#Fridayreads – Commentary and Humor

Something to make us smile before the heavy stuff.


Remembering January 6th.

This from NBC News in Washington

“Two years after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, faith leaders, lawmakers and those who defended the U.S. Capitol will gather in Washington, D.C., to reflect on events that are still reverberating through the country’s political and judicial systems.

“At the White House, President Joe Biden will bestow a high civilian award to officers who responded with the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department, plus election officials who resisted pressure by then-President Donald Trump to stop counting ballots.”

From The Atlantic, article by Peter Wehner

“Two years ago today, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Seven people died as a result of that attempt. More than 140 police officers reported suffering injuries. One was pulled down the steps of the Capitol and then stomped on and beaten with a pole flying an American flag as the crowd chanted “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

A makeshift gallows with a noose was built outside the Capitol, not as a generalized threat but to cow one man. “Hang Mike Pence!” the mob shouted. If the insurrectionists had had the opportunity, they would have. Most stunning of all, the president of the United States encouraged the bloodlust. According to one witness, Trump’s chief of staff said at the time that the president ‘thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think [the mob is] doing anything wrong.'”

If going back to remember that fateful day doesn’t shake you to the marrow of your bones, maybe you think that everything is fine now. There’ve been no more attacks at the Capitol. We’re safe. Government is safe. Everything’s okay.

Or is it?

[inlinetwee]January 6, 2021 was about power. Having it. Losing it. And desperately wanting to get it back at any cost.[/inlinetweet]

January 6, 2023 is about the same desperate need to gain power in the House of Representatives.

What’s happening with the failure to elect a Speaker of the House is a travesty and an insult to the American people. Not to mention what it’s doing to our nation’s reputation abroad.

People are laughing at us.

Many Americans don’t want Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker, and I’m one of them. He’s too far right in his political views, and I don’t think he has a willingness to work with moderates or folks more liberal. I was proud that he at first denounced the Jan 6 Insurrection and had even called Trump that day asking him to “Call off the mob.” But just two weeks later he went to Mara Lago to meet with the president, apparently willing to cozy up to the man because he – Trump – had so much power and some of it might spill over to McCarthy.

Watching our government implode like it has in recent years, I wonder if we will ever get back on strong footing.

I’m still proud to be an American. But often I’m also sad to be an American.


So the blog doesn’t end there on a downer, here’s some humor from Slim Randles to lift our spirits.

Doc was just getting up to leave the philosophy counter as Herb walked in. Herb was grinning and flexing muscles and had the look of eagles in his eyes.

We stared.

“Herb,” said Doc. “You know, you can overdo a good thing.”

“Why Doc … whatever do you mean?”

“I realize that getting more exercise is your resolution for the new year, but a man your age … you need to pace yourself a little, that’s all. Don’t try to get in shape all at once.”

“Why Doc, I’ve never felt better in my life. Hey, you were so right to get me on this exercise kick. I’ve been meaning to thank you. It’s just what I’ve been needing. What would you think about my playing some football in the spring? I mean, it’s just touch football, but I miss the ol’ razz-matazz, you know?”

Doc shook his head sadly and walked out. Herb started laughing and sat down with us and flipped his cup over for his morning eye opener.

“What was that all about, Herb?” Dud asked.

“A little joke I’m playing on Doc, that’s all,” Herb said. “You remember how Doc has been on my case to get more exercise and slim down some? Well, there was only one way to shut him up, so I started running. I bought a sweat suit and started running. I run past his house each morning. Then, about an hour later, I run past his house the other direction, huffing and puffing and looking at my watch.”

“An hour? You run for an hour each morning?”

“Of course not,” Herb said, laughing. “I run past Doc’s house then walk the block to the library. An hour later, I run past Doc’s house and then walk two blocks home.”

We stared at him.

“What?” he said. “You know Doc’s going to worry about me one way or the other. Just thought I’d change it up a bit.”


Brought to you by Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing by Slim Randles. Now available as a Kindle book on Amazon.com.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy, and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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