On Inauguration 2017

Because Inauguration Day of a new president coincides with my normal posting of Opinions in the Shorts, I decided to forego my normal OITS for a posting that is fitting for the day.

In a short moment of time, Barack Obama goes from the one with the title to a former occupant of the Oval Office. My view of President Obama is different from the many who follow partisan lines. At this moment I want to thank him for his service. Thank him for the way he handled himself in representing our nation. Thank him for the way he carried the extra burden of being the first non-white to serve in the most powerful office in the land. Thank him for taking us from where we were in January 20, 2009 to today. (A good read in USA Today.)

Inauguration Day marks the peaceful transition from one president to the next. A transition that is different than most of the world. A transition that is also an American tradition. A transition that is a light by the American version of democracy.

I enjoyed this 4-minute interesting perspective of past inaugurals done by Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan for CBS News.

Presidents need a strong sense of humility – that is something Mr. Trump has yet to show on the campaign trail or in the time since Election Day.

Presidents describe in various ways in their inaugural speech their desire to be a president for all Americans. That trait alone require respect, something Mr. Trump continues to ignore.

Presidents need to be responsible for their actions and decisions. Of course politicians tend to step around problems – blame elsewhere. After all, finger-pointing is much easier. Mr. Trump has failed on many occasions to take responsibility for his own actions and words – thus continually favoring the low road of blame through insults.

Presidents respect the traditions of the land and the office. Mr. Trump regularly favors his way while damning those who think otherwise. Meanwhile the majority of the elected partisan minions we call Senators and Representatives are quiet as they revel in the glory of total control. Time will tell if they continue doing the same.

Presidents respect the nation’s laws and Constitutional requirements. Again, Mr. Trump favors his way of doing things. He says he can separate his business and the presidency. He actually believes he could successfully run both simultaneously. Conflicts of interest could very well be on the horizon, but time will tell.

Maybe if he changes his tone, practices humility, becomes respectful, and operates within the given framework, he may have successes – successes for the country. Besides, Washington is ripe for change – but his previous behaviors indicate this would be a tall order to fulfill.

Being a brilliant orator is not a presidential requirement, but those that were can frame a message by their tone. Mr. Trump is anything but a brilliant orator as he struggles delivering prepared statements – so I certainly don’t expect anything memorable for me. Perhaps he may surprise us with a start that includes a series of apologies to set a tone. Given his personality, the chances of that would be between slim and none.

Although I wish Mr. Trump success on this day, I won’t be watching the pomp and circumstances or listening to his first speech. I’m not boycotting as I simply have something else to do – something that I would rather do.

On a Forced Possession

People buy things on credit all the time. Credit cards are the natural way of buying now and paying later. This plastic money is actually a less-formal version of a loan. Then again, instant plastic money can also lead to an inability to pay the bill – especially with mounting interest – and then the credit card becomes what it always has been – a formal loan.

People also make big purchases with bank loans. Cars and houses are the biggest purchases, but not the only. An unfortunate aspect of most new motor vehicles is that they automatically decrease in value over time. That brand new car is worth less as soon as one drives off the dealer lot for the first time soon after signing the papers.

Many banks and credit cards departments of companies have their own collections department dedicated to getting the money owed to them. Other companies hire a collection services company to do the same. I can’t imagine the difficulty of having a job like that – but people do – and like all work positions, some people are very good at it.

This story is about a forced possession – a repossession. Seemingly a sad tale, but not this one because this story is about goodness – about kindness … a story worth the 2+ minutes to watch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 321

La La Land was the big winner at the Golden Globes. We saw it several days before the awards. Fun movie. Thumbs up! I hope to see Hidden Fences next.

Meryl Streep caused much stir at the Golden Globes. To me, wrong time, wrong place – especially because she got the stage for lifetime achievement.

Different things on my plate at the moment that is standing in the way of my visits. 😦

I continue to read about the interrelationship between science and religion. I’m enjoy examining the bibliographies to see if they list authors I’ve read. A smile verifies that I selected the right people in my self-guided journey.

College football’s national championship game was quite the encounter. Congratulations Clemson!

Countdown is on toward Inauguration Day, and I am confident the partisans are thrilled.

David Brooks made the statement below in early September. In light of the election results and the post-election analysis of who voted for whom, Brooks was spot on.

Politics is catching up to social reality. The crucial social divide today is between those who feel the core trends of the global, information-age economy as tailwinds at their backs and those who feel them as headwinds in their face.

I’m against the waiver for James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. I see 3 Democrats were against granting the waiver. The difference between me and them is that they would vote for the waiver if it involved one of their own while I would stay the same.

Confirmation hearings of Cabinet members are predictably more about partisanship rather than fitness.

Some wonder how long will it take for Democrats today to adopt the behaviors of Republicans of yesterday. Others say one doesn’t have to wait because they already have.

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
My Bengals not making the NFL playoffs
Snow when you don’t want it
The Dow not breaking 20,000
Alabama losing to Clemson
Trump-Putin bromance

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion lists the 2017 agenda for Congressional Republicans.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man Not Accepting Any More Television Recommendations At This Time
Exciting New App Allows Users To Be Pawns In 26-Year-Old CEO’s Little Game
5-Year-Old Stares Longingly Down Garbage Chute
Darkness Engulfs Man Who Brightened Touch Lamp One Tap Too Far
Pumpkin Seeds Saved, Dried, Roasted, Salted, Offered, Refused, Tossed
Fisher-Price release new utero fetal activity gym

Interesting Reads
Growing crops in cities
Hospital-borne infections
Chickens are smart
Camera technology and film-making
Fossils in the trees
The largest maritime evacuation ever (much larger than the Titanic)

Last week’s song received many kind words, so here’s one more from Al Stewart to send you into the weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On an Idea for Great Again

Dear President-Elect Trump,

I’ve never written a president or a president-elect, but once I discovered I can submit my ideas on GreatAgain.gov, I just had to write my suggestion.

I’m approaching 64 years old, so I’m relying on my experience. While I was growing up in a small town in rural Appalachian Ohio, all the parents of my friends were working. In that same area today, jobs are difficult to find. Here’s an idea to help make America great again.

Not only should we abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), let’s repeal all (if not most) of the environmental laws Congress has passed since the late 1960s. After all, even in rural Ohio, I had clean air to breathe and clean water to drink when I was a kid before the EPA even existed.

For three summers during my college years, I worked at one of 4 coal-burning power plants in my area. Since those days, driving past the same plant I have noticed the facility is more than twice the size because the EPA required the facility to add so much anti-pollution controls. Today, not only has one of the four plants closed, so has the large coal mine located in the area.

Other industrial facilities have either closed or downsized. If you abolished the EPA and the environmental laws;

  • A layer of corruption and overreach in government would be gone
  • Cost to businesses and people decrease
  • Jobs would return to not only my home area, but across the country
  • Local businesses would thrive again because people would have more money to spend
  • Walmart will become accessible to more people because more stores will be built in new areas – stores that put people to work and all people to spend
  • The Constitution’s intent of state’s rights would be preserved, so if states like California want their own environmental rules, they can have so they can send jobs to Mexico or other countries
  • … besides, climate change is a hoax so we don’t need an EPA

I know businesses have the best interest of people, so they won’t pollute the water, air, and soil. I know business leaders like the Koch brothers would much rather spend millions on growing their business instead of using that money for lobbying and political campaigns. Growing their businesses to put Americans to work so people can spend is the American way. We the people need to let these business giants, other owners, and entrepreneurs unleash their creative power to return America to its past glory.

Mr. Trump … please, please dismantle the EPA and remove the burden of environmental laws so our economy can grow and America can return to prosperity for everyone. I want to make sure I see that we take back what the Chinese have – something that I never had … and if this doesn’t work, it’s Obama’s fault.

Thanks for listening.

On Mini-Shorts to Start 2017

A belated Happy 2017 to all! Even though the start of the new year seems so long ago, were you awake at midnight? We enjoyed the evening at a ballroom dance party where we’ve developed good friendships.

Did you notice the new header? I find so much awe, wonder, and beauty in Hubble Telescope images. This one is of the Homunculus Nebula surrounding the Eta Carinae star system. I chose this image because it symbolizes several things that are currently in my mind. The entire image is much more impressive than the cropped header.

eta-carina

Readers seemed to enjoy the Explore series I did in the last week of December. Thanks for stopping by.

I have made a decision on the next musical, but have no idea when it will take place.

Countdown is on toward Inauguration Day, and I am confident the partisans are thrilled.

Although I enjoyed President-elect Trump’s slamming the new Congress for attempting to minimize the Independent Ethics Office, I wonder if the Republican Congress will serve as a watchdog over the new administration.

The NFL Playoffs start this weekend. After a good run of consecutive trips to the playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals are on the sideline this time, which is Obama’s fault.

Cincinnati is excited because Southwest Airlines is finally coming to town! Service starts in June.

For whatever reason, the Rose Bowl is a game I like to watch – and the 2017 edition did not disappoint. The way Penn State lost was definitely Obama’s fault.

Just wanted to get the year starting with something light as I embark on my who-knows posting schedule. Here’s a song from the 1970s to send you into the weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On an Unexpected Beauty

Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard. (Gene Wolfe, writer)
Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world. (Giuseppe Mazzini, activist)
Fame is the echo of actions, resounding them to the world, save that the echo repeats only the last art, but fame relates all, and often more than all. (Thomas Fuller, clergyman)
If you’re in a forest, the quality of the echo is very strange because echoes back off so many surfaces of all those trees that you get this strange, itchy ricochet effect. (Brian Eno, musician)
I recently saw this 5+-minute report from CBS News about a place that is old, but special – simple, yet complex – beautiful, yet haunting. All this equals a sum of amazing. Enjoy.

On Transitioning to 2017

2016 is about to end, and we will usher in 2017 … so a toast to you – my readers and those in your life.

To peace, good health, and smiles.

To good people in our lives and the goodness throughout the world

To the kindness and generosity that people are willing to share.

To the people here in this WordPress community that bring me joy.

Salute! Yamas! Proost! Skål! Sei gesund! A la votre! Şerefe! Gān bēi! Terviseks! Kippis! Salut! Cheers! … and take your pick below. (Of course, I want to know your choice). 🙂