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Tag Archives: Obama

The Regimental Repp and the POTUS

I seldom wear a tie any longer, but I used to wear them frequently and I have dozens still hanging in my closet. I learned a long time ago that the regimental repp stripe tie originated in England and there is a significant difference between English and American ties of this type.

Very briefly, the history of the designs harks back to when the British realized bright red uniforms were not the best way to engage on a battlefield and they changed to olive drab in order for their soldiers to be a wee tad less conspicuous. In order for the different regiments to distinguish themselves when in dress uniform, they each transferred their regimental colors to their ties.

There is a fundamental difference between ties from England and ties from America. In England, the stripe goes from the left shoulder, over the heart, and toward the right hip. In America they’re the exact opposite. There is a difference in meaning with the use of color as well, in that here in the U.S. the colors don’t mean anything. In England the colors signify either an element of the armed forces or a boarding/prep school.

Over the years I’ve been struck by the fact that our Presidents – at least the last three of them – most frequently wear English ties. This is also true of our PEEOTUS as well. Notably, the two Presidents prior to these four seldom wore regimental repp ties from England. I put the attached graphic together after looking through hundreds of photos of all six of them to illustrate this “discrepancy.”

Last Six Presidents

The Last Six (including the illegitimate one) Presidents

I have no idea why the change and I also have no idea why this is so. Perhaps American manufacturers are now making ties with the stripes going from the left shoulder, but I’ve seen nothing to convince me that’s the case.

I know this is trivial, but it’s been floating in the back of my mind for some time. I’ve found it a taste ironic these men go to great pains to wear American flag pins on their lapels, and I often wonder why they’re wearing ties the symbolism of which evokes merry old England. Where’s their patriotism?

More about these ties at http://bit.ly/2iuQ6nu

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So Sorry. No Deathstar This Year

Deathstar

Alas! A Dream Not to be.

As many of you may or may not know, the White House has a system whereby anyone can ” . . . petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Loosely translated, as it surely is, this means you can ask for just about anything your little ol’ pea-pickin’ heart desires even if what you really mean by “grievance” is “I wanna”. However, there’s a catch or, should I say, a couple of catches.

First of all, you need to create an account at Whitehouse.gov. This is so, regardless of the aluminum foil on your windows and the tin foil hat blocking those priceless brainwaves of yours, the government will be able to track you down and whisk you away in a black helicopter to an undisclosed and unknowable location where people like you can be dealt with appropriately.

OK, so I made that up . . . though it’s true if you’re a member of the Tea Party. Maybe it’s true. More likely, petitioning the government for a redress of grievances is serious business, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there has to be a way to keep people from signing petitions more than once. This seems eminently reasonable, don’t you think? Never mind. It’s a rhetorical question.

Also, there are two thresholds that must be reached for a petition to be taken seriously. The first is that it must get 150 signatures within 30 days for it to be searchable on WhiteHouse.gov’s site. The second is that it must  reach 25,000 signatures within the next 30 days for it to receive a response, though the administration reserves the right to answer at a lower participation if it deems it appropriate.

Why am I telling you this? Well, actually not because I’m cajoling you to participate. Don’t get me  wrong, I think participatory democracy is important, maybe even essential, but my feeling is this is even more important. No . . . this is a rather long-winded way of sharing my favorite petition with you and, more importantly, the answer it received.

The administration asks that each petition complete the following phrase, “We believe the Obama administration should . . . “. Recently a petition completed that phrase as follows – “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016” – and received 34,435 signature, reaching the second critical threshold and requiring an answer. The answer was entitled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For” and begins:

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

. . .

You can read the rest, which is well worth your time (especially if you’re a dweebed-out space cadet like I am), at the site. I think it’s a – you’ll pardon the expression – stellar response.


The Debates: S/S & Medicare Off The Table?

Social Security Cards

Truly a Lifesaver for My Family

I am 65 years old. An old fart. A geezer. An alta cocker. Two years ago I accepted an early severance package from the company I was working for, in part because of my eligibility to receive Social Security and Medicare. They played a big role in my decision to accept the package, which wasn’t mandatory. There were other reasons, but I did the math and decided not to pass it up.

I have worked since I was sixteen years old (I’m one of those whose first job was at a McDonald’s) and, save for a couple of years I spent screwing around, I’ve been putting money into both these retirement programs most of my life. How, and in what manner, they get screwed with by either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is of paramount importance to me, not just because of how my family and I will be affected, but how it will affect those who come after me.

I just learned that the questions to be asked in the first debate have been announced and neither of these programs are currently planned to be discussed. WTF? Virtually everyone in the country will be affected by any changes to them. Whether it’s making what those of us currently receive more difficult to obtain or diminished in value or changing the entire structure for those who have yet to reach a certain age, it’s important to know what the candidates plan on doing.

My concern is with both candidates. We all know what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to do. However, The Huffington Post three days ago ran an article entitled “Obama May Do Social Security Reform During Lame Duck Session, Senate Democrats Worry

Well, you can make a difference by telling Jim Lehrer to include Medicare and Social Security in the debates. Thanks to AARP, all you have to do is Go Here and fill out the form. You’re a leftie. You know the drill. I did it. I also tweeted about it, posted about it on FB, and sent an email message to about 50 of my closest friends, a half dozen of whom have already done the same.

This is an exceptionally important issue for all of us, even those Tea Bagging dipshits who don’t know which side of their toast the butter’s on. Do you want your retirement to be left to the vagaries of the market, especially when you know it’s crooked as hell and likely will steal much of your savings from you? Maybe we can fix it in the next decade, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be holding my breath. Hell, before I was 30 (that’s more than three and a half decades ago) I thought there was going to be a revolution in this country. Actually, there kind of was, but it went in the opposite direction from where I thought it would.

Think about it; then do something about it. Send a message. We want Romney and Obama to talk about how they plan to deal with Medicare and Social Security. Act like your future depended on it. Until we achieve a more just economy (hint: Socialism), this is the best thing we’ve got. Here’s the link again. Take it from me. These two programs are extremely valuable and important.


Let Me Wipe This Egg Off My Face

Egg on my Face

Taking my Punishment for Being Hasty

Two day ago I came across a graphic that was shared on Facebook and decided it was worthy of writing a blog post. Not so much because of the graphic, but because it gave me the opportunity to test out explaining an observation I have been making lately. Unfortunately, the graphic I chose to illustrate the theory turned out be photo-shopped and wasn’t real. I am sorry I chose to perpetuate it. I should have been more careful and for that I am deeply regretful. Not because the photo did any harm to the Romney campaign; inasmuch as it quite easily (based on past experience) could have been true, the damage is minimal, but because it served to compromise my integrity, which is something I work very hard to not do.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

So . . . I wish to be very clear here. I am sorry I published it. It’s not real. For those reading this who are uncertain of the controversy, I herewith submit the photo I was bamboozled by, which I have labeled Exhibit A, alongside the photo from Zazzle, labeled Exhibit B, which was the main piece of evidence that convinced me I had been mistaken. There were a couple of people who pointed me to the official Romney website store, which stated the following, “All Products are Made in the USA”. However, these are politicians we’re talking about here and, as far as I’m concerned (whether it’s the Romney campaign or the Obama campaign), the only thing that proves is it says “All Products are Made in the USA”. ¡Punto, final, y redondo!

The ironic thing about this particular post is that, until two days ago the busiest single day I had experienced on this blog was slightly over two years ago. It was from a post I wrote thanking the gentleman who found my iPad after I had left it behind during a medical crisis involving my youngest daughter. I’ve had days that came close, but my post of two days ago more than doubled the number of readers I’ve had in a single day. A Pyrrhic and bitter accomplishment at this point.

I doubt any apology will be accepted by some and that’s OK. I could have just let it go. In fact, I apologized immediately on Facebook and even pointed out the fallacious button on a local Facebook group devoted to discussing local politics and business but, partly because the most active people tend to be politically active as well, sees its fair share of discussion on national issues. Now I’d like to offer a little explanation.

I wanted it to be true! Yes, I admit it. To be honest, I think electing Mitt Romney as our next President would be disastrous. I can find a lot of things to be pissed off at Barack Obama (and the Democratic Party, for that matter) about, but at least there has been a reasonable amount of social progress during his administration. As well, he inherited an economy strapped by two unfunded wars, a giant Medicare pharmacy giveaway, and some of the stupidest tax policies designed to benefit the wealthiest of all Americans at the expense of most ordinary Americans. So, I won’t, at this point, go into much detail as that isn’t my purpose in this post. I just want to point out a few things that made it easy for me to believe the Romney campaign would have their buttons made in China.

  1. More than 10,000 torch-bearers during the 2002 Winter Olympics, which Romney holds up as one of his crowning business achievements, were contracted out to a brutal dictatorship in Myanmar (Burma). Read about it here.
  2. Senate Bill 3364, the “Bring Jobs Home Act”, which provides up to a 20% tax credit for bringing businesses back to the U.S. and denies tax deductions for outsourcing expenses incurred in relocating a business outside the U.S., was blocked by Republican Senators. More here.
  3. Romney has not only been labeled by his former Republican primary opponents as a “Vulture” Capitalist, the National Venture Capital Association has specifically disowned him as one of them (though it’s killing them to do it). His company, Bain Capital, is well-known for its role in shipping jobs overseas.

Let me sum up. I published a photo of a Romney-Ryan campaign button that was inauthentic. I used it to make a point about what I see as more evidence that Republicans “project” their own shortcomings and insecurities on others. I wanted to believe the button was authentic. There is substantial reason for me to have believed that. I have a bit of egg on my face. I am sorry. Mitt is still a jerk. Don’t vote for him. I trust I’ve made virtually everyone happy now. 🙂


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