Planting a Garden

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The other day I commented about how certain elements on the Right are recruiting, mentoring, supporting college students for future Leadership within their communities & national office. Establishing friendships & networks. Simple, smart. Scary if you don’t believe as they do.

Does the Democratic Party have such a plan or strategy? I ask this in all curiosity & concern. Who are the Leaders; are there Leaders; is there Leadership? The harvest you reap depends on the quantity & quality of the seeds you plant. The more you plant, the better odds of success against unforeseen obstacles & circumstances. Simple, smart, commonsense. The future is now.

The Man Who Reclaimed His Head

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Now & then you see a movie that, though not being the best, nevertheless sticks with you. I grew up in the central Southern Tier of New York State. Our cable company carried the TV station out of Elmira which was something close to UHF + a parody of SCTV’s premise. Every Saturday afternoon they showed obscure black & white films from the 1930s & 40s, probably because they were cheap. A plus side to this was I watched quite a few movies you’ve never heard of & never will. One such film was The Man Who Reclaimed His Head, starring my favorite male actor, Claude Rains. It’s one weird ride. It’s also stayed with me all these years.

The story takes place in 1914-15 France. Paul Verin (Claude Rains) is a writer, specifically about politics. He is a Pacifist. He is also poor & married to Adele (Joan Bennett gone blonde, as wooden & stilted an actress as ever, totally miscast. Her scenes drag. Just talking truth here.) Adele wants to ditch their town & move to Paris. The couple has a daughter, Linette (played by Baby Jane, real name: Juanita Quigley.)

Another fav actor, Lionel Atwill, plays Henri Dumont, a politician with big dreams who, though disagreeing with Verin on many subjects, acknowledges the writer’s brilliance. Dumont makes a deal with Verin: In exchange for ghost writing editorials (to be published under Dumont’s name) Verin will get paid handsomely. Deal done, Dumont gets nationally hailed as a friend of the People & Peace; Adele gets to return to Paris & spend Verin’s new wealth. Then Archduke Franz Ferdinand goes to Sarajevo…..

War! Uh-oh. Pacifism loses a lotta cachet. Rich weapons manufacturers meet with Dumont suggesting he change his views. Dumont, being the politician he is, accepts. Now how to deal with Verin? Why, start charming Adele, who being Adele, is easily swayed by francs, lots of ’em. Dumont rises to power; voters believe him to be a man of integrity based on his editorials. Verin, disgusted, leaves Dumont, eventually ending up in the Army. Rumor gets to Verin that Dumont & Adele are more than just good friends. Verin goes over the edge & gets back to Paris, walking in on Dumont & Adele. Verin pulls out his bayonet & kills Dumont. Not just kills: the title of the movie gives away how Verin does in Dumont. Btw, Verin carries the, uh, trophy in a satchel & takes it with him when he goes & confesses. Yep.

After recounting this oddly affecting movie, I have to say it remains relevant, as far as lying, user Politicians, Arms Dealers & Financiers exploiting war for profit, a gullible Public wanting & willing to believe a message when slickly offered in an uber Patriotic atmosphere, presented with an oh-so-professional believability. I certainly don’t condone violence or murder. Just how far can one be pushed before acting to reclaim your life? Your Country? Funny what a movie from 1934 continues to say even today. Any one listening?

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Our Town

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

A few years back Mr. Crawford posted a painting & matched the various people in the scene to Trail Mix contributors. It was fun & pretty much dead-on.

For enlarged pic Click Here

In the same spirit, how do you “see” the various members who make up this blog?

To me everyone here is a supporting player: individual contributions add & enhance the overall effect. I’d much rather be a Mary Wickes or John Fiedler than a big name. More variety, more opportunities, more fun.

When I wake up or come home from work my routine is the same. First, check email; second, check Trail Mix. The former can be an annoying chore. The latter is always a joy.

Thank You to everyone here for creating, if not a perfect world, at least one that is based on information, intelligence & humanity.

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Wading in the Shallow End

” …. we’re all in line for succession, and if nineteen million, four hundred thousand, two hundred and eight people die, I’ll be king tomorrow. It’s not very likely but it’s a nice thought and helps keep you going. ” – Peter Cook, 1964.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

We may not become King, Queen or Grand Duke of Upper Twitsylvania tomorrow or any other day, but someone in the Line of Presidential Succession just may have a chance at being Leader of the Free World, sooner than later. Don’t wear your good shoes while navigating this field of truly unqualified embarrassments. Mike Pence? Jeff Sessions? Ben Carson? Rick Perry? Betsy DeVos? President Paul Ryan. (Elaine Chao gets a pass because she was born in a foreign country. Anyone told #45 about that? Oh well, at least one less woman has a shot at the prize.)

  1. Vice President
  2. Speaker of the House of Representatives
  3. President pro tempore of the Senate
  4. Secretary of State
  5. Secretary of the Treasury
  6. Secretary of Defense
  7. Attorney General
  8. Secretary of the Interior
  9. Secretary of Agriculture
  10. Secretary of Commerce
  11. Secretary of Labor
  12. Secretary of Health & Human Services
  13. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development
  14. Secretary of Transportation
  15. Secretary of Energy
  16. Secretary of Education
  17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  18. Secretary of Homeland Security

And to think one of these is the Designated-God-Help-Us-Survivor!?!

I’m sorry.

So what are we going to do about this unfortunate period in our history? No sniping or blame game allowed. We should be about building bridges, not walls. Every single vote matters & should be welcomed. Cleaning up this mess will take a long time, but more shovels lightens the load. I pledge to support the Candidate who, while not perfect (who is?), at least has her/his heart in the right place & has a clue about governing. We can’t change yesterday but we sure as hell can change tomorrow.

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The Most Dishonest People on Earth

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The latest damning of the media made me think of the days when journalists were considered heroes to many. News People were cool. Really.

Following are quotes from different yet relevant time periods.  The lines from I, Claudius remind us that petty tyrants are eternal. They are not unique or special, just need to be identified and called out.

With that in mind, I yield to Claudius:

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

The big moment for me was making ‘All the President’s Men.’ It was not about Watergate or President Nixon. I wanted to focus on something I thought not many people knew about: How do journalists get the story? – Robert Redford

The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile. – Stephen K. Bannon

Tiberius: Has it ever occurred to you, mother, that it’s you they hate and not me?

Livia: There is nothing in this world that occurs to you that does not occur to me first. That is the affliction I live with. – I, Claudius (BBC)

This is a generation weaned on Watergate, and there is no presumption of innocence and no presumption of good intentions. Instead, there is a presumption that, without relentless scrutiny, the government will misbehave. – Dee Dee Myers

I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the President of the United States. – Stephen K. Bannon

Sejanus: I’ve no need of a trial to prove your guilt.

Gallus: A song sung by every small town corrupt policeman, which is what you are and what you should have stayed. I’ve watched your career with fascination, Sejanus, it’s been a revelation to me. I’ve never fully realized how a small mind, allied to limitless ambition and without scruple could destroy an entire country full of clever men. – I, Claudius (BBC)

The great thing about Watergate is, is that the system worked. The American system worked. The Press did its job. We did what we were supposed to do. – Carl Bernstein

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