Friday, March 21, 2014

Fred Phelps: The Gift That Keeps On Sinning.

In the hours following the death of Fred Phelps, any number of blog posts have offered commentary on his notorious earthly existence. Political Progressives and bona fide Christians, for the most part, have gone to great lengths to reinforce their core values of tolerance and compassion. LGBT Advocates and those who had some personal interaction or involvement with Mr. Phelps have done an excellent job in effectively highlighting the flaws and faults in his character, by refusing to be baited by his demise into the further proliferation of one of the more senseless arguments in which a true Christian would ever engage.

It isn't my purpose to discuss the family members of the deceased who had deserted him during his life. The fact that those who knew him best; his children, were pretty much split on whether they wanted anything to do with him...is a pretty good indicator of the state of his own heart, as well as a sad commentary on his contribution to the universe.

Neither is it my purpose to advocate, for or against any "cause". In my humble opinion, it is unnecessary to address the merits of anything which the deceased ardently supported...or psychotically railed against, in order to determine the geographic information from which to identify his eternal resting place.

Finally, it is also not my place to judge the man. I confess maintaining an opinion regarding why I believe this man was more dangerous than a vile of anthrax. I confess what I believe is a legitimate position suggesting that Fred Phelps, the person, was no more than a symptom, of a disease which touches four corners of the world, crosses religious, political, sociological and other boundaries...and which will continue to destroy lives long after his death.

The world can't help but know that Fred Phelps believed that God hates certain people. He screamed that sentiment to anyone who would engage him, and to many who just happened to be walking or driving by during his daily psycotic episodes. Fred expanded upon his notion of Godly hate, during various interviews, where he suggested that, "You can't preach the Bible without talking about God's hate".

For nearly two decades, I've offered numerous "Pastors" an opportunity to discuss the progression of Godly thought, understanding, wisdom, knowledge and love...which begins with the parable of Eden, includes an attempt to destroy the earth, a promise to never do that again, a second angry moment where the promise might have been broken...and the introduction of The Prince of Peace as the Holy and Living Sacrifice which resulted in the prospective Redemption of all mankind. A few years before that...I actually had a chance to meet Fred Phelps. And, while some might think Fred "wasn't a real Pastor"...or "wasn't part of the real Baptist Church"...or, was recently excommunicated...or was just cerifiably crazy...I can tell you that a half dozen "Nationally recognized" Pastors of megachurch congregations that I interviewed for a book I had been working on, made almost as much sense as Mr. Phelps.

What puzzled me most about this entire group, was the almost complete devotion to the Old Testament...while professing Christianity, and simultaneously ignoring the teachings of Jesus Christ. If Fred Phelps had started his church in the 70's or 80's instead of the 50's...and hired the right PR people...he could be Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, or any one of a dozen others and preached the same Old Testament line...and today, we would all be watching national news accounts of his funeral and lauding this Grand Bastion of All Things Godly. We wouldn't even have to pretend to be nice.

But...alas this wasn't and isn't the case. So, back to Fred.

I went to the State of Kansas on what was supposed to be a quick stop in Manhattan, on the way to Major League Baseball. One injury and two years later, I was 19, had an undergraduate degree, and was entering law school. On my first day in law school, a classmate whose father was a lawyer, told me to find a job as a law clerk as soon as possible. Two days later... I was working for an amazing guy named Robert Tilton. Bob was everything anyone who has never been to Kansas would expect a Kansan to be. He was also absolutely everything that you would never expect to find outside of New York or Los Angeles.

Bob was the State Chairman of the Kansas Democratic Party...and not because he was the only Democrat in the state, either. He was a hardcore personal injury, criminal and domestic relations lawyer in Topeka, Kansas. Oh sure, he said that the firm had a "General Practice". But...outside of those three areas, and the new business generated by a wet-behind-the-ears associate, Bob and his partner, Wilbur Dillon, didn't really do much else. You won't find his name on any of the documents relating to the disciplinary case against Fred Phelps which resulted in his disbarment by the Kansas Supreme Court. But...the fact that our office overlooked the State Capitol and the Offices of the State Bar Administrator, made it pretty easy for even the 350 pound Chairman of the wrong political party to get in and out of a few offices without being noticed.

At that time, Fred's entire gaggle of gay bashers could fit into a Smart Car, or at least it's Yugoslavian predecessor. And, since Fred was only a few months away from never practicing law again...oh, AND he was thoroughly pissed off at anything resembling the government...protests by he and his Gang of Four, were daily occurrences at the Kansas State Capitol Building, whether or not the Legislature was in Session. During some part of almost every afternoon, while I was in Bob's office, my boss would stare out of his window, rip his pipe out of his mouth, slam it on his half-moon shaped desk and say something that almost always sounded like, "Look at the sick summbitch...The world's gonna be a whole lot better off once that bastard's ticket gets punched"...meaning that he would soon be disbarred. Years later, I remember asking Bob if he had any idea that Fred Phelps getting disbarred would be Fred's  springboard into national disrepute? We were on the phone, but I swear I could see him shake his head as he said, "You know I'm not a death penalty guy...but, in his case, I'd make an exception".

Between those two points along the time-space continuum...I had begun the quest to have what I customarily refer to as faux-Christians help me to understand their allegiance to hate, guilt, punishment and eternal damnation. Fred didn't really know who I was. And thankfully, he didn't really know how my old boss felt about him. So...when I wrote my first note to Fred, asking if he would chat with me about God, the fact I knew people he knew, was at least acquainted with one of his children, and came across as a sincere individual, made Fred a little less reluctant to engage.

I guess it didn't hurt that I could have been seen as a person perhaps shopping for a new church, as well. Judge me, if you will, for perhaps being less than completely candid with the dearly departed...I can live with that.

The bottom line is that in the time spent talking, and during one other exchange, Fred Phelps spoke of "The Law" as though the Living Jesus had never appeared in human form; as though no sacrifice had been offered in total satisfaction of the sin of generations yet to come...and, as though a single bad thought or act would send you, your family, and everyone you ever knew...straight to Hell.

Each time I mentioned Jesus, I was met with a dozen verses from Leviticus. And, when I pressed further, responding with the red-letter words of Jesus Christ, on points as basic as who Jesus was, how He lived, the charge He issued to His Disciples, love, forgiveness, tolerance, and of course redemption...Fred finally launched into the Book of Revelation...without even addressing any of the issues I raised originally. It was as though we spoke two different languages...A fact confirmed when I realized that the sound made by a telephone being slammed down, apparently means, "Smile, Jesus loves you...Have a nice day,"...in whatever language it was that he had been speaking.

The whole point of this posting (and I understand if you haven't figured out motivation for this rant) is that you didn't have to be gay to be offended by Fred Phelps and his Legion of Doom. You didn't have to be the parent of a fallen soldier, anyone with a terminal illness, the unintended victim of  a natural disaster, or any individual who advertently found their way onto the Westboro Baptist (that weren't really Baptists) Shit List.

All you had to be was a follower of Jesus Christ, who absolutely understood that Fred Phelps IS one of THE people that Christ, Himself, referred to in Matthew 7:21-23. In that passage...Jesus advises, "Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The one who does the things My Father in Heaven wants him to do, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Many people will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not preach in Your Name? Did we not do powerful works in Your Name? Then I will say to them in plain words, I never knew you."

When I read of Fred's entry into hospice care, I admit, I had numerous conversations with several very devoted followers of Jesus Christ, as well as several of my Jewish friends, people of other religions, and some whose faith is placed currently in no more than their earthly satisfactions. Regardless of faith, or lack thereof...the notion that Fred was essentially "a bad guy" was pretty much universal. A few of us, myself  included...felt that his bad acts notwithstanding...Fred had time to actually accept the Savior he had professed such unconditional fear of, throughout the totality of his adult life. I even held out hope that he would do just that. I was even encouraged by the rumors of his recent excommunication...ostensibly due to the softening of certain non-specific positions which became in conflict with church elders. Perhaps, I had high hopes, because my own elders and I have occasionally not seen eye to eye on matters that I truly believed weren't automatically understood to a greater degree by them...based exclusively on their status.

In any event...I really don't knew if Fred accepted Christ in his final days. But, from the limited commentary offered by those closest to the man...he appears to have held onto his core belief, dedication to Leviticus, and ignorance of all things Jesus, until the very end...and beyond.

The damage he did to himself, is eternal. But, the damage he did to those of us who will yet  be forced to contend when some number of Phelps', Rogers', Drains' and others of their ilk, is the gift that keeps on sinning...courtesy of Fred Phelps. One member of the Drain branch of tbe Phelps extended family tree acknowledges openly, that their family lived in Florida...until their father became obsessed with Westboro Baptist, and relocated the family to Kansas. Not long after...Phelps' were mixing with Drains...and much later, even Fred's warped view of the universe wasn't even bent ENOUGH to keep him in charge. The inmates are now running the asylum. And, anyone who feels that the ghost of a disbarred Kansas Lawyer, will not rear its 70 headed serpent, over, and over, and over again...or that some family not named Drain...will not embark on a pilgrimage to Topeka at some point during the next rain delay of a NASCAR race...simply does not understand the commitment of a band of psychotics who REVEL in proudly acknowledging that they are "the most hated people in America".

Fred is no more. He has cried, "Lord, Lord,"...and likely been disavowed by his Creator. But, excommunicated or not...the vile of anthrax which his laboratory spawned in 1955, has a half-life of...FOREVER.  My only hope is that one day, the sky opens up, the sun shines down upon the remaining Phelps', Rogers', Drains', and the balance of their klan...and that instead of hearing the Voice of a God they do not know, offer more advice on peace, love and tolerance...that instead they hear the voice of their disgraced, disbarred, excommunicated FORMER PROPHET...wherein he gives them advance notice of the next Wal-Mart buy one-get one deal on asbestos underwear. Maybe then, we as a people would have at least seventy fewer false prophets to ignore, while we are all just trying our best to be decent human beings...regardless of who we pray to when we lose a job, can't pay the mortgage, or get a call we weren't expecting, from our doctor.

I can't say it was nice knowing you, Fred. I won't say I'm happy that you're gone. I hope you did reconcile yourself to Jesus Christ. But...on the odd chance you did not...there are at least 70 souls you MIGHT be able to save, by turning on your GPS. I'm guessing that once you're collective inbred progeny get a bird's eye view of your new digs...our world, and maybe even yours, will be a better place.

Rest in Contemplation, Fred. I'm pretty sure "Peace" is no longer an option.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Moaning and Groaning...Over Droning.

If I don't actually remember much about Black & White television, I at least know that it existed. I also know that football players used to play with leather helmets and no facemask, and of course broke their noses during every game. Cyclists could cycle without helmets. Ferris Wheels had open cages. And, your dog having the mailman's butt cheek for lunch...wasn't going to get you sued.

The bottom line is that change is inevitable. And...all change is good. Right?

Perhaps you better consult with the folks who came out with "New Coke" before answering that last question.

I started reading news today...because, that's kinda what I do. And, after learning about Sean Hannity blaming Obama for the Malaysian airliner disappearance, and hearing the head of th Iranian Parliament also blaming Onama for the plane going missing...I was pretty sure that Hannity would be issuing some sort of retraction...since he would never agree with the head of the Iranian Parliament on anything.

But...before Hannity got up the courage to swallow his pride and either agree with the Iranian politician, or apologize to the President, I started into one article after another about "the way things are today" and "the way things used to be".

The first piece I read was about a local police agency in Baltimore, which was looking for a person who set off firecrackers in a crowded movie theater? I thought, damn...I don't know if this guy should be prosecuted for his actions, or...given the Player of the Year Award by the National Semantics Society.

Of COURSE, you can't YELL "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater. Everyone knows that. And, you can't FIRE a load weapon inside of a crowded movie theater. Pretty much everybody knows that "now," as well. But...if you don't actually yell anything, and you don't actually shoot anyone...and the movie you paid to see already has more special effects booms, bangs and thuds than can be heard on the outdoor patio at a Beirut Starbucks...well...have you done anything for which you should be intercepted by the authorities and have your pee-pee spanked?

Or, perhaps you WOULD prefer to have the government hand out your punishment...rather than pop your practical joking cherry-bomb under the chair of a retired police detective in Florida with an itchy trigger finger?

Here, too...my point is that we worry at times about how to deal with anything that is "new"...when maybe we actually should just let the players determine how the game ought best to be played.

I say this...because before I was able to determine whether or not anyone was injured in the firecracker-induced stampede at the movie theater, I read several  stories about the use of so-called "drones," by commercial entities throughout the United States.

Yes, I said I don't remember much about Black & White television. But, I DO remember very distinctly, when "drones" were nothing more than "radio-controlled aircraft". Yeah, yeah, yeah...I get the fact that their big brothers and sister carry Hellfire missiles and kill members of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and anyone who pisses off any nation with advanced"drone" technology.

But seriously...a short time ago, a photographer, using a radio-controlled aircraft, with a mounted camera, was fined TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS by a judge...for reckless flying, while shooting a promotional video on behalf of The University of Virginia. And, this was despite the fact that there weren't then, nor are there now, ANY FAA, or other state of local statutes, ordinances, regulations, or even policies, on the use of these "drones"...anywhere in the impacted area.

Amazon recently announced its intent to use an entire fleet of "drones" to deliver a variety of packages to its Amazon Prime customers in the near future. This prompted the FAA to announce that it would soon be enacting administrative regulations regarding the permissible operation of "drones" having a total weight of 55 pounds or less.

This year...a florist offered to make Valentine's Day deliveries' by "drone"...and was stopped in its tracks, or rather, on its private droneway. The good news is, the florist ultimately received a greenlight to drone-away at will. Too bad the approval came in on February 27th.

So...here I am wondering why NO ONE seriously bitches about the police flying a "drone" outside of the wrong bedroom window late one night...and then PROSECUTES the occupant OF THE HOUSE THEY HAD NO CAUSE TO surveil...(for committing certain "unmentionable acts" with his obviously ready, willing and able St. Bernard). But, when Amazon wants to get my bulk toilet paper purchase to me a day ahead of schedule...it's as if someone backed up over a small child in the driveway.

My guess is that commercial radio-controlled aircraft will not succeed or fail based upon how difficult the government makes it for them to be utilized. The sad but true fact is...our credit and debit card information is plucked out oft he sky, routinely...and they aren't even visible to the naked eye 

How hard is it going to be for commercial "drones" to be either plucked out of the sky for fun, frolic, or just because an NRA Member with a bug up his butt, has a few free minutes to kill...OR...re-programmed in-flight by a renegade band of nerdy Columbia University students who have a tuition payment due by next Tuesday?

For God's sake...the Malaysian Airlines plane wasn't missing for more than a day, before stories came out about Boeing having advance notice about the prospect of its 777 airliners being subject to a non-violent overtaking by hackers and hijacked electronically.

I'm starting to think I may NEVER get that bulk T-P order.

So...why am I "droning on" about "drones?

It's just another example of the government committing truly heinous acts, and then orchestrating the public's attention away from those atrocities by making a mountain out of a dronehill. WE can't benefit from technological advancements which might prevent at least one of us from having to use a sock with the toe out, to wipe his butt. My St. Bernard can't get his Valentine Sweetheart Roses until FEBRUARY 27th...and the FAA has to get involved when DeVry wants to put out a new promotional video.

But, day in and day out...radio-controlled aircraft are killing both civilains and alleged terrorists. Police are taking pictures inside the wrong houses. And, the Prime Minister of Israel just announced that he is more afraid of Hezbollah striking Israel with "drones" than he is with missiles...BECAUSE OF THEIR ACCURACY. To that end...it IS somewhat ironic that the use of radio-controlled aircraft of death, by the United States, now has the Israeli Prime Minister worried about that relatively easy to develop and use technology, falling into the wrong hands.

Perhaps...as a nation, we should have been more concerned about the rapid delivery of Charmin...than the indiscriminate killing of people who have pissed us off, by using roided-out versions of something my Grandfather gave me for my 5th birthday?

Oh...and if you live near an Amazon warehouse...Do NOT be surprised if you end up seeing a gang of "bird-watchers" at one end of the droneway (with REALLY long handles on their nets), ten guys with RPGs at the other end, and a Geek Squad van parked about two blocks away...which has kinda been parked there all month.

This is one time when I agree with the live and let live principle which USED TO BE at the heart of the original Libertarian core. If Amazon attempts to deliver my wipes, and in the process, flies into Old Man Frieberg, knocking him off of his rocker, rolling him down the steps, down the street and into the path of the drone delivering flowers to Fido...their collective pocket is way deep enough to deal with the fallout. Get out of the way, FAA. The radio-controlled devices that you, we and the world should be worried about aren't the ones that you will hold decades of public hearings regarding. Stop the insanity, and in this instance...let the people resolve the issue of how we choose to have goods and services delivered...which we will do, based upon how good the hackers get, or how many of these toys get shot out of the sky.

At least if gun nuts are shooting at my toilet paper...they might not be shooting up movie theaters, or third grade classrooms.

Back to real politics, tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Commitment To Information

Yes, it's been forever since your resident observer of all things pertinent, relevant and noteworthy, took a moment to further invade the lofty confines of your personal electronic space. However, as I'm almost prepared to declare a State of Emergency, if not the onset of the End Times themselves...it would be an absolute travesty to permit my own musings, bemusings and interpretations on the going's on in our universe and beyond, to remain unexpressed.

Where to begin...since the last commentary dropped on this blog involved the 2012 presidential primary cycle? Perhaps...the 2016 presidential primary cycle. At least in this go round...contrary to popular thought...there will actually be two legitimate primary election campaigns.

And, as usual, when it comes to anything that I've ever written about Hillary Clinton...I need to add requisite disclaimers which are designed to avoid the combination of hate mall, suggestions that I burn in Hell...and at least one death threat received during the 2007-8 primary campaign. The Good news is...I won't get to Hillary until tomorrow. So, I won't temporarily lose some of my very best friends...at least for another day..

Now, as we say in Show Bidness...

ON WITH THE SHOW!

To begin with, I PROMISE from here on out, to be humble. I PROMISE, to make every conceivable effort to not sound as though I am doing anything other than interpreting the news. I PROMISE to remind my Readers, and myself,  that I am no more than a mere Diner at the Great Trough of Life. If your assessment of my interpretation is that I am insightful, and possess an enhanced understanding of our universe...I thank you. If you feel as though I have obviously fallen off of one too many motorized apparatae without protective headgear...feel free to pray for me, or, at least feel sorry for those who are forced to contend with my affliction on an ongoing, albeit involuntary basis.

Having said that...

The Conservative Political Action Conference ended yesterday. As is customary, the Conference concluded with the announcement of the results of a Presidential Straw Poll of all attendees.

And...much like the Iowa Republican Straw Poll taken in 2011...where Michele Bachmann won the kind of solid victory that propelled her to a kick-ass withdrawal speech about two months later...Rand Paul was rewarded with with a landslide victory in the battle to be declared, "The Next Best Plagiarisng Fascist Wannabe Reincarnation of Ronald Reagan Who Has Absolutley No Shot To Beat Even Joe Biden In 2016".

Yes, Friends...the Party that isn't really a Party (because it's actually the same THREE Parties that I wrote about more than four years ago), kicked off its 2016 Failed Presidential Campaign, by handing its collective baton, to Rand Paul.

Rand Paul...the candidate who:

- Fact checks his position statements on Wikipedia.
- Once stated that, if health care is a right...then Doctors are slaves.
- Stated that greed IS good.
- Also stated that all private discrimination should be outside of any governmental control, AND that the only governmental discrimination which should be actionable, is when the government discriminates against someone, FOR EXERCISING THEIR PERSONAL BELIEFS. (As opposed to being discriminated against for being a member of ANY ONE OF THE PROTECTED CLASSES RECOGNIZED BY THE SUPREME COURT.)
- OH...and who can forget the Rand Paul contention that, "Just because a few people on the Supreme Court say something is constitutional, doesn't make it so".

I haven't even touched on Paul's remarks about 911 conspiracies, complete lack of understanding of foreign policy, domestic policy, economic policy, and of course...his irrational fear of Rachel Maddow.

And, why don't I need to get to any of the other 5,256 Reasons Why Rand Paul Can't Be Elected President?

Because...after Paul, the REST of the CPAC Straw Poll Results, in order of finish...look like this:

Ted Cruz,
Ben Carson
Chris Christie
Rick Sanatarium,
Scott Walker
Marco Rubio
Rick Perry
Paul Ryan
Mike Huckabee
Bobby Jindal
Sarah Palin
Condoleezza Rice
Mitch Daniels
John Kasich
Rob Portman
John Thune
Donald Trump
Allen West
Kelly Ayotte
Sam Brownback
Nikki Haley
Susanna Martinez
And last, and not at ALL least...Tim Scott.

Pardon me for the length of this new round of what I will endeavor to make daily postings...but, this subject is one that demands AN initial understanding be achieved.

A full majority (51%) of the voters in this Straw Poll, cast their vote for either Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Ben "my middle name isn't a factor since you don't know my first or last names" Carson.

Yes...this IS CPAC. And, yes...during 50+ speeches over the life of the Conference, the Ghost of Ronald Reagan was invoked in excess of NINE HUNDRED TIMES. So, one could expect that the over 85 years of age, caught in a time warp, Solid South, ex-Goldman Sachs Executive, war-mongering, my country right or wrong contingent...might allow "The Wack Factor" to determine their Straw Poll selection.

HOWEVER...there are a few even keener observations to come out of the vote totals at CPAC.

Let's start with the fact that while HypocritesRUs won't ever again elect a President...or even a true Republican Nominee, at least as of today, they still have the ability to prevent a potentially electable Republican from becoming the Nominee of the Party which shall forever now be known as "The Three Faces of Abe".

Now, we can add to the base results, the secure knowledge that the eight minority vote-getters on the list have NO SHOT at the nomination.

You think you have a split in The Three Faces of Abe, NOW? Try getting the Solid South to solidly line up behind Allen West. Forget that the man was even too bizarre for the Congressional District which once elected and then ejected him from the political process. His politics won't change a vote in the big cities...which would be the only motivation to nominate a minority candidate. And, trust me, the card-carrying Klansmen, even in the Florida Panhandle, and neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama would sooner see Michelle Obama succeed her husband, than cast a vote which by definition would suggest that they and their collective twelve teeth are no longer the "master race".

Next, throw out Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, five guys who couldn't get the nomination during any of the last twelve years, the former VP Candidate who ends every P90X workout by thrusting an open, hand in the air and pledging allegiance to Ayn Rand...six names you'll never hear unless you're a guest at their family barbecue...and...you're left with Chris Christie and Scott Walker...BOTH OF WHOM ARE THE TARGETS OF PENDING FEDERAL CORRUPTION PROBES.

Oh...Let's also forget for the moment, that the last three CPAC Straw Poll Winners in what would be contested Republican Presidential Cycles, were Steve Forbes (1998), George "Macaca" Allen (2006), and President "in my own mind" RON Paul (2010).

What is of most interest to me anyway, in terms of the outcome of the CPAC Straw poll, is the 800 Pound Gorilla who didn't get a single vote.

Call me a Master of the Obvious...but, I would bet at least 3/4 of the Farm on the fact that 99% of Republican "Strategists" with any remaining credibility...are already camping out, outside of the gates of the Imperial Palace currently serving as the unofficial campaign headquarters and personal residence of one Jebeneezer Bush. Because ...after all, no matter how much republicans bash the current President for what they claim has progressed into an Imperial Presidency...or how often they utilize the phrase, "not ANOTHER CLINTON"...the truth is in the good ol' US of A...we LOVE the "Devils we Know"...at least as long as they come from a long line of previously ELECTED Devils.

Many Democrats have already declared Hillary their Nominee. And...were Republicans to line up behind Jebeneezer...wouldn't that Just give the Bushies yet another opportunity to exact a little revenge on someone who had previously opened up a can of whoop-ass on Dear Old Dad?

Something tells me that if Saddam Hussein wasn't, oh...I don't know...DEAD...that he might think twice about that nasty little assassination attempt on King George I, that resulted in about 3000 cruise missiles finding their way down his Palatial chimneys.

Just think ...

Assume for a moment that in the words of the late Rodney Dangerfield...I'm "WAY OFF"...and Hillary Clinton IS the 2016 Nominee of the Democratic Party...

How much life would it breathe into the Three Faces of Abe, to be able to have another go at a Clinton, on behalf of YET ANOTHER Bush Legacy, and to somehow elevate the significance of an entire Do-Nothing Dynasty?

It MIGHT just make younger Republicans forget about the fact that "this Reagan Dude" they keep hearing about, was President (and 80 years old) BEFORE THEY WERE BORN.

OF COURSE, I could go on forever. Those who've been reading my posts since 2007 already know that. BUT...for the new kids, let me end with a transitional set up.

In the same way in which I announced in 2011, that religious conservatives would not join Sheldon Adelson in lining up behind $40,000,000.00 and Newt Gingrich...I'm telling you now, that the majority of the New United States of America will be unwilling to return to the "thrilling days of yesteryear" in 2016.

George Foreman and Joe Frazier may have been prepared to go at it a third time. But, Foreman had five boys named George. So...unless Jebeneezer is up for a name change...this "Thrilla in Manilla" is simply not to be.

However...if you want to find out why...and whether either, or neither, will end up as their respective Party's Nominees...well, we'll jes' has to sees ya t'morra now...won't we?