Stuck in the Middle

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Photo Credit: Image by cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay

Wow, I am starting to feel like my old self, spring in the step, walking into a big box store to buy stakes for my new Thompson seedless vines, all the while leaving my mask in the car. Dare I risk it?

The governor says it’s okay to show my face now; but he is a former ice cream store owner/operator, so I am not sure he really gets anything other than trying to look and act conservative in a state that is quickly turning purple. (Another guy born with his finger in the air, under the sign of the God Janus.)

I look around me as I, for the first time in a year (?), venture about maskless, Crazy Nancy’s ‘spark of divinity’ evident upon my radiant face as I smile at those other shoppers and employees who are the real reason I shop where I shop. Got my mojo back? The fourth first lady is having a difficult time catching up as I am moving quickly towards the goal of my shopping mission – those manly, metal stakes that will soon support my beautiful red and green seedless bombs of sugar and love. I realize that even if my vines flourish, they still won’t yield anything close to a Sauvignon Blanc, but one can dream. …

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, snap out of it. Put your mask on. Most everyone else in the store is wearing one. Why do you think you are special? You want to cause a problem? You might cause a riot or even worse, drive complaints to Karen, the store manager. You really want that?”

Richard Edward: “Hey Mr. Narrator, chill, okay? The governor said I don’t have to wear one anymore. He said that COVID is defeated. He said that it’s up to the store to decide about the efficacy of mask wearing. So, if the store makes the decision about wearing the mask, it’s really not about science anymore, it’s about how safe one feels.”

Mr. Narrator: “That’s the problem Richard Edward, your feelings. You have none. How can you be so callous towards your fellow man? Walking about unmasked, an existential threat to all you pass in the isles of capitalistic excess. You may want to live dangerously, but others around you, those who actively seek safe spaces, don’t feel the same way. Your unmasked countenance scares them. What if you breath on them? Your halitotic exhale could mean their death? Are you really that inhumane?”

Richard Edward: “But science…. I’ve had COVID, Mr. Narrator. My doctor said I have the antibodies. No one talks about those of us who have been sick and recovered, only those who have the vaccine and those who don’t. I can’t infect anyone because I can’t get this again, at least not so soon after my recovery. I am the safest guy in the hood to be around. I am not vaccinated, but I am not contagious, either.”

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you are worse than a pair of Tony Fauci flip flops worn under a mask and tie. You can’t be safe if you are not vaccinated. Dr. Tony didn’t say you are safe, so you can’t be. Are you one of those who might have herd immunity? No one in authority talks about ‘you’, the deplorable, ‘recovered-survivors’ tribe. Your people have been ignored. Dude, you either got the jab or you didn’t.”

Then it hits me, I am neither hot nor cold, fish nor fowl. I am once again the forgotten man, one of those who got the disease, recovered and is now simply a hidden statistic. I am stuck in the middle. Deep, or as deep as is possible in my brain, the music rises, a familiar melody surfaces from my pre-mask life.

Trying to make some sense of it all
But I see it makes no sense at all.
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
I don’t think that I can take anymore.

Clowns to the left of me!
Jokers to the right!
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Mr. Narrator appears to be correct once again. As much as it pains me, he occasionally makes sense. Yes, I am well and not likely to pass along the dreaded COVID to anyone. Yes, there are antibodies coursing through my body, my bone marrow doing its tireless job 24/7 of keeping me safe.

No, I have no proof to show the store Karens who patrol our aisles of commerce, our passageways of daily life, that I am not a threat.

I don’t want the jab. It’s more dangerous for me than what I have already survived.

So, here I am stuck in the middle of the lingering controversy of the biggest health issue of our decade. The clowns to the left of me insist that I get a vaccination that medicine and science say I most likely don’t need. The jokers to my right appear too afraid to argue the herd immunity case; they don’t want to recognize people like me who have survived and now contribute to the herd’s defense against the disease.

Being stuck anywhere is a drag, but being stuck in the middle is the worst. If you are in the middle like Richard Edward, please leave a comment about the clowns and jokers who are on either side of your life.

— Richard Edward Tracy

Straight Down the Leash

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Photo Credit: Image by Merio from Pixabay

Ah yes, the coveted ‘day off’ – no labor in the garden plot of the fourth first, no books to balance, no yardwork and my new cat has just re-entered her daily, 22-hour period of slumber.

It’s “Richard Edward time” now; coffee and a slow, steady ingestion of the news, punctuated by quick trips to the fridge to steal another piece of my only culinary triumph; a home-marinade, grass-fed, dehydrated-in-my-very own-oven beef jerky. All while the fourth first is occupied on a call to her sister in Ukraine.

News intake routine activated? Yes. Initial news scan results? Yes, the news is as annoying today as it is on any other day – and as horrifyingly predictable … or is it predictably horrifying. One article in and I am already running from an avalanche of stupid.

Our friends at Fox News tell us that “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) led a group of her House Democratic colleagues in a letter to federal immigration officials demanding an overhaul of immigration policies and objecting to gang members in the country illegally being targeted for deportation.”

The group further posits that:

The lawmakers claim an interim enforcement memo issued by ICE “does not adequately protect the liberty interests of asylum seekers” and presumes an illegal migrant — including those convicted of aggravated felonies — to be a “border security and enforcement and removal priority.”

“It is well documented that law enforcement’s practices of labelling people as gang-involved is often faulty, based on arbitrary and racist factors, and not subject to due process,” the lawmakers claimed.

“We are in a moment of racial reckoning in this country, with communities across the country calling for an end to mass incarceration and racist policing,” the group continued. “It is time to end the carceral approach to immigration, which relies on these same flawed systems.”

What in the blazes? Dems don’t want illegal gang members to be deported? Did I read that right? Border patrol and ICE personnel aren’t capable of identifying the MS-13 gang tattoo on some illegal’s neck and forehead anymore? Is this insanity or some twisted ploy to distract from a more nefarious plot to destroy —

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward you did read that ‘right’ and you read it correctly, too. The Squad and many other social justice Democrats are concerned that illegals who have been convicted of aggravated felonies are presumed, by DHS, to be a ‘border security and enforcement and removal priority’; a DHS priority that they opine is trampling all over those poor dear’s rights.”

Richard Edward: “This is crazy talk, reflecting crazy thinking. This isn’t difficult. Even I can determine the difference between a young, central American male covered in gang tattoos from one with crazy Nancy’s ‘spark of divinity’ on his face. Who is the leader of this particular social justice cult that is telling the American people that wrong is right, bad is good, hoodlums are choirboys, and that seasoned law enforcement officers only super-power is one that always ends in the mis-identification of ‘good’ criminal illegals for ‘bad’ criminal illegals?”

Mr. Narrator: “Think about if for a minute, Richard Edward. Think about the groupthink of those 35 Democrats and their rote quotation of their social justice catechism. What do you really hear? Where do you think it begins? How uniform does their litany seem to be and who may have trained these mongrels, the ones who howl at the moon of laws and righteousness? Use your knower, try hard to remember.”

Richard Edward: “Yes, I remember now. Back in the day I used to say I could match any of my squadron’s working dogs with their handlers by simply observing the handler’s behavior. I believed then, and still do, that the personality of the handler goes right down the leash! Tactical training is critical; but the subtle attitudes, approach and response to situations that complete the effectiveness and credibility of the unit start with the attitude and personality of the handler.”

Mr. Narrator: “I knew you’d remember Richard Edward! Now, think a little harder – who is the ‘handler’ for the social justice Democrats?  Who holds the leash? Who dictates the training? Who gives the commands? Who issues the talking points and sets the goals for the group? I’ll help you Richard Edward. It’s not AOC. She is a parrot and a mixologist, not a handler. Think further up the leash.”

Richard Edward: “It can’t be Joey Robinette, Mr. Narrator. He is far too muddled in his thinking to come up with such a preposterous perversion of professional policing and border control. Joey wouldn’t be able to hold even an incoherent thought long enough to come up with this kind of woke poop.”

Mr. Narrator: “I’ll give you one last hint, Richard Edward. It’s got to be someone with a more sinister thought process, someone who was trained year after year in the dark arts of Marxism, someone who embraces Cloward-Piven strategy as the ‘final solution’ to America’s wonderful culture and history’s best-ever living experiment. It’s someone who must still remember his Muslim roots, who believes that America owes the world an apology for its racist, colonial behavior and that an individual’s wealth is something to be re-distributed to those who didn’t labor to earn it.”

Richard Edward: “Okay, I get it. But how can Obama be the handler? He isn’t in office anymore.”

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you are so naïve. He has to do something while he waits for the ocean to rise and engulf his new house on Martha’s Vineyard. Don’t you remember, he (joked?) stated in an interview on the CBC how wonderful a third term would be if he could sit in his jammies in his basement and pull the strings of government to someone sitting in the White House, communicating via an earpiece? Why do you think Biden says he’ll be in trouble if he answers press questions? In trouble with who, perhaps his old boss?”

Richard Edward: “Okay, you are spot on. Look at Obama’s personality and his attitude towards America; then look at what Biden and the social justice Dems say and do. I was also correct. It goes right down the leash, after all.”

If you think that dozens of American legislators responding to a hidden handler’s commands can lead to a crisis, please leave a comment and let Mr. Narrator and Richard Edward know your thoughts.

—  Richard Edward Tracy

Richard Edward in the Garden of Politics

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Photo Credit: Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

I am on my second cup of coffee and I still can’t face the day (sorry Mr. Lightfoot). Why? I am scheduled to witness, firsthand, the premier of manual labor, a play I would rather not attend. Since the fourth First Lady’s acquisition of an unusually large garden plot, the task of clean-up and planting preparation has been hanging over my head. I run through my mental checklist before leaving for the plot …

Irrigation? Check. Not designed and installed yet, but those soaker hoses and that timer you bought yesterday should work. At least there is a hose bib with running water.

Planter beds? Check. Not installed yet, but those raised bed kits that you bought yesterday shouldn’t take too much effort to assemble and fill with steer poop.

Crop cage? Check. Framework installed and in relatively good shape, except for all those places where the chicken wire overlaps and needs to be secured.  Those zip ties and wire clips you purchased should come in handy.

Oh well, glance at the watch, it’s not quite yet gotten to be 100° before noon, so it could be worse.

As I run through my checklist, I notice that my cat awakens from her nocturnal slumber, perched upon the counter-height chair, visions of rogue mice beginning to fade from her cat brain. She glances my direction, slow blinks, jumps from her perch and immediately begins her morning routine of cat yoga….assuming her favorite position of downward feline.

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, it’s not getting any cooler outside. Quit stalling, get your tools together and get on with the garden site prep.”

Richard Edward: “You’re right Mr. Narrator. I’ve been putting this off. There really is so much work to be done, even before the actual work of planting and harvesting, that the reward of organic vegetables appears diminished. Anyway, I’ll grab the rakes and hoes and meet you and the fourth first at the car.”

As I step into my garage, the lizard portion of my cortex lights up. Rakes and hoes, why does that seem so familiar? Then I realize that the ‘rakes and hoes’ tools that I seek now are in reality, those very political actors that I loathe so much. Now I understand why I don’t want to do this; these tools of the garden are simply representations; its really about the bogeymen of my political awareness — professional politicians.

Mr. Narrator (interrupts again): “Richard Edward, stop! Not all politicians are rakes and hoes. While I do see some similarities with the current administration’s leadership, many of those political actors are not solely consigned to behave like the ‘lower tools’ in life’s garden. Rakes and hoes may be basic tools, but it doesn’t mean that they are base. There are some honest folks in Washington.”

I hate when Mr. Narrator makes word play.

Richard Edward: “Ok, I’ll play your garden word game. You just might be correct. But even so, in the garden that is D.C., there really are tools, rakes, hoes and more than a few weeds that need to be removed.”

“Rakes? I’d nominate Slick Willy, Hunter Biden and yes, even Joey Robinette in his younger days. John Kennedy was also reputed to be something of a rake, no?”

“Hoes? Well, there are far too many to mention in gentlemanly conversation, but how many pols have you seen that will do anything for a (lobbyist) buck? While its not the world’s oldest profession (navigators will tell you that someone first had to lead the customer to find them), it appears that many legislators and those in the administration have decided that selling one’s integrity is a profitable enterprise. I mean, how many folks on the CDC staff are eligible for royalties from drug patents?”

“Tools? The list is long Mr. Narrator. Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Fang Fang Swalwell, ‘Guam” Johnson and that shifty, bug-eyed dude from CA who always has the ‘goods’ on everyone but just never delivers, Mitt Romney and then any Democrat member of any oversight committee. So many tools they could open a big box garden store. C’mon man, name one Democratic legislator who is smarter than a hand trowel?”

“Weeds? Don’t get me started! Toxic, strangling the life out of legitimate political endeavors. … The weeds could be the worst of the bunch in the political garden; spreading poison amongst the legitimate programs that are trying to bear fruit. Weeds compete with good crops for water, soil, sunlight, nourishment and yet they produce nothing. (Looking at you AOC, Bernie Sanders, Auntie Maxine, Ilhan Omar.)”

Mr. Narrator: “Okay, Richard Edward, enough.  You’ve made your point. We obviously need a new master gardener in D.C.”

Richard Edward: “Yes, Mr. Narrator, I knew in my knower that you’d see my point of view. Good gardeners help create life-sustaining environments, tend and care for both seedlings and mature plants, ensure access to water and food, make sure every plant in their garden has its own space and place to grow, and they keep the weeds from choking the good plants.”

“Good legislators do kind of the same things for their constituents. They help create lawful and peaceful environments, promote legislation and administrative programs that benefit the young and the old, help their constituents stay employed, stay in school and ensure that they have access to programs that are designed to promote personal and/or professional growth. As always, the good ones try to keep the weeds from showing up in their districts.

If you think about who represents you, maybe its time to pull a few weeds and if you have to, hire a new gardener.”

“If you think that good gardeners might make good legislators, please let Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator know why you think so. … And if you have one, happy gardening!

— Richard Edward Tracy

R.I.P. Buck

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Photo Credit: Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

What can ever replace him?

My friend Buck passed away and I feel terrible that I cannot determine the exact time and date of his passing. Most of the world is unaware he is gone and I have heard there are some who claim he is still with us. Was Buck a friend? Yes. Could every man relate to Buck? Absolutely.

Admittedly, Buck’s past was a little checkered. His ancestors were not always considered savory. His great uncle, x3, the Continental, was roundly dissed. This uncle was considered worthless, without backing and susceptible to being copied.

Buck’s more recent ancestors were numerous, and from 1793 to 1861, his forbearers were printed and circulated by numerous private banks at the state level. Buck’s ancestral history can be found in a nifty publication: History of United States Currency.

Buck’s family crest, $, was adopted in 1785. In 1791, Buck got his permanent ancestral home when his great, great, great godfather, Al Hamilton, established the first U.S.  bank. The Buck most of us know and love, the first paper currency from the U.S. Treasury, was finally born in 1861. While he changed his look over the years, everyone wanted to be his friend, to have more of him. Everyone desired his presence, to be more than close. Time passed, and as banks started making credit available to Buck’s admirers, desire for Buck continued to grow.

Why was Buck so popular? He enhanced the lives of those who possessed him. Spending time with Buck was mostly satisfying, as was spending a little time with him. When Buck came into your presence, it was rewarding. You know Buck was as solid as a rock, always hanging around with his longtime partner, Gold.

Buck had rough spots throughout his life, but many old timers say that Buck’s demise started around 1972, when Buck was separated from Gold. Many wondered what would happen to Buck, but he was tough and seemed to have survived the separation. In more private moments, however, Buck would confide to me that he felt less valuable after his separation from Gold, felt like he was becoming worth less.

Years passed and Buck’s reputation grew. He was the official currency of the world’s strongest economy. Everyone wanted him and he was invited into banking systems the world over. Buck began to feel more confident, that he could be everyone’s best friend, anywhere in the world. His admirers always compared him to his cousins Peso, Yen and Ruble. Buck always was given a seat at the head of the table.

So, what finally happened to Buck? As I become more acquainted with Buck, I noticed that he started to seem thinner, somehow more “stretched.” It depends upon with whom you speak, but I believe that Buck’s boyhood competitor, Inflation, finally got the best of Buck. Some will disagree with me and for those who do, I’ll refer you to 1945.com’s Desmond Lachman. Lachman, in an excellent article, chronicles the differing opinions about Inflation from a former and current U.S. Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Inflation is also a worry:

From a Friedmannian perspective, among the more striking characteristics of the Powell Fed is its seeming total disregard for the way in which its policies are causing a U.S. money supply explosion. In particular, the Fed seems to be unfazed by the fact that over the past year the Fed’s highly aggressive bond-buying program has contributed to a 30 percent increase in the broad money supply. That is the fastest pace of U.S. money supply increase in the past sixty years by a multiple of around 3.

For Milton Friedman, such a money supply explosion would be a sure sign that inflation was around the corner, especially if the Fed were to continue to finance the U.S. government’s largest budget deficit in peacetime history by printing yet more money. By contrast, for Jerome Powell, who expects inflation to remain well contained, the unusually rapid money supply increase seems to have no real meaning.

Another surprising aspect of the Fed’s current policy mindset is its determination to wait until it sees very clear signs of inflation before starting to even think about raising interest rates or tapering its $120 billion a month bond-buying program. Never mind Milton Friedman’s warnings that monetary policy acts with long and variable lags. The Fed in its wisdom seems to think that nowadays inflation can be turned around on a dime and that there is no policy need to anticipate inflation from a likely economic overheating until actual inflation comes knocking at your door.

All of this does not bode well for the U.S. economic and financial market outlook.

So there you have it – my perhaps premature eulogy for Buck. Some will say, ‘Hey Richard Edward, Buck’s still around, he just doesn’t buy as much as he used to… and dude, even if Buck is a little weaker than he used to be, his cousin Benjamin is still here.’ I don’t know much about that. Benjamin was always running with a much higher dollar crowd than my own, so I haven’t seen him for quite some time.

Those who disagree with me also say ‘Richard Edward has family members living on fixed incomes, so he is just obsessed over the possibility of inflation making his dollars’ worth less, even worthless.’ Who knows, maybe they’re right?

If you think Richard Edward is overly concerned with inflation becoming an American Crisis, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

—  Richard Edward Tracy

Less Is Certainly More

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Photo Credit: Image by sergei akulich from Pixabay

I was just reading the news, or at least all of the news I can ingest without experiencing an equal and opposite intestinal reaction, and noticed a highly impactful story from our friends at Fox News about a 47-year-old woman who disappeared last year, only to be “found” by sheriff deputies. She survived a winter in the Utah front range, not exactly the Hilton of outdoor experiences.

How she made it alive through the winter without tons of necessary gear is a mystery (and a great potential embarrassment to any and all professional preppers), but I am guessing that she had some level of physical, mental and emotional preparedness.

The Fox article reports that the woman wasn’t crazy:

Although the woman had struggled to find an adequate food supply over winter, [Sgt. Spencer] Cannon commended her resourcefulness in foraging grass and moss.

Cannon added that the woman’s campsite was well maintained and organized. He also shared that the woman is “very intelligent” and “has held highly respected jobs.”

With apologies to Charlotte (one of my favorite literary characters); my delicate, woven web message would be “some woman”.

Why she attempted it, to me, is the bigger question. The Fox news article explained that “Her motivation was, in part, for solitude and isolation,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Fox News in an email.

Wow.  I’ve driven by the Spanish Fork area on several occasions – it’s beautiful and if you would pick a place to starve to death or perish from the elements, you couldn’t find a more perfect landscape.

My lizard cortex jumps to the forefront of my brain and takes control. … Running from? Running to? Running away? Running towards?  Running, running, r.u.n.n.o.f.t. (Oh Brother, extra credit if you remember that line).

Mr. Narrator (interrupts):  “Richard Edward!  Stop! Deep breath! This woman wasn’t running in fear. Read the statement from Sgt. Cannon. She was running towards a better place, a more sane and serene place. She was running towards health and well-being.”

Richard Edward: “Okay, Mr. Narrator. I’ll consider your opinion. … But why risk death and/or being eaten by a bear for a little solitude? C’mon man, there are spas for that kind of thing, aren’t there? Does getting away from it all have to be a death-defying act? What ever happened to quiet and essential oils?”

Mr. Narrator: “Why do you really think she was running, Richard Edward? You think she was looking for just for a little solitude? Look around you and tell me what is happening. I think maybe she was looking for less. Yes, less of the following things.”

“Critical Race Theory is encroaching on every aspect of our lives. If you are white, you are the worst thing since spam was invented. Not guilty about being white? You should be. Just ask any race hustler who is working their corner.”

“Illegal immigrants are now the disadvantaged people of choice – they’re treated better than U.S. citizens. They’re more deserving of government help in difficult times. Just ask the Biden administration. Break the law to get here, no worries, come on down!”

“Mask up, dude! Every local governmental official below the office of county dog catcher governor is exercising their appropriated power to tell you what to do and how to behave in public.”

“Drug addled thugs from Minneapolis are celebrated as heroes. Cops who risk their lives everyday are the new Brownshirts of our society. Is this law and order you can count on to keep you safe?”

“Felons are released back into the community without so much as an overnight stint in the local jail, much less required to post bail. Local DAs are practicing a catch and release program. No chair to sit on when the legal music stops? No problem, just keep playing the game, we’ve got your felonious back.”

“I could go on Richard Edward, but answer me honestly, do you think this woman was comfortable walking the streets of her neighborhood, living daily life in her home, encountering her woke neighbors, the shopkeepers in her community, the roving activists with megaphones bellowing that Black Lives Matter, interacting with any level of her government representatives for assistance while constantly having to be aware of her skin color and supposed privilege?”

Richard Edward: “You mean she was running toward a life without ‘woke’ standards? A lifestyle that used to value people as people, and not as generalized identities based upon skin color and political views?

Mr. Narrator: “Yes Richard Edward. She was running towards sanity. She was running towards a life of truth. She was running towards a life of value, not virtue signals.”

Richard Edward: “We don’t have that kind of community any more. We can’t escape the all-encompassing theory of Critical Race Theory. The woke brigade now rules the planet and our daily behavior.”

Mr. Narrator:  “Richard Edward, you will someday wake up and realize that less truly is more. Less critical race theory, less government rules and regulations, less illegal immigration, less leniency to convicted felons, less government spending, less taxes, less politics, less of everything that steals your individual American rights. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was considered to be an architectural genius and his Bahus style of design influenced generations of architects. He is synonymous with ‘less is more’. Minimal intrusion, by architecture, on lifestyle.“

Richard Edward: “I get it now. This woman who ran away to a Utah campsite in Spanish Fork is more than an architectural genius. She didn’t run away to build a minimalist building, she ran toward liberty and self-reliance. She ran away from a life in the popular culture gulag and toward a life of independence. She ran toward freedom.”

If you think that a life in the wilderness could be better than a life in the Democrat-controlled matrix, please leave Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator a comment about why.

— Richard Edward Tracy

DemoCats and Other Radical Creatures

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Photo Credit: Image by mjimages from Pixabay

Lately, it’s been getting crowded in my house or at least it seems like it. At first, it was just me and the fourth First Lady. Then, and almost without fanfare, I noticed that an alter-ego had arrived. Not too inconvenient, but he (for those of you who care, Mr. Narrator’s pronouns remain officially undeclared) did impinge upon my time and was seen to be taking up space in the landscape of my thoughts. Okay, still a livable arrangement and the fourth first doesn’t seem to mind. But ‘it’ eventually happened. After a  year of two of skirting the issue, the fourth first popped the question: “Since your allergies are under control, can we get a cat? All Russian households, at least ‘real’ Russian households, have a cat.”

Panic. Last time I checked the atlas (for you younger readers, it’s a book of maps – not a god or a bodybuilder), Arizona isn’t anywhere close to Russia. Okay, we’re not a Russian household but the fourth first lady is Russian and that trumps all other geographical arguments. (Did I mention that Russians tend to be somewhat intransigent personalities?)

Renewed panic. If forced to declare a preference, I am a dog person. Conservatives are dog people. How do I know? Dogs are loyal, affectionate, smart (sometimes) and (mostly) reliable. Some of them are even classified as ‘working’ dogs, dogs that can even carry alcohol in kegs under their chins. How much more ‘conservative’ can you get?

Cats, ugh. Cats are the animals of the 1%. The ones with which I am familiar have been distant, dispassionate, aloof, elite, distrusting, self-interested, the kind of animal that never gives back, a creature that only takes …

Mr. Narrator (interrupts):  “Richard Edward, stop. You are denigrating an entire species of animal. It’s unfair and unsubstantiated, too. Additionally, you are anthropomorphizing, painting an entire species of animal with the broad brush of ‘identify’ classification. Don’t you realize how racist, how divisive and polarizing that kind of process appears?”

Richard Edward: “Mr. Narrator, wait, wait.  Zoologists always use the classification system when talking about animals. That’s what I learned in school. It is how we can discuss wonderful animals in general and then those other animals, like cats, in particular.”

Mr. Narrator: (sighs) “Richard Edward, you are so ‘not woke’. Critical Race Theory teaches us that everything you learned in school, every value you were taught to respect, everything in your everyday life is simply based in white privilege and formulated to support white supremacy. You think dogs are okay and cats are so-so? Racist! Why is the love of dogs racist? Dogs were used to hunt down escaped slaves. See, I am sure that’s why you like dogs. On the other hand, cats have independent attitudes, are owned by no one. Cats exhibit the ultimate anti-slavery, anti-racist animal attitude. Your white supremist attitude is really why you don’t like cats.”

“Your assignment of negative, humanlike traits to cats is nothing more than your effort to marginalize a noble species. You are so mired in white privilege that you cannot see beyond your white schooling and the old, white-designed scientific methods, promulgated by dead, white-guys with science degrees.”

Mr. Narrator is considerably younger than I and his school experience more recent. I’ll have to take his word that what is being taught in schools is quite different than my old curriculum. How in the blazes did this newfangled thinking get introduced into our culture and quite honestly, who is crazy enough to believe it?

Then it dawns on me. This is simply an extension of what I’ve been reading about in the news. White privilege is everywhere and it’s responsible for everything that is wrong.

Of course, with power like that, why wouldn’t CRT be used for framing our daily experience? Got to go to the doctor? Don’t worry about making an appointment. You will be seen, not in the order of your arrival at the office but based upon your race. My colleague Elizabeth Vaughn has written about the proposed new medical triage process.

Think its only happening here? If you are white, just try to get a vaccine appointment in the city of Hamilton, Ontario in Canada. Maybe that trip across the border needs to be delayed.

The new-think of CRT demands that white, privileged people remember their place at all times and in all circumstances. Don’t believe me?

Take sports (yes, please take them, especially football). The NFL, where the top four highest paid players (quarterbacks) are black, is now racist, according to some sport analyst. Why? Maybe white quarterback prospects are being scouted and drafted ahead of players of color because of the racist owners and team management. Really?

Race is certainly taken front and center stage in what’s left of the mind of the President of the United States, resulting in his comments about equity in the administration of COVID vaccines between white seniors of those seniors of color. Not to be outdone in the vaccine race (pun intended), the President is pushing for grants, through his department of education, that would fund the teaching of CRT in American schools. As reported by Fox news:

The rule would funnel federal grant money to help schools teach the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project by controversial essayist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Boston University Director of the Center for Anti-Racist Research Director Ibram Kendi’s book, How to Be an Anti-Racist into K-12 school curriculums.

Wow, identify politics and race has seeped into the very fabric of our lives.

Mr. Narrator: “Be careful Richard Edward, you just made another racist reference; ‘cotton’, the material that commercially used to be known as the ‘fabric’ of our lives.  Remember who used to pick that cotton, Richard Edward. Now do you see how complete CRT can be? All you have to do is submit to seeing everything through the lens of race and assume that anything you know or understand is evil, and you really don’t have to go to school to learn this, all you need is attitude.”

Richard Edward: “Mr. Narrator, how do we unwind this? I know in my knower that the values I was taught are not bad, that my commitment to view people’s character instead of the skin color is the proper way to treat my fellow human beings. We’ve got to stop this crazy indoctrination.”

Mr. Narrator: “I am glad you asked Richard Edward. Once again, your editor and colleague Ms. Elizabeth is out in front on this. We are finally seeing a sane politician and geo-political entity pushing back on having this nonsense taught in our communities. You won’t be surprised or disappointed that it’s a red state. Who knows, maybe some other bastions of rational thought won’t be far behind once they see how Idaho fares. (Arizona, Governor Ducey, looking at you).

Richard Edward: “I hope the law passes Mr. Narrator. I want to see equality of opportunity in my beautiful America. I don’t like the radical actors in the U.S. pushing these irrational theories on everyone, trying to negate traditional conservative values, values of faith.”

So, as I sit back and ponder the sad state of race theory that’s undermining my beautiful America, the attack on my neighbors and fellow citizens by those who would divide and destroy based upon the insane radical theory of white supremacy and white privilege, I see from the corner of my eye my new cat walk by on her way to her food bowl, glancing disdainfully back at me from over her shoulder, slowly sauntering by my office, taking in the entirety of her new kingdom. Well, at least one of us in the house understands the concept of privilege.

If you think that the ideas of white supremacy, white privilege, CRT and other race-based politics are causing an American Crisis, please leave me a comment.

—  Richard Edward Tracy

Revenge of the ‘Very Liberal’ Artx Majors

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Photo Credit: Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

If you have a degree in sociology, psychology or gender studies, it’s not my fault. This isn’t a knock on your choice. I know how it feels to waste my own money, personally carrying around a degree in philosophy. I told myself I would continue on to law school, but the new ‘lottery’ (apologies to Shirley Jackson) draft system and my amazingly low draft number altered my plans.

Imagine my surprise when reading the news today and stumbling across an article that details just exactly how I, specifically as a white person, am supposed to behave in public when visiting the newly erected shrine dedicated to George Floyd; a drug addict and thug who had a violent criminal history. I am so glad that some woke social studies major got that figured out. I just hate not knowing how to act.

What would I do if I found myself in George Floyd Square, previously known as the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago, and didn’t conform to dictated expected behaviors?

Now I can go and visit that hallowed ground and do exactly what the rioters, BLM racists and socially woke, useful idiots want me to do.

Mr. Narrator (interrupts):  “Richard Edward, stop!  You are being disrespectful to the memory of George Floyd. People are trying to build a shrine to the memory of a hero, a man who sacrificed his life on the altar of justice. Crazy Nancy said so just a couple of days ago and you know you can’t tell her she is wrong.”

Richard Edward: “What? (don’t you just hate being surprised all of the time?)  Shrine to? Social justice warrior?  I read in an article by my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn that he was high on fentanyl at the time of his arrest. He told the officers “I can’t breathe” and repeated “put me on the ground” several times before he was placed on the ground during his apprehension. You sure we’re talking about the same dude?”

Mr. Narrator: “Yes, Richard Edward. That was George Floyd in life. In death, he has been given an entirely different biography. In life, he was just another drug-addled thug in Minneapolis who resisted arrest for his latest suspected crime; but in death, he has become a civil rights icon, more than worthy of your obsequious genuflecting. The woke graduate sociology majors have declared it so.”

Wow, is there anything a liberal arts degree can’t do? Rewrite history? Dictate your behavior in public places, especially according to your race? Tell millions of your neighbors how to think and feel about current events? I never understood that the possession of a degree in social studies, sociology or any other of the ‘Liberal Artx’ would hold the answer to all of the world’s conundrums.

Mr. Narrator: “Don’t be snarky, Richard Edward. These folks are serious. White people need to be told how to act in a place of worship. Here, let me show you what is required of you if you visit.  Newsmax captured the woke folk’s instructions in a nifty little list:

White guests need to “decenter” and “come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness.”

“Remember you are here to support, not to be supported,” the sign instructs.

White people are then asked to “contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it.”

Any “processing” must be brought to “other white folks” so that “BIPOC” (an acronym for “Black and Indigenous people of color”) are not harmed….

Richard Edward:  “Well, that does it. I am going to plan my trip to George Floyd Square right away. But before I go, I’ll first need to decipher the social justice warriors’ instructions to ensure my behavior will be acceptable to their hall-monitors, whom I am sure will be on duty, cell phone cameras at the ready.  These instructions are so wonderfully today’s pop psychology, I am positive they were written by recent graduates from any woke, ivy league school.”

“Mr. Narrator, do you know where I can go to find out how to ‘decenter’? This is important to me. My balance isn’t as good as it used to be, so any ‘decentering’ might have significantly adverse effects on my health and ability to stand upright. If I can’t stand up right, how can I follow the rest of their instructions?”

“Support?  I love being a support. That’s something I can get right without any homework. I’ve raised and supported a family, been married four times and thus clearly understand the true meaning of support. Heck, I once single-handedly held up a section of fence until the last post was installed. I can easily go to the location of the Great Fentanyl Incident and hand-out money, along with my deepest personally sympathy, to the race grifters who will inevitably inhabit the sidewalks of said intersection.”

“Be a contributor? You bet. Didn’t I already say I’ve been married four times?”

“Keep my processing to myself or folks of my own race? (So much for reaching out to others.) I guess I can support and contribute to those in the George Floyd matrix without letting it upset me to the point where I become triggered and need to run off, screaming for my safe space. Processing? Well, I used to work in the tech industry and can understand a little about processing, so I guess I’ll be alright with that one, too.”

“I can do this trip, Mr. Narrator. I can make the hajj to George Floyd Square and prostrate myself before the alter of wokeness, asking for forgiveness for being a white, law-abiding citizen; one whose expectations used to be only to ‘treat others as I would like to be treated.’ That life approach is so passé.”

Mr. Narrator:  “Richard Edward, I knew you would get it. There is hope for you to fit somewhere towards the bottom of the new woke, world order. We are so lucky that the sociology majors of the world have shown you your path to redemption.”

If you think that having a Liberal Artx degree and a holier than thou attitude does/doesn’t give one the right to dictate other’s behavior, please make a comment and let Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator know your thoughts.

—-  Richard Edward Tracy

Truth-Teller in Chief?

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Photo Credit: Image by Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️ from Pixabay

How often do you read or listen to the radio, television or an internet news publication and then almost immediately stop and think to yourself, “What the heck, are they serious?” In my case, it’s usually ‘Whaaaa?,’ followed by my internal monolog of ‘I’ll take ‘Things that Didn’t Happen for $200, Alex’.

This surprise at the facts seems to be happening to me with ever increasing velocity. Lately, I read about untrue race hoaxers with increasing regularity, those graduates of the Al Sharpton School of Inflammatory Lies; people like Twanna Brawley, Jussie Smollet, Dauntarius Williams (as reported by the Wichita Eagle) or the yet-to-be-named idiot who single-handedly shut down the Albion campus, reported in the American Crisis. I just shake my head in disbelief. Why, how, who benefits?

Nasty stuff and it turns out its even nastier when false. Even if we find out it didn’t happen, it’s always investigated and reported as a hoax way too late; the lie about what didn’t happen is already embedded into the lexicon of popular culture and could be fueling the next round of those ‘mostly peaceful’ protests.  Damage done.

The ‘news’ organizations?  They seem to pass on as much uninvestigated dreck as those who start the falsehoods. Two plus years of Russian/Trump campaign collusion sound familiar? Good little lad Treyvon Martin vs. that awful white-Hispanic George Zimmerman, anyone?

Government spokespersons? Ever force yourself to sit through a White House press briefing? Hard to tell what’s worse; the implied narrative ‘question’ that rambles on longer than a broken Biden synapse or the dog’s breakfast of tangentially related factoids of an answer from the spokesperson at the podium.

I think to myself, where is that unvarnished source of truth that we so desperately need? Where can we go to get the facts, and nothing but the facts, about the events of the day? Didn’t we used to have a place like this?

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, you know who you are missing. Think a little harder about it and the name will come to you.”

Richard Edward: “Well, I usually say, when I see something that I think is bogus, ‘I’ll take things that didn’t happen for $200, Alex’…..”

Yes! I remember now. George Alexander Trebek, the greatest source of correct answers in the world. You knew in your knower that when Alex gave you the correct answer, there was no way on God’s earth that he was mistaken. Mr. Trebek and his merry band of fact gatherers were the best on the planet. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, FBI, NSA, CIA – you guys don’t have nutin’ on Alex and his gang.

Mr. Narrator:  “I knew it would come to you, Richard Edward. Mr. Trebek was always one of your heroes. His intelligence obvious, his personality engaging and maybe most importantly, his ability to deliver the correct answer to the contestants who got it wrong was always gracious, without condescension.”

Richard Edward: “Mr. Narrator, we really need Mr. Trebek, or someone like him, in our world … especially in the world of news reporting. I need someone whom I can trust when I hear them speak. I want to listen to someone who can deliver good and bad news, without any bias. I want to listen to someone who will raise his or her own eyebrows when they read the news, especially when they themselves find the story suspect. I want someone who can admit that they didn’t know the answer or need more facts before they can give an answer.”

“Mr. Narrator, as I search the net and change channels on my LCD display, I feel like Diogenes, casting about in the world of news anchors and reporters, hoping for success before my candle burns out.”

Mr. Narrator: “Ain’t gonna happen Richard Edward. Nowadays, good news is considered to be fast news, truth aside. If you aren’t first, you lose.”

“No bias? Don’t you know everyone who isn’t a POC is racist? Yep, heard it on the news just last week. Can’t trust a racist, can we?”

“Solid sources? C’mon man, anonymous sources close to the _____ are so much easier to create and quote. You really think anyone is going to go on record in this day of cancel culture, anyway?”

“You want honesty, Richard Edward?  Marry a lie detector operator. You want nothing but the truth? Well, even if a story isn’t completely true, ask any reporter why it’s better to be ‘directionally’ correct, to give the impetus to the narrative – they can always make adjustments for the facts as they appear, weave them into the narrative, at a later date.”

In my ‘knower’, I believe that Mr. Narrator is correct. Facts and truth have become causalities of speed and agenda. Is there any candidate in our culture who can wear the mantle of unvarnished truth giver? (I’ve got two people in mind, but the jury is still out on both and besides that, one of them is a lawyer).

Is that why Mr. Trebek was so popular? I mean, it was just a game show, right? Was it just his pleasing, engaging personality or was it something more? Did he become, albeit in our collective subconscious, our speaker of truth, our trusted voice, the source of fact? Who would you trust more back in the day, Mr. Trebek, Mr. Politician or Mr. Newscaster?

If, like Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator, you feel America needs a new, truth-teller-in-chief, please leave us a comment.  Feel free to nominate someone in your comment and give old Diogenes a hand.

— Richard Edward Tracy

The Sound of Silence

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If you grew up in my generation’s popular culture, you are very familiar with the extraordinarily talented duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Hit after hit. Quite the success story, their folk-rock music was a unique blend of poetry, vocal rendition and storytelling. I’ve read that Mr. Simon is credited with being the musician, the songwriter of the two. Let’s agree that we should give credit where it is due. However, listening to Mr. Simon, without the graceful harmony of Mr. Garfunkel, is like eating fries without ketchup. Filling and comfortably familiar, but not necessarily a transcendent experience.

Another famous duo, also no longer together, comes to mind this lovely Saturday morning. How I long for the good old days when Mr. William Barr and Mr. John Durham were America’s hope for change (sorry Barry) at the DOJ. Were they inseparable? Maybe in the minds of those who seek the truth about the Trump/Russia collusion investigation, but in the political reality that transcends real life, obviously not.

So, I’ll let Mr. Marvin Gaye ask the question for me, ‘What’s goin’ on?’

My untrained fingers dance over the keyboard. Success! While Mr. Barr has been replaced in his role as attorney general, The Associated Press informed us on Feb. 26:

Durham will resign from his post as U.S. attorney for Connecticut on Monday. But Durham, who was appointed (October 2020) by then-Attorney General William Barr as a special counsel to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, will remain in that capacity.

Durham’s investigation, which the Justice Department has described as a criminal probe, had begun very broadly but Barr said in December that it had “narrowed considerably” and that it was “really is focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI.”

Durham’s investigation has so far resulted in one prosecution so far. A former FBI lawyer was sentenced to probation last month for altering an email the Justice Department relied on in its surveillance of an aide to President Donald Trump during the Russia investigation.

So, even with Mr. Barr gone from the scene, America has at least the continued hope of some bottom-line answers about the Trump Campaign/Russia Collusion hoax when Mr. Durham finishes his investigation. Mr. Muller’s investigation didn’t find any wrong doing from the Trump organization. We were promised that the DOJ would get to the bottom of this, right?

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, stop daydreaming and don’t get your hopes up. The band is definitely not getting back together. Mr. Barr has moved on to continue his solo career. Attorney General Merrick Garland is now the front man for DOJ and Mr. Durham plays his instruments under AG Garland’s direction.”

Richard Edward: “Okay, I get it. New lead singer, but the tunes will still be the same, right? I mean, we’ve been waiting, for so long, for an investigation like this to come into our lives. This isn’t a Foreign(er) nation, is it? Durham can still get the bad guys without Barr’s cover, right?”

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you are so naïve. Ace, ‘How long has this been going on?”. Let me direct your attention to a CNN report from 30 March 2121.”

I see the CNN article Mr. Narrator has referenced:

Durham is still at work, looking at early aspects of the FBI investigation into the campaign. His relatively opaque investigation has now lasted longer than former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and prosecution of dozens of Russians and Trump advisers.

Investigators with Durham’s office — having been delayed by pandemic restrictions last year — are now arranging witness interviews, according to people familiar with the probe. Grand jury subpoenas also were being used to gather documents in recent months, the sources said.

Durham’s probe is focused at least partly on actions by the FBI in its handling of a private intelligence dossier and the bureau’s disclosures to the federal intelligence surveillance court, according to people briefed on the matter.

I thought I would be encouraged, but I now realize that Mr. Durham is working on what appears to be the everlasting gobstopper of DOJ investigations. All this time, all that tax-payer money and we got one FBI agent who has suffered probation for altering an email in an effort that attempted to unseat a duly elected POTUS, or so we conjecture….

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, no one’s proved anything so far other than we may have had some less-than-honorable behavior on the part of some FBI agents. Many of those agents involved are no longer with the bureau. Dude, some got fired and/or left the agency in disgrace.”

Richard Edward: “Not good enough for me, Mr. Narrator. I want to know, just like the rest of America wants to know, if the FBI was weaponized to try to influence a U.S. general election. I thought we were going to find out the truth from Mr. Durham.”

Mr. Narrator directs my attention again to the same CNN article, which continues to inform us that:

While the Barr era at the Justice Department was marked by political drama, Garland is attempting to shift the focus toward civil rights and domestic terrorism prosecutions. Still, Garland pledged at his confirmation hearing he would prioritize speaking with Durham once he became attorney general and would let Durham finish his work.

The Biden administration has said Durham will continue his work as special counsel, but little else.

Richard Edward: “No, this cannot be happening. Mr. Durham could just poke along, handing his investigation off to the next-in-line special counsel until every living human being who has an interest in a resolution over this issue has passed on to the great rock n roll hall of fame in the sky.”

“Even if Mr. Durham completes his investigation and produces a report for AG Garland, his findings could be buried under the excuse that the DOJ cannot comment upon active ‘cases’…. Mr. Narrator, will we ever find out the truth about Crossfire Hurricane? Mick and the rest of the band could all be gone before the music is ever played again.”

Mr. Narrator: “I am sorry for you, Richard Edward. In this business, your band is hot one day and before you know it, you lose your voice and it’s all over. ‘For all we know’, by the time Mr. Durham is ready to step onto the stage, his voice may be gone, his instruments out of tune and his resulting music might be somewhat filling, but hardly transcendent.”

If you think the speed of Mr. Durham’s very important (at least to Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator) investigation is inordinately slow, please opine in the comments.

—  Richard Edward Tracy

Arizona Tracy and the Virus of Doom

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Photo Credit: Image by Ed Zilch from Pixabay

I am sitting at my work station, contemplating the state of my State and more largely, my beautiful America. Did we have a real State of the Union address this year? Does it matter, either way? Where are we when we contemplate the matter of the health of the American culture? So many aspects of my life seem so different than they did a mere 18 months ago. But not just slightly different, they feel irreparably changed. Will I ever be able to go outside without a mask? Will I ever be able to walk the streets of my hometown without being an assumed racist, simply because of my gender, ethnicity and skin color? Will I have to continue to live with the new, woke concepts of intersectionality and diversity, along with the word salad that is used to define them? Will it ever again be morning in America?

I am on a quest to find hard news, not just some radical left-wing interpretation of events accompanied by a screed telling me how I should feel about said interpretation. In that process, I’m continually confronted by ledes, headlines and proclamations from the elected (and non-elected) elite that remind me just how precarious my life situation really is.

President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. Chip Bergh said Friday on CNN’s “Newsroom” that his company is advocating for so-called gun control because “gun violence is ripping this country apart.”

Wow, an internationally known jean-maker who thinks guns are evil and that America is being ripped apart because of them. Is there anything guns can’t do?

CDC Director Declares Racism a Serious Public Health Threat; Actually Wokeness is a Bigger Threat

I thought COVID (or maybe morbid obesity from the lockdown) was supposed to be my worst health fear?

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Mexican Cartels Control the U.S. Border, Says Rep. Chip Roy

The ongoing immigration crisis is caused by Mexican cartels and the federal government is turning a blind eye, Texas Congressman Chip Roy argues. “The most important thing for the American people to understand is that cartels control the border,” Congressman Roy said.

Lawless gangs/cartel thugs in charge of the US southern border? What in blazes? Now what?

Wait, is that a song I hear, low down in the place where my memories are supposed to reside?

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, you’re just hearing things again. There is no one here but me.”

Richard Edward: “No, no Mr. Narrator, I hear something. It sounds like country music. Listen, you’ll recognize it sooner or later, just like I will. Reach way, way back in your memory to the days when television was still popular.”

There it is again, but this time it’s louder, a catchy little tune:

Gloom, despair and agony on me.

Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

 Gloom, despair and agony on me.

Ah ha, I remember it now. This was a skit, a funny poke at all the ‘sad sacks’ of the day, moaning about their fate in life when as things weren’t going their way.

Then I think about this memory a little more. Why does this not feel very funny? Funny? This little ditty is now a downer. Why do I feel like this is the prevailing mood over much of the country? Are things really this bad, or am I just being told that my world is garbage by a media that competes for eyeballs with ledes that bleed?

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you’ve been reading too much news. Just because President Biden signed some meaningless EO’s about firearms and some CEO of a large successful American corporation said that gun violence is ripping the country apart doesn’t mean it is. Look at the actual FBI stats. … Not true.”

“Just because a high-ranking CDC official is purporting that racism is a serious public health threat doesn’t mean you will catch it and die a horrible death, attached to a anti-racist ventilator and diversity IV drip….”

“Just because a US Congressman is telling us that the illegal immigrant surge at the southern U.S. border is being controlled and leveraged by Mexican gangs…well, okay, maybe they have one side of the border under control. It’s just too bad that we can’t seem to do the same for our side, but it’s not a permanent condition. Remember how it was under President Trump?”

Richard Edward: “Mr. Narrator, still, isn’t this all horrible? I feel like America is reeling like a prize fighter in the 10th round, one who has been pummeled unmercifully during the previous nine. How can we continue on when we can’t even enjoy life without the fear of guns appearing out of nowhere, the racism health risk hovering about, just waiting to pounce on us when we demask and — ”

Mr. Narrator (interrupts, again): “Richard Edward, full stop. If anything is infecting you, it’s the woke radical left’s virus of doom. This virus is spread by media’s inaccurate reporting, by radical left’s woke talking points that haven’t been scrubbed by the light of truth and by the ignorance of those who believe that they will find comfort in the arms of socialists and their authoritarian governments.”

“Richard Edward, think! Who controls your ultimate destiny?  Who created the heavens above and the earth on which you stand?  Who knows the count of the hairs on your head even as in your case, Richard Edward, His job being a little more difficult as you lose more and more of them every day?  Who has the power to deliver you from the lion’s den, from the Pharaohs in DC and from this proposed hell-on-earth, a socialist democrat work-in-process?”

Richard Edward: “You are so right. Why do I despair? I know my eternal future and I know that He can deliver me from circumstances that seem overwhelming. I need to quit being afraid. I need to stop focusing on the negative and I need to start being positive, spreading truth. Encouraging lawful and civil behavior. I need to stop believing that everything I read in the media is fact-based. To paraphrase one of my favorite presidents, Don’t Trust, Always Verify.”

Our world hasn’t been perfect since we left the Garden. I sometimes (too often) forget that a fallen state is our normal state. In my desire to have and see things better than they are, I forget that we are supposed to be salt, here to preserve the good as we find it. If we are here to be salt, goodness must need preserving. If you agree that our beautiful America is worth preserving, please leave us a comment.

—  Richard Edward Tracy