THANKSGIVING

On Thursday, November 24, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. All things considered, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food, the football, and the four-day weekend. What I don’t like is the traveling. Regardless of which mode of transportation one uses – roads, air or rail – one has to expect delays, cancellations and frustration. And that does not account for inclement weather, which exacerbates the situation.

Traveling by car? In my experience, regardless of which day and what time you travel, you can’t avoid the traffic snarls. You just have to hope (or pray) for the best. (I have found you can mitigate traffic delays by relying on a good GPS, such as Waze.)

Traveling by air? Be prepared for overcrowded airports, overbooked, delayed and/or cancelled flights and surly people. Traveling by rail is not much better. Don’t be surprised if there are incidents of violence among passengers and/or airline and rail personnel. With COVID in the rearview for most people AAA is predicting that some 54.6 million Americans will be traveling more than 50 miles from home over the TG weekend. This will be just about at the pre-pandemic level. People will be stressed, and tempers will be short. But, for most people the positives of the holiday outweigh these negatives.

If you must travel, it will behoove you to follow common sense guidelines, such as:

  1. Book your reservations early.
  2. Avoid travelling during peak periods .
  3. Arrive at the airport or train station early.
  4. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Traditionally, TG is a time when extended families gather together to celebrate in large groups. People travel to spend the holiday with relatives that they only see a few times a year. They stoically endure the abovementioned negatives. They don’t like them, but they recognize it is part of the deal. Many people have Friday, Monday and part of Wednesday off from work, and they are able to make a mini-vacation out of the holiday. In the US some of the traditional activities include parades, football (watching on tv or playing), and, of course, shopping.

Many cities and towns hold parades. The biggest and best is the Macy’s Parade in NYC, which is televised live and streamed. Kids love the floats, and many parents and grandparents who accompany them reminisce of when they, themselves, attended as kids with their parents.

To many, the holiday is synonymous with football. Football games are played at every level, including pickup games, high school, college, and, of course, the NFL. The first TG professional football game was in 1920. For you trivia buffs, Akron beat Canton 7-0. The Detroit Lions have been hosting a TG football game since 1934. This year we will be treated to three NFL games Quiz question: Which is the only NFL team that has never played in a TG football game? See answer below.

No holiday celebration would be complete without shopping. The day after TG has become known as “Black Friday.” Many merchants open extra early and offer huge discounts. Some are beneficial while others are nothing more than “come-ons.” Be prepared for long lines, frustration and rude people.

As we enjoy the holiday, few of us will stop to think of its origins and meaning. What are they? Why is it celebrated at this time of the year? Read on for the answers.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday originally celebrated to give thanks for the year’s harvest. It has strong religious and cultural roots. Most people are aware that Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US (4th Thursday in November) and Canada (2nd Monday in October), but few of us are aware that variations of it are observed in other countries as well. In these other countries the holiday has a different meaning and purpose.

For example, in Grenada it is celebrated on October 25, and it marks the date on which the US invaded the island in 1983 in response to the removal and execution of Grenada’s then Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop. Liberia celebrates the holiday on the first Thursday of November, a tradition that was originated by freed American slaves that were transported there. In the Netherlands a Thanksgiving Day service is held on the morning of the US holiday. Its purpose is to commemorate the traditions of the Pilgrims, who resided in the city of Leiden for several years prior to their emigration to the New World. Japan celebrates a “Labor Thanksgiving Day” on November 23 to commemorate labor and production. It has its roots in the period of American occupation after WWII.

Like many of our customs and traditions, Thanksgiving is rooted in English traditions. These date from the English Reformation in the 16th century and the reign of King Henry VIII. Apparently, the Protestant clergy had determined that events of misfortune or good fortune were attributable to God. Thus, unexpected disasters, such as droughts, floods or plagues, were followed by “Days of Fasting.” On the other hand, fortuitous events, such as a good harvest or the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, which actually was largely attributable to storms off the English coast, were to be celebrated by “giving thanks” to Him.

The origin of the Canadian holiday is uncertain, but it is most commonly attributed to the English explorer Martin Frobisher. He had been exploring Northern Canada seeking the infamous and elusive Northwest Passage to Asia. He wanted to give thanks for his party having survived the numerous storms and icebergs it had encountered on the long journey from England. Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated as a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada.

Most people trace the American Thanksgiving holiday to 1621 in present-day Massachusetts (although some claim that there were earlier celebrations by the Spaniards in present-day Florida circa 1565 and in the colony of Virginia circa 1610). The Pilgrims and Puritans living in MA had enjoyed a bountiful harvest that year and wanted to give thanks. Their harvest had been partly attributable to assistance from Native Americans, so they invited them to share in their celebration. Records indicate that there were 90 Native Americans and 25 colonists in attendance. The actual date is uncertain, but it is believed to have been between September 21 and November 11.

Prior to 1942, Thanksgiving was not celebrated as an official national holiday. Rather, it was celebrated periodically by proclamation. For example, during the Revolutionary War the Continental Congress established days of “prayer, humiliation and thanksgiving” each year. In 1777 George Washington proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to celebrate the colonists’ victory at Saratoga. Following independence, various Presidents continued the practice of issuing proclamations periodically.

In 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed a national “Thanksgiving Day” to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Historians believe that his action was prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, a writer and editor of some renown. (She wrote the popular nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”).

The practice of annual Presidential Proclamations continued until 1939. That year, FDR broke the tradition. November had five Thursdays that year instead of the usual four. FDR figured that if the holiday were celebrated on the 4th Thursday it would provide a much-needed boost to the economy by enabling merchants to sell more goods before Christmas. (Even then, Thanksgiving was the unofficial start of the Christmas holiday shopping season.) Typically, this action precipitated a spat between the GOP and Dems in Congress. GOP congressmen viewed it as an insult to President Lincoln and continued to consider the last Thursday to be the holiday, so there were two Thanksgiving celebrations in 1939, 1940 and 1941, a “Democrat” one on the 4th Thursday and a “Republican” one on the last Thursday. The individual states split the dates (only in America!).

Finally, in 1941 everyone got in sync. On December 26, 1941 FDR signed a bill into law that decreed that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, a practice that has continued to this day.

Beginning in 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey to the President. Over the years it has become customary for the President to grant a “pardon” to a turkey. This year, President Biden pardoned two turkeys. According to the Washington Post their names were…..wait for it…..Chocolate and Chip. No comment.

Enjoy the holiday, and if you’re traveling stay safe!

Quiz answer: Jacksonville Jaguars

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JFK ASSASSINATION

Few people in history are so recognizable that with the mere mention of their initials one instantly knows about whom you are talking. Such is the case with John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. He flashed across our lives like a comet, brilliant but brief. He was only president for 1,000 days before he was assassinated, yet, even today, people remember him and recognize his name.

Tuesday, November 22, will mark the 59th anniversary of his assassination. Almost anyone over the age of 70 remembers vividly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard of it. For example, I, a freshman in college, was walking to a history class. (Yes, I did attend classes, even on a Friday afternoon.) I heard some other students talking about the President having been shot. I wasn’t sure I had heard correctly, but unfortunately, I had.

What was strange about the whole incident was the lack of reliable information. It wasn’t like today when news is known and disseminated instantaneously. It might be hard for you youngsters to believe, but there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no cell phones, no internet.

Communication between New York, where, at the time, all media communications were centered, and Dallas was sketchy. Even worse, Dealey Square, the site of the assassination, was not close to the addresses of the network news’ Dallas offices. Reporters on the scene had to communicate by public telephone, when they could find one. Often, competing reporters ended up sharing telephones. Information was incomplete and contradictory.

Eventually, however, we found out the horrible news. No one will ever forget the grim look on venerable CBS anchor Walter Cronkite’s face as he removed his glasses, stared into the camera, and told a shocked, confused and scared nation that the President was dead. At the time, Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America.” When we heard it from “Uncle Walter,” we knew it was true.

The purpose of this blog is not to relate the details of the day’s events, nor do I wish to get bogged down in the various conspiracy theories, some of which persist to this day. Many books have been written on the subject, and I can’t possibly cover these topics in a short blog. Suffice to say, it was a surreal experience. Many emotions swirled through my head – disbelief, denial, fear and uncertainty. Who did it? Why? Was it a single gunman or a conspiracy? Was it part of a larger plot? Would we go to war? These and other questions came to mind.

Most everyone was glued to their television sets for days while events played out – Lyndon Johnson sworn in as the 36th President of the US on Airforce 1, Jackie Kennedy standing beside him still in shock and wearing the blood and brain-stained pink suit she had been wearing in the limo (which, she had refused to remove, declaring “I want them to see what they have done”), Lee Harvey Oswald arrested, Oswald shot live on national tv while under police escort (How in the world did Jack Ruby get access to that corridor, anyway?), JKF’s funeral procession, the “riderless” horse, young John Jr’s salute. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy followed soon after. It was a time of chaos and uncertainty, the end of innocence.

JFK had won the Presidency by the narrowest of margins over Vice President Richard Nixon. He had received 49.7% of the popular vote to Nixon’s 49.5% and won several states by the slimmest of margins. In that relatively primitive era of communications the end result was not known until the next morning. In the wee hours, the networks “called” CA for JFK which finally made him the winner. (Ironically, Nixon ended up winning CA after all the absentee ballots were counted.) Many people, including a 15 year-old girl in Berwick, Pa., caught up in the drama, stayed up all night to await the results.

JFK was young, handsome, bright, vibrant, dynamic, scion of a famous and wealthy family, and a war hero. He and his beautiful, glamorous wife, Jackie, seemed like American royalty to many Americans. He gave us hope and optimism. In the eyes of his supporters he was the one to transform America. During his inaugural address he uttered the famous line that symbolized the great hope that he would lead us to “A New Frontier,” as his campaign had promised (“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”). Unfortunately, today, many people espouse the opposite philosophy.

JFK got off to a rocky start with the Bay of Pigs fiasco. But, he seemed to make up for it when he faced down the Russians and Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most of us did not realize how close we had come to nuclear war, but in the end Kennedy won that round and showed he was learning on the job. His administration was dubbed “Camelot” after the description of the mythical King Arthur’s court.

Unfortunately, Kennedy made a lot of powerful enemies. Many Republicans thought he had “stolen” the election (shades of 2020). Indeed, there had been whispers about voting irregularities, notably in Chicago, which had long been notorious for that sort of thing and where for many years it was said, only partly facetiously, that even dead people voted. However, in the end nothing came of that – no media exposes, no court challenges. Yes, times have certainly changed.

Many conservatives thought he was too soft on communism and too aggressive on civil rights issues. He had made powerful enemies among organized crime and at the FBI and CIA, among others. Fidel Castro hated him for the Bay of Pigs attack. On the other hand, many Cuban ex-Pats thought he had betrayed them by failing to intervene militarily to support the invasion when it fell apart. All in all, he had a plethora of powerful enemies with the motive, means, opportunity and funds to plan and execute a Presidential assassination and cover-up. In retrospect, one should not have been surprised.

CONCLUSION

A favorite speculation has been how American and world history would have been different had JFK not been assassinated. Would he have pulled us out of Viet Nam as has been speculated? If so, would there have been an antiwar movement in the 60’s with the attendant protests, turmoil and violence? Would MLK and RFK still have been assassinated? Would the civil rights movement have progressed differently, more peacefully? We will never know. There have been many books written about this topic, including one by Stephen King called “11/22/63” about a fictional time traveler who journeys back to 1963 to try to prevent the assassination, which makes fascinating “what if” reading.

Virtually the entire country became immersed in the assassination and its aftermath for weeks, if not months. My recollection is that the news networks covered it continuously. A cloud of conspiracy still hangs over the assassination nearly 60 years later. As I said, books have been written and movies produced dealing with the conspiracy theories. Did Oswald act alone? Was he tied to the KGB or the CIA? How did Ruby get close enough to kill Oswald from point-blank range? Was there an accomplice on the grassy knoll? Why was Ruby killed in prison? What of the roles, if any, of mobsters, like Sam Giancana, Head of the Chicago mob, and Carlos Marcello, Head of the New Orleans mob, as well as the CIA, the FBI, the Russians, and/or Castro? Were the Warren Commission’s findings accurate or part of a cover-up?

At this time, as we mark the passage of another anniversary of JFK’s assassination, we are reminded that these issues, and others, have still not been resolved to many Americans’ satisfaction. As time passes, it seems they probably never will be.

For you readers of a certain age, what are your memories of the assassination and its aftermath? Where were you when you heard the awful news? I would like to know.

2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS POST-MORTUM

The midterm elections are over (for the most part), and the people have spoken. What have we learned? What can we conclude? Read on for my opinion on the matter.

  1. The most significant takeaway is that today is November 14, six days after Election Day, and we still don’t have the final results of all the races. As I write this, there are 20 House seats that remain too close to call. Therefore, we do not know definitively which Party will control the House when all is said and done. Furthermore, in a couple of races only a little more than half of the votes have been counted. In addition, the Georgia Senate race will not be resolved until after the December 6 run-off (and the way things have been going, perhaps several days or weeks after that). Whether you are a Dem or a GOPer you have to wonder in this day and age of sophisticated computers how can this be? How is it that some states, such as FL, manage to tabulate some 450,000 votes in a matter of hours, and other states like NV, CA , and AZ, with considerably fewer votes cast, cannot do so in several days? This only used to happen in very rare situations. Now, it has become commonplace. The system is broken. This is totally unacceptable. We deserve better.
  2. The voting period is too long. In lieu of an “Election Day” we now have an elongated election period, which, in some cases, lasts several weeks. I concede that it may be an inconvenience for some people to vote on the actual ED, but I believe a shorter period is warranted. And, why can’t early ballots be tabulated as they are received instead of on or after ED?
  3. Most states’ procedures for mail-in voting need to be tightened up. Widespread mail-in voting may have been appropriate during the pandemic, but now its weaknesses have become apparent. For one thing, they need to find a way to verify the accuracy of the votes without laboriously checking every voter’s actual signature. Most people tend to scribble their signatures and vary them from time to time.
  4. Drop boxes and ballot harvesting should be eliminated. It’s too easy to cheat.
  5. Debates are critical for many reasons. States should not allow early voting until after at least one debate has occurred. More on this later.
  6. In retrospect, it became evident that the GOP had a more difficult task to win control of the Senate because it had to defend 20 of the 34 seats up for re-election.
  7. It appears that many people voted based on the candidate’s political party rather than on the issues. For instance, (a) crime has been a big issue in NYC. Virtually every day we see reports of random murders, assaults and rapes. During her campaign Governor Hochul was a big “crime denier.” Yet, not only did she win, she got over 90% of the vote in the Dem strongholds of NYC where there has been heavy crime. (b) The border has been a major issue in states such as TX and AZ. Biden’s policies have resulted in a flood of illegals entering the US. Yet, Dems such as AZ Senator Mark Kelley and TX representative Henry Cuellar, who have supported those policies, won their races handily. (c) In PA John Fetterman, who had a stroke, barely campaigned, opposes fracking, which is a critical industry in PA, is soft on crime, and can barely string two sentences together, won because he is a Dem. Incidentally, one of the determining factors in his race was the fact that the one debate between Oz and him came after several hundred thousand early votes had already been cast. (d) Best of all, in heavily “blue” Allegheny County, PA a dead person won re-election with 85% of the vote, undoubtedly because he was a Dem!
  8. Clearly, the Dems were more adept at navigating the various states’ election laws and procedures, particularly early voting. To their credit, they took full advantage, and the GOP did not. How was it that the GOP “missed the boat” on that?
  9. The GOP failed too allocate its campaign funds in the most efficient manner. For example, it wasted a significant amount on the Alaska Senate race and none to Senate races in NV and NH where the candidates lost close races..
  10. The much-balleyhooed “red wave” never materialized nationally. Other than in a few places, such Florida and Long Island, it was more like a red trickle. This went against historical precedent, particularly given that President Biden’s approval rating was so low, and the Dems seemed to be on the “wrong” side of the issues voters said they cared most about, such as inflation, gas prices, crime, and illegal immigration. Why? The most common post-election opinions I have seen ascribe it to abortion and Donald Trump. The Dems succeeded in convincing many voters that due to the recent Supreme Court ruling many GOPers were going to push to outlaw abortions nationally. This was pure fabrication, but many voters “fell” for it. Also, the Dems somehow convinced many voters that a vote for certain GOP candidates was akin to a vote for Trump, who remains very unpopular among Dems and some independents.

CONCLUSION

As I said, rightly or wrongly, the voters have spoken. They will get the government they wanted. A cynic might say they will also get the government they deserve. The question is will they be happy with the results. I think not. Already Dems are spinning that the election results are a reaffirmation of their policies. Therefore, things will not change, particularly if the GOP fails to win the House. The GOP, and the nation, missed a rare opportunity. Hopefully, I’m wrong, but I believe they will live to regret it.

VETERANS DAY

This year, Veterans Day will be celebrated on Friday, November 11.  The holiday is always celebrated on the same date unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it is celebrated on Monday, November 12.  This is a day on which we celebrate our living veterans as opposed to Memorial Day, which is reserved for those who gave their lives for our country.

Many cities will hold parades. Who doesn’t love a parade? The largest parade will be in NYC (where else?), which will be returning for its 103rd year. Some 200,000 participants are expected.

Federal offices will be closed, but state and local offices and other businesses may remain open.  There will be no mail; most banks and schools will be closed; but the financial markets will be open.  Many restaurants and golf courses offer special deals for veterans. 

Many of you have requested a quiz.  So, here it is, and in honor of Veterans Day it has a military theme. Good luck and no peeking at the internet. No consulting “Alexa” or “Siri.”

1. Who was the US president during the first war against the Barbary Pirates? (a) George Washington, (b) John Adams, (c) Thomas Jefferson, (d James Monroe

2. The WWI battle that inspired the poem “In Flanders Field” took place in (a) Ardennes, (b) Charleroi, (c) Gallipoli, (d) Ypres

3. Each of the following presidents had been renowned generals, EXCEPT: a) Teddy Roosevelt, (b) Andrew Jackson, (c) Zachary Taylor, (d) Franklyn Pierce

4. “Pickett’s Charge” was the turning point of what Civil War battle? (a) Bull Run, (b) Manassas, (c) Gettysburg, (d) Fredericksburg

5. The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” refers to which Revolutionary War battle? (a) Boston, (b) Lexington, (c) Concord, (d) NY

6. Tripoli, the stronghold of the Barbary Pirates, was located in what present-day country? (a) Libya, (b) Algeria, (c) Tunisia, (d)Egypt

7. The Alamo is located in which city? (a) Houston, (b) San Antonio, (c) Austin, (d) Galveston

8. The US fought the Gulf War against (a) Iran, (b) Syria, (c) Kuwait, (d) Iraq

9. Who said “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead.” (a) David Farragut, (b) John Paul Jones, (c) Ethan Allen, (d) Jonathan Eli

10. Which war resulted in the highest number of casualties? (a) WWI, (b) WWII, (c) Korean War, (d) Civil War

11. Fort Sumter is located in which state? (a) North Carolina, (b) South Carolina, (c) Georgia, (d) Alabama

12. Custer’s Last Stand took place in which modern-day state? (a) North Dakota, (b) South Dakota, (c) Montana, (d) Idaho

13. Each of the following was a WWII battle in the Pacific theatre, EXCEPT (a) El Alamein, (b) Guadalcanal, (c) Okinawa, (d) Midway

14. Who was the US President during WWI? (a) Teddy Roosevelt, (b) Woodrow Wilson, (c) William Howard Taft, (d) Warren Harding

15. When General Douglas MacArthur said “I shall return,” to which country was he referring? (a) Australia, (b) New Guinea, (c) Guam, (d) Philippines

16. The Korean War began in (1) 1949, (b) 1950, (c) 1951, (d) 1952

17. Who was president during the Spanish-American War? (a) Grover Cleveland, (b) James Garfield, (c) Rutherford B. Hayes, (d) William McKinley

18. Where is Mt. Suribachi? (a) Iwo Jima, (b) Okinawa, (c) Tarawa, (d) Japan

19. Where is Vicksburg? (a) Alabama, (b) Louisiana, (c) Missouri, (d) Mississippi

20. When was the Veterans Administration founded? (a) 1870, (b) 1930, (c) 1950, (d) 1972

ANSWERS: 1. c; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. c; 6. a; 7. b; 8. d; 9. a; 10. d; (more than all the other wars combined. 11. b; 12. c; 13. a; 14. b; 15. d; 16. b; 17. d. 18. a; 19. d; 20. b.

Well, there you have it. Tell me how you did, well or (as my grandson used to say) “not so good.”

The Red Wave II

Finally, something both political parties are in agreement on. In my experience, they rarely, if ever, agree on anything, (It is said that if the sun were shining one party would insist that it is nighttime.), however, both agree that next week’s election will be critical for the future of America. Each has stated repeatedly that this election will decide what kind of America we will leave for our children and grandchildren. Each has maintained only they are equipped to lead us forward, and that a victory for the other side will result in the destruction of our way of life. (Politicians love hyperbole.)

On October 22 I published the blog “Red Wave,” which explained, in my view, the current status of our country and the reasons why, I believe, the GOP would crush the Dems in a “red wave” on ED. My opinion has not changed. If anything, it has been reinforced. All the momentum is with the GOP.

It seems very likely that the GOP will attain a majority in the House. The only question is how decisive will their victory be. (Bye-bye Nancy!) The Senate is more uncertain. We all know that, historically, polls have not always been reliable, but as I write this, the most current Trafalgar and Inside Advisor polls have identified several races that are either tied or within the margin of error. They include, for example, the Senate races in AZ, GA, NH, PA NV, NC, OH, and possibly CO and WA, and the governor’s races in AZ, MI, and NY. Most significantly, in all of the above cases the GOP has the momentum, which does not augur well for the Dems.

As we know, the GOP only needs a net gain of one seat to control the Senate. GOP supporters are very optimistic. For instance, former Speaker Newt Gingrich has predicted a net gain of 40 or more seats in the house and two or more in the Senate.

Dems are putting on a brave face, but the signs indicate they fear disaster is looming. Suddenly, we are seeing the “big guns,” notably former presidents Obama and Clinton, and “bad penny” Hillary crisscrossing the country in an 11th hour attempt to rally the base. Even President Biden has rousted himself from his bunker to lend a hand. Keep in mind, this is the same Biden who is so unpopular among the electorate that heretofore no candidate wanted him within a country mile of their campaign.

This strikes me as a sign of desperation. The Dems are especially panicking in NY. A few months ago the governor’s race seemed like a “lock.” Hochul was up over 20 points on Zeldin. But, Hochul, who has been running one of the worst campaigns in recent memory, has squandered that lead. The psychological impact of losing the governorship of solid blue NY, where registered Dems outnumber registered GOPers about 2:1, would be devastating to them, and they know it. Hence, we see the deployment of the “big dogs.”

CONCLUSION

As I have said, I believe that the so-called “red wave” is primarily attributable to the fact that the overwhelming majority of voters are worse off today than they were when Biden took office, and despite the Dems’ efforts to “spin” they know what they see and feel. They see it whenever they buy food or gas or clothes or pay for healthcare or pay the rent or mortgage. They see it when they get their financial statements with a diminished 401K or IRA balance. They feel unsafe due to rampant and random crime and an insecure border. They feel uneasy by the aggressiveness of our enemies, such as Russia, China and Iran, who are taking advantage of Biden’s weakness.

Worst of all, the Dems seem to be tone-deaf. They seem out of touch with the American public. They are focused on January 6, climate change, abortion and Donald Trump rather than the those issues that are most critical to most voters. They claim the border is “secure.” They claim inflation is “transitory” or non-existent. They blame high gas prices on Putin, or Trump, or the GOP. They deny the existence of soaring crime. They appear more sympathetic to the needs of illegal aliens rather than their own citizens. In summary, how can they solve the above problems when they won’t even acknowledge they exist?

In their desperation Dems and their supporters have resorted to insults, scare tactics and transparent lies. For example, the ladies on The View, always good for an inane quote or two, have characterized suburban women who vote for the GOP as “roaches.” (Let’s see, GOP supporters have been labeled as “undesirables,” “terrorists,” “racists,” “traitors,” “Nazis,” and now “roaches.” What’s next?) Longtime, Dem Representative Henry Cuellar predicted that if the GOP were to win America would devolve into “Nazi Germany” of the 1930s and 1940s. How insulting and inflammatory is that? Imagine if a GOP politician said that? Other Dems have stated that the GOP wants to end social security and Medicare. That is as transparent a lie as I have ever heard. No sane voter would believe that. No politician has ever or will ever advocate that. It would be political suicide. That just speaks to the level of Dem desperation.

To sum up, Americans are afraid. They don’t feel safe physically, economically, or socially. They perceive that the “American Dream” is slipping away, and their country is deteriorating before their very eyes. They worry what America their children and grandchildren will inherit. They want a change. They want to return to the America they knew. Luckily, in America we have the means to effect change. It’s called an election. On November 8 I expect voters will take the first step toward change. I expect a “red wave.”

THEY SAID IT

My friend and loyal reader, Sonny, sent me most of the following sayings by famous people. I have supplemented it with the results of my own research. I found them amusing, but also containing an element of truth. I thought they would constitute a nice change of pace from the usual blogs I distribute. At the very least, at this time we could all use a little humor in our lives.

1. ” In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm,
and three or more is a congress.” — John Adams

2. “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are
misinformed.” — Mark Twain

3. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But, then I repeat
myself.” — Mark Twain

4. “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and
trying to lift himself up by the handle.” — Winston Churchill

5. “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” — George Bernard Shaw

6. “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. ” — 
G Gordon Liddy

7. “Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”
— Douglas Case, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University.

8. “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense
of everybody else.” — Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850).

9. “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” (One of my favorites.) — Ronald Reagan (1986).

10. “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” — Will Rogers

11. “In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one
party of the citizens to give to the other.” — Voltaire (1764)

12. “Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it.” — Anonymous

13. “The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other.” — Ronald Reagan

14. “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”
— Mark Twain

15. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything
you have.” — Thomas Jefferson

16. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Nelson Mandela

17. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon

18. “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.” — Anonymous

19. “What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.” — Anonymous

20. “The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from
somebody else.” — Anonymous

21. “You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” — Anonymous

22. “When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!” — Anonymous

23. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

24. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

25. “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.” Maya Angelou

26. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Nelson Mandela

27. “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

28. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Babe Ruth

29. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

30. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison

CONCLUSION

I hope you enjoyed the foregoing. If so, there are plenty more.

HALLOWEEN

On Monday, October 31, many of us will celebrate Halloween. We will dress up in costumes and attend parties. Children will go door-to-door “trick or treating.” Of course, some will use the holiday as an excuse to create mischief or even mayhem, but for most of us it will be a day of fun and games and an opportunity to gorge ourselves on candy. But, few, if any, of us will bother to stop and think about the origins of the holiday. When and where did it begin? How did it evolve? Why do we dress up in costumes? Why do we go “trick or treating?” Glad you asked. Read on.

The origin of Halloween is a Celtic holiday dedicated to the dead. Although the Celts were interspersed in many areas of Europe, they were concentrated in what is now, England, Ireland and Scotland. The Celts divided the year into four sections, each of which was marked by a major holiday. The beginning of the winter season was November 1, which was celebrated by a festival called “Samhein,” pronounced “Sah-ween,” which means “end of summer” in old Irish. The word “Halloween” can be traced back as far as 1745. It means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening.” It is derived from a Scottish term for “All Hallows Eve,” the evening before “All Hallows Day,” aka “All Saints Day.” Over time, the word “evening” was contracted to “e’en,” thus Halloween.

The Celts were a pagan people and very superstitious. They believed that the ghosts of those who had died during the year had not yet completed their journey to the “otherworld,” and at Samhein they were able to mingle with the living. Accordingly, to placate these ghosts and other spirits the Celts offered sacrifices and lit bonfires to aid them on their journey. It has been suggested that the origin of wearing costumes was to disguise oneself from any lost soul that might be seeking vengeance on the living before moving on the next world. Some, believing that the souls of those who had died recently were still wandering in a sort of purgatory, set a place for them at dinner. Many of these ancient traditions have persisted to this day in some locales.

In 601 Pope Gregory I issued an edict, the gist of which was that missionaries were to combine Christian holidays and festivals with existing pagan holidays and festivals and, hopefully, eventually supersede them. The ultimate objective was to foster the conversion of pagans to Christianity. As a result, All Saints Day, aka All Hallows Day, was moved to November 1 to coincide with Samhein.

By the end of the 12th century other Halloween traditions had developed. For example, the clergy would ring church bells for the souls stuck in purgatory; and “criers,” dressed in black, would parade through towns reminding the citizens to remember these poor souls. In about the 15th century people began to bake “soul cakes,” which are small round cakes, a practice called “souling,” which is believed to be a forerunner of “trick or treating.” Poor people would go door-to-door and collect these cakes in exchange for saying prayers for the dead. Interestingly, Shakespeare mentioned “souling” in “The Two Gentlemen of Varona” in 1593. Over time, celebrations of All Hallows Day began to include additional customs, such as “trick or treating,” lighting bonfires, attending costume parties, carving “jack-o’-lanterns, apple “bobbing,” and attending church services.

As mentioned above, it is believed that the practice of “trick-or-treating” was derived from “souling” or “mumming,” which is going house-to-house in disguise singing songs in exchange for food. This was believed to have originated in Scotland and Wales in the 16th century. Sometimes people would paint their faces and threaten mischief if they were not welcomed. This evolved into the customs of wearing costumes and playing pranks. Nocturnal pranksters needed illumination, hence the development of jack-o-lanterns. In England, people would fashion them out of turnips or mangel wurzels, which are large, thick roots suitable for carving. In America, pumpkins were used, because they were plentiful and better suited for carving anyway. Jack-o-lanterns are believed to frighten evil spirits. In France, people believed that the dead buried in cemeteries would rise up and participate in a wild carnival-like celebration known as the “Danse Macabre,” or “Dance of Death.”

“Trick or treating,” as such, is a relatively modern development. As I said, it is believed to have evolved from “souling” or “mumming.” The earliest mention of it in print was in 1927, and it did not become widespread until the 1930s in the US. Also, costuming has evolved. Popular fictional characters have been added to the traditional skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. Basically, now, anything goes. As I said celebrating the day is no longer exclusively limited to children. Many adults also wear costumes and attend Halloween parties.

CONCLUSION

At the present time, Halloween, like other holidays, has become highly commercialized. Selling costumes and other related paraphernalia has become big business. Several movie franchises, such as Halloween and Friday the 13th have become very popular, especially at this time of the year. The actress, Jamie Lee Curtis has made a career of starring in seven Halloween movies over the years beginning in 1978.

The original religious significance of the holiday has been eclipsed and forgotten by most people. Yes, some people still attend church, but many more attend parties. Many if not most people, especially children, know Halloween merely as a day to dress in costumes and go “trick or treating.” We do love our candy. Speaking of which, special kudos to my grandkids who, aware of my fondness for Snickers, remember to save a bar for me every year.

In the last few years, the “PC Police” have inserted themselves into the holiday. Some of them have maintained that certain costumes are “racist” and should be avoided. I think we can all agree that a Caucasian should not dress up in “blackface.” But, the PC Police go much further. They also disapprove of any costumes that could be perceived by anyone as mocking or derogatory. Some examples would likely include Disney’s Moana, Aztec Indians, Tom Thumb, or Pancho Villa, which, in their minds, could be objectionable to Polynesians, Indigenous People, short people (or should I say “vertically challenged?” I have trouble keeping up with all the PC buzzwords.), or Hispanics, respectively. I say, if your five year-old loves Moana and wants to dress up like her, go for it. Is that really being insensitive or racist? Really? Do the people who are marketing Moana costumes really expect to sell them only to Polynesians? I think not! To me, these objections are just another example of some people who want to dictate to others how to act and live.

Hopefully, after reading this blog you will have gained some knowledge of and perspective as to the origin and meaning of the holiday. Enjoy, and stay safe!

THE RED WAVE

There is a “red wave” coming, and, in my mind, it is long overdue. To be clear, by “red wave” I’m not referring to a Russian invasion. I’m referring to the GOP winning on Election Day big-time.

Predicting election results has always been unreliable. In politics, it is axiomatic that the only “poll” that matters is on election day. Polls can be misleading for a variety of reasons even with modern models and polling techniques. (See Truman over Dewey in 1948 and Trump over Clinton in 2016.) I have discussed the reasons for this in previous blogs, and time and space preclude me from repeating them now.

That said, in handicapping off-year election results there are certain historical factors that have proven to be reliable indicators. According to John Woolley, professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara and Co-Director of The American Presidency Project website, one historical fact is that in the 22 most recent midterm elections from 1934-2018 the President’s party has lost, on average, 28 House seats and four Senate seats. In 2022 the Dems have a nine-seat majority in the House, and the Senate is dead even at 50-50. So, if the historical averages hold, the GOP is likely to gain majorities in both chambers.

More bad news for the Dems. Historically, the two most reliable correlations have been (1) the personal popularity of the president and (2) the number of incumbent seats the party in power has to defend. In essence, the midterms have normally amounted to a referendum on the president’s performance.

As we all know, all the polls have been reporting that Biden’s approval rating has been historically low (in the low 40s%). Furthermore, according to a conglomeration of the latest polls, including RCP, Reuters and Emerson, among others, some 2/3 of voters are of the opinion that under Biden’s leadership the country is “headed in the wrong direction.” In the last six occasions where the president’s approval ratings were as poor as Biden’s the average loss of seats was four in the Senate and 36 in the House. There were no instances in which the president’s party gained seats in the House. In addition, the latest generic ballot poll gives the GOP a 50-45% edge.

In 2022 the Dems are defending 222 seats in the House and 14 of the 34 being contested in the Senate. Although the GOP is defending more Senate seats, as you will see below, the Dems are defending more vulnerable seats.

According to most polls in 2022 the most significant issues are the economy, energy, inflation, the southern border and crime. To be sure, there are others, such as abortion and healthcare, but those are the most important to most people. Bad news for the Dems – their performance on all of those has been dismal. Inflation is at a 40 year high; gas at the pump is more than twice what it was when Biden took office; energy costs are historically high and we are relying on other countries that don’t like us to provide it; we are facing a home heating shortage this winter; the southern border is virtually non-existent; and crime is running rampant. Moreover, we are reminded of these issues every day in the news and on tv. The mainstream media has no longer been able to suppress these stories.

Back to the Senate. There are several seats that are up for grabs notably AZ, GA, NV, OH, PA, and WIS. Earlier in the year the Dems had the lead in virtually all of them. As I write this, the situation has flip-flopped. Now the GOP has closed the gap in all of these races and is leading in some of them. As I write this, RealClearPolitics’ latest survey predicts the GOP will “flip” seats in AZ, G, and NV. In AZ Dem Mark Kelley’s once comfortable lead over GOP Blake Masters has shrunken to a mere 2 1/2 points, a virtual toss-up. Moreover, Masters has the momentum. In GA, and PA Walker and OZ have closed the gaps on Warnock and Fetterman, respectively, and those races are each now in a virtual dead heat. In the GA contest there is a strong possibility that neither Walker nor Warnock will garner 50% of the vote. That would require a run-off, which would give a decisive edge to Walker. In NV GOP Adam Laxalt has a narrow lead over Catherine Masto. In WIS GOP incumbent Ron Johnson has opened up a sizeable six point lead over Dem Mandela Barnes. In OH Dem Tim Ryan holds a small lead over GOP J. D. Vance. It should be noted that in each of the above races the GOP candidate has the momentum, so on ED the GOP could win them all.

The GOP is even making inroads in solidly-blue NY where 46% of the registered voters are Dem compared to 24% GOP. Newsday predicts that the GOP will win “several” House, State Senate and State Assembly seats. According to House Republican chair, Elise Stefanik, the GOP “could have [as many as] 15 Republicans in Congress from NY.” Even better, in the governor’s race Kathy Hochul’s once-sizeable lead over GOP Lee Zeldin has disappeared. According to Newsday the race is now in a dead-heat with Zeldin having all the momentum. He is riding the anti-crime wave and has broad support among whites and Hispanics, GOP and independents, men and women, upstate and downstate. He even has 36% support in NYC where generally GOP candidates only need about 30% to win a statewide election. If Zeldin were to win he would be the first NY GOP governor since 2000.

CONCLUSION

I believe that the so-called “red wave” is primarily attributable to the fact that the overwhelming majority of voters are worse off today than they were when Biden took office, and despite the Dems’ efforts to “spin” they know what they see and feel. They see it whenever they buy food or gas or clothes or pay for healthcare or pay the rent or mortgage. They see it when they get their financial statements with a diminished 401K or IRA balance. They feel unsafe due to rampant and random crime and an insecure border. They feel uneasy by the aggressiveness of our enemies, such as Russia, China and Iran, who are taking advantage of Biden’s weakness.

Worst of all, the Dems seem to be tone-deaf. They seem out of touch with reality. They are focused on climate change, abortion and Donald Trump rather than the those issues that are most critical to most voters. They claim the border is “secure.” They claim inflation is “transitory” or non-existent. They blame high gas prices on Putin, or Trump, or the GOP. They deny the existence of soaring crime. They appear more sympathetic to the needs of illegal aliens rather than their own citizens. In summary, how can they solve the above problems when they won’t even acknowledge they exist?

To sum up, Americans are afraid. They don’t feel safe physically, economically, or socially. They perceive that the “American Dream” is slipping away, and their country is deteriorating before their very eyes. They worry what America their children and grandchildren will inherit. They want a change. They want to return to the America they knew. Luckily, in America we have the means to effect change. It’s called an election. On November 8 I expect voters will take the first step toward change. I expect a “red wave.”

GEORGIA U. S. SENATE ELECTION – WARNOCK VS. WALKER

Most politicians and political observers believe that the 2022 elections will be crucial in determining the direction of the country for the next several years – politically, economically and socially. In my opinion, it is likely that the GOP will gain control of the House, but control of the Senate is up for grabs. Currently, the count is 50-50 with VP Harris able to cast the deciding vote, if necessary. Control of the Senate is crucial for a number of reasons, such as determining the chairmanship of various committees that will shape legislation and deciding whether or not to hold hearings and conduct investigations with respect to certain matters.

As I write this, there are a small handful of Senate races that are too close to call. These races are critical to both parties for the above reasons. One such race is the contest in Georgia between Raphael Warnock, the Democrat incumbent, who won a special election in 2020, and Herschel Walker, the GOP challenger. There are several others, such as AZ, NV, WI, PA and O, among others, but this blog will focus on Georgia. As I write this, the latest polls show Warnock with a 3-4% lead, well within the margin of error. We can debate the validity of this poll and polls, in general, but that is not the focus of this blog. My point is why is Warnock leading at all? How anyone who is cognizant of his past comments and political positions could possibly vote for him is a big mystery to me. Perhaps, his supporters are unaware of how radical he is. Perhaps, the biased media has covered up or ignored his past. Therefore, as a public service I will provide the information. Then, voters can decide for themselves.

  1. Warnock has been a virtual “rubber stamp” of President Biden’s policies. He has voted in support of Biden 96% of the time. Since Biden’s approval rating in GA is a mere 33% this, alone, should disqualify him. But, there more, much more.
  2. Warnock is on the “wrong side” of all the issues that voters care most about in this election.
  3. He opposes cash bail.
  4. He is “soft” on crime, for instance, he favors defunding the police and has characterized them as “thugs.”
  5. He favors open borders.
  6. He opposes energy independence.
  7. He favors no restrictions on abortion, even up to the moment of birth.
  8. He wants to eliminate the filibuster.
  9. He has made various anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments. He has been a supporter of Louis Farrakhan , Reverend Wright and Fidel Castro.
  10. He was actually arrested for obstructing an investigation of child abuse at a church summer camp he ran.
  11. He has failed to keep up with child support payments.
  12. He has a violent past. For instance, he once ran over his ex-wife’s foot with his car.

CONCLUSION

As I said, many, if not most Georgians are probably unaware of the foregoing. Instead, they have been bombarded with the story of Walker allegedly paying for his girlfriend’s abortion. Notice, I said “allegedly.” It has not been proven. It could very likely be more Dem disinformation to distract voters from the more serious issues. This is what Dems always do, and unfortunately it often works. However, I maintain that even if true it pales beside the foregoing.

Georgians should focus on what’s important and avoid being distracted. The key questions are (1) are you better off today than you were two years ago, (2) do you want six more years of the same, and (3) do you want to be represented by the man described above – a Biden “rubber stamp,” a bigot, and a person prone to violence? If you are thinking clearly and logically the answer should be a resounding NO!

CHAMELEON POLITICS

Election Day is fast approaching. How do I know that? Not by looking at the calendar. Anyone can do that. No, I know ED is approaching because the Dems have been changing their positions on the issues in order to get elected or re-elected. They know they are on the wrong side of the key issues such as inflation, the economy, immigration, the border and crime They do this every election cycle, betting that the public has a “short” memory and will forget what they have done and said for the past 20 months or so. Unfortunately, this tactic seems to work to a large extent.

For example:

  1. Recession? What recession? We must no longer define a recession by two consecutive quarters of negative growth as we all learned in school. Instead, the Dems are using some gobbledygook definition that no one understands to “prove” that the economy is doing just fine.

2. Inflation? They harp on the fact that the rate is coming down from 8.6% to 8.3% to “prove” that inflation is under control. (Remember how they all insisted inflation was “transient? That was a “good one.”) They maintain, we’ve turned the corner. Ignore the higher prices for everything from groceries to clothes to rent to gas at the pump. Don’t worry about being able to afford to heat your home this winter. Ignore the fact that the rate of inflation is the highest it’s been in over 40 years. Also, don’t be fooled by the recent decrease in the price of gas at the pump. That just pre-election misdirection. I predict that the price will go right back up after ED.

3. The financial markets cratering, setting new lows for 2022 and wreaking havoc with your retirement plans? Nah, don’t be concerned. It’s just a temporary setback. Biden and the Dems have it all figured out. It will all be okay. We all have to sacrifice for the general good. And, yes, we are all definitively sacrificing. On January 20, 2020 when Biden was inaugurated the Dow was 32,977. Wednesday, it closed at 29,226. That is a decrease of 11.4%. That means that if your 401k was worth $10,000 on 1/20/20 it is now worth only $8,860. Furthermore, thanks to inflation that $8,860 will buy you considerably less goods and services. More on this later.

4. Open borders? Nah. Pay no attention to what you see on tv or read in the news. The border is “secure.” VP Kamala Harris, the border czar, tells us so, and she “knows” even though she has never been to the “real” border, and probably can’t even find it on a map.

5. Crime? What crime? The riots in various cities last year? Just peaceful demonstrations. The real destruction took place on January 6 in DC. Ignore the crimes you see on tv news daily. Never mind the poor woman who was severely beaten on tv by a homeless man who should have been in jail for prior crimes. Everybody “knows” the cities are safe. Are you going to believe what the Dems tell you or what you see with your own eyes or, God forbid, what you may have experienced firsthand as a victim.

6. Defund the police? That was not me, they now say. That was the GOP.

7. Joe and Hunter Biden’s nefarious deals with China and Russia? Fake news. Nothing to see here.

8. Where is the “squad,” aka “The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse?” Keeping a very low profile, that’s where. I haven’t heard one of their inane comments in quite a while. But, don’t worry. They’re just “laying low” for now. Everyone knows their comments and opinions are ultra-radical and damaging to mainstream Dems. After the election they will be back.

There are several close, pivotal Senate races that will determine control of the Senate. At the moment it is split evenly – 50 GOP, 48 Dem and two independents who caucus with the Dems. With VP Harris casting any tiebreaking vote that means that the Dems have control. I will highlight three races where I believe a biased media has suppressed or downplayed certain facts to deceive the voting public. This is not unprecedented. Prior to the 2020 election the media successfully suppressed the stories regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Biden family’s nefarious dealings with China. The facts only began leaking out after ED.

1. Georgia Senate Race – Ralph Warnock vs. Herschel Walker. The latest polls show Warnock ahead by four-six points. In my view, Warnock is quite possibly the most radical senator. According to the Washington Examiner, Fox News, and other media outlets he is an unabashed supporter of both radical anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan and his “Nation of Islam” and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Additionally, on several occasions he has expressed “warm feelings” for Fidel Castro . Moreover, he is anti-Israel, and he has repeatedly blamed the Jews for the “transatlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, and Jim Crow [laws],” among other things. I don’t know how he got elected in the first place, (actually, I do know. The media suppressed all of the above, and his opponent ran a poor race.) In any event, he is an embarrassment to the Senate and does not deserve the vote of any decent, fair-minded American. I think if voters were aware of all the foregoing Walker would win easily.

2. Pennsylvania Senate Race – Mehmet Oz vs. John Fetterman. The latest Fox poll shows Fetterman ahead by four points. You can vote for Fetterman if you want, but you should be aware that he has severe health issues (stroke) and is on the “wrong side” of the issues Americans care most about. For instance, according to The Hill he is “soft” on crime; he opposes capital punishment and life imprisonment for second degree murder; he has long opposed fracking, a key industry for PA [but now with the election looming, he claims he is for it, (just the kind of flip-flop I was talking about)]; he favors a “wealth tax;” and universal Medicare; and he is an avid supporter of BLM. The media has kept most of these unpopular positions quiet, and JF has resisted debating Oz. Once again, I think if the voting public were aware of the foregoing Oz would win a close race.

3. Arizona Senate Race – Mark Kelley vs. Blake Masters. The latest polls show Kelley ahead by double digits. At this point, Masters is a long shot. But, once again, many if not most voters are unaware of Kelley’s record. For example, he has consistently supported Joe Biden, whose current approval rating according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos Poll, is only 41%. This includes his destructive policies on immigration and open borders. This is in opposition to most Arizonans who, like all residents of border states, are bearing the brunt of Biden’s upside down immigration policy, strongly disapprove of it, and want it changed. If voters were aware of this I believe many of them would vote for Masters, and he might pull an upset.

CONCLUSION

Economists know that inflation is the most insidious and destructive economic and financial force there is. Once it grabs hold of a country’s economy it is very tenacious. Defeating it can be very painful. If left unchecked, money can literally become worthless. Runaway inflation can and has destroyed countries. Historians will recall post-WWI Germany where runaway inflation did just that. Most historians believe it led directly to the rise of Hitler and WWII. More recently, we have the dire economic situation in Venezuela. I believe Biden’s policies have directly caused the inflation we are now enduring. I’m afraid that our economy is presently at a tipping point, and the 2022 and 2024 elections will be critical to our economic and financial survival.

As I said, don’t be fooled by the Dems’ tactics. Look at what they have accomplished (or not accomplished) in the past two years. I can’t think of one positive accomplishment. Can you?

The Dems have nothing positive to run on. Consequently, Biden, Harris and many of their supporters have been labeling anyone who opposes their policies as “anti-American,” a “Nazi” or a “racist.” According to this rhetoric roughly half of Americans, including yours truly, (some 70 million people in all) are racists. Of course, that is absurd on its face. How many racists have you encountered in your life? Probably, none. One can argue that racism was not uncommon in the past, but in this day and age there are very, very few racists. I, for one, am not a racist and, furthermore, I have never even met any as far as I know.

By contrast President Biden has, by his own admission, not only met many but has counted them among his mentors and friends (e. g. late senators, Robert Byrd, James Eastland and John Stennis and late governors George Wallace and Lester Maddox, among many others). I am not saying Biden is a racist, at least not presently. You can draw your own conclusions. I’m just saying one should not cast aspersions recklessly that are not supported by the facts, especially if one is in a position of power and influence.

A final point. It’s really very simple. The Dems have been in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress for the past two years. When deciding for whom to vote ask yourself the following timeworn question: “Are you better off today than you were two years ago?” If the answer is “yes,” then vote for the Dems. (If the answer is “yes,” perhaps, you should reassess your situation.) However, if the answer is “no,” then vote for the GOP.