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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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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