Notes from around the Human Experience…
BOY, GAYLON’S SURE BEEN ON THE RAG LATELY: Over the years, more than one person has said that a freely elected government is merely a reflection of the people who elected them. Let’s take a look at America today and see if that’s true.
Leading Off: Recently, we hired a president who is blatherskite, a brash and offensive man whose only real talent is drawing attention to himself. He governs off the top his head. He has a tendency to say things that are insensitive, insulting and false. He does not have a long-term plan for our country.
The Hard Truth: Of course, this is a reflection of America today. America can be brash and offensive and why should we expect our president to have a long-term plan for our country when, collectively, us Americans don’t have one? Admit it, we have been at war every day since 1989 and we are hopelessly and mindlessly in debt and if we really cared about changing those things we would have done something about them years ago.
We haven’t, though. America is without guidance, either from her leaders or her citizens and every Election Day we relentlessly send back to Washington the same leaders who got us into this mess. We expect things to change despite the fact we keep electing the status quo.
FunFact: Congress is a reflection of us, too: like us, it is a partisan, fractured and bickering hot mess utterly unable to discuss, much less do, anything of substance for our country.
Dry, Technical Matter: If we do not elect men of substance to govern us, it is because America is no longer a country of substance. The America that once sent men to the moon and back can no longer send anyone into space. The America that was once an example for other nations has left the building and if you doubt that go and read some foreign newspapers because the rest of the world is, collectively, wondering just what in the hell has gotten into us.
Stop Us If You Heard This Before/The Bottom Line: If you and me – we the people – do not start making some changes on Election Day our country is going to collapse, tossed aside the scrap heap of history, probably before this half-century is out.
Stop Us If You Heard This Before/The Bottom Line II: The fault for our government is ours. Not the incumbents, not the media and not the lobbyists, ours. We are tolerating all of this. Only when collectively we decide to stop tolerating this will America be great again.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Dr Patrick F Healy becomes the first black to become president of a mostly white university when he becomes president of Georgetown University on this date in 1874.
Technically. Healy was mostly white, the issue of a white father and a slave mother who herself was the daughter of a white father a slave mother. Since Healy’s mother was a slave, he was a slave, too, though his father sent him and his siblings north for school and more opportunities than being a slave could offer. Once north, Healy was able to pass himself off as Irish.
Close, But No Cigar: Bill Burns of the Chicago White Sox becomes the first major league pitcher to have two no-hitters broken up with two outs in the ninth inning on this date in 1909. Pitching against the Washington Senators, Burns’ no-hitter is broken up by Otis Clymer, though Burns would hold on for a 1-0 victory.
The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: In May of 1908, pitching for Washington, Burns lost to Detroit 1-0 when Germany Schaefer’s single with two out in the top of the ninth brought home the game’s only run.
Some Places Have Interns For This: Burns’ record would stand until Dave Steib of the Toronto Blue Jays would lose two no-hitters and a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning between September, 1988 and August, 1989.
Oh Yeah: Later, Burns would act as a messenger between the gamblers who wanted to fix the 1919 World Series and the Chicago White Sox who were willing to do it.
You Know, You’re Just Encouraging Them: The Nazi Party is the biggest winner in German federal elections held on this date in 1932, winning 37 percent of the vote and 230 seats in the German parliament. This was not a majority, however, and the Nazi’s were unable to form a coalition government because the communists and socialists were not about to align with them.
The results were so inconclusive the minority government of Franz von Papen continued to govern. A following election in November was equally inconclusive.
F*ck This Election Noise: All of this became academic when Adolf Hitler seized power the following January.
Oh. Bloody Hell: After 315 years, the daily rum ration ends in the British Royal Navy on this date in 1970. The day is referred to as Black Tot Day.
FunFact: The rum ration had begun in 1655, replacing the issuance of a gallon of beer daily per sailor. The Royal Navy had made this change because that was a lot of gallons of beer to store on board a ship and it also resulted in really drunk sailors.
USA! USA! From 1794 through 1914 the US Navy authorized a daily booze ration for its sailors. US sailors are still authorized a two-beer ration if they have been out to sea for 45 straight days and are at least five days away from returning to port. Other navies have beer rations, too.
More USA! USA!: Swimmer Michael Phelps wins his 19th Olympic medal, breaking the record of Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina on this date in 2012 at the London Summer Games.
For The Record: Phelps would ultimately completely shatter the mark, having now won a total of 28 medals, including a record 23 gold medals.
Quote Book: We are going to sing so that they will remember this for the rest of their lives. There is no other reason to do it, folks, none. Garrison Keillor, Love Me
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The first game of the National Football League – then known as American Professional Football Association – was played on September 26, 1920. The Rock Island Independents defeated the St. Paul Ideals 48-0.
Today’s Stumper: What Olympian has won the most medals without winning a gold medal? – Answer next time!