This will be my last post for a couple of weeks – or maybe longer. Timing will depend on how quickly I recover from surgery on my cervical spine. There are several serious issues that need repair, and they’ll be taken care of on Monday.
When thinking about what topics to have on my blog that would be up for a while, my original plan was to share a guest post from my friend Slim Randles. Skip anything serious and just have fun.
However, no matter how many times I tell myself – don’t do it, Maryann, don’t keep keep posting a rant that is sure to stir some rancor – I simply can’t stop grabbing a pen, or a keyboard, and speaking out about things that just don’t make sense. Like absurdities. Like things that feel threatening to a peaceful and productive way of life.
Processing those things through writing about them has been helpful to me for years. Back in the day when I wrote a personal column for a The Texas Catholic Newspaper, my editor gave me a lot of leeway in writing commentary as long as I did some research. Dug out some facts to support the points of my article.
Currently, I try to follow those journalistic edicts as closely as I can, and hopefully ferret out a few nuggets of truth drowning in the the mess that’s tossed out in brief news bits and tweets and other short reactionary comments that pop up all over social media.
But I’ll give you a choice to enjoy this essay from Slim first and then decide whether to read the rest of the blog. Marketing folks will be quick to pooh-pooh that idea, and I even tell my editing clients to never give a reader a reason to stop reading their book, but in this case, maybe choice is good. You tell me.
So here is a cute story about fall and all the ways creatures and humans look forward to it.
Fall is the polishing time. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. For some reason, the spirit that guides us made our experiences in fall the peak of the year’s efforts.
For animals, both wild and domestic, it is the rut, the breeding time. The bulls and bucks have never looked better. Their antlers and horns are hardened into weapons and sharpened against trees. Their bodies are lean and aggressive and they tend to lose all good sense.
I don’t think for a minute that it is just a calendar coincidence that fall is when most festivals, fairs and exhibitions occur. Because by the time fall rolls around, we have jars of jelly ready for competition. The hunters have been practicing out at the range for weeks now and are ready to take the rifle or the bow into the woods to see how their skills measure up to those who they’d love to subdivide and put in the freezer.
The kids are all back in school now, where they can try out all the new crazy stunts on their friends that they learned from their uncles last summer.
It’s a holy, blessed time for that.
Family tradition, you know.
The uncles have been polishing these stunts for decades now and have them down to a science.
The older folks may not be building cabins or climbing mountains after elk as much these days, but there’s a lot to be said for just passing along stories to the youngsters. And it works out fairly well when we realize that ‘most everyone who could challenge the truth of one of those stories has already graciously died on us.
Fall is just a wonderful time to be alive.
Brought to you by the new paperback edition of Ol’ Max Evans: the First Thousand Years From UNMPress.com.
Now the political commentary. (Doesn’t that sound better than a rant?) And I do welcome any responses as long as they are polite and respectful of everyone.
Okay, I’ll admit it that back in 2015-2016 I could see and understand the appeal that the presidential candidate Trump had for so many people. He was somebody from outside the political arena. Maybe he could bring something new to the table. He knew how to run a business. Well maybe I should amend that because his businesses have not done very well. But that’s another story.
Even though I was willing to give him his due as a candidate and possible president, I still didn’t like the man.
The way he debased women and minorities and people with disabilities, he was clearly someone whose moral compass was broken. Seriously broken as in pointing to: “nothing and nobody is off limits.”
At the time of the 2016 election, I seriously doubted that he had the right qualifications to run a country. But again, I recognized his appeal to some people who were tired of the same ol’ same ol’ in Washington. And maybe he would do some good.
To his credit, he did improve the economy and help manufacturers keep jobs in the U.S., but the environment pays a high price for the expansion of fossil fuel production that he championed. And the super-rich enjoyed more wealth growth than the middle-class citizens.
The pros and cons of Trump’s performance as a president could be debated forever, but the focus of this post is on his performance since he lost his bid for reelection in 2020, and his alarming and relentless hold on the Republican party. He’s stirred up the extreme right wing of the GOP party to a frenzy. From members of Congress to individual states and their governments everyone is afraid to call him out on his behavior or say “no” to him.
A recent example is the joke that was the Ken Paxton trial.
According to news reports and Donald Trump himself, Trump and his allies played a key role in Paxton’s acquittal.
“Following a secret campaign coordinated by top Trump allies, Texas state senators acquitted Attorney General Ken Paxton of all impeachment charges, allowing him to return to his post.”
Trump confirmed this rumor on social media, shamelessly claiming that he “saved Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from going down.”
Just the other day, as members of the Senate debated what to do to keep the country from defaulting on it’s debts, Trump inserted himself into the fray, issuing this command – threat? to republicans to just let the country default.
Trump is under the misconception that if the government shuts down, the various criminal cases against him would automatically come to a screeching halt.
“This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots.” (Trump)
ABC New reporter Summer Conception clears that up in her article from September 21,2023:
“Because a shutdown wouldn’t halt criminal proceedings against Trump, some House GOP allies are trying to rein in his prosecutors by inserting provisions in government funding legislation aimed at defunding or limiting law enforcement from investigating the former president…”
House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place as Christina Wilke points out in her article at CNBC “McCarthy fails key House stress test as he seeks government shutdown stopgap.”
“On September 20 The House failed to pass a measure that would have set the rules for debate on a Pentagon funding bill, which had been expected to come to the House floor for a final vote later Thursday. A rules vote typically serves as a dress rehearsal for final votes, giving leadership a sense of where support stands.
“Pentagon spending bills are traditionally passed by wide margins.”
What McCarthy’s next steps will be is unclear, but he is facing major push back from prominent GOP House members who are close allies of Trump.
So it’s clear that Trump is still running things in the government while campaigning to get his old job back. A lot of people think he should – although I do wonder why – but perhaps they’ve been swept up in his charisma and believe all the lies he’s told.
As was this woman who was attending a recent Trump rally. She told the reporter that God had sent Donald Trump and that he was “ordained” to do God’s work.
Really? Can you see the man checking in with God everyday for duty instructions? Or God actually handing them out?
I’d really like someone with some kind of power in the GOP to stand up to Trump and say, “You’re fired.”
That’s all from me for today, folks. I hope you have a great weekend and week ahead. I’ll be busy over the weekend getting things in order since I won’t be able to do much for a while after Monday. If you’re the prayerful sort it would be great to send some my way at 10:30 Monday morning when surgery will commence.