the medal stand, Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere are eagerly anticipating the first Bottom Ten showdown game of 2017, as Cleveland invades Indianapolis this Sunday.

This week’s mess, as the nags pass the grandstand for the first time:

1. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2; lost to Houston 13-9) – Bengals appear ready to shed Worst Team Never To Win B-10 Title tag with first 0-2 start since 2008…Offense showing the way with zero (0) touchdowns and nine (9) points in two (2) home losses…Next Loss: at Green Bay

2. Indianapolis Colts (0-2; lost to Arizona 16-13) – Colts fan(s) filing official protest, as last week’s #1 team dutifully loses yet drops to runner-up spot…Fan(s) also pointing out they are missing starting quarterback, but QB spot not responsible for already giving up 62 points in 2017..Next Loss: Cleveland

3. Cleveland Browns (0-2; lost to Baltimore 24-10) – Defending B-10 champions off another 0-2 start…Browns using tried and true formula in quest for B-10 glory, refusing to rush for 100 yards and turning ball over five (5) times…Next Loss: at Indianapolis

4. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2; lost to Miami 19-17) – Almost a sellout in town that neither wants nor needs them, almost a win and almost a B-10 medal stand berth…Chargers have NFL-best seven (7) game losing skid and are showing type of mettle that generally leads straight to B-10 glory, losing 13 of 14 games decided by seven (7) points or less…Next Loss: Kansas City

5. Houston at CincinnatiFirst 2017 Game of the Year nominee with teams showing mastery of fundamentals with 16 penalties and 16 punts…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” this is first 1:1 Penatly/Punt ratio in “like, dude, a really long time”.

6. AFC South (3-5) – One of three divisions with teams lacking winning records, AFC South earns prestigious, weekly Pete Rozelle Award, issued NFL’s worst division by virtue of, well, being the AFC South.

7. Chicago Bears (0-2; lost to Tampa Bay 29-7) – Bears earning quiet respect for consistency around league with their third straight 0-2 start…Offense sets strong early tone with two (2) interceptions, fumble on first three (3) possessions…Bears have lost NFL-best seven (7) straight…Next Loss: Pittsburgh

8. San Francisco 49ers (0-2; lost to Seattle 12-9) – 49ers have yet to score touchdown in 2017, already losing games by an average score 17.5-to-6…With both 2016 wins coming against Rams, Niners eager to strut B-10 stuff in front of prime time audience Thursday…Next Loss: Los Angeles Rams

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0; lost to ) – Jaguars recover from opening week win with clutch home loss to always tough Titans…Jaguars owner Ghengis Khan subjects coaching staff to beating for not achieving goal of being on B-10 medal stand Islamic New Year..Next Loss: Baltimore

10. Thursday Night Football Forget the fact players don’t like playing on Thursday, that they aren’t physically ready and they would rather be home, Thursday games usually aren’t any good…Already bored by last week’s Texans/Bengals clash, nation standing by to be mesmerized by this week’s Rams/49ers instant classic.

Game of the Week: Cleveland at Indianapolis
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco

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Tuesday, September 19

Lots of great stuff for you today, Campers. Today’s Daily Dose talks more about the acquittal of former St Louis police officer Jason Stockley and how this shooting was completely preventable.

Also in The Daily Dose, George Washington and Mariano Rivera are featured in On This Date, Jules Verne has our quotebook selection and there’s Trivia, too.

Louis L’Amour talks about self-education in The Thought for the Day and it’s Tuesday during football season and the Week 4 NCAA Bottom Ten is ready for your review. Be advised, the entire Bottom Ten medal stand is overhauled, as the very worst start to rise to the top in the race for the ESPN Cup – symbolic of collegiate Bottom Ten supremacy.

Today’s columns follow. Have a good day, and thanks for reading,

Gaylon

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 4

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 4
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

While Bottom Ten pollsters generally do not penalize teams for wins against lower level teams,  the proof, as the old saying goes, is in the losing, so it is no surprise to see all of last week’s medal stand teams – all with wins against lower level teams – tossed aside.

So the race for the ESPN Cup – symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy – once again gets back to basics, with winless UMess, East Carolina and Charlotte, combined a robust 0-9, taking command of the Bottom Ten medal stand.

This week’s (U)mess:  

1. UMess (0-4; lost to Temple 29-21)
Mitigating Factors: Minutemen, the nation’s first four-loss team, ascend B-10 throne for first time in 2017…Field goal unit puts ‘special’ in special teams, keeping team’s B-10 title hopes alive with three (3) missed field goals…Defense does its part, too, giving up two (2) touchdowns to end first half, two (2) field goals to begin second half to pull away…Seven (7) game losing streak tied for nation’s best.
FunFact: Anticipated drubbing to national power this week should set great tone for remainder of B-10 run.
Next Loss: at Tennessee

2. East Carolina (0-2; lost to Virginia Tech 64-17)
Mitigating Factors: Facing gut-check leading 17-7 at end of first quarter, Pirates kick it into overdrive, getting outscored 57-0 the rest of the way…Pirates another team benefiting from Rutgers win, tied for nation’s best with seven (7) game skid…Pirates still getting B-10 sea legs, 0-3 for first time since 2004.
FunFact: Coaching staff reportedly scrambling for game plan after captains spend valuable meeting time drawing up petition for East Carolina statehood.
Next Loss: at UConn

3. Charlotte (0-3; lost to North Carolina A&T 35-31)
Mitigating Factors: Trailing 28-10 in third quarter, 49ers offense puts up four (4) touchdowns, three for them, one for their lower level opponents – an interception returned for score – to keep hopes for B-10 glory alive…Current six (6) game skid second best in nation and best since 2015-16’s eleven (11)-game skid.
FunFact: Team so desperate for victory it lists a “W” before results of April’s annual spring practice scrimmage.
Next Loss: Georgia State

4. UTEP (0-3; lost to Arizona 63-16)
Mitigating Factors: Offense continues to show way, putting up seven (7) drives of three (3) plays or fewer…Defense does its part, too, giving up five (5) touchdowns in heroic, dizzying second quarter…Running game key for Miners, who rank Dead Last in Rushing Offense (38.7 ypg) and 121st in Rushing Defense (270.7 ypg).
FunFact: UTEP can uphold Conference USA honor, take big step towards B-10 medal stand with loss to Sun Belt Conference power New Mexico State this week.
Next Loss: at New Mexico State

5. Rice (1-2; lost to Houston 38-3)
Mitigating Factors: Owls return to survey, rebounding from soul-crushing UTEP win with convincing blowout road loss…Owls never in this one, breaking out to strong 38-0 deficit before getting field goal against some FEMA works taking a break from hurricane cleanup on final drive…Before that offense had exploded for seven (7) punts, three (3) turnovers and a (a) missed field goal.
There Is No “I “ In Bottom Ten: Owls getting it done on both sides of the ball, losing games by an average score of 38-13.7.  
Next Loss: Florida International

6. Earlham (0-3; lost to Anderson 27-16)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers all in for second consecutive Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – with 36th consecutive loss…Loss particularly impressive as Anderson almost as bad as Quakers, having only won six (6) games since 2013, four of them against Earlham and Quaker’s last win was against Anderson, in 2013.
FunFact: Fan(s) looking for repeat Continental Cup nervous as nine (9) point loss closest game since 2015’s one point, overtime loss to Hanover.
Next Loss: at Defiance

7. Fresno State (1-3; lost to Washington 48-16)
Mitigating Factors: Bulldogs back in B-10 pollster’s good graces following third straight loss after smacking around priest novitiates from lower level school in opener…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Bulldogs one of few B-10 teams “probably ever” that doesn’t rank 100th or worse in any major NCAA stat category…With obligatory blowouts to national powers out of the way, Bulldogs ready to focus on minefield that will be Mountain West play, with 10/28 game vs Nevada-Loss Vegas already looming large.
FunFact: Even if Bulldogs miss out in repeat B-10 title, Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – can still be theirs by losing out.
Next Loss: Nevada (9/30)

8. Buffalo (1-2; defeated Colgate 33-10)
Mitigating Factors: Bulls drop from runner-up spot following win against lower level school…Though loss doesn’t dismiss Bulls from B-10 title race, BullsNation kicking themselves for blowing chance for “statement” loss that probably blows chance for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
FunFact: While nobody is pushing panic button just yet, Bulls need big loss this week to regain enthusiasm and momentum 2016’s 2-10 team enjoyed.
Next Loss: Florida Atlantic

9. Louisiana – Famous Dead Person (1-4; UL-Lafayette: lost to Texas A&M 45-21; UL-Monroe: lost to Southern Mississippi 28-17)
Mitigating Factors: Hilarious joint entry back in survey for first time since Week 1…Despite losing, UL-L did its job, leading at halftime to ensure Aggie coach will probably lose his job…With game at Florida State canceled due to hurricane, UL-M requests FEMA put in a good word to B-10 staffers for “courtesy loss” designation for unplayed game against national power.
You Can, Fortunately, Throw Out The Records When These Two Teams Meet: This week’s UL-L/UL-M matchup will not only be for solo B-10 ranking, but for Billy Cannon Certificate, symbolic of Cajun football lousiness.  
Next Loss: UL-Lafayette: vs UL-Monroe; UL-Monroe: at UL-Lafayette

10. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: With three teams in survey – all in the Top 5 – C-USA easy selection for B-10 Conference of the Week award…Half of 16 conference teams do not have winning records, half of conference teams do have winning record, which says something, though B-10 pollsters still aren’t entirely sure what it is.
This Line Never Gets Old…We Hope: Though early yet, conference officials confident teams will maintain current .500 record in conference play for entire season.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: UTEP at New Mexico State
Combined Entry Game of the Week: UL-Monroe at UL-Lafayette
Up Next On ESPN793: Florida Atlantic at Buffalo  

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The Thought for the Day – Louis L’Amour

All education is self-education. – Louis L’Amour


It is not surprising that Louis L’Amour uttered today’s Thought. Originally from North Dakota, L’Amour had little formal schooling and spent no small amount of time wandering from place to place scrambling to earn a living as he taught himself the writing trade, often on rented typewriters. He always took great care to teach himself what he wanted to know and what he thought he should know.

All education is self-education…

It doesn’t matter how it is done, either. Some prefer to utilize the facilities of a college or university. Some prefer to do it on their own. What’s important is not the method we use, but how we go about it.

Consider this: is a college student who spends four or five years taking notes and binge drinking doing himself any good? No, of course, he isn’t. He has wasted his time and someone’s money because he will end up not doing anybody any good. By merely trying to graduate he has squandered his time. Similarly, someone who leaves school after high school isn’t doing anyone any good if all they do is come home from work, slam some brewskies and watch TV all night.

On the other hand, the student who fully utilizes a college’s resources and the autodidact who reads and lives and probably does some traveling have both put themselves in fine position to make their time on this planet serve them. To say one way is better than the other is folly because both are dependent on the effort one puts into them. One might be more profitable, but done well both lead to well-lived lives.

Really, all we have to do on this planet is live and learn. What and how much we learn is up to us, as is incorporating the lessons life tries to teach us. We can use them or dismiss them as we see fit.

In order to succeed in this world we must utilize the resources available to us, both the ones we’re born with and the ones that present themselves. Every day the choice to make our time serve us is ours.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

 

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The Daily Dose – September 19, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

Author’s Note: We’ve read Judge Timothy Wilson’s verdict and we encourage you to do the same. It is very readable, accessible even to self-educated misfits like us and is worth the time of every concerned citizen. It can be read here.

USA! USA!: Blacks, of course, have a lot to protest in this country. The Jason Stockley verdict isn’t one of them. What they should be protesting is the prosecutor that set them up for this heartache by trying Jason Stockley for first-degree murder in the first place.

This was a very high mountain climb, and ultimately it proved too steep. Murder one involves intent (you wanted to do it), premeditation (you planned on doing it) and malice aforethought (you planned on doing harm). These three elements are difficult to prove when the killer had known his victim for only a few minutes, especially in the context of the heated interaction that led to the shooting.

Fly In The Ointment: We believe the fact the federal government, always ready for action in these circumstances, declined to charge Stockley with anything bears this out. The people of St Louis were not served well by the decision to charge Stockley with first-degree murder.

Dry, Technical Matter: Blacks in St Louis aren’t the only ones who should be protesting. Everyone else in America should be protesting, too. This shooting should never have happened.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: This case is a nice microcosm of the points we made on the campaign trail for the United States Senate and House of Representatives: legalize drugs and the violence associated with them goes away. This shooting is no different than any of the other violence associated with drug war:

None of this happens if drugs are legal. A drug purchase in a fast food joint would have drawn no more interest than the purchase of a side order.

Criminalizing drugs is not stopping anyone from using them and it is certainly not stopping their importation. All drug laws do is cause death, broken hearts and broken lives, making criminals out of everyone involved in a country that hardly needs more criminals. 

One More Thing: Look, we don’t use heroin and we don’t particularly like hanging around those who do but, honestly, was this the Crime of the Century? Did a two-bit heroin deal in a fried chicken joint demand the immediate attention of Officer Stockley and his partner?

Honestly, it probably didn’t. If they ignore it and continue their patrol the neighborhood would survive. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other drug deals that weren’t broken up that night testify to that. All they really did was disrupt a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller and if they ignore it the sun still rises in the east the next day.

There’s is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Of course, we applaud a vigorous attempt by law enforcement to uphold establish federal, state and municipal laws. You probably do, too. But was Smith selling something someone wanted to buy from him hurting anyone? No, not really.

The Bottom Line: We cannot be afraid of the lessons History has to teach us. If either drugs are legal or the officers decide to ignore this incident, Anthony Smith is probably still alive and Jason Stockley is probably passing a routine law enforcement career and none of this ever happens.

“MY FEELINGS DO NOT PERMIT ME TO SUSPEND THE DEEP ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THAT DEBT OF GRATITUDE, WHICH I OWE TO MY BELOVED COUNTRY…”: President George Washington’s farewell message to his country is published in newspapers around the country on this date in 1796. The third United States presidential election was later that year and Washington, who really wanted to retire after his first term, had made it clear he would not be a candidate for a third term.

How Quaint: Among other things, Washington urges Americans to avoid war and unnecessary borrowing.

FunFact: Washington’s farewell is still read annually in the United States Senate. The rascals in the House of Representatives discontinued the practice in the 1980’s.

More Exciting US Presidential Action: Chester Arthur becomes the 21st president of the United States on this date in 1881, following the death of James Garfield due to injuries suffered after he was shot on July 2.

Arthur is primarily remembered for his federal civil service reform and while highly regarded back then, is not particularly remembered today. He wasn’t in the best of health and retired after his term.

Get Out Your History Books: Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees records his 602nd career save on this date in 2011, breaking the record of Trevor Hoffman. Rivera would retire with 652 saves, a record that still stands. It was Rivera’s 43rd save of the season and preserved a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: With the win, the Yankees remained five games in front of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Twin remained safely out of it, in last place in the American League Central.

Quotebook: Fighting against destiny seemed impossible for the moment.– Jules Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: After George Washington, the president of the Constitutional Convention, signed the Constitution, the document was signed by the state’s delegates in north to south order.

Today’s Stumper: How many games did Mariano Rivera start in his major league career? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Louis L’Amour

…but if a man is to learn, first he must live. Louis L’Amour, The Walking Drum


Louis L’Amour is no stranger to regular readers of The Thought for the Day. Almost interesting is the fact we were introduced to him in middle age. We had, of course, heard of L’Amour and seen his books everywhere and had dismissed him as a hack drugstore novelist, which was our loss because L’Amour turned into one of our favorite writers. While the critic who said L’Amour would have benefited from a freshman composition course probably had a point, for our money no one except Gore Vidal provides the insights into our human experience that L’Amour does, which is what you pay us writers for.

One of the first, and most beneficial, things we must learn is ourselves. In order to truly make our time on this planet serve us, we must know ourselves inside and out. There is no substitute. We must know our strengths and our weakness, so we can use both to advantage. Knowing our strengths allows us to utilize them at need while knowing our weaknesses allows us to avoid the distraction and loss they cause.

There are other things to learn, too. We must learn what we should know and what we want to know and then go and learn those things. Knowledge is funny, though, because we also must realize wisdom only comes when we realize the depths of what we don’t know.

We must learn what we are good at and what we are not good at, to do things that will produce a dividend and not do the things which merely spin our wheels. We must be willing to learn the lessons life has to teach us, even when we don’t particularly like the lesson.

…first he must live.

To do all of these things we must go out and live. We must follow the roads that call because to ignore them is dangerous. We must try and we must fail because only by failing will we put ourselves in a position to achieve and appreciate success.

Most of all, we must live from the inside out instead of the outside in. We must learn to react to our heart and our instincts, instead of merely reacting to outside influences. Only then will we live a life that is useful to ourselves and others. Our hearts will tell us where to go. Our instincts will tell us how to get there.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose – September 17, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

THIS WHOLE COLUMN IS GOING TO BE DRY, TECHNICAL MATTER ISN’T IT?: Former St Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action last week, charged after he shot Anthony Lamar Smith, a suspected drug dealer, to death in 2011.

Leading Off: Dry, Technical Matter: St Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson delivered the verdict because Stockley waived his right to a jury trial. Stockley did well to do this. Officers charged with deaths in both Cleveland and Baltimore were acquitted in bench trials and judges are notorious for being able to block out the emotions that prevent objectivity that juries sometimes are unable or unwilling to block.  

And You Wonder Why You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties: We read Judge Wilson’s decision. Regardless of your opinion on the verdict – and please, read the decision before you form one – Judge Wilson did his work thoughtfully and diligently. The People of the Great State of Missouri were served well.   

Thank You, Oliver Wendell Holmes: We’re not lawyers here at The Daily Dose – thank God – but we’re not complete idiots, either. One thing we found ourselves wondering was why did prosecutors try to hang Murder One on Stockley?  

Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: Proving first-degree murder is difficult. It involves intent, premeditation and malice aforethought. Missouri specifies murder in the first-degree as:

…intentional killing following deliberation.

Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: Considering this, you don’t have to be John Jay to know it would be difficult to convict a cop who killed someone he first encountered a few minutes earlier of first-degree murder.  

Honestly, after reading the decision, we don’t think the State could’ve gotten a conviction on even a manslaughter charge because Judge Wilson found the State:

…failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (the) defendant’s use of deadly force was not justified in self-defense.

Brilliant Job Straddling The Fence, Gaylon: Blacks have a lot to protest in this country. Football players aren’t kneeling for the national anthem and St Louis residents aren’t protesting this verdict because the black experience in America is the end of the rainbow. But we found it difficult to impeach Judge Wilson’s verdict.

Meanwhile, Back In The Hood: So, of course, the problem of white cops shooting black suspects continues, as it would even if the verdict against Stockley had been guilty.

This shooting could have been prevented. One, if the sale and possession of drugs were not a crime, this never happens because Anthony Smith would merely have been a vendor looking to move some product and not a suspect in a criminal investigation. If Stockley and his partner had decided this wasn’t the Crime of the Century and had ignored it, this wouldn’t have happened, either. Removing Smith as a supplier merely gave another dealer more customers. It did nothing to stem the use of drugs in St Louis.

The Bottom Line: America has a violent society because America has a violent government. Had America been at peace every day since 1989 instead of at war, gunfire would not be our most common form of social interaction.

Editor’s Note: We encourage you to read the verdict for yourself. The Daily Dose is not in the habit of providing links, however, we offer one today. Click here to read the entire decision.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The Constitution of the United States is signed during the last session of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on this date in 1787.

Not everyone was completely enamored of the finished product, which some regarded as nothing more than a collection of makeshift compromises, but the Constitution would be ratified the following year and the new government of the United States would begin on March 4, 1789. The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation and though sometimes ignored, is still the governing document of the United States.

Those Zany Californians: Joshua Norton, a broke, crazy boarding house resident in San Francisco, proclaims himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States on this date in 1859. He would later add Protector of Mexico to his title and in 1862 Emperor Norton mandated both Catholic and Protestant churches ordain him as Emperor, a mandate that was ignored.    

Norton was born in London and grew up in South Africa before arriving in San Francisco in around 1849. Norton prospered in the commodities market and real estate speculation but by 1858 had lost his fortune and, apparently, his mind, becoming disenchanted with American government.

Norton held no real power, of course, but he was revered by his subjects in San Francisco, who afforded him every courtesy and even accepted his currency. An estimated 30,000 people attended his funeral in 1880 and the San Francisco Chronicle ran his obituary on the front page.

Quotebook: Much of command is the ability to take command. – Louis L’Amour, The Walking Drum

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: General Motors has twice been removed as a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The first time was in 1916 and the second in 2009.

Today’s Stumper: In what order did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention sign the document? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

…if we shall do this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold. – John F Kennedy, speech at Rice University, 9/12/62


This is the third selection from Kennedy’s 1962 Rice University speech to be featured in The Thought for the Day. Kennedy, of course, is referring to sending men to the moon and returning them home and the purpose of the speech was to drum up interest, because while the Mercury program, and later Project Gemini, were sending men into space, the first manned Apollo mission was still several years away.

As noted before, this is one of our favorite speeches given by an American and if you haven’t read it or watched it, or if you have but it’s been many years, do yourself a favor and read or watch it. If you tolerate this feature on a regular basis you will probably like it.

…then we must be bold.

America has a long history of being bold, with results that range from the inspiring to the tragic. Our Founding Fathers were bold enough to form a new country with a new form of government. America was bold enough to develop and use nuclear weapons. President Truman’s decision to do this was, of course, disastrous for the Japanese that were forced to endure them, though it probably saved hundreds of thousands American lives.

And America was bold when it sent men to the moon. We were bold enough to accept the challenge of the unknown. We were bold enough to dare to do what might well have otherwise been a decade or two off without Kennedy’s prodding. We were bold enough to dare to be what no one had ever been before, and we did this in times that were as momentous and tumultuous as they are now, perhaps more so.

We must be bold, both individually and collectively.

Individually, we must be bold enough to live the life we were meant to live. We must have the wisdom to know what we were put on this planet to do and be bold enough to have the courage to go and do it and the patience to reach our desired end.

Collectively, we must be bold enough to want a country that discards the status quo, a country that tries to transcend itself, a country that other nations look up to. We must be bold enough to want the best we can offer both ourselves and the world.

Anyone can accept what is offered. To go someplace we’ve never been as people and as a nation, we must be bold.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose – September 16, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

THE ART OF THE DEAL: Twice in the past couple of weeks we’ve seen examples of President Trump working deals with the Democrats. Earlier this month they came to terms on a deal to extend the debt ceiling and on a relief package for Hurricane Harvey victims. This week Trump announced he and the Democrats were working on a plan involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

WTF???: In both cases, GOP Congressional leaders were left to scratch their collective heads and wonder what in the hell was/is going on.

Dry, Technical Matter: The debt ceiling came about in 1917 when Congress grew weary of its Constitutional duty of approving each instance of the Treasury Department borrowing money. The debt ceiling meant the Treasury Department could issue bonds without Congressional approval, as long as they didn’t go past the debt limit.  

Most nations don’t have a debt ceiling because they live under some semblance of fiscal sanity and don’t need one. In fact, Denmark is the only other nation with a debt ceiling and theirs is so high it is not particularly relevant.

FunFact: Our current debt ceiling is $19.8 trillion. Our current national debt passed $20 trillion on September 7. Except for a couple of days during the Andrew Jackson Administration, this nation has always been in debt and a day-by-day analysis of our country’s debt figures shows there are days where our debt has actually gone down $50 million or so.

Further research into this matter gave us a headache.

Back On Message: We are pleased to see any sort of bipartisan cooperation. Though it should be standard procedure, actual bipartisan cooperation on something that is in this country’s long-term interest is a rarity on par with a total solar eclipse: it doesn’t happen too often. Whether or not these deals have any merit or not is beside the point. We actually have a Republican president making deals with Democratic Congressional leadership.

That this is happening is not altogether surprising, either, because Trump has been notably frustrated by his own party’s inability to get anything done despite having a majority in both houses of Congress That this was due as much to a complete lack of leadership from the White House as anything else doesn’t bother Trump at all, though it has meant the GOP has been unable to govern.

Forgive Our Cynicism: Of course, Trump and the Democrats aren’t doing deals out of benevolence or because they care about you and me, we the people. They don’t. If they did we would have a nation at peace with an economy anchored in low taxes and free markets. And make no mistake about it, there’s something in these deals for each of them, but that’s the way the world is built. But after decades of fractured and bickering government, even this small step is nice to see. We’ll take it. 

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The Cornell Daily Sun is published for the first time on this date in 1880. It remains the oldest collegiate newspaper in the country, publishing every day while school is in session.

Great Moments In General Motors: General Motors is founded on this date in 1908 by William Durant in Flint Michigan. The next day Durant, who had owned some Ford dealerships and had been making horse-drawn carriages since 1886, purchased Buick and would later add Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Cadillac, among others. Durant was forced out in 1910 by his stockholders after a deal to buy Ford fell through and he would form Chevrolet in 1911.

Get Out Your Record Books: Jim Bottomley of the St Louis Cardinals establishes a new major league record with 12 runs batted in in a game on this date in 1924. Bottomley went 6-for-6 with two home runs and a double in a 17-3 win over Brooklyn, whose team was then known as the Robins. Bottomley broke the record of 11, established by Brooklyn’s manager that day, Wilbert Robinson in 1892.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: With the loss, the Robins drop to a game-and-a-half behind the eventual pennant winners, the New York Giants, who split a doubleheader with Cincinnati. The Cardinals had been out of the race for several weeks.

Oh Yeah: Bottomley’s record still stands, though it would be tied by Mark Whitten, also of the Cardinals, in 1993.

It’s Good To Be The King, At Least Till You’re Deposed: A coup to depose Argentine president Juan Peron is launched on this date in 1955. It would be successful three days later and Peron barely made it out alive, escaping on a gunboat provided by neighboring Paraguay. Peron would spend 18 years in exile in various places in South America and Europe before returning to the Argentine presidency in 1973.

That Will Teach Him To Snitch For The CIA: Former dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in US prison on this date in 1992. This follows his conviction on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, despite the fact he had been a useful CIA informant for decades. Noriega would later be extradited to France and then to Panama, where he died this past May.

Quotebook: Basic human nature never changed; the collective human text demonstrated that incontrovertibly. – Fred Kaplan, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Oliver Wendell Holmes, then an officer with the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, wrote a fifth verse to The Star Spangled Banner. While popular during the war in the North, few remember it today.

Today’s Stumper:  When was General Motors removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average? – Answer next time!

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