The Daily Dose /January 3, 2018

The Daily Dose/January 3, 2018
By Gaylon Kent

America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

USA! USA!: Recently Andy Craig of The Jack News came out with a proposal to eliminate the presidency of the United States. He called the presidency “the broken institution at the heart of America’s dysfunctional politics” which, like a lot of statements, is neither completely true nor completely false.

Craig’s plan calls for an elected commission of federal councilors, with Craig citing successes of this method in other countries, specifically Switzerland. It’s a thoughtful and well-reasoned proposal, deserving of any thinking citizen’s time.

Dry, Technical Matter: But it is not what America needs right now. We are not other countries. We are a collection of assorted races and faiths virtually unprecedented in human history and our Constitution, wonderfully ambiguous in places, provides a good context for governing – not micromanaging, but governing – large numbers of diverse people. From the Pilgrims to the Founding Fathers to now, our American experience has been utterly unique, advancing in spite of the obstacles we’ve been presented and the ruins we’ve caused.

Some Philosophy Crap: Besides, us humans need a leader. Be it the patriarch or matriarch of a family, or the CEO of a company or the head of a government, a chief executive gives us someone to shake our fist at and to rally around and to comfort us when space shuttles explode shortly after liftoff. It’s the way the world is built. We are rudderless without a leader.

Write This Down: The broken institution at the heart of America’s dysfunctional politics is not the presidency, nor is it Congress or the media or incumbents or lobbyists:

The problem is an American electorate that is tolerating all of this!

Time and time again we Americans rubber stamp the status quo at the ballot box. Time and time again we reelect those who have given us perpetual war and a functionally broke country, two conditions that, if left unchecked, will eventually destroy America, probably before this half-century is out, because no nation can withstand non-stop war with impunity.

When we stop tolerating this, when American voters start to hold our leaders responsible for what they’ve done to our country, then we will have a government we can be proud of.

The Bottom Line: So let’s keep the presidency. But let’s get an empowered American electorate taking charge at the ballot box again.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Pope Leo X excommunicates rebel Martin Luther from the Catholic Church on this date in 1521. Luther was a bit more than three years removed from having posted the 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany and in December had declined a papal invitation to recant his beliefs.  

FunFact: Lutheran Church requests that the Catholics lift Luther’s excommunication are routinely denied on the fairly reasonable grounds the Catholics only reinstate those still living.

Great Moments In US Intervention: Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrenders to US forces on this date in 1990. Noriega had been holed up in the Vatican embassy for the previous ten days but surrendered after US forces blared rock music and had helicopters land continuously nearby.

Noriega was taken to Miami and in 1992 was convicted on eight of ten counts of drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering. Noriega would be extradited to France in April 2010 and then back to Panama in December, 2011. He died in Panama last May.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night: After almost 50 years, the final daily Peanuts comic strip runs on this date in 2000. Author Charles M Schulz was in failing health and the final daily strip featured Snoopy sitting atop his doghouse with his trusty typewriter and note from Schulz about how he was ending the strip and thanking his readers.

FunFact: Sunday Peanuts strips would continue for another month. Schulz died the day before the last one was published. 

Get Out Your History Books: Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans finishes the NFL season with 2,509 yards from scrimmage on this date in 2009, establishing a new record for most yards from scrimmage in a single season. Johnson’s total broke the record of 2,429 yards Marshall Faulk of St Louis had established in 1999.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Hertz, Where The Winners Rent: Johnson had 134 rushing yards and 20 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns in the Titans 17-13 victory over Seattle. Johnson’s 2,006 rushing yards was the sixth highest single-season total in NFL history.

Quotebook: {This} whole book…has been written under the influence of a kind of religious awe produced in the author’s mind by the view of that irresistible revolution which has advanced for centuries in spite of every obstacle and which is still advancing in the midst of the ruins it has caused. – -Alexis De Tocqueville,  Democracy In America

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Catholic Church has had 23 Pope Johns over the centuries.

Today’s Stumper: What three characters appeared in the first Peanuts strip on October 2, 1950? – Answer next time!


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