Notes from around the Human Experience…
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…: You know, one of the things us whack-jobs who run as third-party candidates like to say is there really is not much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans.
The More They Stay The Same: Sure, they might claim some philosophical and policy differences and they have different animals as their mascots, but in the end it doesn’t matter who’s in power because nothing gets done. Neither individually nor collectively are our two major parties able to do anything of substance for our country.
Now Hear This: While some might be heralding a new era with the Trump Administration, there really isn’t a whole lot of difference between presidents Obama and Trump. Both talk a good game. Obama had a smooth, resonant voice, but we spent his two terms marking time. America is still at war and we got farther and farther in debt. OK, there are a lot more people with health insurance now, but you and I – we the people – subsidize most of those purchases with our tax dollars. A government subsidizing private businesses is the utter antithesis of what a free-market economy is about. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not in the spirit of a nation conceived in liberty.
Trump talks a good game, too, blathering and yapping and never offering specifics. It’s what earned him the White House. But despite having a GOP majority in Congress, he’s has accomplished nothing of substance. The GOP plan to repeal the ACA is petty and spiteful, as bad in its own way as the ACA itself.
No matter who’s in power, nothing is getting done. We are still fighting wars not declared by Congress. We remain hopelessly and mindlessly in debt. The innocent are still being convicted.
Stop Us If You Heard This Before: This is all our fault because we have taken a flier on holding our leaders accountable for the crap they’ve done to this country. We continue to sanction it every Election Day. We have no one to blame for our partisan, fractured and bickering government but ourselves.
WE DELIVER FOR YOU: What would become the United States Postal Service is founded on this date in 1775 when the Second Continental Congress establishes:
…that a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the Postmaster general, from Falmouth in New England to Savannah in Georgia…
Already in revolution to the King, the Congress slashes prices, too, declaring that postage would be “20 percent less than those appointed by Parliament”. Congress also decreed the post office would be headquartered in Philadelphia, that Benjamin Franklin would be the first postmaster general and that he would receive a yearly salary of $1,000.
Hindsight Is 20/20: Major General George McClellan takes command of the Army of the Potomac on this date in 1861, relieving Brigadier General Irvin McDowell after the First Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War.
While a fine organizer, McClellan spent most of his time preparing for war and overestimating enemy troop counts instead of actually fighting, exasperating President Lincoln. He would serve until Lincoln finally had enough in November, 1862.
Uh, Thanks For Everything Winston, Now Go: Despite having guided Britain through World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his Conservative Party lose the the general election to Clement Attlee’s Labour Party on this date in 1945. Attlee would serve until 1951 when he was replaced by Churchill.
Ten-Hut!: President Harry Truman signs an executive order desegregating the United States military on this date in 1948.
Fly In The Ointment: There was not immediate racial harmony, however. Some post facilities would remain segregated for years and, like their civilian counterpart, military courts would be disproportionately hard on blacks and Truman’s order did little to address off-post discrimination.
3…2…1…Blastoff: Apollo 15 launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida on this date in 1971. Four days later Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irvin would become the seventh and eighth humans to land on the moon.
Far from the two-and-a-half hours Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent on the moon, Scott and Irvin had the longest stay to date, spending three days on the lunar surface and 18-and-a-half hours exploring the moon. Apollo 15 would return to Earth on August 7.
Quote Book: He stood in that infrequent but dread state of knowing he had observed history with his own eyes. – McKinley Kantor, Andersonville
Editor’s Note: The above is the first quote in Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in a motel room in Berkeley, California in the fall of 1988.
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words long.
Today’s Stumper: When was the last all-black military in the United States disbanded? – Answer next time!
Gaylon was the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nominee for the United States Senate in 2014 and the United States House of Representatives in 2016. All told, he was able to con just under 70,000 to vote for him.