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Don't Kick Santa Across The Yard ... This Christmas give somebody the gift of mercy and forgiveness. Actually be broad with your giving and generous. We all need a lot of both. For such a joyful holiday of cheer, giving and yuletide merriment there are certainly a lot of stressed out sourpuss faces and agitated people. If you haven't seen any of these you probably haven't been to the mall or busy shopping districts. People get tense over decorating, shopping, spending, and fitting into their schedules all the jolly dinners, gatherings and religious services. You may have watched Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He becomes over the top stressed out when his Christmas lights don't work and literally kicks, stomps and curses a blue streak across his yard. It's a funny scene. Mostly because in some way we've all been there a time or two. (See Page 11, Dec 18, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Just the Facts Ma'am ... Pop quiz: How many auto fatalities are caused by texting? If you've been watching television lately you'll have heard that a fairly large percentage of auto accidents are caused by texting. The figures are dire: 1.3 million accidents per year. Texting makes an accident 23 times more likely to occur. Clearly something needs to be done. In fact, it causes 1.6 million accidents a year. (See Page 10, Dec 18, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Virginia: State Senator Introduces Legislation to Decriminalize Adult Marijuana Possession ... State Senator Adam Ebbin (DAlexandria) has introduced Senate Bill 686, which reduces simple marijuana possession to a non-criminal offense. As pre-filed, SB 686 reduces penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil fine of no more than $100 that supports the state's Literary Fund. Under current law, possession of up to one ounce is a criminal misdemeanor -- punishable by a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. It also creates a rebuttable presumption that a person who grows no more than six marijuana plants grows marijuana for personal use. (See Page 10, Dec 18, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
DOD In Search of the Midas Touch ... Secretary of Defense Hagel stepped down on November 24th; there then ensued a great deal of "insider"gossip about why, who would replace him, what the next secretary would do, etc. After several days Ashton Carter's name appeared as his replacement. (See Page 10, Dec 11, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
America's Cops and Eric Garner, Tragic, But Don't Fight the Police ... Most Americans hope we never have to call the police. A call to the police usually means something bad is happening. However, we want the police if we need them. We hope that if we are in danger a policeman will be just a few moments away. (See Page 10, Dec 11, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Silent Majority or Divine Right ... The President issued his order on immigration, and made it clear that he intends to use more executive orders to implement actions he considers "important" and "right". In doing so he quoted scripture, defending his actions with holy writ. The President also claimed that "2/3rds of the voters" support him. The 2/3rds he refers to being those that did NOT vote in the 03 November elections. But, elections are, of course, the ultimate poll. One might argue they are the only accurate poll. The people vote and say whom they want in office, and in some cases make direct input into laws and local ordnance. (See Page 10, Dec 4, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Thanksgiving ... Last week (November 21st) marked the 394th anniversary of the signing of one of the important documents in history: the Mayflower Compact. The document is not quite what some think it; it is not a declaration of independence from England and the King. But it is critical in understanding what happened between 1620 and 1776. The Pilgrims left England due to religious persecution, moving to Holland in 1606, where there was more tolerance. For several reasons, in particular a difficulty in mixing with Dutch culture, they decided to look for another place to live, and they settled on Virginia. Fortunately for us, the sea, the ship and the weather didn't cooperate and they landed in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. (See Page 10, Nov 27, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Shock and Yawn ... It's said of geo-politics that "nature" abhors a vacuum. This is particularly true in military affairs. Whether it's the actions of the enemy, or simply the responses of young soldiers and sailors to a lack of senior actions, if given half a chance, something, someone will fill the void. When US aircraft were conducting strike operations over Syria and Iraq with a no-name operation (before the Pentagon christened it Operation Inherent Resolve (huh?), aircrews had already settled on a name: Operation Shock and Yawn, a tacit (and flippant) recognition that not enough was being done. (See Page 6, Nov 20, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Thanksgiving - Shine Like the Stars ... Surely all of us have something to give thanks for. We all have problems, aches and things that we desire. All of us have felt like we missed out on something. Everybody has a regret or two. Most of us have grumbled a bit about most everything. In the midst of it all surely we can find some way to give thanks. A thankful spirit eases the spirit. Surely it's good for blood pressure, chest pains, anxiety and a better night's sleep. (See Page 6, Nov 20, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Proportional Response ... Blaise Pascal, the great 17th Century mathematician, at one point applied his considerable intellect to the question of the afterlife and realized that there were only two questions that need be answered: 1) Should we live a moral life (yes or no)? And, 2) Is there a heaven and hell (yes or no)? This left only 4 possibilities: There is a heaven, lead a moral life; heaven & immoral life; no heaven & moral life; no heaven & immoral life. He realized that only in one case: there is a heaven, but you lead an immoral life, is the result negative (you go to hell). In the other three cases the result was neutral to good. But, the result in that one case was so negative, the consequences so dire, that it made sense to lead a moral life. (See Page 6, Nov 13, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Sideline Senator Ted Cruz and his Merry Band of Idiots ... The Daily Press editorial staff on Thursday, November 6, 2014 gave their advice to Republicans after the Republicans defeated the "out of control" Democrats nation wide to gain control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. One advice was to "sideline Senator Ted Cruz and his merry band of idiots." It seems strange that this liberal, socialist leaning, progressive staff would want to give advice to their enemies on how to win more Republicans and how to advance the Republican Party. (See Page 6, Nov 13, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Proportional Response ... A video clip made the rounds recently, taken from the show "West Wing." In the video the President castigates his Secretary of Defense and his Joint Chiefs for offering him a measured, proportioned response to some action by some bad guys somewhere. He points out that proportioned responses have regularly gotten the US into more trouble. Proportional response gained a great following after World War II, but its key acceptance was in DOD, and for good reason: the central point of proportional response was the Soviet Union, or more specifically, Soviet nuclear weapons. (See Page 6, Nov 6, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Vote America! Vote! Political Ads Make Us Sick ... Politicians can't serve unless we vote them into office. Big money buys big advertising. The big advertising is about convincing us how to vote. Harry Reid said "Coal and oil makes us sick." Political campaigns make us sick would be closer to the truth. Honestly, aren't you sick and tired, worn out and beat down by all the political television rhetoric? Politicians buy every available advertising space on television. The only people who dread seeing the campaign end are the television station owners and sales teams. They get rich during the campaign season. (See Page 6, Nov 6, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
America Should Not Go Greek in the Bathroom ... I've been to Athens, Greece. It's an interesting place. There are a lot of ancient buildings and lots of history. A lot of Christianity can be studied in Greece. There was one thing that bugged me in Greece and that was adjusting to the bathroom situation. When our group was traveling and eating in different restaurants women would be doing their business in the men's restroom. My wife went into her restroom and there was a man sitting on a toilet. In the men's restroom women would come in and find a stall without regard to the men lined up at urinals. Or, a man would come in, flip his hair back and pull up his skirt. I don't mean to sound discriminating but I thought that was weird. (See Page 6, Oct 30, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Does Your Vote Count? ... The elections are upon us again. And with it a host of bad news. On top of a poorly managed war in the Mid East, worries of government mismanagement of the potential Ebola epidemic, a resurgence of terrorism, continued growing national debt, a gyrating stock market, a growing concentration of wealth among some "insider cronies," lower job participation across the economy then seen in nearly two decades and a host of other economic ills that seem poised to land on our collective heads. (See Page 6, Oct 30, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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