Independence Day Thoughts

We’re all familiar with this part of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But do you know what it says next?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (emphasis mine)

Something to keep in mind come Election Day, you think?

As we Americans celebrate our independence tomorrow – responsibly, of course, with social distancing, face masks, etc. – let’s remind ourselves of our right to institute new government when the present one is a threat to our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which most of us, I think, can agree is very much the case.

Happy Independence Day, y’all. Be safe.

I Believe in Marianne Williamson


The Presidency is not merely an administrative office…It is preeminently a place of moral leadership.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt


Some time back, I blogged about Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. I expressed doubt in that post as to whether she would be a great President.

I am here today to say yes, she sure would.

Acclaimed author Marianne Williamson is exactly the right person to be President at this time in our nation’s history, and I’ll give you the reasons why:

She is inspirational. Marianne knows how to get an audience excited. I’ve seen her get a crowd cheering an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. Her love for this country, its people and its ideals, is tangible and contagious. She is capable of the moral leadership FDR spoke of, which would be such a refreshing departure from the flagrant immorality and absence of leadership in the current administration.

She is smart.  Because Marianne has a background as a spiritual teacher, she is quickly dismissed as an intellectual lightweight, even some kind of spaced-out kook. (Apparently, one can’t be spiritual and intelligent at the same time.) The people who have so dismissed her have never heard her speak at length, or have bothered going to her website to read her position on 24 different issues, domestic and foreign, along with detailed plans for dealing with them all.

You won’t read these from any kook. She’s put a great deal of thought into how to make this country, and its people, better.

Marianne knows the trouble doesn’t just lie with our current President. He is merely the most visible symptom of a long festering illness in America. And while all the other candidates discuss treatments for the symptoms, Marianne is talking about curing the disease.

Also, one thing I notice when I watch her speak: I never see her using any notes, never see her using a TelePrompTer. She doesn’t need them. Marianne knows what she wants to say, and says it eloquently, all on her own.

She is experienced. No, she’s never held any political office, and we’ve seen firsthand what kind of trouble that can get us in. But here’s what one writer had to say regarding her qualifications:

“No one even acknowledges that in the last 5 years Williamson has paid for and put together national conferences called “Sister Giant” attracting thousands of people to further women in US politics, uniting Democrats and Republicans, or that she raised money and awareness for Bernie Sanders Campaign in 2016. Add to that her decades of civil rights activism, AIDS charity and volunteer work, charity fundraising and the thousands of people she’s inspired in speeches of faith in a better American future — ladies and gentlemen, she’s overqualified.”*

She is a visionary. Marianne knows the best way to ensure a prosperous future is to invest in today’s children. Make sure they’re properly fed, properly educated, protected, and allowed to reach their full potential, for in their minds exist the solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. She believes in this enough to want to create a U.S. Cabinet-level Department of Children and Youth.

She is a liberal, left-wing Democrat, which suits me just fine, but she listens to conservatives, wisely acknowledging neither side is always right. As she likes to say, “Nobody has a monopoly on truth.”

She believes in the power of love. And I don’t mean love for your sweetheart. I mean love for your children, for your country, for your planet, for anyone who is different from you, for truth, for justice, for equality, for peace. An active, tough, unshakable love. Like Marianne has.

She is NOT anti-science, anti-vaccine or anti-medication, despite repeated, malicious attempts to portray her as all three.


But, listen: don’t take my word for it.

Go to marianne2020 and see for yourself. Watch the videos. Read her blog. Study her positions on the issues. Just like you would any other presidential candidate you’re considering. Then you can make up your own mind.

I have. I want Marianne Williamson to be my next President.

(Incidentally, this isn’t a paid endorsement. I’m not making a dime for anything I’ve said here, okay?)

In 2016, America got the President it deserved. Let’s get the one we need in 2020.


*CK Sanders
September 17, 2019

The Road From Here




I have thought long and hard about what to say regarding the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Let me begin with a sports analogy:

Many sports fans, I’ve noticed, are willing to overlook a certain player’s behavior for the sake of a few more wins for their team. I mean, so what if he beats women, or gets caught driving drunk, or is charged with possession, etc., as long as he performs when it’s game time.

Sounds a lot like what happened in this election.


I didn’t watch the results on Election Day as they happened; I went to bed that night having no idea whatsoever who our next President was. First thing the next morning, I got out of bed to see who won.

My wife would tell me later, she was a little surprised by how calmly I delivered the news to her. I replied, I wasn’t really calm, so much as I was numb.

In fact, I was in a state of utter shock. I could not believe or process what had occurred. How the hell could this happen? I couldn’t make any sense of it at all. Most of the morning, I was a zombie, just going through the motions of my job, but feeling dead on the inside.

Eventually, I experienced feelings of devastation, depression, worry, revulsion, white-hot anger, embarrassment, shame, betrayal, confusion and about every other negative feeling you can name.

I wanted to lash out at all the Trump voters, leaving no doubt about exactly what I thought of them. I wanted them to know what a monumental mistake they made. I felt like calling them some creative names, along with some of the old favorites.

But I didn’t see that serving any useful purpose. Pretty sure those folks give not one solitary damn what I think of them. And all the yelling and screaming I did would not change the fact that Donald Trump is our President. Yours and mine. That’s the reality, much as a lot of us hate it. (And a lot of us – all over the world, I noticed – do hate it.)

By the way, just so you know, electing a businessman to lead your country is like hiring a pastry chef to overhaul your transmission. There’s a certain skill set to each job that does not translate to the other. Politics, like it or not, is better left to politicians. Would you honestly be comfortable putting someone in the cockpit of your aircraft who’s never flown before in his life?

That’s exactly what the Trump voters just did. Unfortunately, we’re all on the plane with them.


So, what happens next?

One of the few good things to emerge from this messy, embarrassing, completely forgettable election year, is the spirit of revolution, especially among the younger Americans, who were so inspired by the campaign of Bernie Sanders. (I was, too.) They see the need for change, and are ready, willing and able to work toward making change happen.

We need to encourage them. We need to join them.

Women, blacks, Latin Americans, Muslims, the LGBT+ community, and the middle class all have bullseyes on their backs, now. It’s on us all to stand up for their rights, their dignity, and their safety.

Donald Trump and his Republican Congressional cronies dismiss global warming as a myth, a hoax. We need to stand up for the protection of our planet from those who refuse to see the evidence staring them in the face of its accelerating decline.

These and other issues (Supreme Court appointments, health care, Middle East conflicts) will require our vigilance, our intelligence, and our toughness.

For the next four years.

Yes, we have to accept who our President will be, but we do not have to accept his agenda. We can rise up in organized, disciplined, informed, peaceful opposition, and let our singular voice be heard. Not an angry mob, but a determined, unified coalition of like-minded individuals.

I’m a middle-aged white guy with a blog. I will use those advantages to their fullest potential. This is way too important for me to do anything less.

I hope you will join me.


Interesting thing happened Wednesday, The Day After.

I was driving my shuttle van, as always, and the skies were cloudy, gray and gloomy. Much like a large part of America, after what had just occurred.

Late that afternoon, the sun began to break through the clouds.

Corny? Cliche? Yeah, sure, but I was taking my inspiration where I could find it that day.

Clouds only hide the light for so long. But, it always wins.

That’s a mighty good thing to remember.


Living With ED (Electoral Dysfunction)




Well, my fellow Americans, the big day is almost here, and the excitement is building to a fever pitch, whatever the Sam Hill that is. Does anybody even know? Didn’t think so. But, I digress.

The point is, Election Day is almost upon us. (Only 5 more shopping days!!) All the citizens who have had all this time to vote early, and still put it off, will march right down to their friendly neighborhood polling station, spend thirty minutes trying to figure out the electronic voting machine, and cast their all-important vote for the candidate of their choice.

Now, whether the machine records the vote correctly, well…

we all know the whole thing is rigged, anyway. Right, Donnie? Anyway…

Once the votes are all counted, a winner will officially be declared.

On January 6th.


Wait, what?

Whaddya mean, January 6th? This some kind of joke?

Welcome to Electoral College 101, class. If you’ve never learned this or, like me, learned and long since forgotten, this is for you. Pay, I say, pay close attention, now.

You keep hearing about electoral votes, how it will take 270 of those for one candidate to win. But, what does that mean, exactly?

Okay, the Electoral College is comprised of a designated number of voters from each state, as determined by the number of senators plus representatives in that state. (The District of Columbia gets three electoral votes, in case you were worried.) You have the same number of Republican and Democratic Electors in each state, so whichever candidate wins the popular vote in, let’s say, Texas, wins all the electoral votes from Texas in his or her party.

Hey, WAKE UP!!! That’s better. Now, where was I?

Nebraska and Maine are exceptions to this formula, but nobody knows or cares what happens there, anyway. Just kidding, all you nutty Nebraskans and you…uh…Maine-iacs.

Whoever gets 270 or more of the available 538 electoral votes nationwide is the winner. So, all of you out there who think your vote doesn’t count, consider: it could make a difference in your candidate winning or losing your state.

Why do we have this system, you ask? Glad you asked. If we just relied on the popular vote to decide the election, heavily populated states like California and Texas would have too much influence over the outcome. The Electoral College balances the voting power a little better.

So, each state’s block of electors (members of the winning candidate’s party) assembles in their respective state capitol on December 19th. At this assembly, the electors sign the “Certificate of Vote,” which is sealed and delivered to the Office of the President of the United States Senate.

A special joint session of the U.S. Congress convenes January 6th. At this meeting, the President of the Senate reads the Certificates of Vote and declares the official winner.

All nice, neat and tidy, right? Except…

(dramatic organ music, played on a dramatic organ)

Here’s where ED, Electoral Dysfunction, sometimes shows up. Occasionally, someone becomes a faithless elector, someone who votes for a candidate other than the one he or she pledged to elect. It’s a rare occurrence, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see it happen this election, as crazy as this campaign has been. So, that could make things interesting.

The punishment for a faithless elector is left up to the state in which it occurs, but usually, the guilty person is mercilessly flogged in the public square. Ha, ha! No, that’s not true. The guilty person has to watch replays of all this year’s debates.

I would definitely opt for the flogging. Just saying.

All right, there’s your little Electoral College lesson, students. I see many of you have fallen asleep (again) by now, so I’m confident this lesson has sunk in.

You’re very welcome.

Now, back to Chess With the Stars. And, coming up later, Celebrity Bingo Smackdown.

Rebel Yell


He’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be any good
He’s a rebel ’cause he never ever does what he should
But just because he doesn’t do what everybody else does
That’s no reason why I can’t give him all my love

“He’s a Rebel”, The Crystals


Published By
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

You were the low down rebel if there ever was
Even if you had no cause

“James Dean”, Eagles


Published By
Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

“Into the Great Wide Open”, Tom Petty


Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


Look, I get the appeal.

He’s an outsider taking on the status quo, the un-politician in the cage with all the career politicians, the straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip, regular, everyday millionaire of the people, and he will “Make America Great Again.” Trust him.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump has struck a nerve with a large segment of the American population. He knows we’re scared of our own shadow these days, and presents himself as our long-awaited protector, who will rescue us from all the Boogeymen out there, like Mexicans, Muslims, Democrats, etc. He knows we’ve had it up to here with politics as usual, and offers himself as the gunslinger who will ride into Washington and run all them bushwhackin’ varmints outta town.

But, good lord…

Is Hillary Clinton really so bad that you’d rather have this guy as our President?

My brothers discuss my blog posts, sometimes. My oldest brother has observed my more recent ones being a bit more political.

Well, here I go again, bro.


You know you’re not running too good a campaign when prominent members of your own party are demanding that you quit. Immediately.

How many of you saw the first two debates between Trump and Clinton? I don’t know what you saw, but I saw a man who doesn’t need to be president of anything. If this is how he handles the relatively low pressure of a debate, I can only imagine how he would hold up in the Oval Office. It’s scary to think about.

Yet, despite that, people are still out there who love him to death. Every new revelation about his past or present behavior only serves to further solidify their unwavering support for Trump. You can crap on this guy all day, and his Loyal Followers won’t smell a thing. Like he said, he could shoot someone in the street and not lose supporters. Heck, he could probably start shooting them, and more would just pop up somewhere.


October 11, 2016, 15:46 CDT.

That is the exact date and time when it finally hit me. Why this guy is so popular with so many people.

We finally have a candidate who openly caters to our laziness as Americans.

All we want is someone who will solve all our problems for us, and here he is, at long last. He’ll build The Wall. He’ll restore law and order. He’ll bring all the jobs back from overseas. He’ll rid us of Isis, starting with turning away any more Muslims.

Isn’t that awesome? And we don’t have to do a f*****g thing!! We can continue with our regularly scheduled activities, and just let Daddy Trump take care of everything.

Because we have abdicated our responsibility for the care and feeding of our nation.


There are exceptions, I know, so to those of you who are and have been actively involved in making this country a better place to live, I offer my apologies, and my gratitude. I wish I were more like you.

I wish a lot of us were.


I’m making this one final appeal to you.

Please. Don’t. Vote. For. Donald. Trump.

If for no other reasons than these:

1. He has sexually assaulted women. And bragged about it. (Granted, he is, unfortunately, not the only man ever to do so. But that doesn’t make it right.)

2. He is far too thin-skinned and vindictive to handle the nuances of foreign policy. The man can’t even let a freakin’ tweet go unchallenged, for cryin’ out loud.

3. He rejects the reality of climate change, even as it stares us all right in the face.

Believe me, I don’t like Hillary Clinton, either. I think both these candidates stink.

I don’t like Jill Stein’s chances, but I support most everything her party, the Green Party, stands for. I don’t see much chance for Gary Johnson, either, and besides, I’m not sure what to make of him, anyway.

But, at least, Hillary has experience. I know Trump characterized it in the first debate as “bad experience”, but I’ll still take that over no experience.

I know she brings her own set of baggage to this contest. I know she’s “a CLINTON.” I know about that email debacle. I know she’s cozy with the Wall Street set.

And I get that the “lesser of two evils” is still evil. But it’s also lesser.

And I really think voting for Mr. Trump is a big mistake.

But, I’ve said my piece, now. As the saying goes, It’s up to you, America.

Get thee to the polls and VOTE!


Last One Picked


Today, friends, Mr. Peabody and I have set the Way Back Machine for the 1960’s, to travel back to the halcyon days of my childhood. Those carefree days when my friends and I would get together to play some team sports: football, kickball, global thermonuclear war…you know, the usual.

Two kids would immediately call out, “First captain, first choose!” and “Second captain, second choose!”, staking their claim as team captains, which afforded them the right to select their teammates. The rest of us would kind of fall in line, like contestants on “The Bachelor”, and anxiously wait for our names to be called, to join that captain’s team.

Naturally, I wanted to be among the first ones chosen, because it meant the team captain recognized what a valuable commodity I was for his team, what with my athletic prowess, and all. (ahem)

Instead, I stood there…and stood there…and stood there. Name after name was called, kid after kid was selected, and I began to get the strong impression, given my keen powers of observation and deduction, that neither captain actually wanted me on his team.

And apparently, neither did his teammates, who began to give directions on who to choose next: “Pick David!””Pick Sammy!””Pick Mrs. Ainsworth! I know she’s 83, pick her!”

Finally, when the Second Captain sadly realized he was completely out of options, he motioned to Yours Truly to come over to his team, looking at me like he wished he could have picked a disabled slug, instead.

What an incredibly proud moment that was for me, knowing I was not chosen for my ability, but simply because there was literally no other choice.

Which brings me to this year’s Presidential election.





(Note: The following opinions are my own. And maybe, a couple of other people’s.)

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen.

I keep hoping this turns out to be a well-planned, well-executed, elaborate and exceptionally cruel hoax. Or, perhaps, a long and terrifying nightmare from which I will awaken any minute, awash in the relief that it was nothing but a feverish dream.

I mean, these just can’t be the two leading candidates for President of the United States.

The polls – the altar at which all politicians worship – have spoken: these are the two least liked Presidential candidates in the history of modern polling.

Has it really sunk to this level? Is this truly what we wanted for our choice? What in the name of George Washington is the matter with us? President Hillary Clinton? President Donald Trump?


So, on one side, we have…Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

One certainly can’t argue her experience; she’s been in politics for what, like, 80 years now? So she knows how things work (or, more appropriately, don’t work) in Washington.

And yet, with a resume as fully loaded as hers, she still needed help from the Democratic National Committee to secure the nomination, (See Wasserman Schultz, Debbie, emails) as Senator Bernie Sanders, and his followers, proved far more formidable an opponent than initially forecasted.

Know why? Cause we know Hillary so well, from years of observation. And many of us do not like what we see.

Put it another way: What does it say about her track record when a key element of her campaign is convincing more people to trust her?

Besides all that: who really wants to see him back in the White House, as First Bubba?


And then, there’s …(gag reflex)…Donnie.

Honestly, where do I even begin?

If that isn’t proof of how pitifully, woefully, historically lame the rest of the field was on the Republican side this year, I sincerely don’t know what is. Even when the Repubs had approximately 50 people running at one time, this guy was still the top choice.

Just think about that a minute.

You know, if he doesn’t win, he’s going to sue the United States for not electing him, you know that, right?

If you’re ready to be led by this bigoted, misogynistic, thin-skinned, vindictive, dozens-more-derogatory-adjectives megalomaniac, well…

I genuinely pity you. You have truly scraped the bottom of the barrel, and this is the disgusting dreck you’ve extracted. He’s on your hands.


So…there we are. Your Presidential candidates for 2016. To borrow a phrase from Larry David, curb your enthusiasm.

…um, yeah. More like, I dare you not to puke.

There are, of course, other choices, but our two-party system doesn’t exactly accommodate those interlopers. (Full disclosure: I have a cousin who threw his hat in the ring for President this year. The less said about that, the better, I think.)

And, just for the record, and for what it’s worth, if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic Presidential nominee, I’d cast a thousand votes for him, if it was allowed. I believe he has more integrity in his thumbnail than those other two in their whole bodies, combined.

You’re the team captain. Who ya gonna choose?

I guess that somewhat depends on what game you want to play.