The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

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CALLING A SPADE A SPADE

 

There are those who claim that poker is a game of skill.  Usually, those are people who have just taken down a big pot or won a tournament.  There are those who claim that poker is a game of luck.  Usually, those are people who have just taken what is affectionately known in the poker world as a “bad beat.”  My personal view is that poker is a game of luck combined with an element of skill.  I base that on the fact that if poker were simply a game of skill, each of the sixty-five events at the World Series of Poker would see the same faces at the final table.  That is simply not the case.  Even the greatest marksman is not going to be able to show his stuff if he does not have a supply of bullets.

Back in the days when I played a great deal of live poker I noticed that there were certain days that I could do nothing wrong.  It was as though I were a magnet for the winning hand.  Sadly, those days were few and far between.  More often the rules of random mathematical probability held sway (whether poker is a game of luck, skill or a combination of the two, there is no question that it is a game based on math), and I would receive my share of good, bad and indifferent starting hands.  Then there were the times that I would sit at the table for hours without having a hand that had any high probability of being the best when then final card was dealt.  For some reason, those slumps seemed to last for an inordinately long period of time – once for over a month of daily play.

As I was in my “slump” period, I began wondering why I subjected myself to this sort of abuse.  Anyone who has experienced the phenomenon of consistently bad cards has probably asked the same question.  I was about four hours into the session and nothing had changed when I picked up my cards and saw the six of spades.  I slid the bottom card to the right, keeping my cards sequestered from the player to my left who had a habit of staring over to see if he could make out what I had been dealt when I saw the corner of the top card, a black ace, the ace of spades.  If you don’t play poker you might think this was a good hand – but it isn’t.  In fact, A – 6 is the worst holding with an ace that you can have.  The fact that it was suited only slightly improves the hand.  But as my stack of chips had dwindled through four hours of antes, I decided to play it anyway.  There were four callers so that gave my hand some improvement through what is known as “pot odds.”

The dealer removed the first card from the deck, placing it on the discard pile and turned over the first three cards of the hand, otherwise known as the “flop.”  Much to my delight, three spades came up, the queen, eight and deuce.  I had, at that moment, what is known as “the nuts,” in other words, the best hand that could be held at that particular stage of play.  I kept my poker face and showed no reaction to the cards on the table.  One of the players to my right made a moderate bet and three of us called.  I presumed he held a queen and was betting top pair.

The next card, the “turn” was dealt.  It was the seven of hearts.  Unless you were holding a seven or two of them, this didn’t improve anyone’s hand.  The original bettor made a more aggressive bet, which another player raised.  I figured the raiser either was holding a pair of sevens or a seven and another card that had already appeared on the board.  At that point, I called with all my remaining chips and the original bettor called.  Then the final card, the “river” was dealt.  It was the three of diamonds.  I had survived and my “nut flush” had finally broken my long run of terrible cards.

The first bettor turned over his cards, A – Q for a pair; the second player turned his cards up and, as expected had three sevens; and with glee I turned up my cards, only to discover that what I had taken for the ace of spades was in fact the ace of clubs.  I had mis-read my cards and had nothing.  So I picked myself up from my seat, went home and took a month long sabbatical from playing poker.  That improved my attitude – a great deal – if you’ll pardon the expression.

Was it wish fulfillment that I saw a spade where a club existed?  Was I simply tired and misread the card?  Perhaps it was some combination of the two.  But this episode reminded me of the turmoil in which we in the United States now find ourselves – primarily because we are being fed a line that says that a club is a spade – if it’s more opportune to call it that.  While some call that “political correctness” my name for this form of communication is deceit.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve used the term “senior moment” from time to time to explain why I lost my train of thought or forgot the reason that I went into the cupboard.  Fortunately, those moments are relatively rare and only affect me.  But there is a more pernicious lapse afoot that I have named “an Obama moment.”  Should you wonder what that is, here’s my definition:  Diddling around while a solvable problem festers into a crisis and then, finally, making the wrong decision on how to handle it.

During the past month or so I’ve begun many posts.  But almost as soon as I began, a new issue has arisen which distracted me from my original writing.  This is, clearly, a fast paced world and we no longer have to wait for the evening paper to find out what has been happening here and abroad.  While many hope for their five minutes of fame, that fame has now been reduced to the length of a nanosecond.  It’s almost as though there is a concerted conspiratorial effort to so overwhelm us with “news” that we are being distracted from what is really happening and what events are truly important.  As I am not a fan of “conspiracy theories” I dismiss that – with a modicum of reservation.  So what are the real “crises” that President Obama has allowed to reach their present state?  They are immigration; ISIS and Ebola – although I can’t blame him for inventing Ebola.  More importantly, might these three be potentially interconnected?

The vast majority of Americans support legal immigration and a path to citizenship for those who want to come here.  They also support our having borders that are secure.  While charges of “racism” are lobbed because the vast majority of illegals (or “undocumented people” per Ninny Pepperoni, a/k/a Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi), are of Mexican or Central American origin, there are documented cases of people from Iraq, Iran, Syria and other middle eastern countries where ISIS has grown exponentially, who have also made it across our southern border and were apprehended.  At least some of them were apprehended.

Virtually everyone who has seen the acts of terrorism which ISIS regularly employs would agree that it is an organization based on consummate evil – and something that the rest of us in the world who do not subscribe to its tenets – would be better off without.  Certainly those who have been victims would, if they were still with us, agree with that statement.

Yet while ISIS grows in size and controls a greater amount of territory almost on a daily basis, this administration and its supporters engage us in a debate about whether using the term “Islamic” is a term of racism.  It hardly seems like a worthwhile argument since ISIS or IS (or in the administration’s preferred variant ISIL) uses Islamic as the first word in its acronym.  While we engage in that meaningless discussion, we see the focus of the liberal left applauding the speech that high school dropout Leonardo DiCaprio gave as he waxed eloquently before the UN about the evils of climate change.  Unfortunately, Mr. DiCaprio and his cohorts in Hollywood would have little to fear from climate change as, if ISIS were to prevail in its objective of theocratic domination, they would be among the first to face the executioner’s sword.

Then, of course, we have the West African Ebola outbreak.  We should all feel reassured that the president went on record that no cases would be spawned here – other than the fact that we now hear there may be several people who are  currently under observation for the disease.  Politicians, and the rest of us for that matter, should refrain from using the words none or all, since one exception makes our statements incorrect.  But to the average Joe or Juwanna, making sweeping statements is very reassuring – until the exception manifests itself.

Now what do all three of these issues have in common?

We know that ISIS’ members are so fanatical that they are willing to sacrifice themselves for an assured place with Allah in the afterlife.  I applaud their devotion and wish them all a speedy trip.  One of the ways to make that dream a reality is dying while killing the infidel – namely any or all of the six plus billion people or so who do not subscribe to Islam – and, for that matter, many of their Islamic brethren who do not adhere to their exact interpretation of that faith.

Given the porosity of our borders, the ease of international air travel, what is to prevent these zealots from sending a contingent of their fellow jihadists to West Africa, purposely infecting themselves with Ebola and then travelling to the United States and dispersing among many of our cities?  Purportedly, we have five medical centers nationwide which are equipped to treat patients who are affected by the Ebola virus.  How would we handle hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of such cases?  The answer is that we couldn’t.  And, sadly, that’s true no matter how much Obama, his cronies and supporters claim otherwise.

The nation has endured nearly six years of an administration that is either ineffectual, indifferent or incompetent.  It’s hard to imagine suffering through another two more years of the same.  Should President Obama decide that the greatest contribution he could make to the country is taking an early retirement and heading for the golf course, I’d be willing to chip in to help pay his greens fees.  And while gaffe stricken VP Biden doesn’t seem much of an improvement, at least he would provide us with a little comic relief.  And just about now, based on the pessimistic view most Americans hold of the future, we could all use a good laugh.

And that’s calling a spade a spade.

STOP TALKING AND START DOING

I was listening to Fox News yesterday and today.  There was a late breaking story about liberal actor Matt Damon which aired yesterday and was expanded on in today’s broadcast.  In essence, the clips which had been put together showed Mr. Damon at a public school teacher’s rally in Los Angeles in which he told the assembled throng that, “We’re behind you all the way.”

Of course, the point of the story was that Mr. Damon had decided that he did not want his children educated by the public school system and was enrolling his kids in a private school.  Shocking.  The hypocrisy of at least one member of the liberal left exposed on national cable television.

So as we all sat there in our self-satisfied way and said to ourselves, “See, see,” our fingers pointed at yet another blatant example of the “do as I say mentality,” I thought to myself, “All this lip beating and finger waving is such an unfortunate waste of time.”  Other than it may make us feel a bit more self-righteous.

Let me be frank.  Pointing out the peccadillos of a Matt Damon or the rest of the Hollywood gang may be an amusing way to pass some time.  But it accomplishes exactly nothing.

Having seen that snippet I am not any less inclined to my conservative views – and if those who consider themselves liberals had seen it, I assure you that in no way would it have affected their political view.  Other than occupying several minutes of broadcast time, airing the story was pointless.

In this conservative/liberal battle, both sides have identified their opponent.  We know who we are fighting.  But we conservatives need to develop an effective strategy moving forward if we are to attempt to restore our Constitutional form of government.

That means one thing and one thing only.  Electing people to office who believe in the same principles which we espouse.  And electing people in today’s world requires raising a great deal of money and spending it effectively.

I read an interesting survey this morning.  It was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  To be honest, I was so shocked at the survey’s results that I questioned that it could possibly be accurate.  The survey dealt with the ACA (Obamacare) – and stated that 42% of the adult population surveyed did not know that this had been enacted into law.  Have these people been hiding under a rock for the last four years – or longer?

Now someone who is now an uninformed voter is someone who, to my mind, is a potential conservative voter.  It is easy to dismiss them, as did Romney, by saying that there is “no way we are ever going to convince them to vote for us”.  If we take that attitude, we are going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And the only way to convince them is through the effective implementation of targeted, well-written ads which are widely disseminated on television and through the social media.  And the time to start that educational process is now.

Are we going to “convert” hordes of the uninformed?  Probably not.  But in elections where slim margins make the difference between winning and losing, we don’t need mass defections from the liberal camp – just a small percentage of what they consider their sacrosanct power base.

Not only do conservatives need to make an exceptional effort at fund raising and intelligent spending of those funds, there is something else in which we can engage which will hurt the other side’s ability to do the same.  That something is boycott.

Since the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Damon has made fifteen pictures.  Those and his previous films are undoubtedly the reason that he is able to send his daughters to a private school.  And to donate to the “Obama for America” campaign.

My question to my conservative friends is how much have you indirectly contributed to liberal causes by spending your money to go see Mr. Damon and his like-minded acting colleagues?  And are you planning on continuing contributing to them so that they can help fund candidates for public office whose mission is to undermine the American democracy and bring about a socialist state?

If only ten people who read this post were to contact ten friends and pledge not to attend any movies, concerts or any other events which star liberal-thinking and liberal-contributing performers, and those ten similarly contacted ten, etc.,  by the time the seventh mailing went out, we would have reached ten million people.  And if you don’t think the absence of that many moviegoers as picture after picture was released would not be noticed by Hollywood, I think you are extremely mistaken.

Of course, this concept could (and should) be extended to other purchasing decisions as well.  But the reason I reference this particular example – as a starting point – is that choosing to purchase a movie ticket is a strictly voluntary and totally discretionary choice.

For those of us who are (or were) movie junkies, making this decision will involve some amount of sacrifice.  But it’s only a small sacrifice when compared with the likely chaos which will ensue if we continue down the path on which our liberal friends have taken the country.

MEAN, OBSCENE, PAULA DEEN

As Jesus was writing in the sand, the Pharisees brought to him a woman, taken in the act of committing adultery.  They told him of her sin and asked, “Should we not follow the law given us by the prophets and stone her to death?” 

Without looking up, Jesus replied, “Let he who among you is without sin cast the first stone.”

At that point, a rock went flying over Jesus’ head and hit the woman squarely in the stomach, knocking her over backwards.

Jesus looked up and said, “Oh really, mother.”

Pardon the minor irreverence, but that joke if you are a follower of either the teachings of the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches is theologically correct.  Mary, is unique in being conceived without sin (The Immaculate Conception) – but as for the rest of us, we’re all in the cesspool of sin and wickedness and moral turpitude – some of us more deeply, perhaps than others.

And now cometh Ms. Paula Deen – the press’ most currently in vogue whipping person (I was going to say girl but that would probably be construed as sexist).  A woman who is so low and venal that she can’t even see high enough to look at the scum of the earth.

Ms. Deen, as you’re probably aware, has had a successful career promoting her Southern style of cooking – which if it were Yiddish food could easily be mistaken for the kind of cuisine that killed more Jews than Hitler.  She’s had a good run promoting her artery clogging recipes (which have gotten  a bit more healthful in later years).  It was not for the bill of fare that she presented that I was not a frequent viewer of her program.  It was because of her very heavy twang that always reminded me of two cats on the back fence in heat.  Sorry, fingernails running across a blackboard sounds more melodious to me.

Well, at some time in Ms. Deen’s past, apparently she uttered the “N” (or is it the “n”) word?  She is, after all from the South where the term was frequently used – often in a descriptive rather than a disparaging way.  But there is no question that it was also used frequently in the latter context.  How Ms. Deen used it is probably only known to Ms. Deen.

And so, whether because of sincere remorse at having used the “n” word in the past or, perhaps for fear of losing her lucrative financial enterprise through backlash, she broadcast what appeared to me to be a very heartfelt apology.  It seemed genuine enough to this viewer – but even if it were not, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Apparently, those at FNN, which hosted her television program and those at Target who carried her line of cookware and cookbooks had greater insight because they have both divorced themselves from any further dealings with this woman and have held themselves up as gleaming examples of “responsible corporate citizenship.”

I cannot help but think of their actions in the same light as I did of Captain Louis Renault in “Casablanca” who, as he is closing down Rick’s Café says, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that there’s gambling going on here,” as he receives his roulette winnings from the croupier.

Let’s make a leap and say that Ms. Deen and her video were staged and melodramatized simply to keep her business enterprise afloat and that Ms. Deen truly holds feelings of disdain for our darkly-complected citizens.  While I, and I am sure most of you who are reading this would find that unfortunate if not personally insulting, does she not have a right to harbor that attitude?  Isn’t difference of opinion – even if it is only one person’s view and no matter how noxious we personally might find it – permitted in what we have billed as an “inclusive society?”  Or is inclusion so narrowly interpreted that only those who hold the currently popular view may determine who is to be allowed membership and who excluded?

Perhaps you are familiar with the “comedy” of the late Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock.  Frankly, I find all of them to be extremely offensive because each employs the “n” word along with “ho” and “mo fo” and “b*tch” among other terms of endearment.  And they are restrained by comparison to today’s Rap “artists”.

So tomorrow I am going down to my neighborhood Target and browse through their CD’s to see if they have pulled all of the works containing these “lyrics” in accordance with their defined policy of corporate “responsibility.”  And if not, I am going to ask the Manager why not?

I’ll let you know what I find out.  But if I am not satisfied with their response, I will no longer choose to do business with Target and will explain to my neighbors why they shouldn’t either.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

This story shows so clearly that we need to wake up and hear the music.

allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe


contrib by Paul Bleckley

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing.. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. 4 minutes later: the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard…

View original post 377 more words

TWO WORDS FOR JUSTIN BIEBER

It has to be tough being a celebrity at any age – but at a mere 18 years it is probably more than most teens can handle.

A day ago, Justin Bieber got pulled over twice while driving.  The first time he got a ticket and the second time a lecture.  One Los Angeles City Councilman wants him arrested for reckless endangerment.

The young Mr. Bieber claims self-defense in that he says he was being pursued by the paparazzi.  There is probably an element of truth in that statement.

Whatever the motivation for his speeding, driving at speeds that greatly exceed the speed limit is dangerous business and so I would like to offer Mr. Bieber two words of advice:

JAMES DEAN

LET FREEDOM RING

When someone shows exceptional talent, far beyond that with which most of us are gifted, you would think we would celebrate that gift and delight in it.  That is how we view many of our sports heroes and movie stars.  But it has not always been so.

There was a woman born in 1897 in Philadelphia, PA by the name of Marian Anderson.  She was perhaps the greatest classical contralto of the 20th century.  She was a black woman.

Marian Anderson was active in her church’s choir where her aunt noticed her exceptional talent.   She worked with her niece but the family was too poor to be able to afford professional music lessons.  But it was her aunt’s influence which she credited for her pursuing a musical career.  The two of them would go to free concerts whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Because of the accidental death of her father when she was 12 years old, Marian, her mother and two sisters moved in with her paternal grandparents.  The family was unable to send her to high school but years later she did receive her diploma.  She would often be asked to sing a few songs and the twenty-five or fifty cents that she earned would help to sustain the family.

The Pastor of her church and others in the black community saw a star in Marian Anderson and together raised the money that enabled her to take lessons from a private teacher and to attend high school.  In 1921 she graduated and then applied to The Philadelphia Music School but was turned away because of her race.

In 1925 Marian Anderson won a competition that was sponsored by the New York Philharmonic.  It was the break she needed to embark on what would ultimately become an incredibly successful career with glowing reviews from the New York critics.  But racism still held sway even in the liberated north and her career sputtered.

In 1930 she began on a European concert tour, giving her first performance in London.  She found that music lovers on the continent did not share the same racial prejudices as their counterparts back home and for the next four years she enthralled audiences with her performances.

In 1934 she signed as a client with Sol Hurok, the greatest impresario of the 20th century.  He was able to persuade her to return to America and she gave a performance in New York’s Town Hall which received critical acclaim.  But the thing that promoted her career the most, ironically, was racism.

In 1939 she was refused permission to sing in Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution because she was colored.  The District of Columbia similarly refused to allow her to perform in the auditorium of an all-white high school.

As a result, then first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and others, angrily resigned from the DAR.  They further persuaded the Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes to allow her to give an open air concert from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday to a live audience of 75,000 and a radio audience of millions.

The link below will take you to the Secretary’s introduction and to Marian Anderson’s singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”   There is a twenty second pause after Mr. Ickes concludes his speech until we hear Marian Anderson sing.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A0S00My.ovtPaBcAkpr7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBrc3VyamVwBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQD?p=youtube+marian+anderson&vid=E4667FC736FEE53231E3E4667FC736FEE53231E3&l=5%3A32&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts3.mm.bing.net%2Fvideos%2Fthumbnail.aspx%3Fq%3D4618121269280782%26id%3D19a93d12c56bb65c9692eac28a61ed8a%26bid%3D4zEy5f42x39m5A%26bn%3DLargeThumb%26url%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.youtube.com%252fwatch%253fv%253dAkPI0VKM4Fk&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAkPI0VKM4Fk&tit=Marian+Anderson+1939+Lincoln+Memorial+Speech+and+Song&c=2&sigr=11aap95t6&

During the Second World War and the Korean conflict, Marian Anderson entertained the troops.  She gave about 70 concerts a year and is widely reported to have been the reason that other black artists like Leontyne Price and Jessye Norman had their opportunity to break into the world of opera.

During the 1960’s she worked in the civil rights movement and became a good friend of Albert Einstein who took her into his home after she was denied a room  by a Princeton, NJ hotel owing to her race.  She stayed with him on several occasions.

In the ensuing years, Marian Anderson was the recipient of many awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal, the George Peabody Medal, and a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.  She passed away in 1993 at the age of 96 but she left a legacy behind of which all Americans, whatever our color, may be proud.

“Let Freedom Ring.”

THE JOKE’S ON US

We got to the dog park early this morning and I decided to back into the parking space rather than pull in front first.  (We all need a little variety in our lives).  So, of course the rear of my car was at the sidewalk.

Gracie and I puttered around for about forty-five minutes and hob-nobbed with the other people and critters that had come out for their morning constitutional.  But it began to get hot very quickly and we decided to go home.

When we got back to the car a woman was standing and reading the bumper stickers I had placed on it.  I said, “Good morning” to her and as I opened the door for Gracie to get in she looked at me and said, “Why do you hate President Obama?”

I responded, “I don’t hate the President or anybody else.  I simply believe that his policies are bad for the country and for the American people.”

The woman, who was white said, “The way we have treated black people in this country is a national disgrace.  You should know that.  And Romney belongs to a kooky cult religion.”

She had now introduced the two topics that I was taught as a child not to discuss, politics and religion.  It was getting warmer by the minute and I didn’t want to leave Gracie in the car even with the windows rolled down.  I knew this would have been a long and fruitless conversation if I pursued it, so I simply said, “That’s the thing about America that makes this a great country.  We are all free to express our opinions.  Thank you for sharing yours with me.”

I got in the car and we went home.

I learned something from this brief exchange.  Apparently some people actually do read bumper stickers.  And I also learned that there is an assumption of guilt on the part of many that they would be committing an act of racism if they were to vote against the President.  They will find every possible excuse to justify their decision to return the worst President since Jimmy Carter back to the White House for a second term.

Through my life I have heard many jokes – more than a few of which were racist and demeaning.  The repertoire poked fun at blacks, Jews, Catholics, Poles, Italians and gays among other groups.

All such jokes rely on an underlying assumption that there is some specific characteristic about the target group which exists universally among all members of that group.  An example would be that all gay men have limp wrists and lisp when they talk as they flit around the room in an effeminate manner.  Or that black people are shiftless and lazy and not as bright as white people or Orientals.

The late Rock Hudson was the fantasy idol of women throughout America who viewed him as the soul of masculinity and desirability – only to be shocked to learn that he was gay.

Oprah Winfrey started from very humble beginnings to become one of the wealthiest and most influential women in the world.  She did it through hard work and personal effort.

So we know that, just citing these two examples among many, the stereotypes are wrong.  But those who like to pigeon-hole people into convenient slots so that they have a nice orderly and limited view of the world will continue to hang on to their false assumptions rather than be confused by the facts.

And that brings me back to my thoughts on my morning conversation with the lady at the park.  Her argument was that not voting for President Obama is an act of racism.  I would argue the exact opposite.  Voting for an  ineffective person simply because of race merely serves to confirm the old stereotypes that underlie jokes about blacks – that they are shiftless and lazy and not as bright as white people or Orientals.

Then there was the second point this lady made about Governor Romney’s faith – that it was a “kooky cult.”  I am not sure how she defines either of those words, but I do know that when Christianity had its beginnings it also was viewed as a cult.

I am not intimately familiar with the underlying faith to which Mormons hold but I do have a few neighbors who are members of LDS.  They are dedicated to their faith and have raised their children to be polite and thoughtful of others.  If that’s the result of being raised in a cult, we would do well to have more cultists on planet earth.

There will probably always be people who cast their ballot based solely on the race of the individual running for election.  That is, in my view, such a poor way to make a decision – but we often make poor decisions.  I hope never to have developed the narrowness of mind to become a member of that group.

Had the President truly guided us out of the recession and had he inspired confidence through his statesmanship he could have had the greatest legacy in the world.  He could have forever buried jokes about black people.  And had that occurred I would probably vote for him this November.  But his record in office is abysmal and I don’t see how it is likely to improve with an additional four more years.

As to Governor Romney, he wouldn’t have been my first choice as a nominee.  That has nothing to do with his religion.  But to my mind, he is clearly the better choice and, barring a life-changing event, will receive my vote this fall.

Until the election when I need some levity I just think back to the Carter administration.  It was a bad time economically, just as today, but at least we had the President’s brother around for amusement.  And, of course, we had “Billy Beer.”

After four years of that we realized that the “joke was on us.”

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