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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The Thought for the Day – James 1:4

Perseverance must finish its work. – James 1:4

The Epistle of James is a book in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. James is generally thought to be the brother of Jesus Christ, though some who hold that Mary was always a virgin believe James to be a cousin or step-brother of Jesus. He is also referred to as James the Just and is believed to be the same person as James the Lesser, though it is generally accepted he is not James the son of Zebedee.

What is not generally accepted, however is exactly who wrote the Epistle of James. Those who know more about biblical history than we do are not entirely sure themselves. 

This verse reads differently in other versions of the Bible. The above translation is from the New International Version, but other versions talk about perfect work and endurance, leaving out perseverance. Regardless of the version and whether you believe the Bible is the sacred word of God or the planet’s biggest selling novel, we believe any objective analysis shows this passage is one of the many nuggets in the Bible that deserve the attention of any thinking person.

James appears to be writing to Jewish Christians who were forced to disperse because of persecution. He is imploring his readers to show patience and perseverance in these troubled times – have their ever been any other? – to live the life that Christ wants them to live.

Today’s Thought is good advice for us. We must finish the work we were put on this planet to do.

First, however, before we can finish it we must begin it. Getting started is sometimes the toughest part. It takes knowledge of ourselves to know what we are supposed to do with our lives and it takes courage – perhaps the most courage of the entire endeavor – to go and get started. It takes diligence to keep at it every day. It takes all these to get to the final steps and it takes perseverance to finish the job.  

Perseverance must finish its work…

Anyone can quit. The difference between success and failure generally rests in the amount of effort someone is willing to put into something. Are you willing to pursue the life you were meant to live with diligence and courage? If you are a life well-lived – life’s great prize – awaits.

Perseverance and time are two elements that give those who utilize them an enormous advantage. Each of us is issued 24 hours every day. No one gets any more and no one gets any less. Perseverance and patience are there for us to put to good use.

We must provide the perseverance and we must let it finish its work. Nothing is going to come to us, we must go out and get it.  

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

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The Daily Dose – June 11, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

NUMBERS GAME: The unemployment rate in the United States continues to fall, down to 4.3 percent in May, down a bit from April.

Dry, Technical Matter: Now, as people both smarter and infernally duller than us like to point out, there are a lot of elements attached to an unemployment report, most of which, thankfully, are beyond the scope of this column.

But taken as a raw, relative value, 4.3 percent isn’t too bad. In fact, it is very good, not too far removed from full employment, where everyone who wants a job and can hold a job has a job because there is always going to be a small percentage of the population who neither need nor want to work.

Fly In The Ointment: A 4.3 percent unemployment rate should be the sign of a flourishing economy. It is not.

America: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Broke: One, wages are still low. Companies cut employees, hours and wages during the Great Recession in order to make a profit and while the workforce has increased, wages have not. And with private sector union membership low and workers otherwise not demanding higher wages, they’ll remain low.

Two, almost 20 percent of Americans receive some sort of government aid. In an America with a flourishing economy, that figure should be no more than five percent. As every social model as shown throughout history, that’s about the number of people in any society that will be unwilling or unable to provide for themselves.

The Bottom Line: Until America has an economy anchored in low taxes, free markets and minimal regulation, she will never have a flourishing economy. Low taxes will give citizens more money to spend and companies more capital to meet these growing needs. Flourishing businesses means competition for workers, something we really don’t have now, which means wages and salaries will increase right along with profits.

TILL OUR ANNULMENT DO US PART: Henry VIII, King of England, marries for the first time, taking Catherine of Aragon as his wife on this date in 1509. Henry had been king for about six weeks and Catherine would serve as queen consort until Henry has their marriage annulled in 1533, ostensibly because she had been unable to produce a male heir, but really because Henry had the hots for Anne Boleyn.

At Least She Knew What She Was Getting Into: Earlier, Catherine was married to Henry’s brother Arthur, who was then Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the throne, however Arthur died six months into their marriage.

When In The Course Of Human Events: The Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, appoints John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston and Richard Sherman to a committee to write a declaration separating the American colonies from Great Britain on this date in 1776.

After some bickering, John Adams, a man of good sense, convinced the other three members of the Committee of Five to allow Jefferson to write the first draft, which had to be challenge with Benjamin Franklin in the same room. 

While the Declaration of Independence went through extensive revisions by the rest of the committee and by the Congress, History generally remembers Jefferson as its author. 

More Dry, Technical Matter: The original Declaration, the one signed by Congress, was in the custody of the Secretary of State for many years and, along with the original Constitution, was transferred to the Library of Congress in 1921. In 1952, both were transferred to the National Archives.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Despite being revered the world over and babbling that all men were endowed with certain unalienable rights are were all created equal, Jefferson never did anything to free slaves either on his plantation or in his country.

And Down The Stretch He Comes: Sir Barton wins the Belmont Stakes on this date in 1919. Earlier he had won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown. 

We’re Outta Here: Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin escaped from Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay on this date in 1962.

Another inmate, Allen West, had participated in the planning of the escape, but was unable to get out of his cell that night until after the others had left the island. West then went back to his cell and slept. He would cooperate with investigators and would not be punished for his role. 

Back On Message: The escape culminated six months of work. Among other things, they had to dig holes in the walls in back of their cells, make papier-mache models of their heads to make guards think they were sleeping and pilfer the materials required to make primitive life rafts and vests.

After exiting their cells they climbed up a ventilation pipe in the utility corridor behind their cells, then made their way down from the room to the shoreline. They were never seen again.

More Official Daily Dose Policy: We think they made it.

While authorities like to make a big deal about the fact it was highly likely all three drowned, we’re not so sure. While their life boat and one life vest did turn up, it is not altogether reasonable to believe that all three drowned without at least one of the bodies turning up. The escape remains an active case for the United States Marshals, who report they still regularly get leads from the public despite the fact all three men would be in their late 80’s by now.

Thought For The Day: The tragedy of life is not that man loses, but that he almost wins. – Heywood Braun

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The month of July has seen the most ML games where a player hit four runs with five.

Today’s Stumper: Of the three Triple Crown races, which one is the oldest? – Answer next time!


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The Thought for the Day – An Old Hindu Saying

Everything has happened. Everything will happen.

Today’s Thought is unattributed because while we’ve seen this sentiment attached to the Hindus, we would not completely die of shock if other peoples – the American Indians come to mind – have expressed this sentiment, too.

Today’s Thought is true both in the short term and in the long term.

Right now, the news is dominated by war, the economy, the Middle East and a president of the United States who soon enough might well be engulfed by scandal. 45 years ago the news was dominated by war, the economy, the Middle East and a president of the United States who soon enough might well be engulfed in scandal.

Taking an even larger view of matters, our Human Experience has always been mired by war, economies where labor and capital continuously do battle and leaders who are not always acting in the public good. It’s the way the world has been built since time immemorial and the way it will continue.

It takes experience and wisdom to realize that, advances and discoveries notwithstanding, we are not really charting new ground. The strong continue to exploit the weak. Every single one of us continues to act in our own self-interest, the only difference being what that self-interest is. For some, self-interest is personal gain, for others, the common good. 

Everything has happened…

And it will never stop happening, either. Our species will continue to advance, sometimes seemingly in spite of ourselves, despite the obstacles we face and the damage we cause.

Does this mean we have to stand back and presume everything is inevitable?

Of course not. An equal part of History’s long march is someone acting out of conscious and leading others to stand up and be counted, to make a difference in how us humans act towards to each other.

Everything will happen…

Not only to us collectively, but as individuals, too. The years will continue to pass and the choice is ours whether ten years from now are lives are different or the same as they are today.

Yes, our passage on the planet is, to quote Sir Walter Scott, a brief parenthesis in time. We can blindly accept what we choose to be inevitable, or we can act out of conscious for the life, nation and planet that we want.

The choice is ours, and we must make it every day, before time makes it for us.

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

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The Daily Dose/June 10, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

I  DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR…OR NOT: Between FBI and Russia investigations, and the general, day in, day out tumult that has been, and will continue to be, the Donald Trump Administration, it is a bit more than idle curiosity that leads us to wonder if Trump will finish out his term.

FunFact: There are three ways a president can leave office before his term ends.

Leading Off: The most common way is by dying. Eight presidents, about 18 percent, have died in office.

Dry, Technical Matter: Four presidents William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren Harding and Franklin Roosevelt died of natural causes. Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F Kennedy were shot to death.

It is very difficult to kill a president nowadays, though it would probably be somewhat easier if the assassin disregarded his own survival. Trump is 72 and appears to be in good health, so it is not reasonable to expect him to die in office, which no one really wants anyway.

I Am Not A Crook…Well, Yes I  Am: The second is by resigning. This has happened once, of course, when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.

Even if investigations into Trump’s conduct vis-a-vis the FBI and the Russians show Trump’s conduct was anywhere from negligent to criminal, you can bet Trump will go down swinging. Nixon showed presidents can hold out for a very long time. Twenty-six months elapsed between the Watergate break-in and Nixon’s resignation, and Nixon only resigned when the family dog smacked him around and told him it was clear he would be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! A president of the United States can also be removed from office following impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction at a trial held by the Senate and presided over by the Chief Justice.

Get Out Your History Books: Three times the House Judiciary Committee has passed articles of impeachment against the president of the United States: against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Johnson and Clinton ended up being impeached by the entire House of Representatives. Johnson for violating the unconstitutional Tenure of Office Act while Clinton was caught being Bill Clinton. Both were tried and acquitted by the United States Senate.

The makeup of Congress is important. Johnson faced a Congress controlled by a group known as the Radical Republicans that were so hell bent on punishing the South after the Civil War they probably would have impeached and tried the Son of Man. Clinton was facing a GOP majority in both houses of Congress.

Trump, of course, has GOP majorities in both the House and Senate. The evidence required for a GOP House to impeach Trump would have to be Nixon-esque and – Washington being Washington – GOP Congressmen and Senators would have to find it in their own self-interest to impeach and convict Trump before anything would happen.

The Bottom Line: Taking everything into consideration – the complete fiasco Trump is presiding over and the 20/20 hindsight from the Nixon imbroglio – it is not completely unreasonable to conclude Trump might well not complete his term. It’s not completely certain, of course, but boy, it is tough not give it serious consideration.

GOING…GOING…GONE X 4: Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians becomes the eighth major league player to hit four home runs in one game on this date in 1959.

Playing in Baltimore, Colavito walked in the first before homering in the third, fifth, sixth and ninth innings. They were is 15-18th home runs of the season, and Colavito would finish 1959 leading the American League with 42 home runs.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: The Indians beat the Orioles 11-8.

Back To The Future: This feat was last accomplished, for the 17th time, by Scooter Gennett of Cincinnati this past Tuesday.  

Mom, I’m Famous Again: James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr, escapes from a Tennessee prison on this date in 1977. Ray was apprehended two days later.

This was not Ray’s first escape from prison. He had escaped from a Missouri prison in 1967 by hiding in a truck and was on the lamb when he shot King in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: Ray’s escape earned him a spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for the second time, making him one of only six people to make the list twice.

Thought For The Day: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.  Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Laureate, Physics 1965.

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The first person executed in the United States after Luis Monje in 1967 was Gary Gilmore, executed by the Utah in 1977.

Today’s Stumper: What month has seen the most major league players hit four home runs in one game? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Louis L’Amour

And then the long days and nights of reading… – Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

Louis L’Amour is a fairly regular contributor here at the Thought for the Day. Louis will probably never be ranked on anyone’s short list of America’s most technically proficient writers. As we’ve noted before here, the critic who said L’Amour probably would’ve benefited from a freshman composition course was probably right.

But L’Amour didn’t have the benefit of a freshman composition course. He left home early and was completely self-educated as a writer. He picked up odd jobs where he could before he started selling stories and, later, books, to publishers. It was this wandering life that gave L’Amour the experiences that not only provided the inspiration for his books but gave him the insights into our human experience that you pay us writers to provide. For our money, he did that better than anyone in the annals of English letters except Gore Vidal.

And then the long days and nights of reading…

No matter where his wanderings took him, L’Amour read every day because he was compelled to do so from deep inside. He had no choice; nature made it for him. Later, when the time came to write – in a cheap rented room on a rented typewriter at the start – he did that most every day, too.

L’Amour is a good example of a person doing what he was meant to do with his life and doing it every day. It’s a lesson for all of us.

What should we be doing every day? It’s the only question that really matters, and finding a satisfactory answer is one of life’s great prizes because it takes courage to ask yourself this question and it takes patience to search inside yourself and find the answer. Then it takes diligence and more courage to go out and live the life you were meant to live.

It doesn’t really matter what it is, either. It could be something as common as providing a good example for your kids or building a chair or playing your piano. The only requirements are that it comes from deep inside you, from the bottom of your heart, and that you, also, do it every day.

Anyone can do something once or twice, but few can get up every morning and face the relentless force that is your calling. You can’t do it some days and not others, some years and not others. If you are going to examine your life and tell yourself you did well you must relentlessly follow your heart every day.

And we must do it without regard to whether external forces applaud or hiss, whether we remain obscure or live down the ages. When we do these things, when we’ve made our time serve us instead of merely serving time, a life well lived, a life we look back on with satisfaction, awaits.

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The Daily Dose/June 2, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

UH, THIS ISN’T EXACTLY BREAKING NEWS: President Donald Trump this week withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accords. This was hardly the Upset of the Year, because Trump had been threatening to do this since the primaries.

USA! USA! Afterwards, we were treated to the usual partisans saying the usual partisan things since we’re incapable of civilized discourse in this country, not that America has ever set the pace in this category because from town criers to the Internet American discourse has been one long march of partisan yapping.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It: One aspect of the Paris Accords you heard very little about was how the Accords was never presented to the United States Senate for ratification. President Obama declared the treaty a “voluntary agreement” and implemented it unilaterally, which he was not empowered to do.

Friends, you can call a treaty a voluntary agreement from here to Reno, but it is still an agreement between the United States government and other governments, so it is a treaty and subject to Senate ratification.

Dry, Technical Matter: Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution is very clear on the matter, stating, in part:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

Trump pulled America out of an agreement it had never ratified – at least in accordance with the Constitution – so we were never obliged to abide by any part of it. Literally, Trump’s action had the same effect of pulling America out of the Warsaw Pact.

WE’RE BEGINNING TO SPOT THE TREND: Another black man was released from prison this week after spending decades behind bars. Desmond Ricks, now 51, was   released from prison in Michigan last Friday after his 1992 second-degree murder conviction was thrown out.

Fly In The Ointment: The problem was the bullets pulled from the victim did not match the gun prosecutors offered as evidence.

Regular readers of this crap will recall last week we wrote about Cleve Heidelberg, another black man, who was released from prison in Illinois after 47 years of confinement after his conviction was vacated!!!

More USA! USA! Why this does not cause us all to collectively go stand in the corner and hang our heads in shame remains beyond me. Does anybody really disagree with the statement that in a nation conceived in liberty this should never happen?

The Bottom Line: Presidents not bothering the US Senate with a treaty he went and implemented on his own, people, mostly black, spending decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, you and me, we the people are putting up with it, just like we’ve put up with all the other examples of lousy government we’ve received since Kennedy was assassinated.

GO IN PEACE, SERVE ME: Queen Elizabeth II is crowned Queen of England and other assorted places on this date in 1953. She had ascended to the throne in April 1952, after the death of her father George VI and she still reigns, hale and hearty at 91, the longest reigning monarch in British history.

Great Moments In The Gas Chamber: Luis Monje, a convicted murderer, is executed in Colorado’s gas chamber on this date in 1967. It was the last execution in America before the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972.

More Great Moments In Colorado: Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy in the Oklahoma City bombing in Denver on this date in 1997. He would be executed four years later.

Whoops, My Bad: Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers becomes the first major league player to lose a perfect game because of a blown call by an umpire on what would have been the 27th out on this date in 2010.

Pitching for the history books against Cleveland’s Jason Donald, Galarraga gets Donald to bounce to the first baseman, whose toss to Galarraga is in plenty of time for the out and a place in this history, but first base umpire Jim Joyce calls Donald safe anyway and all Galarraga has to show for the great night of his life is a one-hit shutout. 

Looking Back: It was a situation both men ended up handling with a very high level of class.

Quotebook: Carpentier did it again!, a second time, and this was the blow perfected by a lifetime of training…it rocked Dempsey to his heels, but it broke Carpentier’s hand. His best was not enough. – Heywood Braun

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The only major league player who faced a future Hall of Fame pitcher in a game where he hit four home runs is Gil Hodges, who hit one home run off Warren Spahn of the Boston Braves on July 31, 1950.

Today’s Stumper: Who was the first person executed in the United States after Monje’s execution in 1967? – Answer next time!

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The Daily Dose/May 30, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CAPSULE MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY REVIEW: American Legion/VFW Ceremony, Steamboat Springs Cemetery, Steamboat Springs, Colorado: There are few things more deserving of a veteran’s time than honoring those who died in service to our country and our Memorial Day ceremony is something we take a great deal of pride in.

Even though we are a small post in a small town, we have no trouble filling out a rifle squad, flag detail, honor guard and a changing of the guard ceremony, among other things, and delivering a respectful and moving performance.

Dry, Technical Matter: American Legion membership is reserved for men and women who served our country for at least one day on active duty in time of war, regardless of where. For example, our Legion membership is from our service during the Lebanon/Grenada conflicts, even though we got no closer to either war zone than boot camp and A school.

VFW membership is reserved for veterans who have a campaign ribbon to show for their service. Since campaign ribbons were not issued for service, no matter how meritorious, at a certain San Diego strip joint known as the Body Shop, we are not entitled to VFW membership.

Back On Message: Though certain elements are held every year, like the rifle salute and the changing of the guard ceremony, we try to do something new every year. It could be an anniversary of the beginning or end of a war – always popular because of the sheer number of wars America has fought over the years – or, perhaps, a memorial service or something else we thought up.

A Warm, Personal Remembrance: Last year we presented American flags to the widows, or in some cases children, of local veterans who had died the previous year.  We did this with a very high level of precision – to include a former Marine in his dress blues standing behind each recipient to ensure we didn’t screw anything up – and we can remember thinking that was about the most useful thing we’ll do this year and that, boy, this might be tough to top.

We did well this year, having a riderless horse, complete with boots facing backwards, presented with a reading about the history and significance of the riderless horse.

The horse, named Kermit, was in fine form, taking being paraded and displayed in front a couple of hundred people fairly well. He didn’t bolt, though he did require his handler to walk him in circles. He also didn’t crap while we were reverently remembering our war dead, either, which was nice of him.

MASH 4077: Two people , a bit more than our yearly average of .75, passed out during the ceremony. One was a boy scout standing post behind some older veterans who were seated for the ceremony, and another a member of our flag detail. He came back strong, though, and marched off with his detail at the end of the ceremony. 

Final Rating: A+. Modesty is reserved for those who have nothing to be modest about and, like other years, our Memorial Day ceremony was done very well. And even if we all can’t march in step anymore, we carried it off with a precision that would probably make the Commandant of the Marine Corps smile, if not achieve and maintain a state of arousal. 

WE THE PEOPLE: The Peasant’s Revolt begins in England on this date in 1381. The revolt was led by Tyler Wat who, not coincidentally, was beginning the last fortnight of his life. Wat, upset at the instituting of a poll tax, marched a group of rebels from Canterbury to London.

While the revolt did spread and the protesters did achieve some success, the revolt was suppressed in mid-June and its leaders, including Wat, executed.

Step Lively There, Guv’ner: Fearing further revolts, however, officials treaded very gingerly for a while, and they declined to pass further poll taxes.

Going, Going, Gone x 4: Bob Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters, later known as the Braves, becomes the first major league player to hit four home runs in one game on this date 1894.

Oh Yeah: The Beaneaters defeated the Cincinnati Reds 20-11 in the second game of doubleheader. Lowe had gone 0-6 in the opener. 

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Lowe’s feet has yet to be surpassed, though it has been equaled on 15 other occasions, most recently by Josh Hamilton of Texas in 2012.

Oh Yeah II: Lowe’s four home runs represented six percent of his career home run output, and his 71 career home runs remain the lowest of those who have hit four home runs in a game.

3…2…1…BLASTOFF: Mariner 9 lifts of from Cape Canaveral, Florida on this date in 1971. In November it would become the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, beating a couple of evil Soviet probes by a month or so.

Thought For The Day: Each people is, I believe, inclined to believe it is the purpose of history, that all that has happened is leading to now, to this world, to this country. Few see ourselves as fleeting phantoms on a much wider screen, or that our great cities may someday be dug from the ruins… – Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: England’s King Henry VIII had six wives.

Today’s Stumper: Who was the only batter to face a future Hall of Fame pitcher in the game in which he hit four home runs.  – Answer next time!

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The Daily Dose/May 28, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT, HUT HIKE: The NFL farted around with its overtime procedures recently, changing the length of an overtime period from 15 minutes to ten minutes.

FYI: The change is cosmetic. In reality, the NFL did nothing because NFL games can still end in a tie. In fact, the likelihood of a tie game has probably increased, since overtime periods are now shorter, giving teams less time to score.

Some people with more time on their hands than us estimated that as many as three NFL games each season could now end in a tie. The NFL disputes this, saying a shorter overtime period will result in more aggressive play calling, which will result in fewer tie games. Since it is good not to believe anything the NFL says, we’re trusting our instincts and and saying this change will lead to more tie games.

Dry, Technical Matter: For a long time overtime in the NFL was sudden death: the first team to score won. Sometimes it still is, but sometimes it isn’t. If Team A scores a touchdown on the first possession of the overtime, or if the defense musters a safety on the first possession, the game is over. If neither team scores on the first possession, the game becomes sudden death again.

Do You Wonder Why You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties?: However, if Team A scores a field goal, on the first possession, Team B gets the chance to possess the football. If Team B also scores a field goal, the game becomes sudden death again. If Team B scores a touchdown, though, they win.

Yay! Problem Solved!: We appreciate the argument that overtime is hard on the players, however it is silly that NFL games can still end in a tie. If the NFL does not want to resort to a field goal kicking contest, here is a way to determine a winner that generally will not take a lot of time.

Team A starts with the ball at the 50-yard line and the two teams play under normal rules, except there isn’t a clock or field goals. If Team A scores a touchdown, Team B gets the ball on the 50-yard line. If they score a touchdown and the game is tied, play continues. If one team leads after each scored a touchdown, the game is over.

If Team A doesn’t score, however, Team B gets the ball where Team A’s drive ended. If they advance past the 50-yard line, they are awarded what we are calling a scrimmage point and win the game. If Team B does not advance past the 50-yard line, Team A is awarded the scrimmage point and wins the game.

The Bottom Line: This would likely result in less wear and tear on players and it would ensure that every NFL game had a winner!

Oh, What The Hell: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declares Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn to be valid on this date in 1533. The two had married secretly earlier in the month.

It was a busy week for the Archbishop, who plainly knew which side his bread was buttered on. A few days earlier he had annulled Henry’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had declined to produce a male heir. after Pope Clement VII got his shorts in a knot and refused to do so.

Fly In The Ointment: Later, Henry would tire of Anne and have her executed in 1536.

Great Moments In Screwing The Indians: President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act on this date in 1830. The law authorized the government to negotiate with Indians for their territory, in exchange for land in beautiful Oklahoma.

Some tribes, like the Choctaws in Mississippi, signed treaties with the government while others, like the Seminoles in Florida, leading to war and forcible relocations.

Maybe The Neighbors Could Take Some Of Them: The Dionne quintuplets are born near Callander, Ontario on this date in 1934. They were the first quintuplets in history to have all five babies survive infancy.

The girls were born two months early and while individual weights weren’t recorded, they weighed a combined 13 pounds, six ounces and initially were kept in wicker baskets.

Oh Yeah: Two of the quintuplets, now 83, are still alive.

Up, Up And Away: West German pilot Mathias Rust, then 18, lands a private plane on Moscow’s Red Square on this date in 1987. Rust had taken off from Helsinki earlier that day and told fight controllers he was flying to Stockholm before immediately heading east and turning off his communications equipment.

Originally Rust planned to land inside the Kremlin but decided, probably wisely, that this would give the evil Russians the opportunity to kill him – or worse – and deny anything had happened.

Rust was arrested, convicted of hooliganism, disregarding aviation laws and breaching the Soviet border and was sentenced to four years in prison, though he was released the following year as a goodwill gesture.

Thought For The Day: Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Chrysler Building replaced 40 Wall Street as the world’s tallest building.

Today’s Stumper: How many wives did Henry VIII have? – Answer next time!

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