All posts by JD Pendry

Republican’ts

The past few months have been enlightening for many Americans.  That is especially true for those of us gullible enough to believe anything coming from the mouths of politicians.  All of us are fallible humans, our priorities not always perfectly aligned with our supposed purpose.  Politicians are not immune to human imperfection.  To get our votes, politicians must be likable.  They must also build for themselves some barrier to breach or enemy to conquer before they can deliver on promises made.  This is how they convince us that our votes count for something.  For without our votes, the barrier standing between promise and deliverance cannot be broken and the straw man enemy standing in the way of progress cannot be vanquished.  The gullible, dutiful soldiers including the man staring back at me from the mirror, head for the ballot box to help them break through the barriers and vanquish those other fallible humans standing in the way of progress.

You told us to give you the House of Representatives and we will deliver.  So we gave it to you.  Promptly, you selected another establishment wonk as Speaker of the House.  Then you showed us that you could deliver by passing a weekly repeal of Obamacare.  But, you said, we cannot overcome the barrier of a Democrat led Senate.  So we gave you the Senate.  Then you told us there was no point in having the Senate take up repeal of Obamacare or anything else because the Democrat President would veto it.  You told us that you needed the Whitehouse and then by gosh you were finally going to get some stuff done.  You would put America back in order.  Life would be good.  So we gave you the Whitehouse.

We picked a new President, which to your chagrin is what we do.  We chose the guy who spoke to us rather than at us promising to do the things we the people wanted.  We gave your party the Whitehouse.  Then we learned what you really meant was that you wanted a Jeb!.  Someone who speaks well, sounds Presidential on cue, and who will toe the establishment line and maintain the Washington status quo.  You wanted an inside the box swamp guy.  Someone who communicates through the stratosphere of elite media and political consultants whose message skips across the country like bouncing radio waves never quite touching down where we sit.

So we delivered for you.  The complete shebang – the whole 9 yards.  You owned Washington baby, all of it.  From the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue there were no barriers or enemies left standing.  Good things were bound to happen.  For 8 long years we listened to all the good things you would do for us just as soon as you controlled Washington.  We were pumped about border security, a final fix to our broken immigration system, repeal of Obamacare that would take the long government nose out of our medical care, tax reform, infrastructure, and you name it.

Then we learned something about Republicans.  We discovered there was a hate the President caucus that overlapped the establishment caucus that detested the conservative caucus.  The conservative caucus could not abide them or the moderate caucus.  The moderate caucus in turn could not talk to them or the liberal caucus of your party.  No one wanted to listen to the libertarian caucus and then there was John McCain.

We also learned that as a party, you are not working for the people who delivered you into power.  Something you did better to hide when you were the minority party.  We know whose interests you serve and it is not ours.  It is those rolled up under the umbrella of corporate lobbyists and donors who turn you into wealthy men and women on a civil service salary.

We learned that you are not Republicans but rather Republican’ts.  You can’t fix anything, but next election WE can.  We can drop kick you through the goal posts of life giving you the time you’ve always needed to write your memoirs, get on the speaking circuit and maybe tip a few cocktails with Hillary.  Together you may be able to figure out What Happened.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

True Colors

Some NFL teams are forcing players to stand for the national anthem.  I expect the owners are more concerned about the bottom line than respecting
the flag.  Whether players stand or not doesn’t matter to me.  From my perspective, this NFL season is lost maybe the next one also.  I can get along without the NFL, but they cannot get along without me – the fan.   It’s the same feeling I have for Hollywood actors whose films I don’t watch.  Now that Captain America (Chris Evans) has become Captain Resistance, I will likely pass on the next Avengers episode too. Thanks for ruining that one for me Cap.   Sadly, the problem I have is that I can’t forget what these people say and do.  Those memories take away the entertainment value of the sports event, the movie and even the music.  Once one of these “celebrities” shows their true colors I am unable to put them aside.  It taints all they do.  I am also growing tired of the politicization of practically every aspect of American Culture.

Forcing someone to stand is not honoring our nation nor does it change what’s in a person’s heart.  The anthem protesting players have already shown their true colors.   Forcing them to stand does not change that.  When in London players kneeled for our national anthem and then stood for the United Kingdom’s God Save the Queen, I was finished with them.  Ray Lewis of double murder trial fame said they were not protesting the anthem or flag but instead were praying.  Maybe it’s so, but praying works anytime Ray.  Reverence to God certainly outweighs reference to any symbol – even the symbol of the nation making the declaration of “In God We Trust.”  Scripture instructs us regarding prayer.  Maybe you should take a look at The playbook.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5: 6-18

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:5-6

No matter which posture you assume or gesture you make it doesn’t change what’s in your heart.  It does not change your true colors.  Having traveled far down that road, you have a difficult task ahead.  You have lost the trust of many fans that allow you to have more wealth than the other 99 percent of the world population.  It is a level of wealth beyond the imagination of most – and for playing a sport.  When I was a young Soldier, I looked forward to the rare opportunity when we could watch a live NFL game broadcast over American Forces Radio and Television Service.  Can you imagine a Soldier in Afghanistan enjoying a little down time to watch a game and before him are millionaire athletes taking a knee before the flag that has draped the coffins of his comrades?

Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone. – Publilius Syrus – 1st Century Philosopher

None of us got to choose our family, our race, the tone of our skin or our country of birth.  But, because of the freedoms celebrated by our flag and anthem we all are able to choose our own way.  Regardless of your lot in life, being born in the United States of America is a blessing.  Before you take a knee count your blessings.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

We need answers

Three days in except for the casualty count the public knows little about the Las Vegas shooting or the shooter.  I suppose it is what we should
expect this early in an investigation.  Certainly there is much information being withheld that if released may jeopardize the investigation.  Already, conspiracy theories abound.  The longer it takes the investigators to come to some solid conclusions and inform the people the more the tin foil hats will speculate and facts intermingled with fiction will be lost to a public unable to separate what’s real from what’s not.  The people need to know.  With the level of detail and pre-planning needed it’s hard to accept that this was a one man operation.

Even so, rolling around in my head are unanswered questions:

  • For starters, why did a reported multimillionaire and Las Vegas high roller decide to commit such an atrocity? I am not buying the feeble excuse I heard that video poker drove him nuts.  His brother was adamant that he could never commit such an act.
  • In recent years, where has he traveled outside the country? I’ve seen some claims of travel, but not from any reliable source.
  • Who was he in contact with over the past year or longer?
  • At this stage, who is a reliable source? I do not trust the media, which is probably out there looking for Confederate flags, to provide good information.
  • What about his girl friend? She’s Pilipino.  What are her connections?  Her beliefs?  He’s wired a lot of money to the Philippines.  Who got it?  In the Philippines, there are active and violent Islamist groups.  Is there any connection?  It is understandable that our minds would go there first.
  • How does someone get that many weapons and that much ammunition into a hotel room and install surveillance cameras while going unnoticed?
  • Was the country music venue selected for the crowd size or was there another reason?
  • We are told that the shooting lasted 9 minutes. It took 72 minutes from the first 911 call before police entered the room to find the dead shooter.
  • Was he the only shooter? If so, why did he need to break out two windows when both provided a clear field of fire?
  • During the time lapse from the 911 call until the police breached the door other possible shooters could have exfiltrated and blended in with hotel guests reacting to an active shooter.
  • Is it certain that the shooter killed himself?

I believe our current surveillance state could probably answer many of those questions in a matter of minutes.

Aside from that, are there anymore stupid people out there who are going to say:  It’s country music so they are likely Trump supporters or they are just gun toting Republicans.  Sadder still are the politicians who use a tragedy for political gain.  That is the lowest form of life on this planet.  There are two big things a tyrannical government wants – to totally control healthcare and take guns from the citizens.

I know that an armed citizen could not have stopped this unless he was in the room before the shooting started.  But this took time to plan and prepare.  Someone somewhere witnessed something out of the ordinary.  Reporting that something is the only way we can stop these killers.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Where is John Wayne?

Suzie-Q and I like movies.  We like the environment, sharing popcorn and a bucket of pop.  We even tolerate those who come to see a movie yet must
check their cell phones every two minutes in case maybe there is another tweet from the President or LeBron.  These days, the sad part is that there is probably one movie in ten that’s worth seeing.

A good action movie or comedy or what one expects to be a good action-comedy from the trailers is ruined within minutes by the F-bomb and other nonsense.  Over my years, I’ve seen tons of movies.  I have seen countless movies that might be classified as an action movie.  Some were very entertaining movies not laced with sex and profanity.  Back in the day, when we actually watched television, one of our favorite programs was CHIPS.  Naturally when we watched the trailer, we were duped into believing it was going to be the same fun format.  A couple of motorcycle cops having fun and catching the bad guys.  Characters the kids could look up to.  Too bad one of the cops was a degenerate sex fiend and the other a hopeless pain pill addict.  That story line overshadowed whatever else may have been worth seeing – which by the way wasn’t much.

I spent a lot of years in the Army.  I have heard and used bad language.  But, I’ve never used it or heard it to the extent that it is used in some of these movies.  I saw another trailer for the movie, The Hitman’s Body Guard.  Although Samuel L. Jackson is known to make some outrageous statements about our country, I believed the movie might still be entertaining.  After all, isn’t that why we escape to the movies or these days to a football game?  To lose our minds for a time and get away from the daily drudgery giving our brains a needed break from the real world?  Sure it is.  But it is sad when hardly a single line of dialogue is uttered without an F-bomb.  And in this movie, not just Jackson but the body guard too and the woman who portrayed his bride.  Their term of endearment for one another was mother-effer.  Classy right?  By now, you would have thought I’d learned to spot garbage before buying it, but I didn’t.  What was billed as a satirical James Bond type movie, The Kingsmen, promptly set out to employ more F-bombs than Sam did although they did it with a British accent.   What is even sadder is that I look around the theatre and see youngsters there supposedly accompanied by an adult.  I can remember way back when people were trying to count the number of times Al Pacino used the word in the movie Scarface.  Those who know, for some reason I guess they actually counted, said it was 226 times or about once a minute give or take.  I think the answer may be to avoid R rated movies even though that may include some decent action flicks not filled with profanity.

Do you reckon the script writers are that bad or the actors are doing a little improv?  Either way, you’d think they would question why these movies are flops not even catching a one star from me.

I long for Big Jake, McClintock, and Rooster Cogburn who did once command “slap leather you SOBs.”  There were some epic brawls and gunfights, but about the worst we’d heard up to then was Clarke Gable declaring, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”  And on that other thing, I also long for Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Mean Joe Greene….

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Exceptional Nation

I am sitting here in the Bunker.  Over on the windowsill is a folded, encased American Flag.  The case also holds three of the brass casings from
my Father’s 21 Gun Salute.  My Dad was a coal miner with two small children when he went into the Navy during World War II.  Following the war, he returned home and back to the coal mines.  He worked in those mines until his body was broken and his lungs were racked with coal dust.  When he could no longer get a coal mining job, he went to work in a Chicago factory.  That is all my Dad did in life, obeyed the law, served when called and worked hard.  He never sought a hand out and never blamed anyone for his plight.  He was a humble man always grateful for what the Good Lord provided.

In the war, nearly 420,000 Americans gave their lives fighting for freedom – not only America’s freedom but, freedom for the civilized world.  I suppose that number might fill four or five modern day football stadiums give or take.  My Dad never cared too much for sports, although he did talk some about listening to baseball games on the radio.  While you rarely hear their stories, this great nation this Exceptional Nation is filled with people like my Father.  They are the forgotten people.  They do not seek special privilege.  They do not riot in the streets.  They hold together their families.  They work hard and often struggle to make ends meet.  They never give up.  They enjoy American football.  They fill our Armed Forces, our Police Forces, our Fire Departments and many other jobs without which civilized society fails and they do it for a pittance compared to what a pampered and catered to professional athlete earns in an afternoon even when they are sitting on the bench.

We all have a right to speak our minds.  We have the right to peaceful protest.  There is no right to not be offended by what someone or some group has to say – about our country or anything else.  Our freedom did not come easily.  If you have traveled some and lived in other countries, you know full well that there is only one Exceptional Nation on this planet that placed that freedom of speech and others into our founding documents and our Constitution.  Only one.  Worldwide, there is but one symbol known to all representing American freedom and Exceptionalism.  Only one.   And historically people from across the world have followed that symbol of freedom to this land hoping to get even a small taste of what too many of us take for granted.  Even a small bit is more than they have experienced in their lives.  The Americans we consider poverty stricken they view as wealthy because by world standards they are.

On Sunday, after Church while I was having lunch I switched on the kitchen television to my favorite NFL pregame program.  After a couple of minutes, I switched it off refusing to be lectured by sportscasters and old football players and coaches nor did I want to hear them lecture the President who said what most of us have been thinking.  Being President does not take away your freedom of speech.  Maybe it’s time that we have a leader who doesn’t dance around the edges.  One who speaks for the forgotten people.   I didn’t watch any football yesterday.  I was angry for a few minutes and that turned into sorrow.  Another American institution politicized.  Another icon of American culture is swirling down the drain.

You tell me that it is not your intention to show disrespect to our flag, our anthem or to any Service Person or Veteran.  You are exercising your freedom of speech for social justice.  Well that’s fine.  I served most of my life in the military.  When I want to watch sports that is all that I am interested in.  So, when I turn off the fat, bald ex-quarterback (prior to yesterday I enjoyed listening to his football commentary) lecturing the President and a collection of privileged men showing contempt for my country and I stop buying your team paraphernalia I mean you no disrespect.  I am merely exercising the freedom represented by the symbol and anthem you detest.  I am giving my Dad the respect he deserves.  For you, I predict a losing season beyond anything you imagine.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry