The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

Well, we’ll hang on tight. – John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, telephone conversation with former president of the United States Dwight Eisenhower, October 22, 1962


October 22 was day seven of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a momentous time when the United States had discovered the presence of Soviet Union nuclear missiles in Cuba. The call came a day after Kennedy had ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and a few hours before he addressed the nation on the matter. Some in the government were not thrilled with a mere blockade and wanted a more forceful response, like an invasion.

Some things were apparent during this conversation. One, President Kennedy was a good listener. Two, he was completely at ease having the specter of nuclear war resting on his shoulders. Three, Eisenhower cut right to the heart of the matter, noting that the Soviets will do whatever they damn well pleased, their main interest is getting away with whatever the world would let them get away with.  

Kennedy, we think, did well to order the blockade instead of an invasion. One, a blockade was doable. As we showed during the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, invading Cuba was not. Second, it showed how seriously we took the matter while, equally important, giving the Soviets a way out an invasion would not offer. 

…we’ll hang on tight. 

Sometimes life offers circumstances that are as challenging as they are momentous. They may not happen with us on the world stage – or then again they might – but either way, it is often beneficial to act with restraint and not with every force available to us. You can always turn up the power, though it is difficult to retreat to restraint. This is a lesson Kennedy demonstrated during the Cuban Missile Crisis and one we can put to use each day in our lives.

If we are on our path, if we put nature and circumstance to work for us instead of trying to ram ourselves down life’s throat, the things that are meant to happen in our lives generally do.

Though sometimes we do end up hanging on tight.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 22, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT, HUT HIKE: The NFL decided to nothing regarding player conduct during the playing of the national anthem in at its annual fall meeting this past week. Owners were so intent on good PR from this evolution they even invited players to take part, showing the type of concern usually reserved when money is at stake.

Because money is at stake. The average Americans that watch NFL games and buy NFL tickets and jerseys are not enjoying these anthem protests. The long-term stability of the private mint that is the National Football League is being threatened.

Status Quo On Two: The league ended up doing nothing. No change was made to the NFL policy suggesting team personnel “should” stand for the national anthem.  

Dry, Technical Matter: This was funny. The NFL had every option and they had zero options. They had an open field ahead of them yet they were completely hamstrung. Oftentimes in these situations, regardless of the circumstances, nothing is sometimes the best thing to do. It was this time.

Fly In The Ointment: Let’s say the NFL did mandate everyone from team captains to water boys pop-to and stand for the national anthem? And what if they mandated penalties for non-compliance?

Well, invariably some, perhaps many, would not stand. And then what?  America being America right now the issue would end up in court because the NFL cannot even suspend players anymore without judicial review. The NFL may well end up backing down and none of this would result in anything remotely resembling the PR the NFL needs.

Read My Lips: Nothing Of Substance: Of course, nothing resembling straight talk on the matter came out of the NFL office. Commissioner Roger Goodell was, as ever, standing by with the usual corporate claptrap. After first denying the issue was even discussed – which no one really believes – Goodell then explained why showing that few others are better at talking without actually saying anything:

It wasn’t necessary. We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support.

The Bottom Line: The NFL was in a box, damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. By doing nothing they will continue to alienate the average Americans who buy their tickets and jerseys and who watch their games on TV, but they will also avoid the headaches and further alienation, that would have attended mandatory compliance.

IN THE BEGINNING: According to a chronology promulgated by James Ussher, an archbishop in the Church of Ireland, the Earth is formed on this date in 4004 BC. Ussher used a variety of chronologies, both sacred pagan, to arrive at this date and his theory remains the most widely-known of several of that ilk that were issued around that time.

Football Vs. Harvard Saturday: Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, receives its charter on this date in 1746. Its original purpose was to train ministers, it became Princeton University in 1896 and is the fourth-oldest college in the United States.

I  Do Solemnly Swear: Sam Houston is inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas on this date in 1836, replacing Interim President David Burnet. Texas had become an independent nation in April and would remain its own nation it was admitted as the 28th state of the Union in 1845.

Great Moments In Being On The Brink Of Nuclear War: One day after ordering a military blockade of Cuba, and six days after first being advised the Russians had nuclear weapons in Cuba, President John F Kennedy addresses the American people, and the world, on this date in 1963. Among other things, he announces that an attack by the goddamned Soviets on anyone in the Western Hemisphere would be considered an attack on the United States that would require a full retaliatory response.

The decision to order a naval blockade was not met with unanimous approval in the United States. Some, including many in Congress, wanted a stronger response. Kennedy’s decision was influenced, in part, by a phone conversation he had with former president Dwight Eisenhower earlier in the day.

Dry, Technical Matter: Listening to a recording of this conversation, some things stand out. One, Kennedy, like all great leaders, is a superb listener. Two, he seemed utterly at home with the specter of nuclear war on his shoulders. And Eisenhower, has he did well, cut right to the heart of the matter:

The damn Soviets will do whatever they want, what they figure is good for them….They just find out what they can do here and there…

A brilliant observation, applicable, though often forgotten, in most human situations.  In the end, of course, the Soviets decided what was good for them was to remove their missiles from Cuba.

Going…Going…Gone: Albert Pujols of St Louis Cardinals becomes the third player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, doing so against the Texas Rangers on this date in 2011. The Cardinals won the game 16-7 to take a two games to one lead in the series and would win the series in seven games.  

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Pujols joined Babe Ruth, who did it twice, and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants would join the club the following year.

Quotebook: [he] taught with a fervid, burning passion, like that which moves martyrs and heroes. – William Woodward, The Way Our People Lived

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The USS Constitution last saw battle for the United States in the War of 1812.

Today’s Stumper: What three United States universities are older than Princeton? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. – John F Kennedy


Today’s Thought might be the most famous quote from a presidential inaugural, a speech that has produced its share of memorable quotes over the centuries. JFK has been quoted in this feature so the usual introductory paragraph isn’t required, but we will note Kennedy was an indifferent student and was not the most accomplished United States Senator ever. But he found a home in the presidency, serving his country well in the Cuban Missile Crisis and he commanded and marshaled our resources to produce the Apollo program, the only time man has visited the moon.

Ask not what your country can do for you…

We should really demand very little of our government. We’ve always thought government’s only legitimate function was to make sure the 24 hours each of has every day is ours to with what we want, to give us the chance to go out and make something good happen for ourselves.

…ask what you can do for your country.

The very best thing we can do for our country right now is simply to pay attention. Pay attention to what our government is doing and the effects it has on us as a country and the effects our policies have on our planet. Pay attention to both short-term outcomes and our long-term prospects. Is America on a collision with peace and prosperity, or might we be tossed aside the scrap heap of history at some future point?

Opinions on these points vary and it is beyond the scope of this feature to persuade you one way or the other. It is, however, the purpose of this feature to get you to think about them. As concerned and conscientious citizens, we must be able to answer these questions for ourselves.

More than anything, what each of us can do for our country is to become informed, demanding and participating citizens, citizens who hold their leaders accountable for what they are doing. When we do that, we will have a country we can be proud of.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 21, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

STOP US IF YOU HEARD THIS BEFORE: In a recent column we came out against term limits, a long-held position, on the theory that the best form of term limits are the regular elections we enjoy as Americans. That we keep electing people who provide lousy government is our fault, not theirs.

Circumstantially, of course, term limits work, preventing people from serving longer than the law allows. Intrinsically, though, do they help provide better government? Let’s take a look.

Dry, Technical Matter: Currently, the president of the United States is limited to two terms, the only federal term limit, enacted after everybody wet their pants after Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected president four times.

It’s difficult to quantify the effects the 22nd Amendment has had on the presidency, however. Seven times one party has held the White House for consecutive terms and six times the other party won the White House, the only exception George H. W. Bush succeeding Ronald Reagan. The times of this period, while challenging, have not been as momentous as FDR’s time, and we don’t think the merits of the 22nd Amendment are particularly clear.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: We think America needed every day of FDR’s presidency. FDR’s genius came not from his specific policies, but in his brilliance in mobilizing America – from those on the front lines to those who made the planes and ships and ammunition – to put the work in that was required to win World War II. For this, he was in the right person in the right place at the right time and we are not entirely sure anyone else could have done that. Had FDR been limited to two terms, our country and world might a far different than they are now.

Food For Thought: FDR did his work well and like Abraham Lincoln died after his work was more or less completed.

Back On Message: Additionally, 36 states have gubernatorial term limits, while 15 states limit the terms their legislators can serve. A complete analysis of this is, thankfully, beyond the scope of this column, but our native California provides a useful, though admittedly not all-inclusive, example.

Service in the California State Assembly is limited to six years and California state senators are limited to two four-year terms. Nothing has really changed in that time. California state government is still a fiasco, in no small part because nobody has any real, long-term experience. Any legislator’s experience and working knowledge is, by definition, limited.

Oh Yeah: Additionally, because legislators have a limited amount of time to make their mark, fundraising, and all its attendant special interest evils, is as important as ever.

More Effing Daily Dose Policy: All term limits do is prevent citizens from voting for whom they want. Of course, the argument that we currently do not have good people in our government is valid: by even the most charitable standards our government is partisan, fractured, bickering mess. But whose fault is that? You can’t blame congressmen and senators. They are merely politicians trying to retain power.

The fault is ours. We elected everyone there.

The Bottom Line: If we do not have good people running our country, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. To blame incumbents, the media or lobbyists is not productive. Nobody fills out our ballot for us.

All it takes to make America great again is concerned, conscientious and demanding citizens taking command on Election Day. The government we want and deserve is always as close as the next election.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, is launched in Boston Harbor on this date in 1797. It was the third attempt. The first two attempts had only gotten the Constitution partway down the ramp. 

FunFact: Over the centuries the Constitution has served America in a variety of functions, and currently is a museum ship in Boston Harbor. It last sailed in 2012 and is the oldest commissioned naval ship still afloat in the world.

Hut, Hut Hike: Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams becomes the only player in NFL history to record two safeties in one game on this date in 1973. Both safeties occurred within five minutes of each other in the fourth quarter of a game in Los Angeles won by the Rams 24-7.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Cal Worthington And His Dog Spot: With the win, the Rams moved to 6-0 on their way to winning the NFC West with a 12-2 record. The Packers fell to 2-2-2.

Quotebook: The hasty stroke goes oft astray. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: No, the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents of the United States to two terms does not apply to vice presidents. The 12th Amendment, however, does specify that no one is ineligible for the presidency shall serve as vice president.

Today’s Stumper: When did the USS Constitution last fight a battle for the United States? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 8

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It’s not easy to go winless in the NFL, at least not as easy as Cleveland and San Francisco are making it look. Witness the New York Giants stunning fall the ranks of the unvictoried: a 23-10 road win in Denver.

The old adage that on Sunday any team can lose to any other team is proving true, as only three (3) teams have one (1) or fewer victories, heralding a dogfight in 2017 for The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

This week’s mess, as the nags limp their way through the clubhouse turn:

1. Cleveland Browns (0-6; lost to Houston 33-17) – Browns offense relentless in quest for consecutive B-10 titles, producing three (3) turnovers, safety and pick six (6)…first team in NFL to start season 0-6 since Cleveland Browns in 2016…Next Loss: Tennessee

2. San Francisco 49ers (0-6; lost to Washington 26-24) – Niners show mettle that leads straight to B-10 medal stand, blowing 17-point deficit for key road loss…49ers have lost 35 of 43, but need B-10 title so they can hold head up at annual B-10 banquet…Next Loss: Dallas

3. Oakland Raiders (2-4; lost to Los Angeles Chargers 17-16) – Balanced Raiders ascend B-10 medal stand as defense secures loss with last second field goal, special teams miss extra point…Raiders have lost four (4) straight…Next Loss: Kansas City (10/19)

4. New York Giants (1-5; defeated Denver 23-10) – Giants blink in quest for first B-10 title, shooting selves in foot with morale-depleting road win…Stretch of three (3) of four (4) at home will test committment to B-10 glory…Next Loss: Seattle

5. Detroit Lions (3-3; lost to New Orleans 52-38) – Lions gracious guests with offense producing 21-points for Saints, easily overcoming curiously strong defense that produced turnover, six (6) punts in final quarter…Lions have lost three (3) of four (4) after 2-0 (2-0) start…Next Loss: Pittsburgh (10/29)

6. Chicago Bears (2-4; defeated Baltimore 27-24) – Bears general manager, whoever the hell that might be, filing official protest with B-10 staff after being left off of Week 7 survey, citing loss of sponsorship revenue…Next Loss: Carolina

7. Indianapolis Colts (2-4, lost to Tennessee 36-22) – Colts officially take mantle of AFC North’s worst after blowing two (2) leads, overcoming late, game-tying field goal for key intra-division loss…Next Loss: Jacksonville

8. Denver Broncos (3-2; lost to New York Giants 23-10) – Broncos come back strong following bye week, making first B-10 appearance of 2017 after snapping Giants five-game losing streak with attention-getting, not particularly close prime time home loss…Next Loss: at Los Angeles Chargers

9. AFC North (11-13) – With yet another weekly Pete Rozelle Award, issued to NFL’s worst division, alleged NFL division threatening to make mockery of race for yearly Pete Rozelle Award…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” it’s still “pretty tough” to make a mockery of anything in B-10…Next Loss: team

10. Chicago Cubs (0-3; lost to Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1) – Historically out of it by Memorial Day, lovable losers have been pretty good the last few years, though defending champs in a hole to goddamned Dodgers in questfor first World Series repeat since 1907-08……Next Loss: team

Game of the Week: Tennessee at Cleveland
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Indianapolis at Jacksonville

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October 17, 2017

Today’s Menu
The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

As we talk about from time to time in The Thought for the Day, you’ve got to trust your instincts. Last night our instincts started making noises about it being time for a break from the grind of daily columns for a few days. We certainly enjoy producing our usual crap for you, but from time to time the mind needs a break, just like athletes need a break from time to time, too.

It’s best to trust these instincts. If we ignore them and write when we shouldn’t be writing, we are typing and that doesn’t do any of us any good. We take great pride in producing funny, substantive content for you every time out. Everything we have goes into every word.

So after this week’s Bottom Tens, we are going to take a few days off. We will probably be back with a fresh Daily Dose and Thought for the Day Saturday morning. We will certainly be back in time for the next round of Bottom Ten mayhem – we are mandated by heaven to do that – but there may, or there may not, be columns before then.

All of this, of course, is subject to change based on what is coming out of the White House.

Enjoy,
Gaylon

 

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity.

With UMess not playing again thanks to hurricane-inspired scheduling changes, Charlotte remains on top and now has the nation’s longest losing streak to boot at ten (10) games.

Meanwhile, UMess finally returns to the field Saturday, hosting equally winless Georgia Southern in one of the most anticipated Bottom Ten showdown games in the past couple of weeks.

This week’s mess:

1. Charlotte (0-7; lost to Western Kentucky 45-14)
Mitigating Factors: With UMess still idle, 49ers retain vice-like grip on top spot with nation’s-best 10th straight loss…After scoring on two (2) of first three (3) possessions, offense settles with turnover, missed field goal, eight (8) punts rest of the way…49ers rank Dead Last in Team Passing Efficiency, though B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they don’t know what Team Passing Efficiency is.
Name Game: School changed name from UNC-Charlotte a few years back so lousy football team could establish identity separate from basketball team that has actually won some games over the years.
Next Loss: UAB

2. UTEP (0-7; lost to Southern Mississippi 24-0)
Mitigating Factors: Miners hell-bent on B-10 glory, posting first shutout loss of 2017…Offense stellar, punting or turning the ball over on every possession, with only six (6) first downs, 17-yards rushing, marring effort…Current seven (7)-game skid third best in nation…Balanced Miners losing games by average score of 37.9-to-12.3
Broad Historical Context: Miners looking for sixth winless season ever and first since iconic 1973 ran the table at 0-11.
Next Loss: Texas-San Antonio (10/28)

3. Georgia Southern (0-5; lost to New Mexico State 35-27)
Mitigating Factors: Formerly under-the-radar Golden Eagles now have B-10 pollsters undivided attention following fifth straight loss…With losses to lower level team, Power 5 schools, Sun Belt Conference schools, Golden Eagles constructing classic B-10 run…Can make big B-10 statement with loss to UMess this week.
Lose One For The Gipper: Coaching staff motivates team at halftime with inspiring speech about how “they came here to win B-10 titles and not be some middling, pansy-ass two (2) win team”.
Next Loss: at UMess

4. Kansas (1-5; lost to Iowa State 45-0)
Mitigating Factors: 2015 B-10 champions back in survey with hot, new five (5)-game losing skid…Only blemish so far Week 1 win against lower level, compass point East South Central Western Missouri Southern …With B-10 title already under their jockstraps, Jayhawks strong contenders for B-10 Team of the Decade award with 15-75 mark since Double Aughts.
Carry On, Wayward Losers: Annual contenders for coveted Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – Jayhawks assured of second such award in three (3) seasons by losing out.
Next Loss: at TCU

5. BYU (1-6; lost to Mississippi State 35-10)
Mitigating Factors: Cougars surprise team of 2017, as B-10 run complete surprise following consecutive nine (9)-win campaigns…Offense has produced ten (10) or fewer points four (4) times in 2017…Cougars expected to lose valuable practice time this week as “academics first” students prepare for future missions by trying to find this week’s opponent East Carolina on a map.
With This Losing Streak, I Thee Wed: To help improve morale and deplete energy for B-10 stretch run, athletic department at Mormon school has authorized additional wives for married players.
Next Loss: East Carolina

6. San Jose State (1-7; lost to Hawaii 37-26)
Mitigating Factors: Spartans quest for second B-10 title this decade kicked into overdrive with sixth straight loss…Offense does the little things, producing false start and pass interference penalties while on Hawaii’s one (1)-yard line, more than making up for early 10-0 lead…Goal line stand penalties part of overall display of fundamental mastery, as Spartans get penalized eleven (11) times for 104 yards.  
FunFact: Spartans can earn sixth one (1)-win season ever and second this decade by losing out.
Next Loss: at BYU (10/28)

7. Baylor (0-6; lost to Oklahoma State 59-16)
Mitigating Factors: Refreshed and refocused following bye week, Bears not missing beat in quest for first B-10 title..Following slow start, defense comes on strong, allowing touchdowns on final five (5) possessions of first half…Bears chasing history, looking to become only second Baylor team ever, and first since 1969, to finish season winless.
#MeToo
:  To instill sense of chivalry in players in wake of sex abuse scandal, athletes now required to bow, say ‘top of the morning’ m’lady’ and squirt coeds with seltzer bottles instead of sexually attacking them.
Next Loss: West Virginia

8. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: C-USA earns second straight B-10 Conference of the Week award…C-USA setting itself apart in tightest race for B-10 Conference of the Year award with two (2) teams on B-10 medal stand, both of them winless, and seven teams with sub-.500 records.
Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: Despite best top-to-bottom weakness of any major division conference, C-USA teams valiantly rebounding for strong .500 conference play mark.

9. Earlham (0-6; lost to Mount St. Joseph 66-7)
Mitigating Factors: 39th straight loss for D-III Quakers puts them on Easy Street in quest for second straight Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS sphere of influence…Offense and defense both in championship form, as 66 is most points allowed in 2017 and 7 points scored a season low….Macalester’s all-time D-III mark of 50 consecutive losses now starting to appear in crosshairs.
Now You Know: School name is pronounced EARL-um, not EARL-ham or earl-HAM.
Next Loss: Hanover

10. Vanderbilt (3-4; lost to Ole Miss 57-35)
Mitigating Factors: While chance at B-10 title probably gone, Commodores, a B-10 Legacy Team, still with outside shot at Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – if they can lose out…Offense makes quick work of matters, producing seven (7) drives of three (3) plays or fewer.
FunFact: Vanderbilt still feeling effects of turn-of-century merger of Athletic, Student Affairs departments as Drama Department students assigned temporary duty as defensive coaches require linebackers to really “get in touch with their inner self” while Ole Miss running backs blow past them for 252 yards rushing.
Next Loss: at South Carolina (10/28)

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Georgia Southern at UMess
Up Next On ESPN735: BYU at East Carolina  

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The Thought for the Day – Mahalia Jackson

It’s easy to be independent when you’ve got money. But to be independent when you haven’t got a thing- that is the Lord’s test. – Mahalia Jackson


Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer and civil right activist. Talented and renowned, she is in both the Gospel and Rock and Roll halls of fame and to those who know more about this than we do – basically, everybody – Ms Jackson remains, more than a generation after her death, the Queen of Gospel. She sang at the March on Washington before Martin Luther King, Jr gave his I Have A Dream speech and is well qualified to talk about having and not having money. She grew up in New Orleans in a three-room house that housed 12 other relatives before knowing the prosperity that attends selling 30 million albums.

Independence for us humans is an interesting animal. We do have obligations, but we’ve always believed the basic proposition of us humans is a desire to live life on our own terms and that is something that cannot be purchased. Living the life we were meant to live transcends mere possessions. There are those of modest means leading satisfying lives while there are those that find their splendor nothing more than well-disguised chains.

How to be independent? At any time, be it in enhanced or reduced circumstances? It’s easy. As we say frequently here, follow your hearts and trust your instincts.

Ms Jackson is an excellent example.She knew early on she was meant to sing, so she went and did it. Had her talents led her no farther than her church choir, she would have passed a contented life.

Following our hearts merely means our lives are guided from the inside, by whatever force compels us. This is as opposed to spending our time merely acting to outside influences. These things change, often frequently, and useful lives aren’t spent reacting to the whims that swirl around us.

Our hearts do not change. They are constant from our introduction to this life to our departure, always showing us the path we were meant to take and the life we were meant to live. This may lead us to sell 30 million albums or it may not. It is of no particular consequence. Our hearts will always show us where to go and our instincts will show us how to get there. All we have to do is let them.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 16, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HERE WE GO AGAIN: As it does from time to time, term limits is rearing its head again. Not only did we have a conversation about it with a fellow citizen this past week, but former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who last year was the Libertarian Party nominee for vice president of the United States, recently came out in favor of them.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: This is a pretty popular issue, coming up fairly regularly during our campaign for the United States Senate in 2014 and last year’s campaign for the United States House of Representatives. People are tired of our lousy government and think term limits are a solution because it limits how long someone can hold a certain office.

Dry Technical Matter: Term limits for assorted offices have a long history in America, dating back to colonial times. Under the Articles of Confederation, delegates to the Continental Congress could serve for “…no more than three years in any term of six years”. Term limits, however, were left out of the Constitution until Congress, scared shitless after FDR was elected to four terms, sent the 22nd Amendment – which limits the president to two terms – to the several states in 1947. It was ratified in 1951. Currently, 36 states have term limits for their governors, while 15 have term limits for their legislatures.

Back On Message: We don’t think term limits are a good idea. One, the changes are only cosmetic. Only the faces will change because Republican districts will still elect Republicans and Democratic districts will still elect Democrats. Two, they are unnecessary:

As American citizens, we have the very best form of term limits ever devised: regular elections.

Every two years every member of the United States House of Representatives and one-third of the United States Senate are elected. Every four years we elect a president. If we aren’t happy with our government we are free to change it every other November.

Fly In The Ointment: The problem is we don’t. We keep re-electing the same people who have given us a partisan, fractured and bickering government in the first place. We can blame incumbents, the media and lobbyists for a lot, but we can’t blame them for that. We can only blame ourselves for continuing to send them back. It’s all our fault.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: The best way to get new blood in Congress is to refuse to vote for the same lousy legislators we keep reelecting time and time again. Congressman and Senator have turned into careers because we have allowed it and for no other reason.

The Bottom Line: Nobody fills out our ballots for us. If we do not have the very best people leading us in our government we have no one but ourselves to blame. Term limits are not the answer; concerned, conscientious and demanding citizens who hold our leaders accountable are the answer. 

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: What is believed to be a ten-foot petrified man is discovered in Cardiff, New York on this date in 1869. What it actually was was the brainchild of one George Hull, who had had the statue carved out of gypsum and swore everybody to secrecy. After altering it so it appeared old and worn, Hull shipped it to the farm of his cousin William Newell, who had it buried on his farm. A year later, the creation was discovered by two men who had been hired to dig a well on that exact spot.

There’s One Born Every Minute: Newell and Hull had no trouble getting people to pay to see it and it was so successful P.T. Barnum tried to purchase it. Turned down, Barnum made a replica and Barnum being Barnum, he then claimed his was the original and Newell’s was a fake. Hull admitted to the fraud in December.

“On The Counts On Which You Have Been Convicted, The Tribunal Has Sentenced You To Death By Hanging…”: Ten Nazis convicted and sentenced to death by International Military Tribunal are executed in Nuremberg, Germany on this date in 1946, hung in gallows built in a gymnasium adjacent to their cells.

The ten were woken at 12:45 am and given a last meal of sausage, cold cuts, potato salad and black bread. Though the condemned were denied the privilege of knowing their execution date, the evening’s festivities were hardly a bulletin because everyone could hear the gallows going up. 

FunFact: Two who had been sentenced to die were not hanged. Martin Bormann had been convicted in absentia and Hermann Goring peeved that his request to be shot instead of hanged had been denied, had killed himself by swallowing a cyanide capsule earlier in the evening.

USA! USA!:  American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos – the gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meters – each raises a black-gloved fist at their medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics on this date in 1968.

There were other forms of protest, too. Among others, Smith and Carlos each went shoeless, wearing only black socks. Smith wore a black scarf to symbolize black pride while Carlos unzipped his jacket to show solidarity with blue collar workers. Each also wore a human rights patch on their jacket, which was also worn by silver medalist Peter Norman of Australia.

All three paid dearly for their efforts. Smith and Carlos were, among other things, dismissed from the Olympics. Norman was ostracized in Australia. He was left off the 1972 Olympic team, despite having qualifying times, and was not welcomed at the 2000 Sydney Games. Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his 2006 funeral.

Quotebook: If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight. – Tommie Smith

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Gordie Howe broke Maurice Richard’s all-time NHL scoring mark with his 931st point in the die1959-60 season.

Today’s Stumper: Does the 22nd Amendment apply to vice presidents? – Answer next time!

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October 15, 2017

The key to any endeavor is to be open to what circumstances present. So when we were spurred to find out the average age of the men who have set world records in the 100-meter dash, we went and found out. This did not come from out of the blue, of course, an item in Saturday’s Daily Dose concerning Jim Hines’ world record in that race at the Mexico City Olympics inspired it.

The results are in today’s Daily Dose. We have a knack for stuff like this and the research involved was a lot of fun. And since it is the second decade of the 21st century it wasn’t as difficult as it would have been, say, 20 years ago. It was still involved a fair amount of work, however, but we enjoyed it immensely.

Today’s Thought for the Day is an old saying, “Fortune favors the brave”, which we use to talk about being ahead of the times.

Thank you for reading,
Gaylon

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