The Thought for the Day – Gore Vidal

– Men are unfathomable, aren’t they?
– I agreed. Actually, I have found men quite fathomable. They look entirely to their own interest.  – Gore Vidal, Creation

Gore Vidal is featured regularly here at the Thought for the Day, and another introduction is not necessary. In fact, if you are a regular reader, you may well be familiar with him on your own. For our money, Vidal provides the insights into us humans you pay us writers to provide better than anyone and it is likely he will always be regarded as one of America’s foremost men of letters.

I have found men quite fathomable…

Us humans are, in fact, rather fathomable: we will look out for ourselves and our own self-interest. History’s long march – the great cacophony of time – shows this and us humans have advanced in spite of it.

Mother Nature, of course, is responsible for a lot of this. Her only concern is keeping our species alive and growing, so she sees to it that getting fed and getting some are our strongest instincts so it is hardly a surprise our human experience is comprised of six billion people each leading largely random, selfish lives.  

Overcoming daily selfishness to see our existence in a collective instead of individual context is difficult. To completely do it may not even be possible. Fortunately, not everybody’s self-interest involves conquest and domination. We’ve found that most people, in fact, are basically good, knowing that society works best when part of our time is spent looking out for others.

But we can’t spend all our time looking out for others. We must spend time on daily cultivation and living the life we were meant to live.

Selfish? Sure, of course it is. But it is also necessary. All of us we’re born with certain talents and all of us are issued 24 hours each and every day. If we are going to get the most out of our time on this planet, and thereby do ourselves and everyone else the most good, we must work hard to get the most out of the talents nature gave us. 

They look entirely to their own interest…

We must be selfish enough to live the life we were meant to live. This does not mean a life of avarice or rapacity. It does not mean the mindless accumulation of things and it does not mean spending your life reacting solely to outside influences.

It means using our time and our talents to live the life we were meant to lead. When we are doing this we are leading the most unselfish life of all, a life that does us and others the most good.

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The Daily Dose – June 21, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT: One of the funny things about Tuesday’s special US House of Representatives election in Georgia was how it was being hailed as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency.

Donald Trump’s Presidency…Sigh…: Don’t kid yourself. It wasn’t.

A Republican won in a heavily Republican district. Big wow, as we used to say when we were kids. Republican Karen Handel will replace Republican Tom Price, who resigned to serve as Republican Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The GOP has done a fairly good job of circling the wagons during the fiasco that has been – and will likely continue to be – the Trump Administration and it was not reasonable to expect a GOP district to do anything other than elect one of the tribe.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: We’ve said this before, especially while running for the United States Senate and the United States House:

Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter, neither will make substantive difference in how we are governed. One is six, the other is a half-dozen. They are both the same. 

The Bottom Line: As long as we keep electing the status quo, nothing in this country will change. Had Georgia’s 6th Congressional District elected the Democrat, nothing would be changing. Washington will continue as it has, at least until you and me – we the people – start demanding something different.

GREAT MOMENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE RATIFYING THE CONSTITUTION: New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify the new Constitution on this date in 1788. With that, the required two-thirds of the 13 United States had ratified the Constitution, putting it into effect. It had been approved by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and sent to the several states the previous September.

Oh Yeah: Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, on December 7, 1787.

Dry, Technical Matter: The first United States presidential election would begin in December, 1788 and George Washington would be inaugurated on April 30, 1789. In between, the first United States Congress convened on April 1.

Take That, You American Bastards: A mainland American military installation is attacked for the only time during World War II on this date in 1942 when a Japanese submarine surfaces off the coast of Oregon and attacks Fort Stevens. The Japanese submarine I -25 sent 17 shells towards the fort, located at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Sunday’s Ballgame Is Cancelled: Fortunately, they weren’t much of a shot. The shelling did no damage to the fort itself, but the backstop at the post’s baseball field was destroyed.

FunFact: The I -25 had been commissioned in 1941 and besides making a pest of itself off the American west coast, it had participated in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was ultimately sunk by a US Navy destroyer in the south Pacific in September, 1943.

I  Guess We Can’t All Just Get Along: Two whites, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, and one black, James Chaney, are murdered in Mississippi by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) on this date in 1964.

That’ll Show Them: The three had come to the attention of the KKK by having the nerve to try and get blacks to register to vote.

The incident started in the afternoon when the three were pulled over on Mississippi Highway 19 by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price. Price arrested the three, ostensibly on suspicion of arson. They were released after paying a $20 fine for a traffic violation, then followed by Price as they drove out of town. Before they reached the county line Price pulled them over again, then ordered them into his car. Price drove them to a deserted area, where he turned them over to two carloads of fellow KKK members, who beat and killed Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. Acting on a tip, authorities found their bodies a few weeks later.

Wow, This Is A Surprise: Mississippi declined to bring murder charges against anybody. The federal government did charge Price and 17 others with conspiracy to commit murder, which resulted in the conviction of Price and seven others. Price would serve four-and-a-half years of a six-year term.

Oh Yeah: The trial also resulted in no verdicts against three people, including Edgar Ray Killen. In 2005 Killen was tried in state court on three counts of murder and was convicted of three counts of manslaughter. He was sentenced to three consecutive 20 year terms. He is eligible for parole in 2027, when he will be 102-years old.

I  Love You Jody…Do You Love Me? John Hinckley, Jr, who shot President Ronald Reagan and others in March, 1981, is found not guilty of the crime by reason of insanity on this date in 1982. He would be remanded to a psychiatric hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Hinckley was authorized periodic visits home in 2005 and was released from treatment last year. He currently lives, with some restrictions, with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia.

What The Hell’s Going On Here: We here at The Daily Dose are pretty much on board with declaring anyone who has a fixation with Jodie Foster and who shoots the president of the United States is basically crackers. But he committed the crime he was charged with and a finding of not guilty, no matter the context, does not make sense. Not guilty means you didn’t commit the crime you were charged with and Hinckley committed the crimes he was charged with. There’s no doubt.

Thank You John Jay: So instead of finding him not guilty by reason of insanity, how we about we find him guilty by reason of insanity?

Thought For The Day: Who can ask more of a man/Than giving all within his span/Giving all, it seems to me/Is not so far from victory – George Moriarty, The Road Ahead of the Road Behind

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Today’s Stumper: Before the Constitution, what was the governing document of the United States? – Answer next time!



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The Daily Dose – June 21, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CAPSULE BOOK REVIEW: Lincoln, The Prairie Years by Carl Sandburg: Whew. Made it. Climbed the mountain.

That is the best way to describe putting this book down for the final time, because completing this book gave us the same feeling of accomplishment we’ve felt when we’ve been obliged to run more than a few steps, either for a fitness test or simply because we’d lost our mind and felt like running.

This was one long book, and we’re accustomed to reading works of substance here. Chapter length, of course, is subjective, but there were over 160 chapters over two volumes of The Prairie Years . We are rather leisurely readers here at the Daily Dose and it took us a couple of months to get through it.

Uh, Can We Get Down To Business Here: It certainly is not your traditional biography. Sandburg, of course, was  a renowned poet and he waxes, well, poetic often enough to make you feel you are reading a valentine to our 16th president, including sections where Sandburg tells us what the moon would be seeing if it were gazing down at certain times in Lincoln’s life. There are other divergences, too, that might well leave scratching your head wondering if you’re reading a biography or a creative writing assignment.

In fact, some research shows there are historians who got their shorts in a knot over the lack of footnotes and bibliography that did not attend this book. Some have even critiqued Sandburg’s use of local prairie dialect throughout, though we found this added a healthy dose of color and enjoyed it immensely. 

Fly In The Ointment: Also, if you are looking for any sort of historical context, or definite lines of demarcation when certain milestones in Lincoln’s life began, like running for Congress or his debates with Stephen Douglas, good luck, they are few and far between. Sandburg rambles about this and that and then you find Lincoln is Washington as a member of Congress and then he and Douglas are yapping about slavery under a tree somewhere.

Fly In The Ointment II: Also, two important elements of Lincoln’s life are barely touched on. His wife Mary was not particularly easy to live with and one of his sons had already died, but there was no sense of the influence and impact his family had on his life. Also, Lincoln was virtually completely self-educated and we are left with very little sense of the drive Lincoln had to teach himself what he wanted to know.

The Bottom Line: Still thought, we give The Prairie Years good marks. Sandburg rambles from time to time, but he does a brilliant job of putting you right there in the same room with Lincoln. His account of Lincoln’s childhood years in Kentucky and Indiana are particularly good. If some academics got their shorts in a knot over this book – it was published in 1926 – well, biographies are a lot like history books, the reader being subject to the author’s vision. 

FunFact: Sandburg remains the only person to win Pulitzer Prizes for both Poetry and History.

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINE: A squad of four, led by Kazimierz Piechowski of Poland, escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp on this date in 1942. The four dressed as German SS agents and drove a German staff car out the front gate.

Too Bad For You: Their escape came at a price for others. The prisoner in charge of the motor pool, who may well have had nothing to do with the escape, was implicated by circumstantial evidence and was arrested, tortured and died the following January. The parents of three of the four escapees, including Piechowski’s, were arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where they all died.

FunFact, At Least If You’re Piechowski: Piechowski survived them all. Now 97, he still lives in Poland.

Hello, I  Love You: Following the fun-filled Cuban Missle Crisis, the United States and Soviet Union agree to establish a dedicated hot line with each other on this date in 1963.

Dry, Technical Matter: Although generally thought of as a telephone set-up, the hotline has never actually utilized a telephone. It was originally a teletype link, switched to fax machines in 1986 and has utilized email since 2008.

Thought For The Day:  And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents‘ interests, I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can. –   Barry Goldwater

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The United States government conducts its executions at the United States Prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Today’s Stumper: Where was Abraham Lincoln born? – Answer next time!

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The Daily Dose – June 19, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

RIP, SHIPMATES: No matter what the investigation into the crash of the USS Fitzgerald with a Philippine-flagged container ship ends up showing, it will show that seven US Navy sailors died needlessly.

This Is Definitely A Violation Of Regulations: No other conclusion is possible, because if everyone on the two ships were doing their jobs with the respect and diligence attendant with navigating a ship in crowded waters demands, the two ships would not have ended up occupying the same place in the same ocean at the same time.

A Warm, Personal Remembrance: We have some moderate experience in these matters, serving as a Quartermaster (QM) on the USS Blueback (SS 581), an old diesel submarine, many years ago. Navigation isn’t that hard. Regardless of the era, 80 percent of it is paying attention to what you are doing. The rests is doing what you were taught to do.

FunFact: QM’s on a navy ship are the enlisted members of the navigation department. In other branches of the service, like the infernal US Army, they work in the supply department.  

Standard Internet Disclaimer: Admittedly, we have zero first-hand experience in running aground or colliding with another ship. We followed procedures on the USS Blueback and were never in danger of doing either one.  Our only experience was training we received, after-action reports on why a ship ran aground or two ships collided.

Every single time it was because one or, more likely, several procedures were not followed and warning signs were ignored and you don’t have to be John Paul Jones to know this is what will happen here.

Back On Message: Back in the mid-80’s, Blueback spent most of its at sea time doing ops off the San Diego coast and, as I recall, we did everything we could to keep other ships at least one nautical mile away from us, unless operational commitments dictated otherwise. Contacts less than a mile away had everyone’s attention, and were kept as far away as possible.

Dry, Technical Matter: One nautical mile is a bit more than a land mile, checking in at 6,076 feet and one inch. It is exactly one minute of latitude on your nautical chart and is commonly referred to as two thousand yards at sea.  

Please Pass The Guilt: There will be enough blame to go around. The Fitzgerald was t-boned by the container ship, so the container ship wasn’t even looking dead ahead of itself, probably a violation of company policy. The Fitzgerald cut right in front if it, a tactic hardly out of the Command at Sea Manual, so they were probably having a spades tournament on the bridge or something.

The Bottom Line: And seven sailors are dead because of it.

PLAY BALL: The first baseball game, played under rules that would evolve into today’s game, is played in Hoboken, New Jersey, on this date in 1846. The New York Nine defeated the New York Knickerbockers 23-1, or 21-1, depending on which source you believe.

More Play Ball: Jack Scott of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the last person to pitch two complete games in one day on this date in 1927.

Pitching in Cincinnati against the Reds, Scott wins the opener 3-1, but gets no support in the second game, losing 3-0. He would finish the season leading the National League in a variety of categories, including Games Pitched (48) and Losses (21), for a Phillies team that finished last, nine games out of seventh place and 43 games behind the pennant winning Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: It was a different game back then, as both games took a combined three hours and one minute to complete, a few minutes less than the average time of a major league game today. The crowd for the Sunday doubleheader was listed at 17,293, not too bad for two teams battling it out for last place.

Great Moments In The Death Penalty: Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel are executed on this date in 1953, condemned for selling nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. They had been convicted in March, 1951 and sentenced to die the following month.

Brother, Can You Spare An Electric Chair: The only problem was the federal government didn’t operate a death house at the time, so the Rosenberg’s were killed at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York.

Live, You Are There Coverage: A United Press International account of the executions said Julius died in two minutes, while Ethel required an extra jolt and took five minutes to die.

Oh Yeah: The UPI account also states both Rosenbergs wore loafers to their death. No final words were recorded for either of them, and they appear to have been denied a final meal because officials wanted to get the killings in before sundown and the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

Family Affair: Their children, Michael and Robert, ages ten and six, were unwanted by other family members and were ultimately adopted by a family not related to them. Micahel found out his parents were going to be executed later that day while watching a baseball game on TV, though he declined to tell his younger brother.

Thought For The Day: if the deepest springs of pleasure in his body were trembling under the caress of exhilarating winds.– William McGivern, Choice of Assassins

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The last countries the United States Congress declared war against were Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, on June 5, 1942.

Today’s Stumper: Where does the federal government now conduct its executions? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Robertson Davies

The Fool is zero. And what is zero? Power, no? Put zero to any number and in a wink you increase its power by ten. He is the wise joker who makes everything else in the hand conditional. – Robertson Davies, The Lyre of Orpheus

Robertson Davies was, among other things, a Canadian novelist, playwright, reporter and newspaper executive and remains one of Canada’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful authors. Davies was born and lived in southern Ontario. A child of avid readers, Davies became a voracious reader himself.

The Lyre of Orpheus, the final installment of The Cornish Trilogy, and, for reasons we are not prepared to explain, remains the only book of Davies we have read. This is funny because we recall enjoying it immensely and it contributed no less than 18 entries to our personal quote book, not a record but still a fairly high number. It concerns a group of people who find themselves heading up a foundation and must decide which artistic ventures deserve their funding. The settle on an opera. Hilarity, and seduction, ensue.

The Fool makes several appearances in The Lyre of Orpheus. He is a “…footloose traveler, urged onward by something outside the confines of intellect and caution…” guided “by intuition” and “governed by a morality that was not to everybody’s taste.”

We must have some of Davies’ Fool in us. We must be guided by intuition, because that will tell us how get to where our heart tells us to go. It’s OK to be a footloose traveler on your path, because everything we want out of life is on that path. We must not be afraid to travel it.

Anyone who follows their instincts and refuses to conform to common restrictions placed on them immediately adds a zero to their number and increases their power by ten. This is a life lived on your own terms. You will succeed at some things and you will fail at some things, but the results are often a matter of no consequence. Merely trying something inspired by something deep inside you is the very definition of success.

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The Daily Dose – June 18, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Last month we wrote about Cleve Heidelberg, an Illinois man who spent 47 years in prison after being convicted of murder, a conviction that was vacated earlier this year. It was the first time we’d heard of a man being released after more than 40 years behind bars for something he didn’t do, and we’re fairly well-read on this issue.

Fly In The Ointment: The revolving door of the innocent leaving custody continues to turn. Earlier this week Ledura Watkins, 61, was released from prison in Detroit, his 1976 murder conviction overturned after 41 years in prison.

Watkins had spent most of his time in prison trying to clear his name. He said he wasn’t surprised he was being released, but he was surprised it took so long. He added he didn’t want to see another law book ever again.

Whoops, Our Bad: It would be news if Heidelberg and Watkins were the first innocent people ever released from prison in America, but they weren’t. Also last month and also in Michigan Desmond Ricks was released from prison after 25 years when, uh-oh, it was discovered he didn’t commit the murder he was convicted of. 

The innocent being released is a lot like mass shootings in this country, both happen so regularly that neither are particularly surprising anymore. 

Disagree With This. We Dare You: Our loss, because they should be. No innocent person should spend one second behind bars in America.

This Certainly Is Surprising: Heidelberg and Watkins are both black, as are most of the those who are innocent who are released after decades of imprisonment. It’s easy for us whites to ignore it because, let’s be honest, we’ve got ours and we aren’t likely to falsely imprisoned.

Gaylon For Congress, Vote Early, Vote Often: We feel so strongly about this issue we made it one of our three key issues last year when we ran for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd District. If others had it on their radar, however, they did a good job of keeping it to themselves. In a well-fed and well-entertained America, this is not an issue many care about.

We should care, though. Our government is imprisoning our fellow citizens for decades at a time for crimes they did not commit. We are citizens of a nation conceived in liberty. False imprisonment should make all of us want to go hang our head in shame.

HOT CONSTITUTIONAL ACTION: Congress declares war on Great Britain on this date in 1812, the first time Congress has exercised its constitutional prerogative to declare war since the ratification of the Constitution in 1787.

Exactly why war was declared, isn’t entirely clear. The British were hardly a grave threat to America. Some who think more about this than we do say America wanted to annex Canada, either for permanent settlement or to use as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Britain. This theory isn’t universally accepted, however. 

OTOH: There were grievances, however. Britain was at war with France on the European mainland and its navy was blockading Europe, which America protested was a violation international law. Britain was also making pests of themselves by supporting the Indians that lived in what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This was land ceded to America by Britain after the American Revolution, land which Americans wanted to settle. Plus Britain was in the habit of pressing American merchant seaman into British naval service.

Fabulous. Now What?: Neither side was particularly ready for war. The United States Army had all of 7,00 men and President James Madison had counted on state militias providing a quick end to the war. State militias, however, proved indifferent. For their part, Britain needed another war like they needed a hole in the head.

The Bottom Line: The War of 1812 was inconclusive. Though the British army managed to burn the White House and other parts of Washington, neither side lost any territory. Though the war was good for morale in America, it is hardly remembered in Britain.

Great Moments In Tolerance: Susan B Anthony is fined $100 on this date in 1873 for having the nerve to vote in the 1872 US presidential election.

Living in Rochester, New York, Anthony and several dozen other women showed up on Election Day, 1872 to cast ballots, on the theory they were American citizens and were entitled to do so. 15 were allowed to do so, and Anthony was arrested two weeks later.  

Trial was held in federal circuit court and presided over by Supreme Court Justice Ward Hunt. After not allowing Anthony to testify in her defense, which was common practice in federal court at the time, Hunt ordered the all-male jury to return a guilty verdict and then fined Anthony $100, about $2,000 in today’s money.

Eff This Noise: Anthony let it be known there was no way in hell she would pay as much as a penny of the fine. Hunt could have imprisoned Anthony until the fine was paid, however he decided not to make a federal case out of the matter and Anthony remained free and never did pay any portion of the fine.

Thought For The Day: Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself. – James Stephens, Irish poet, 1882-1950

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: There was not a trivia question last time!

Today’s Stumper: What was the last country the United States Congress declared war against? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

Go for the top. If you aim for second you will end up there. John F Kennedy

The 100th anniversary of John Kennedy’s birth passed recently. We couldn’t be bothered to do a Thought for the Day then, so we are doing one now.

While even the most casual reading into Kennedy’s life shows he benefited substantially from an ambitious and wealthy father, he was also a man of substance. A sickly young man, Kennedy nevertheless served his country honorably and heroically in the United States Navy during World War II earning, among other awards, the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, awarded for heroism after the torpedo boat he commanded was rammed by a Japanese destroyer.

After a mediocre first year as president, Kennedy’s adroit, patient handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis and his call for his country to put men on the moon before the 1970’s, among other things, have helped make Kennedy a highly ranked president and more than a half-century after he was shot to death in Dallas, Texas, JFK remains a towering figure. For our money, Kennedy was the last president to show any leadership, his successors merely managing the country, and not very well, either.

If you aim for second you will end up there…

Anyone can come in second. Those who reach the summit of a given endeavor do so because they were able to picture the summit and pursue it with diligence and courage. Every field of human endeavor has excellence and rewards that are there for the taking, be it building a chair or writing a column or teaching a classroom of kids or anything else the human mind can dream up.

But we have to aim for it. A marksman isn’t going to hit what he can’t see; his bulls eye is always in front of him.  So it is with us: we are not going to accomplish what we don’t set out to do. Goals that aren’t rightly fixed will not be attained and our bulls eye, like that of the sharpshooter, must be in front of us, no matter how far away. 

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The Daily Dose – June 17, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

THERE’S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE: Last month, the Ringling Brothers Circus closed after entertaining Americans for parts of three centuries. 

It didn’t take long to fill the entertainment-you-don’t-need-to-see-but-want-to-see void, as it was announced this week that boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor will meet in a boxing match.

In This Corner: This isn’t even going to be close. Floyd Mayweather makes any short list of the greatest boxers in human history. He has won world titles in five different weight classes and is 49-0 as a professional. When he retired after his last fight in September, 2015, he was the WBC welterweight and super welterweight champion. To think that a boxing novitiate can come in and complete with one of the greatest ever is folly. There’s no way. Mayweather is one of the most technically proficient and best defensive fighters ever, which will frustrate McGregor and Mayweather will win a majority, not-even-close decision in one of the dullest fights anyone has ever seen.

And In This Corner: This isn’t even going to be close. McGregor is 12 years younger than Mayweather and has been fighting regularly the past couple of years while Mayweather has been retired. While not a boxer, McGregor is a fighter and one of the best in the world with a left hand that could drop an elephant. Despite his skill and experience Mayweather will have no idea what to expect. McGregor knows he can’t outbox Mayweather, but he knows he can outfight him. He will come out fearless and savage and Mayweather will have some zero clue what hit him. The fight will not even go three rounds and maybe not even one.  

Oh Yeah: The fight is scheduled for August 26 in Las Vegas.

FunFact: Before he took MMA fighting, McGregor was a plumbers apprentice in his native Ireland.

WELL, THAT WAS QUICK: Five days after the first one, Monte Ward of the Providence Grays pitches the second major league perfect game on this date in 1880. The Grays defeated the Buffalo Bisons 5-0 at the Messer Street Grounds in Providence. 

FunFact: Ward was also serving as the Providence manager at the time, the second of three managers the Grays would have in 1880, making Ward the only pitcher to be his own manager while throwing a perfect game.

FunFact II: Ward is also the only perfect game pitcher to umpire a major league game. Playing for the New York Giants in 1888, he filled in as the only umpire on September 21, a 3-3 tie played in Detroit.

Oh, Jesus H: Ward turned to a career in baseball only after getting kicked out of Penn State and failing as a traveling salesman. He would be instrumental in forming the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players in 1890, which led to the formation of the Players League, which lasted only for the 1890 season, but which is classified as a major league.

Dry, Technical Matter: Both the Grays and the Bisons would fold after the 1885 season.

And So It Begins: The Watergate scandal begins on this date in 1972, as five men, working for the Republican National Committee, are arrested for attempting to wiretap telephones at Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. The ensuing scandal would lead to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974 and 69 others being indicted for assorted crimes. Of these 69, 48 would either plead guilty or be convicted at trial.

Fly In The Ointment: The break-in was discovered by a 24-year-old security officer named Frank Wills. While making his rounds, Wills discovered a latch on a door was taped so the door wouldn’t latch shut. Wills didn’t think too much of it and merely removed the tape. When on a following round he discovered the latch was taped again, he called the police.

Oh Yeah: Wills died in 2000 at the age of 52, after bouncing from job to job.

More And So It Begins: The OJ Simpson saga begins on this date in 1994, when Simpson is arrested at his Los Angeles-area home following a low-speed chase on Los Angeles freeways and roads. Simpson was arrested on suspicion of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman a few days earlier.

Simpson’s trial would begin the following January and he would be acquitted in October.

Thought For The Day: Whoever would make himself a distinctive individual must be keen to perceive what he is not.  Friedrich Schleirmacher

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The second-longest flying US flag was the 48-star flag, which flew for 47 years, from 1912-59.

Today’s Stumper:  The Trivia feature will return.  

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The Daily Dose – June 14, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

BRILLIANT OL’ CHAP: We have come to the conclusion that either President Donald Trump will serve out his term or he will not serve out his term. Right now I ‘d say it’s 50/50, the lowest odds since the closing days of the Nixon Administration.

Any More Brilliant Observations? Key will be the 2018 midterm elections. If the GOP retains control of even one house of Congress, Trump will likely complete his term. Even if there’s video coverage of Trump making book with Putin on the results of last year’s presidential election, it would be difficult to get a GOP House to impeach Trump and/or a GOP Senate to convict him.

Mr Trump, U-Haul On Line Two: However, if the Democrats win control of both the House and Senate, the Trumps should start packing. If investigations into Trump’s dealings with the FBI and the Russians show so much as a parking ticket, he will impeached by the House and tried and convicted by the Senate. As partisan and fractured as our government is right now anything less would be a disappointment.

Our Crystal Ball Is A Bit Foggy: Good luck predicting which scenario will happen, however, because who the hell knows what the American electorate is going to do nowadays? I  mean, we elected Donald Trump president, anything is possible now, especially since Trump has surprised us every step of the way.

Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: Honestly, who would have thought Trump would have made it to the primaries? You would have thought the media would’ve properly vetted Trump and chased him off before Republicans actually started voting, but Trump meant viewers and clicks and the media was not about to shoo him off.

Then you would have thought the GOP could’ve mustered up someone halfway decent who could have denied him the nomination. They couldn’t. Nor could the Democrats offer up a candidate who could have denied Trump the White House.

Did We Call It Or What: At least his Administration hasn’t surprised us. We said before the election that Trump was an embarrassment as a candidate and he would be an embarrassment as president and we were right.

TEN HUT! What would become the United States Army is founded on this date in 1775, as the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, authorizes the formation of the Continental Army. George Washington is appointed Commander-in-Chief.

History may not regard Washington as the greatest tactician that ever lived, but the importance of the executive and inspirational leadership of the Continental Army is difficult to underestimate. The Continental Army was hampered from the start with poor logistics, lousy training, low morale, not to mention short enlistments and a variety of other factors, and Washington was able to overcome them to defeat the British. 

The Continental Army would largely disband after the Revolution, though the few frontier posts that remained would form the United States Army authorized by Congress under the Articles of Confederation in 1784.

More Hot Second Continental Congress Action: The Second Continental Congress authorizes the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States on this date in 1777. The resolution calls for a flag with 13 stars on a blue field and 13 alternating red and white stripes. Congress being Congress, it neglected to specify the type of stars or their arrangement on the blue field, or whether the stripes alternated red and white or white and red.

Later, two more stars and stripes would be added when Kentucky and Vermont joined the Union, though when other states joined the Union the number stars was increased, while the number of stripes reverted to 13.

Great Moments In Tolerance: Pope Paul VI discontinues the Catholic Church’s Index of Prohibited Books on this date in 1966. Though the Catholics had been banning books since at least the 9th century, the first official List of Prohibited Books didn’t appear until 1559, about 120 years after Gutenberg invented movable type. The list had last been updated in 1948.

The Catholics of the era weren’t the only intolerant ones. In 1557 England’s Queen Mary chartered the Stationers’ Company, dictating who could print what in her country, while the French crown also controlled who could print what.

More From The 1966 Desk: What was then the longest game in professional baseball history is played on this date in 1966 when Miami Marlins defeat the St. Petersburg Cardinals 4-3 in 29 innings in a Florida State League contest. The game was tied 2-2 after nine innings and each team got a run in the eleventh inning, with Miami getting the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 29th.

Dry, Technical Matter: Though the longest game record was broken by a 33-inning International League game played over two days in 1981, this game remains the longest uninterrupted game in professional baseball history.

FunFact: The longest game in major league history was 26 innings, a 1-1 tie between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves in 1920.

Thought For The Day: But men must know that in this theatre of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. – Francis Bacon

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Voyager 1 is the farthest spacecraft from Earth, about 12.8 billion miles away. It overtook Pioneer 10 for that distinction in 1998 and left the Solar System and entered interstellar space in 2012.

Today’s Stumper: Outside of the current 50-star, 13-star flag, which has flown for 56 years, which specific US flag design flew the longest before being altered? – Answer next time!

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The Daily Dose – June 13, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

BACK TO THE FUTURE: In our last column we discussed how the latest unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, while good, is not indicative of a strong American economy. It should be, but it’s not.

Do You Wonder Why You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties?: One of the reasons we cited was that wages were still low. Anyone who has hit the streets looking for work, like us, knows this. Businesses adapted during the Great Recession and they’ve seen no reason to raise wages significantly.  

This got us to thinking why are wages still low? Why haven’t businesses raised wages as profits have increased?

Duh: Well, because they haven’t been forced to, obviously. Workers are taking what business is handing out. They are not demanding anything better.  Which led to another question:

Where in the hell is the American union?

Dry. Technical Matter: We are referring to private sector unions. Public sector unions, unions who negotiate their contracts with elected officials who don’t really want to annoy the union, remain strong, with over one-third of public employees union members.

Back On Message: It’s different in the private sector, where only 6.6 percent of private sector employees are unionized, down from 20 percent in 1983. In 1965 33 percent of American workers were unionized, down a bit from the all-time high of 35 percent in the 1950’s.

The Bottom Line: Employers are not going to pay anymore for labor than they have to, and employees who are not happy with what they make are free to put the work in to get the job they want. If workers are not standing up for themselves, either individually or collectively, they have no one to blame but themselves.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT: The United States Supreme Court issues one of its landmark rulings in Miranda vs. Arizona, ruling that defendants in custody must be advised of certain rights.

The 5-4 ruling led to what is known as the Miranda Warning, which advises those arrested they have the right to keep quiet, to have an attorney present and if they don’t keep quiet what they do say can be used against them in court, whether they have an attorney or not.

Really Dry, Technical Matter: The case stemmed from the arrest on kidnapping, rape and armed robbery charges of one Ernesto Miranda on March 13, 1963 in Phoenix, Arizona. Miranda was not advised of any of his rights and he signed a confession. When this confession was offered as evidence at his trial, his attorney objected that the confession not voluntary because Miranda had not been advised of his rights. The judge overruled this objection, and the Arizona Supreme Court upheld this.

Oh Yeah: Miranda’s conviction was overturned, of course, but he was later tried and convicted on the same charges and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. He was paroled in 1972 and was stabbed to death in a bar fight in Phoenix in 1976.

The Long And Winding Road Ends Here: The Beatles last American number one song, The Long and Winding Road, reaches the top spot on this date in 1970. It was the Beatles 20th number one song on the American Billboard chart, a record that still stands.

Get Out Your History Books: Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitches the 22nd perfect game in major league history on this date in 2012, retiring 27 straight Houston Astros in a 10-0 victory. Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game.

Some Places Have Interns For This: Plate umpire Ted Barrett worked his second perfect game. Barrett also had the plate for David Cone’s perfect game in 1999.

To Boldly Go…: Pioneer 10 becomes the first manmade object to leave the central Solar System on this date in 1983. Launched in March, 1972 to visit Jupiter, it had its closest approach to the planet in December, 1973.

Admit It, You Love Dry, Technical Matter: NASA received its last usable data from Pioneer 10 in April, 2004 and the final, weak signals were received the following January.

Thought For The Day: You can’t ensure success, but you can deserve it. You can’t guarantee results, but you can put in the effort to achieve them.     Bob Myers, General Manager, Golden State Warriors

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the American thoroughbred Triple Crown Races, first run in 1867.

Today’s Stumper: Which spacecraft is currently the farthest away from the Sun? – Answer next time!

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