E UNUM PLURIBUS

The word of the day is “diversity,” what exactly does it mean?

My Random House Webster’s does not go into a great deal of detail, it merely says: (1) The state of being diverse; difference; unlikeness.  (2) variety; multiformity.  (3)  a point of difference.  With a definition so vague the word can mean pretty much whatever the user wants it to mean.  And it usually does.

Many years ago my dear mom taught me that words mean things and that they should be chosen with precision so that there is no mistaking what you intended to say.  That long remembered lesson is the reason that I am no fan of definition creep.

A short digression if I may.  In a recent edition of the Houston Chronicle a reporter wrote the following concerning a home invasion, “the burglars smashed open the front door, went inside and decimated the apartment.”  I am at a loss to understand how one kills one tenth of an apartment.

It is quite common to hear a talking head on TV use the term “begs the question” to mean that something has occurred that would lead one to ask a specific question.  The term was originally a rhetorical device used in debate in which you assume the truth of the very point raised in the question.

Read the U.S. Constitution using word definitions as they were in the mid to late eighteenth century and you will quickly see how definition creep can by used to usurp or increase power.

The motto “E Pluribus Unum” translates to “out of many, one.”  When first adopted it referred to our being a nation of immigrants, all wanting to equally share in the promise of a new land.  A diverse people united in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Fast forward to this modern era and you see the diversity that was considered a secondary characteristic by the early immigrants being pushed to the fore and used as a tool to divide and control the population of this nation.

This leads to a word for which the definition has not crept:  Balkanize: To divide a country or territory into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual states.

Diversity as it is currently being touted and celebrated is a divisive tactic and does not serve well the immigrant population or for that matter any minority community, rather it balkanizes them.

I celebrate immigration.  I am the product of immigrant grandparents and will be ever grateful that they endured what they did so that I could be born in this nation.  And among other things, by choosing to come here and assimilate they taught me what it means to be an American.

That said, it is my fervent hope and desire that all immigrants to this country would  view their origins as secondary characteristics and put allegiance to their chosen nation first.

As with adopted children, adopted nations are a matter of choice.  It’s time to reject the current usage of diversity, restore the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and heal this nation.

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IT’S A POLITICAL STREET FIGHT

Those who have read my blogs touching on the political “reality show” that we are currently experiencing will know that my primary aim is to not take sides but rather to state opinions based on observation.

In the past I have wondered aloud why Donald J. Trump would want to be President but he did and he is.

After six months I still wonder how a successful business man, a billionaire who has been intimately involved with government at all levels during his career, could possibly think that he, acting alone, might change the political direction of the country.

I have to assume that he knew he would be acting alone because in order to enlist the aid of those needed to make the changes he promised he would have to get a majority of the elected officials, blue and red, along with the members of the “Deep State” to abandon their personal cash cows and enact legislation and rule changes diametrically opposed to the system they spent years, even lifetimes building.

Trump’s lifelong experience has been interacting with people who wanted to make a deal.  His current adversaries don’t want deals, they simply want to be left alone to continue working their games, consolidating power and amassing personal fortunes.

We Americans have always championed the underdog, thrown our support to the guy or gal who undertook the impossible and fought against the long odds.  In that spirit logic would dictate that we would be cheering for The Donald but that’s not going to happen, underdogs have to be charismatic.

Mr. President, it would seem that you have jumped bare-knuckled into a knife fight. You’re a smart guy, you must understand that there is no one you can trust.  Maybe you do realize it and that’s the reason for the high level of nepotism.  But there are thousands of “them” and only a handful of y’all.

Perhaps you could emulate Samson and start swinging the jaw bone of an ass.  Any current elected official would be a suitable donor.

The final analysis is that you are not prepared for this game.  You spent decades helping folks stack apples into their carts and now you want to upset those apple carts.  Somehow it escaped you that these members of the political class are better at protecting their turf than the Crips, the Bloods and MS-13 combined and in their way just as ruthless.

The latest iteration of anti-Trump pushback is embodied in Robert Mueller, Special Counsel.  Mr. President, you got punk’d.  Your staunch supporter, Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, recused himself on the flimsiest of reasons, opening the door for a special counsel and you get an enemy straight from central casting.  A guy you passed over for a job he really wanted, BFF of the FBI director you fired and a life-long democrat.  Good luck controlling that narrative.

This is not to say that you don’t have options, just none with good optics.  You start by ordering a purge of leakers inside the intelligence community.  That’s moral high ground since they are committing crimes and endangering national security.  A few indictments with the possibility of serious jail time in that arena should slow down some of the opposition.

Then you get rid of Mueller.  You can’t fire him but if your buddy Jeff Sessions won’t reverse his recusal you can fire the guys who can fire Mueller until you get to the guy who will.

While this stew is cooking you go to the American people, stay on message about your proposed programs and lay the blame for obstructionism at the feet of Congress and their bureaucrats where it belongs.  Mid terms are just around the corner.

You’ll still be the underdog but you should at least make the fight look a bit more like Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed than the Charge of the Light Brigade.

And when you finally tire of the whole charade you might just claim that there was a misspelling in your campaign slogan.  Outlaw shredded cheese thereby making all Americans grate again, pick up your marbles and go home.

Just sayin’.

 

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WHERE’S THE LIABILITY?

This has to do with the auto hobbyist and liability insurance and it contains a serious question, one that I would really like a reasonable answer to.

I have played with cars and trucks all my life, a very long time now.  I pursued this as a kid and then later as a bonding experience with my sons.

In the years before state mandated liability insurance what I am addressing here was not a problem. Today it can be a huge expense for the hobbyist on a limited budget.  A major expense that in my opinion could have a very simple solution.

I am the only driver in my household and I have four vehicles, my everyday driver and three works in progress, all of which are registered and insured.  Any time that I am driving one vehicle three others are parked.  Also, at any given time one or more will not be in operable condition due to some work being done, yet the insurance bill goes on.

I asked my agent if there was some special deal for hobbyists.  His answer, “nope.”
I asked if it would be feasible to drop-add vehicles to the policy when they came in and out of service.  His answer, “nope.”

In order to get a driver’s license in this state you have insurance or sign a declaration  that you do not have a vehicle.  My question is this, why can’t state mandated liability auto insurance be made a function of having a driver’s license and then you would be covered for liability no matter what you drive.

I asked my agent and he gave a vague, dismissive response that no insurance company would take on that sort of liability although he couldn’t explain how a vehicle parked on private property might be creating a liability.  He did mention the possibility that the vehicle might be operated by an unlicensed, therefore uninsured driver and my comment was that such an occurrence would only result from the vehicle having been stolen, in which case the company wouldn’t honor a claim anyway.

I don’t know how many reading this are in households where there are more vehicles than drivers but there must be some.  I feel that this is a serious matter that needs to be discussed and perhaps even acted on via state legislation.

While insuring drivers rather than individual vehicles would not increase the liability exposure to the motoring public, it could result some serious cash savings for a lot of families where dad and/or mom likes to hang over a fender, twisting wrenches .

In my case, the single greatest continuous expense of my hobby is the cost of unused liability insurance.

I would welcome any input on this subject, apart from the form letter I received when I addressed this to my state legislator.  His response was, “we are working diligently to see that the insurance industry treats all our citizens in a fair and equitable manner.  Thank you for expressing your concerns.”

 

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TO THE NOT SO LOYAL OPPOSITION

It is no secret that our nation is deeply divided.  We have elements in our government and intelligence communities, both elected and appointed, who are actively seeking to subvert the system of checks and balances that have guided this country since its inception.

They are doing so out of what is in my opinion a misguided attempt to save the nation from what they perceive as certain destruction at the hands of the present administration.

Somehow the irony that to do so they must overturn that which we have spent our treasure, our blood, sweat and tears for over 240 years to protect, this democratic republic that is the United States of America.

Watch this video and then ask the question: How many of those working outside the established system to stage a (hopefully) bloodless coup would have joined those who did what they had to do to keep our flag flying over Fort McHenry

 

God bless America and keep us safe from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

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AN ETERNAL QUESTION

If a man, standing alone in the middle of a dense forest, makes a statement and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

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STOP THE POLITICAL MADNESS

Syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman has a column in the Op-Ed section of today’s (5/17/2017) Houston Chronicle titled, “Trump must be stopped; nothing else matters.”  In the article he expresses his opinion that the President is not only dangerously psychotic but also guilty of malfeasance and treason.

I am not writing this to add support to Mr. Trump, he’s a big boy and can protect himself.  My quarrel is with the mindset that the destruction at all costs of this president is all that matters to a large segment of our population and, it would seem, the entirety of the mainstream media.

This mania to overthrow the government of the United States of America, in the guise of saving it from the clutches of a madman, presents the single greatest threat to our national security that exists in the world today.

It is unconscionable that so many people within our government are willing to subvert our constitution in order to thwart someone who threatens their status quo.  Never in the history of this nation have so many abandoned the process which has seen us through for over two hundred years in order to topple one individual.

Whether Donald Trump survives this onslaught is of little importance to me, I question whether our system of democracy can survive once the precedent of taking action just short of anarchy to gain one’s political goals has been set.   Given a successful outcome in ousting this man will we ever be able to return to a peaceful political process or will the not so loyal opposition have a new method of dissent at its disposal going into the future, one that transcends the rule of law and the bounds of decency?

I’m not asking support for Trump, I am asking that we demand a return to the system that has been our bedrock throughout our nation’s history.  If the aims and goals of those protesting this administration are good and proper then pursue them using the checks and balances to be found in our constitution.

Please, for the sake of our collective future, stop the madness.

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AN OBSERVATION 0N RELATIONSHIPS

Someone dear to me is having a relationship problem and is standing at a crossroads in life.  Since I am not Dear Abby, I won’t share the salacious details here, my purpose is to point to a general observation about all relationships.

There is one overarching truth about each of us as human beings:  As we go through life we either grow, regress or remain static.  This is true for all of us no matter what the circumstance, it is a fact of living on this big blue marble.

When this truth is applied to relationships the corollary is that for a union to persist each partner must grow, regress or remain static at or near the same rate as the other or common ground is lost.  Once there is no common ground there is very little basis for continuing the relationship and any attempt to do so comes at a cost.   That cost usually involves the loss of peace of mind and comes with some degree of mental or physical anguish.

Relationships with deep seated feelings or of long standing should be salvaged if possible but it is important to recognize that there is a point of diminishing returns, emotional suicide serves no one.

In most religions or philosophies we can find support when faced with major decisions in seemingly failed relationships.  I will reference only one, The Bible, 2 Corinthians, 6:14, “Be not unequally yoked.”

Life is a series of choices and whether we grow, regress or become stagnant depends on how well we address those choices.

God bless.

 

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