The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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A Weekend of Sighs

Rich Galen

Monday March 26, 2017

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  • Maybe its just the weather. Here in Our Nation's Capital it's cold. And windy. And they're predicting snow flurries when they should be predicting max cherry blossoms.

  • Maybe it's because I was in West Palm Beach, Florida a week ago watching the Nationals play pretend baseball in 75+ degree weather and I'll be in Palm Springs, California mid-week to spend the holiday weekend at my in-laws with the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices in 85+ degree weather.

  • Nah. I'm not a weather grouch, so it's something else.

  • Maybe its because the U.S. Government, stocked full of Conservative Republicans in charge of the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and the entire Executive Branch, have passed a spending bill that will cost $1.3 trillion after previously passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut. This is not the same money; it is an additional trillion+ and I'm wondering - again - if I've wasted my adult life in Republican politics.

  • According to the newspaper Roll Call:
    The House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, 256-167, with 145 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting "yes." The "no" votes came from 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats.

  • Even the Pelosi-Schumer Axis of Evil wouldn't have had the chutzpah to come up with that level of fiscal profligacy in a mid-term election year.

  • Nah. I'm an economic - not a social - Conservative, but I understand how they got themselves painted into a corner. Passing that bill (and Donald Trump signing it) was the lesser of two really nasty evils: A gigantic omnibus spending bill or a very long-term and disruptive government shut-down.

  • Maybe it was Donald Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (whose office is right down the hall) via phone.

  • Trump became famous outside of his home county of Queens by saying "You're Fired!" on "The Apprentice. But, he didn't have the guts to call either man in and fire him face-to-face. It is a good reminder that "reality television" is anything but.

  • While Trump was elected to "drain the swamp," we have discovered that was his code for leaving the swamp intact but being the only alligator in it.

  • Nah. I wasn't surprised by discovering Trump has feet of clay. That is a well-known after-effect of bone spurs earlier in life.

  • Maybe it was the multi-location "March for Our Lives" on Saturday.

  • I am not opposed to calls for reasonable gun control legislation (think: bump stocks) and I am certainly not opposed to Americans exercising four out of the six clauses of the First Amendment.

    SIDEBAR

    The text:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    END SIDEBAR

  • That, my friends (a) is one HELL of an Amendment, and (b) requires the 2nd Amendment for the people to ensure compliance by the federal government.

  • Mullfave Ginny Wolfe said that the demonstrations reminded her of our standing in front of Madison Square Garden in New York City the day before the 2004 Republican National Convention when crowds danced down 7th Avenue chanting:
    THIS is what deMOCracy LOOKS like.

  • Another Mullfave, went to both the post-inaugural Women's March and Saturday's March for Our Lives. Among her observations:
    "Saturday was a rally and not a march. Focus was on the young speakers and their eloquent and impassioned message rather than focus on celebrities. Unified applause and chants. Not just walking and signs.

    "Electricity in the air along with hope. More hope for change than women's march which I believe was due to the youth leading the charge. Calls to register to vote - sense of pride for the future leaders of this country."

  • Maybe I'm looking down a road I will not be around to travel and worrying that the hundreds of thousands of young people who peaceably assembled and petitioned their government for redress of grievances will watch their enthusiasm of 2018 drain away in the face of political inertia and the pressures of job and family.

  • Nah. I love those kids. I hope they get to mark March 24, 2018 as a turning point in their, and all Americans, lives.

  • I think I know what it is.

  • A species has ended right before our eyes.

  • The last male Northern White Rhino on Earth died. The last one. His name was Sudan.

  • There are two female White Rhinos, but they have been unable to carry babies to term, so invitro fertilization hasn't worked.

  • As naturalist William Beebe wrote in 1906:
    The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer.

    But, when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.

  • Northern White Rhinos never did anything to us, yet they are gone.

  • I think that is what made me so sad this weekend.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to "feet of clay," to the White Rhino story, and to William Beebe.

    The Mullfoto is an Odometer Memorial from Mullpal David Norcross.

-- END --

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