Get Off My Lawn

                Part of the reality of being retired from the armed forces is that we gray hairs sometimes belittle those who followed us as being soft.  Our generation had it tougher than the youngsters (not confined to a single generation, I’m sure Cold Warriors would be called “pussies” by those who fought the Nazis).   More than once I’ve read complaints from my fellow veterans that kids today wouldn’t know a real conflict if it snuck up and shoved a bayonet up their ass.

                I do my utmost not to echo these sentiments.  Sadly, I’m not always successful.   I’ll admit, the “cranky-old-man” vibe is often irresistible when I see Sailors (in camouflage uniforms-I’ll never get used to that) strolling through the local mall glued to their smartphones while holding a cup of kiwi frozen yogurt.  Why, “back in my day” we wouldn’t have been caught dead doing that.

                Never mind that smartphones weren’t invented until after I retired.

                I wonder how the military would do if they were ever called upon to confront an existential threat.  I’m not talking about bullshit gender wars or the fiction of widespread extremism.  And don’t get me started about troops sporting face diapers.  No, I’m talking about an Iranian submarine that decides to slam a few torpedoes into an aircraft carrier.

                Would they blanch at the thought of risking life and limb to defend some ridiculously outmoded idea of freedom?  Worse, would their civilian leadership not deem it a priority?  Like in Vietnam, would the military be hamstrung by a geriatric dope in Washington who can’t even negotiate a flight of stairs?


                While I increasingly worry about those leading them, I can’t help but admire those in the Middle East or who man our warships for months without a port visit.  They’ve done admirably, so I pray we would be fine.  Still, I wonder…


                What would happen, for example, if China finally decided to invade Taiwan?   

“Don’t worry, Dear Reader, he could have said you, too.”

                Speaking of “leadership”…

                It is clear to any student of history that there are many parallels between the decay of the Roman Empire and the arguable decay of the United States.

                In fact, many of these similarities are so clear that they could easily form the backbone of a Middle School research paper.  Moral decline, military disasters, a tax burden spread on a decreasing tax base, “bread and circuses,” devaluation of the currency, deterioration of what it meant to actually be a Roman, and so on were all low-hanging fruit.  When juxtaposed against American society in the 21st Century, the comparison is apt.

                Trust me, when I was in Middle School (we called it Junior High School back then), I wrote such a paper.  My history teacher, while giving me high marks, no doubt thought to himself, “Yeah, well, that’s obvious.  But, he’s only in 9th grade, after all.”

                Whenever the topic would come up, though, I always argued that the biggest difference between Rome and the United States was that the emperors counted on support of the legions.  To them, the military was their own personal branch of government.  True, some emperors were ousted by the army, but they fell at the hands of another man who used his legions as his own enforcers.

                Not so in the United States, I maintained.  The American military had since its inception been apolitical.  The military swore an oath to support the Constitution.  Not some emperor.  Or president.

                So, it is with that in mind that I find Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s mandate that the U.S. military conduct a 60-day standdown to root out “extremism” most disturbing.  Of course, if there were widespread extremism and hatred in the armed forces, I’d applaud this effort.  If this was in response not only to events on January 6th, but to the carnage wrought by Antifa and BLM last summer, he could count on me for support.

                However, it’s not so he can’t.  Even more, since Austin is a Grandpa Joe appointee, yeah, I’m cynical.  Is “extremist” code for “Republican?”  Has upper military leadership, officer and enlisted, been assimilated into the Borg-like collective known as “wokeness?”

                It seems the Pentagon is increasingly more worried about diversity, social engineering, maternity flight suits, and whether we should pay for that lieutenant who wants to cut his dick off than the real reasons for which a country even has a military:  breaking things and killing people.  I’m sorry if this trods upon your tender sensitivities.  Good  time rock and roll touchy  feely nonsense  may be wonderful at Facebook or in faculty lounges, but to quote Colonel Jessup from A Few Good Men, “…we live in a world with walls and those walls have to be  guarded by men with guns.”

                Sidebar, your honor?  Jessup said “men,” but if anyone is qualified to do so when the need arises (not during post-op from a self-imposed mutilation procedure), by all means they need to be allowed to do so.

                I so desperately wish that we lived in a world where walls weren’t necessary (especially around the GD Capitol), a military wasn’t irreplaceable, or that all of mankind shared the same notions as our college campus social justice warriors or hypocrites who give a wink and a nod to these pinheads while grabbing all the power they can.

                But, we don’t.  There will always be barbarians at the gates.  Worse, we have idealists within who would be thrilled to throw the gates wide open for them.  After all, aren’t we all part of the same family?

                Surely, all anyone wants is to embrace the better angels of our nature, you bigot.   Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Josef Stalin, and Saddam Hussein were just misunderstood, is all.

                When you concentrate on things other than why you put a weapon in the hands of young men and women  in the first place, you put them in serious peril.  When you become an arm of the ruling class, you put the entire country in serious peril.

                Those of us who know history have seen this movie before.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

“You know, if we just had a guy named ‘Babe,’ we’d totally kick ass.”

NOTE:  As I write this, Spring Training is in progress at sites in Florida and Arizona.  One can only hope that we see a return of the grand old game, albeit in a more subdued manner.  I’ll probably never get to redeem a rainout voucher from Allentown’s Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, though.

     What is baseball? 

     For starters, it’s a game you can watch for three innings, fall asleep for the middle three, and wake up for the final three as if nothing had happened.

     Which nothing usually does.  Unless you count when those huge sausages chased each other around the park.

     No, baseball is much more than that.  Sometimes, it goes into extra innings.  Then, you can go back to sleep.

     As the icy grip of winter gives way to the balmy tranquility of spring, we emerge from our dens like so many hibernating creatures.  Seeking to warm our blood, we throw off the shackles of a catatonic languor wrought by hours of televised bowling and those obnoxious commercials to come visit Florida.

     Hey, Florida?  Laugh it up while you can.  Come July, you’ll feel like you’re inside a bundt cake.

     NOTE:  I apologize to the Southern hemisphere.  I realize that the coming of spring for you is not a harbinger of pleasant weather.  Winter will soon darken your door.  But, cheer up, at least you have poisonous snakes.  And we have Biden, Dr. Jill, and Cardi B.

     Like the first robin, green grass poking through melting dog turds, or slowly receding snow banks revealing how many critters turned out to be slower than the plows, it’s the reappearance of the “boys (sometimes girls) of summer” on ball fields which tells us the NBA playoffs haven’t started yet.

     YET ANOTHER TEDIOUS NOTE:  It must be said that baseball is played throughout the winter in Central America and the Caribbean.  Not only does it hone their ability to kick our ass, it also takes their minds off the fact that there’s nothing to eat.

     The quintessential American sport (unless you count the Japanese, Venezuelans, Cubans, Dominicans, Panamanians, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Mexicans, Dutch, Colombians, Australians, and Canadians), baseball has been around since the beginning of the republic.

     Or nearly a hundred years afterwards.  Shut up, Mr. Big Shot Know-It-All.

From its beginnings, though, baseball players were lauded as being perfect physical specimens.

     Many historians trace its origins to the British game of “Rounders,” a game played since Tudor times shortly after Henry VIII discovered he could no longer see his toes.  Or penis.  I guess they needed something to do between plagues or whenever there was a shortage of witches to burn.

     Rounders involved hitting a small, hard leather ball with a round wooden bat or skinny peasant.  Each team had nine players who, upon hitting the ball, rounded four bases.  The idea was for the batting team to avoid three outs before losing their at-bat.

     You were pronounced out if tagged with the ball, if the ball reached the base before you, or you were beheaded.

     For you etymological savants out there, guess where the term “rounders” came from?  Yeah, good for you.  Have a cookie.

     However, when Albert Spaulding observed in 1903 that Rounders used five innings instead of nine, he declared there was “no frikkin’ resemblance” to baseball, a distinctly American sport.

“SPAULDING!”
Wrong Spaulding.
Sorry.

     Besides, with four more innings, you could sell more beer.

     Quickly searching for an unquestioned “Father of Baseball,” he selected Civil War general Abner Doubleday.

     Mr. Doubleday could not be reached for comment, because he had been dead for 15 years.

“Hey, I did spit tobacco juice on some Confederate prisoners. That’s gotta count for something.”

       Over the years, baseball has seen its share of upheavals.  After the Chicago White Sox starring Charlie Sheen threw the World Series in 1919, America’s pastime was on life support.  That is, until a fat guy from New York became the toast of the nation, proving a man could be called “Babe” as long as he hit over 700 home runs.

“I loved you in ‘Two and a Half Men.’ Hey, what say after we throw the Series, we go snort some blow? Winning!”

     For decades, baseball had been a strictly “whites only” affair.  The “Negroes,” the “coloreds,” the “good ballplayers” were forced to “play with their own kind” in organizations such as the creatively-named Negro Leagues.  Black people, as well as Hispanic and Japanese ballplayers were denied a chance to show what they were capable of.  Although, to be fair, the Japanese were pretty busy elsewhere, what with conquering East Asia and all.

     However, in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier as a Brooklyn Dodger.  Not only did he dazzle America with his good-natured athleticism (after a substantial amount of racist abuse), he made fans realize that Phil Rizzuto wasn’t all that good, after all.  

     Washington got a baseball team, then they didn’t, then they did, then they didn’t, then they did again (I guess the only Senators with term limits wore spikes).  The Dodgers and Giants left New York for California in 1958 when they couldn’t find a cab late at night. 

     In 1981, a labor dispute forced baseball to split into two seasons which had serious ramifications for the playoffs.  And the fall TV line-up.

     Then, an earthquake caused so much damage in California that the World Series had to be delayed a few days.  But, I’m not exactly sure what year it was.  It was between two teams I didn’t care about, let’s put it that way.

     As if that wasn’t bad enough, continued bad blood between owners and players reached a boiling point in 1994.  This resulted in cancellation of much of the season and the first year without a World Series (like A Year Without A Santa Claus, only not as bad).

     Luckily, this happened while America’s newest pastime was being played:  professional football. 

     So, nobody noticed.

     Then, in 2020, the Chinese Flu pandemic gripped the world in a hysteria that is only now starting to (hopefully) abate.  Among many other institutions, baseball suffered.  Spring Training was abruptly cancelled, with the season delayed until July.  Even then, fans weren’t allowed into stadiums leaving some to watch games featuring recorded crowd noise and Dr. Fauci absolutely proving to the world that he had zero athletic talent.

     Jeez-a-Lou, Wilfor Brimley could have thrown out a better first pitch.

“Diabeetus.”

Too soon?

“Frankly, not a little hurtful.”

          Making matters worse, some jackasses decided to blather on about perceived societal injustices.  Refusing to be lectured to by millionaires, many thousands of fans won’t return to their television screens or to stadiums (if Major League Baseball allows it, that is).

     Baseball is my favorite sport so I’ll probably return.  After all, it’s not like social justice virtue signaling jackassery by overpaid baboons isn’t universal.

     Speaking of the NFL, you think baseball is confusing?  Football traces its beginnings to Assault, Rugby, and Soccer.  Which is called football by the rest of the world.  This is interesting, because soccer uses the foot, while football pretty much doesn’t.

     Besides, they don’t have a dead general as the “Father of Football.”

     It all makes my head hurt.

     Rounders, anyone?

Foto Funnies XXV

CNN is reporting that a guy said he was told by a guy who’s married to a guy whose sister-in-law’s cousin works the night shift at a Waffle House close by Andrews AFB claims that she saw Donald Trump, disguised as a Guatemalan grandmother, placing banana peels on the steps of Air Force One late Thursday night.

The Good Liberal

NOTE: Not a plastic potato in sight.

                Liberals see the world as it should be.  I wish they were right.

                Conservatives, on the other hand, see the world for what it has been, is now, and always will be.  Yes, it sucks, but that’s just the way it is.

                Most Liberals, and I use that term rather than “Democrat” (just like I use “Conservative” rather than “Republican”-established political parties are self-serving parasites), are decent people.  They earnestly hope for a world that will never be and yearn for a society which attends to the betterment of all.  All for one, one for all, we’re all in this together.  Honorable, decent.

                These are good Liberals.

                They are also wrong.

                Nothing in the history of mankind indicates that much of… mankind won’t look out for their own best interests when push comes to shove.  Sure, they may take care of their families or even close friends when the going gets tough.  Maybe.  However, when it comes to a faceless mass of humanity on the other side of the world?  Yeah, good luck with that.

                In my mind, Socialism and Communism are in and of themselves fantastic concepts if proposed in a vacuum devoid of people.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people actually took care of each other?  To quote a phrase,  “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”  This would be a wonderful world if everyone sincerely believed that.

                However, that form of society is anathema.  For as long as there are those who would let the other poor sucker work so they could get a handout, the utopian society will never work.  At the risk of sounding vulgar, there will always be slack asses among us.  And all the “pollyanna pie in the sky” wishing won’t change that.

                Why do you think Captain John Smith of the Jamestown Plantation stated (and I paraphrase), “those who will not work shall not eat.”?

                Even if everyone in the United States was fully behind embracing humanity (it isn’t), you’d still have the rest of the world with which to contend.  Many parts of which (I’m talking to you, China) would love to dominate a country which frets about a penis on a plastic potato, a cartoon skunk rapist,  or whether pregnant aircrew should have maternity flight suits.

                In the meantime, more than a few of our fellow Americans are playing the “thank you, sir, may I have another?” game while giving handjobs to each other in the Woke Olympics.

                I met a good Liberal the other day at the International House of Pancakes.  When the topic of the “COVID Relief Package” came up (frankly, I would have preferred debating the differences between hash browns and home fries), she glossed right over the fact that the majority of the monstrosity signed by Grandpa Joe won’t actually go to COVID relief.  The fact that MILLIONS will instead be slotted for global distribution didn’t bother her a bit.

                She claimed that, as a rich country, the United States had an obligation to help others.  She maintained that you would help out your family.  Why not do the right thing and help out the unfortunate around the world?

                This all sounded terrific and highlights what a good Liberal is.  Of course you should help out others.  Absolutely you should spread the wealth.  I get it.  I make financial contributions and help out the needy myself.  Because I can.

                But, want in one hand, shit in the other…

                What she didn’t quite get, and I wasn’t prepared to debate her  (because…pancakes), is that the United States doesn’t have the money anymore.  Just because your magic printing press is prepared to spit out the golden goose doesn’t make it smart policy to do so.  And I firmly believe that the poor and homeless of America (I see them nearly every day) should be cared for before we send truckloads of cash to fund Pakistani gender studies.

                Incidentally, I’d be curious how the United States ranks among the other nations of the world when it came to foreign aid.  I don’t much feel like doing any research, but I’ll bet a paycheck that it’s more per capita than, say, France. 

                The thing is, stuck as she was in the idealism of the 1960s, she firmly believed she was right.  I admit, if we had the largesse to do this, she would be right.  But, we don’t.  So, she is wrong.  She’s a good Liberal, but she is wrong.

                NOTE:  Luckily, the GOOD Liberals far outnumber the BATSHIT CRAZY ones.  Full Disclosure?  There are also BATSHIT CRAZY Conservatives.  So, there’s that.

                Bottom line, though.  She is clearly a decent human being (and not just because she gave me her ketchup).  I would consider her a friend.  I know many others like her and enjoy their company, as well.  A man I consider to be my best friend, and who I have known for 44 years, would agree with her completely.

                I do not reject them as inferior human beings.  That would be wrong.

                I just wish their version of the world was the correct one.

                That is also wrong.

Foto Funnies XXIII

“Well, that’s not fair. Not fair at all. Why the hell is Caitlyn Jenner allowed to have a gender when I can’t? And I’ve never had a penis!”

Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Infidel

            Have you ever stopped to consider the multitude of car ribbon magnets which adorn the back of mini-vans?  You know, the ones just below the “My Kid Beats Up Your Kid the Honors Student” ones. 

            The colors, and the causes they represent, are as varied as a bag of M & Ms (and much less fattening).  For example, there’s a Crayola Box used to raise consciousness for a variety of cancers, camouflage ribbons for each branch of the military, red for HIV awareness, pink denotes breast cancer sensitivity, and even one which uses a jigsaw puzzle for Autism Awareness.  All the colors of the rainbow are taken, even Brown for “Coprophilia Awareness.”

NOTE:  If you don’t know how unbelievably clever that line is, Google “coprophilia.”  Then, prepare to be disgusted laugh your ass off. 

            Mind you, none of this is meant to denigrate any of the worthy causes for which those ribbons champion (well, except maybe the brown one.  Which doesn’t exist.  I hope.). 

            No, I’d just like to explain where the practice of affixing ribbons to trees, the outside of your house, your trunk, the elderly, etc., came from.  While you may think I’m making this up (and, after reading this drivel, who could really blame you?), I swear this is true.

            Mostly.

            It was 1979 and, while everyone was dancing to that disco beat or trying to find an open gas station, the Ayatollah Khomeini whipped his followers, who hadn’t had their cups of coffee yet, into a frenzy when the United States offered to let the deposed Shah of Iran seek medical care in the Land of the Free and Home of Drive-Thru Liquor Stores. Little suspecting they would star in a Ben Affleck movie in 2012, the “college students” stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and took everyone hostage.

            President Jimmy Carter was outraged.  Trying everything from talking tough to asking “Pretty, please?” he desperately tried to win the release of the hostages.  Including an aborted desert rescue which looked as if it was planned more by the Three Stooges than the Pentagon. 

            It all proved for naught until the American people deployed their secret weapon:  Ronald Reagan.

            All during the “Hostage Crisis,” we felt powerless.  We desperately yearned for a way to pitch in and to show that we really meant business.  Well, without actually putting ourselves in danger by enlisting in the military, don’tcha know.  We had to go see Saturday Night Fever, after all.

            So, taking inspiration from a Tony Orlando and Dawn song about tying yellow ribbons around trees until a convict came home, we all went into yellow ribbon fever.  These things popped up everywhere and even hung around long after the hostages were eventually freed after the Peanut Farmer returned to Georgia to build houses for the poor.

            Seeing the success of the yellow ribbons to trumpet a cause, we then took it upon ourselves, aided by Madison Avenue, to exploit all the other colors.  To the extent now that, 41 years later, multi-colored ribbons, like MAGA hats, are ubiquitous American icons.

            Except that brown one.

            Which is a relief. 

(Serious) NOTE:  Come to find out, there actually is a valid use for a brown ribbon.  According to Wikipedia (frankly, I’m too lazy to consult a reputable source and grabbed the first thing which popped up.  Still, it seems legit):  “Brown ribbons also represent anti-tobacco and colorectal cancer (hopefully not at the same time).  Brown is the alternate color, dark blue is the official colorectal cancer ribbon color.”

Frankly, that dark blue thing?  Thank God for that, amirite?

Still, color me embarrassed.

Well, don’t I feel shitty?

I Can’t Be the Only One

Imagine if Nixon had one of these.

                You would think coming up with a topic would be a challenge.  Not so.  To be honest, there is no shortage of observations of this crazy world upon which to pontificate discuss.  The real challenge is to grab one of the abundant topics from the “Lunatic Merry-Go-Round” and have at it.

                The big problem is that much of the ridiculous is time-critical.  This means that by the time I get  to it (I only write “Just An Observation” once a week, don’tcha know), it could be yesterday’s lunch.

                For example, I wanted to weigh in on what I thought about Ted Cruz’s trip to Mexico.  However, that has been overshadowed by allegations against that arrogant pig, Andrew Cuomo, Dr. Suess, and the gender of a plastic potato.

                For the record, my opinion on Cruz’s trip to Mexico is that the hysteria was overblown. Is there really anything a United States Senator could do in the wake of a devastating mid-winter freeze in Texas?  Of course not.  But, still, to use the tired old cliche, bad optics…no, I would not have done it.

                On the other hand, are Liberals given a free pass for their “Let Them Eat Cake” moments?  Of course they are.

                Is Ted Cruz in Mexico on the same level as Gavin Newsom at the French Laundry?  Seriously?

                In my mind, they both sent the wrong message.  Also in my mind, one was way worse than the other.  It’s like stealing a candy bar versus robbing a bank.

                Both are wrong.

                As far as Mr. Potato Head?  How fair is it that Caitlyn Jenner is allowed to have a gender when the perforated spud cannot?  Especially since Mr. Potato Head never had a penis in the first place.

                Yeah, I can’t be the only one who thinks these things.

                But, those are not the topics of today’s discussion. 

                When I stop to consider something in the news or in life, I’ll form an opinion or develop a course of action.  I’ll calm any self-doubts I may have with the thought, “I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks this.”

                So, it is again.

                First, let me state unequivocally that I am a Conservative.  I am not a Republican.  Neither am I a Libertarian.

                I believe in:

1.  A small government.

2.  The smallest taxes assessed to every American.  In fact, a flat tax rate would be great.

3.  A strong defense.

4.  The right to life, including the unborn.  If a microbe on Mars can be considered life, why is a fetus considered just a “clump of cells?”

5.  The right to keep and bear arms.

6.  A welfare system that gives to those unable to do for themselves, not unwilling to do for themselves.  In any case, my tax dollars should only be spent on American citizens.

7. A capitalist system.  Equal opportunity.  NOT equal outcome.

8.  States’ Rights.  Believe it or not, that also includes the right of governors to run their states as they see fit, including the power-mad despots of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, California, and so on.  The federal government has zero business telling them how to run the show, as crazy (NOT illegal) as it may be.

9  Respect for all.  Race, Creed, Sexual Orientation, Politics, Choice of footwear…doesn’t matter.  Respect me, I respect you.  If in doubt, be kind.

10.  When all else fails, the United States Constitution.

                There’s more, but I need to keep this to a minimum.       

Anyway, I also believe that Donald Trump is his own worst enemy.  I held my nose when I voted for him in 2016, because I judged Hillary Clinton to be infinitely worse.  Just  as much as the demented old fossil currently in the White House (jury’s out whether he knows where is).  To me, it was a “lesser of two evils” kind of thing.

                During his presidency, I wanted to feel comfortable about who I helped elect.  While he wasn’t as bad as I feared, there were more than a couple of “face palm” times.  Ben Shapiro put it perfectly when he described it as “Good Trump/Bad Trump.”  I could also add “Silly Trump” (I’m talking to you, Space Force).

                Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the disastrous November election, he reverted to the Trump I feared we’d see.  I agree that there is no way that moron from Delaware was the most popular president in history.  It’s clear to anyone with a brain that the Chinese Flu was the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party.  Something smells and it ain’t baccala (Italian Cod.  You’re welcome).

                But, once he expressed his understandable indignation, he should have just shut the hell up.  Pursue legal challenges, get the finest lawyers working on the case not named Rudy Giuliani, and never give up the fight (can I say ‘fight’?).  And no, do not concede.

                For the love of God, though, keep your piehole closed.

                When Trump refused to be quiet, refuse to appear to be anything other than a butthurt child, refuse to make it more than about him, he lost some people. Including me.

                As with Cruz, optics.  May not be fair, but that’s the environment in which we find ourselves. Remember? Dickless Mr. Potato Head.

                And, to paraphrase, I can’t be the only one.

                Don’t worry.  I’ve not gone to the Dark Side and never will.  It’s just that I’d be interested in hearing other options.

                Yes, the past four years were great.  There is no doubt in my mind.  Unfortunately, though, this became about more than his policies.  Aided by a shamefully complicit media (et tu, Fox News), it became Orange Man Bad.

                Apparently, mean tweets trump (no pun intended) closing the Keystone Pipeline.  You idiots. 

                The result is that the next four years may will be incredibly bad.  And, if Doddering Grampa is ushered off to a Wilmington Old Folks Home and we get President Chlamydia Harris, they could be unbelievably bad.

                This is why I’m upset at Trump.  It didn’t have to be this way.

                Now, we’re faced with the prospect of Donald Trump running in 2024.  This may work.  This may not.  Who knows?  I didn’t give him a prayer of securing the nomination in 2016, either.  I was wrong.

                In fact, Trump wasn’t even “my guy” in the primaries.  I held Cruz, Rubio, and Carson ahead of him.  I supported him above Chris Christie, though, despite the Zoftig Guv’s promise of a “Doughnut In Every Pot.”

                I vividly recall the debates I had with those friends who were Trump folks.   All good people, they made good arguments, but I thought they were wrong.  I even compared Trump to the Mussolini who wanted a new Roman Empire. I thought it sounded a lot like “Make America Great Again”.

                At least one friend agreed with me.  In other words, I wasn’t the only one.
    

            When “The Donald” ultimately got the nomination, I was surprised.  However, the competition was either evil (Hillary) or batshit crazy (hello, Bernie).  So, yeah, not much of a choice there.

                I was gladdened when Trump did a lot of good things.  I was troubled by his bombastic approach to a lot of things, though.  Still, I felt pride in my country.  Much more so than during the apology tour and the hillbilly laughingstock of the Cigar Olympics.

                “W” was no prize, but neither was he the boobs that his predecessor and successors had been.

                I understood, but did not agree with, accusations of Trump being a bully.

                My feelings that Trump did not have partisans so much as “fans” only grew as the election approached.  Miles of trucks clogging the interstate or huge boat shows only intensified these feelings.  No violence, to be sure (like election fraud, I’m not convinced there’s not something fishy about January 6th, either), but this fervor surpassed that for Elvis.

                Then, when I witnessed his performance at CPAC (really not a bad speech) capped off by a gold statue of him, I really began to worry.

                Please let it be Cruz, DeSantis, Noem, Owens, or even McCarthy.  Have Trump endorse those candidates.  Now that would harness true presidential power, backed by millions of supporters and fans, in a fight that would be well fought.

                Unfortunately, I think this is personal to Trump.  So, to hope that he would concede the spotlight to anyone else may be a hope in vain.

                No matter how good his policies or kept promises are, there are those will NOT see past Orange Man Bad.  If the Chinese Flu has taught us anything is that common sense, critical thinking, and logic are as common as honor in the House of Representatives.

                If he runs for President again, I may find myself in the very same spot with my friends for the 2023-24 primaries as I found myself in 2015-16.  I love you guys, but that’s how it may go.  If he gets the nomination, I of course will join your support for him. 

                Even though we may see President Trump back in the White House in January, 2025, I’ll probably be a little uneasy throughout the campaign.

                And I can’t be the only one.

I thought that statue looked oddly familiar.