Toward calm and shady places I am walking on the Earth

Ojibwe, Native American Song


By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor (also, see PatD below)

This is a fine time for a holiday.  It is also a holiday which occasionally, most of the time really, has lost its meaning.  This is when we honor those military and other uniformed services members who have lost their lives protecting these United States.  One of those, a Navy seaman, was my great-uncle.

His ship was not a fighting ship and not a large ship either.  She was a converted civilian cargo ship, her keel laid in 1913, and after civilian service she was commissioned to the U.S. Navy July 26, 1918.  In service for not eight weeks she was sunk by a German submarine torpedo September 16, 1918. * My great-uncle’s body was never recovered.

memorialDayFlagFrom the Revolutionary War on, many of my ancestors answered the call for volunteers to fight for the United States.  Dying is not on the list of reasons to enlist by most.  Yet is one of the reasons to not join used by so many.  They may not say it out loud very often.  Listen to the many excuses-reasons for not enlisting.

My grandfather loved his brother very much.  So much so he enlisted as soon as he turned eighteen.  But, by that time WWI had ended and his hate of Germans had to be quenched.  He loved the Navy too.  But he, like all others of my family, were not career military, we were enlistees who served and then returned to civilian life.

Many of my friends and co-workers are veterans.  They have their stories of family and friends in the military.  They too look at this weekend as a holiday.  We each have ways of remembering and honoring our dead.

*His name is the second name of the enlisted dead.

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Submitted by PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Presidential Proclamation

In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer.

I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. I request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

Army Rangers Release Memorial Day Song From Afghanistan

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Those Who Love Deeply Never Grow Old

They may die of old age, but they die young. — Ben Franklin

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

As so often happens these years, someone puts out a list of where we are in history and technology.  Come September we will read about what the college freshman class knows and what they have never experienced.   I just read one of these which was fairly interesting having to do with technology (it is not linked to as it was a chain email).  I do enjoy them as they are written in an optimistic manner.

We, Baby Boomers, used to talk about people who were born in the 1800’s (my great-grandmother and others) who were old enough to know where they were when they saw their first aeroplane.  Their first knowledge of the radio and their first sighting of an automobile.    Now we can tell the kids and grandkids what it was like before television, color television, the computer (outside of Turing and IBM), microcomputers, jet airplane travel, interstate highways.  I was going to add books, but millennials like books and possibly newspapers.

Fifty one years in computers, that is me.  That much of modern America, Europe, Asia and Australia functions only because of the internet is something which was not fully foreseen twenty years ago, when the Internet was opened for public use outside of corporations and portals.  Remember Gopher?

When asked how old I am I often reply with “I was born when Truman was president”.  Then I watch their faces and eyes as they, first try to think of the presidents, second is if there really was a Truman, and third, when in the hell he was president.  I was born in 1950.  Mid-century.  Post-WWII.  Beginning of Korea.  All  I knew were WWI veterans, my great-uncles. WWII veterans, my father and uncles.  Korean veterans, neighbors.  I had a teacher in high school, with his concentration camp tattoo on his arm.

Our telephones were party lines until the 1960’s.  Except for a few transistor based radios, everything, including satellites, had vacuum tubes.  Nike sites were all around Detroit, just in case you know.  Clouds of radioactive debris were tracked and warnings were issued for people to go inside and seal their homes.  The Bay of Pigs was not a BBQ party.

The fifties television output was decidedly white and boring.  Except, the early and mid-fifties.  Live television dramas differed very far from the typical thirty minute sitcoms which are so often made fun of today.  Television was just venturing outside, remember vacuum tubes and huge power sucking electronics.

The sixties television output was very weird.  Martians, astronauts living with genies, farmers from Manhattan and anti-establishment folk singers, and something so strange very few could understand it, a Sgt Friday sent us anti-drug messages each week.  And Goldie Hawn was skinny.

Want to know about politics?  Ike was the Republican and he would not be matched Republicanwise until the 1980’s. Kennedy, originally a “friend” of Nixon, was shot and killed by a former Marine who came from Russia.  Civil rights was a deadly battle and finally won by a Texas Democrat who boomed the Americans in Vietnam to a fighting army.  Johnson took the U.S. into a war in Vietnam (my friends were there, I was supposed to be there).  Nixon made SEATO as place worse than hell.  He left for home as the first and only president to resign.

And, through all of this, Mad Magazine was the source of knowledge for many of us.

Answer: “Small craft warning!”

Question: What does the Tidy Bowl man yell when he hears flushing? — Carnac Quotes

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

If this was a football game it would be truly called the Toilet Bowl.  UNC concession stands could sell empty orange juice bottles for use by the unfortunates unable to pass the potty patrol birth certificate and crotch inspections.  North Carolina is suing the United States in an effort to force transgender people and those whose appearance and plumbing do not match what the doctor wrote when they were born to use the wrong restroom.  The United States of America is suing North Carolina to say they will let people use the correct restroom.

transbath“Ah the good old days”, thinks the governor and his legislators.  Just like back when a certain group of states decided to take on the United States of America to keep slavery that “peculiar institution”.  How belligerence has changed.  North Carolina has been extremely active attempting to return Black American to those good old days by preventing them from voting.  But has now found itself controlling the commode to transgender people too.  How far they have fallen.

Neither laws are what a modern, say post 1776, state should be doing or proud of.  But, as the governor and legislators know, they cannot return Americans to slavery, they decided to take on a minority which they thought could not make them look ridiculous (bordering on stupid) instead.  What came as a way to discriminate has now turned in to an economic dump. (see Paypal)

I am not trying to create an equivalence of the Black civil rights movement to transgender discrimination, although U.S. AG Lynch does (in a way).  I am pointing out how the mindset of ignorance and hate tries to discriminate and harass those who are not like themselves, in this case white males in political power.

NC Gov.  Pat McCrory
NC Gov. Pat McCrory
Back in the McCrory war room. “Just wait until our good thinking Supreme Court friend Scalia sees this.  He will back us up and force those gawd-damned freaks back into the closet.”  Others who can read replied in unison, “Governor, Scalia is dead!”  Sometimes the news travels slow or maybe a few are slow on the uptake.  As much as the guys want to believe all they have to do is pass a law to make time travel occur — it ain’t so (especially to the past).

I do have to admit I have some skin in the game.  I am a card carrying ACLU member, ACLU is suing N.C.  I also support the Lavender Law Project. They are suing N.C.  My boss, the U.S., is suing N.C.  And, allegedly, I may have broken, allegedly, the N.C. law by repeatedly, allegedly, using the, allegedly, restroom over a, allegedly, couple of days, allegedly, this month.  My boss says the law is unconstitutional anyway so it does not matter.  But, I want to be sure before I return to the land where the governor wants to check out everyone who uses the latrine. And that means everyone because you cannot tell from exterior views or even the plumbing, who is lying about their privates.

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Is The Pope Catholic?

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

PopeBernieSo this is how the worm turns.  A Jewish Socialist goes to Rome to visit a Catholic Pope.  Just the sentence sets off days of late night jokes.  And that is nothing to what is happening in politics.

“What the hell is he doing?  No Jewish politician will ever meet a pope!”  Overheard outside someone’s office whose initials might be HRC.  “He might as well be selling wiernerschnitzel in Bethlehem.”

And so another episode of the “Bernie Loves Hilly” program begins.  It seems they might be nearing a divorce or at least a separation.  The last show sounded like the Trump warming up in the shower radio hour.  Not that he would yell at himself in the shower, maybe just in the car and only at the hired help.

Although my time has been spent on things not politic, I have tried to find a daily diary from which to catch up on the various raging super egos.  The best I have come across is a brief read of the TrailMix.CC.  The rest of the world is filled with too much . . . let’s just say wiernerschnitzel.

Of more interest to me is my found family member.  My third cousin once removed.  Please do not ask what that means.  I have no clue.  We do know our great-great-great grandmothers were sisters.  That makes us cousins.  We found each other in the Great Salt Lake City DNA match, or one of the Great Salt Lake City ancestry companies.  That’s okay.  They will save what’s left of my sole.

It is so exciting.  We most likely met in the 1950’s or early 60’s, but did not know the significance of those meetings other than meeting another kid my age.  Iowa farm life, lots of cousins roaming around.

I wonder what the Pope got out of meeting the Bern?  A “feel the burn” T-shirt?  An offer of free college if he moves to Vermont?  Maybe a Senate gallery pass.

All I know is that whatever he did it was nothing compared to the high school debate teams refusing to go to Liberty “University”.  Those kids did something incredible and brave.  My hat is off to them and if I was ever in a position to hire one of them it would on the spot.

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Those Who Are Too Smart To Engage In Politics

Are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.  — Plato

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

What a feeling I awakened with this morn.  Friday evening was the Anne Arundel County Central Committee annual dinner.  A meeting of the most political of political people in politics.  People who are the unseen forces behind the every Democratic Party Member running for any office.  The people who watch CSPAN and listen to NPR, or are on NPR or CSPAN.  The people who watch Prime Minister’s Questions.

Oh, and there were the elected too.  Anne Arundel County provides the high power to the Maryland Assembly.  The fight to keep Governor Hogan from going all Republican on Maryland rests with the Speaker of House, Rep. Busch.  A few miles away is the now blinding white dome over the Congress. Several Maryland members of the Congress came to the dinner too.  Rep. Steny Hoyer was great as usual. Our candidates to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski spoke well and gave good reasons to vote for either of them. Sen. Mikulski was not at the dinner to my disappointment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
The night was even more exciting because of the key note speaker, Rep. Elijah Cummings.  Oh the deep feelings he brought out.  His speech was full, heartfelt and powerful; from his poor childhood and that of his parents as near slaves in South Carolina, to today as one of the most important Democrats in the Congress.  He is the one man who destroyed Republican attempts to blame Ms. Clinton for Benghazi and pretty much everything else that has happened since the Romans left England.

He reminded us of what we are – Democrats.  We can see what Mr. Weird Hair is doing, and why those voting for him do so.  We are Democrats and we must never forget why so many are falling for the bluster and wild talk.  It is up to us to make life better for all Americans.

For all the political power in the room, and there was a lot, we enjoyed a nice night together.  In politics one often gives everything to achieve the win, or preventing someone else from winning.  Long hard hours, constantly promoting your candidates, often calling people asking for money.  You make this relaxation time your fun time.

Okay, politics is still in the air. Rather, politics is the air.

You have slogged through so far and want the candy.  Today, there is no candy.  Today is the “ask”.  The point of all this is to lure you into getting involved in politics.  Politics is the putting a stamp on an envelope.  It is getting a nice walk on a weekend to meet fifty or one hundred people at their homes to hand them literature about a candidate.  It is driving a candidate from one house party to another house party (you get to eat campaign food doing this).  It is doing whatever you feel comfortable doing to help elect a woman or man you want to represent you.

A dinner, you pay a lot for, is a reward.  No awards are given out.  Maybe a shout out, but most likely not.  The dinner is how political people take a break from politics.  More politics.

A side effect is you might want to run for office too.  That is a blast, at least for some of us.  For others, not so much a blast as a drudge through the mud.