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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Hail to the Grief

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The President-Elect is an easy target for just about anything. Throw it at him; it sticks. In the spirit of easy pickings, time to remember the men who came before him & are remembered/tarred & feathered by history & less than grateful citizens. There are the usual suspects: Warren Gamaliel Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, the One & Only (thank goodness) James Buchanan. These are the winners (?) of about every ranking on who was the worst President. Were they? Well, yes. But surely every President has a “worst” something. Offer suggestions about who defines worst, all categories accepted & acknowledged. Name the miscreant, state your reason.

I nominate John Tyler. Why? Only President laid to rest under a foreign flag.

At least as of January 2017.

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Doom and gloom. DOOOOOOM AND GLOOOOOOM …

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Go to Hell, 2016, and don’t let the door hit you.

This year has been tough for Trail Mixers. Incredible highs, devastating lows, gains, losses, disbelief. Yet the Sun still rises in the East; the Earth still rotates on its axis. We are tough bastards and no person, no event will get us down. We can’t change the past, but we can influence the future.

No resolutions, no regrets. Instead: Celebrate the good & the goodness in everyday life.

What makes you happy? What is the spark that keeps your fire lit?

I adore the actor Brian Blessed. He played Augustus in I, Claudius; appeared in the Blackadder series. He also embodies joie de vivre better than anyone I’ve seen. This man loves his craft! He’s bigger than life!! It’s not an act!!! It’s who he is and I love it.

I like sunflowers, daisies, buttercups. These are happy flowers that attract bees and …..

I like bees.

You get the drift.

The title of this post is a quote from the musical Finian’s Rainbow. I’ll be the first to admit the political incorrectness it oozes forth nowadays but it contains a few good tunes that stay with you. As such, I end with the following:

You’ll never grow old and you’ll never grow poor, if you look to the rainbow, beyond the next moor.

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Life Is Defined By How Much You Improve The Lives Of Others

— Keith Olbermann

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

This speech was written and delivered by Olbermann for the 1998 Cornell Senior Convocation. I apologize to the gentleman for quoting it without his permission but it is an important work on why we are and what we can become if we apply ourselves to the good:

Come on out of this wonderful haven, this experimental lab of life you’ve been in, and guard your humanity and your Moral Force as if it were your wallet.

…… But I also know that the one thing you have that all of us “out here” do not … is that you are not yet jaded by this process. To some degree you must inevitably become so. But if you keep your Moral Force intact just sufficiently so that you can stand up once or twice in the rest of your life and say, “You know what? This is wrong for me and for people I know and for people I don’t know and I’m not going to do it,” you will have improved the world.

And I do not know what the meaning of life is.

The older I got, the more complicated my philosophical gymnastics got until my one sentence answer turned into a paragraph and then an hour later and then it began to shrink to “beats the hell out of me” and finally to this gesture:

Uh-uh-uh!

But I do know without fear of contradiction what the definition of life is and it is 12 words long: “Life is defined by how much you improve the lives of others.”

Good Luck.

May you do better than all of us have.

You take it from here.

The speech defines who Olbermann is, why he does what he does, why he is needed. Being a lightning rod is not easy nor should it be entered into lightly. The message only works & lasts if it has integrity & solid ground behind & beneath it.

While others in media treasure access and being seen at the right parties & shindigs, Mr. Olbermann treasures being on the Right Side of History. Whether or not he is your cup of tea is understood & respected. I get it. But he does serve an important place as protecting the flicker of hope & light that defines humanity while others in media work to protect their paychecks. He doesn’t need to do this for the fame; he needs to do this as a decent human being & good citizen. His voice is heard; he speaks for those of us whose voice is not. For that, I am forever grateful. Thank You, Sir.

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Olbermann can be seen regularly on his new GQ show:

The Resistance