Friday, January 29, 2016

From Survey to Wonder

A PHD candidate at USC in Los Angeles sent me a message to see if I would participate in the survey and study that he is conducting about people who write blogs.

I haven’t yet decided whether to participate or not. He says it will take about fifteen minutes of my time. Actually survey’s take more time than that. For me, any question takes time for reflection, ascertainment and to structure an answer that reflects the heart and the intellect.

I have a little trouble with yes and no questions and even with those who ask you to choose between one and ten. One being unfavorable and ten being wonderful.

If I take the survey, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and think about the wonder of life. The wonder of the cold or the heat or the torrents of nature. Think about the wonder of your life enjoying a glass of clean water, a crackling fire, the aroma of fine soap or the taste of your favorite food. It's the focus on intention that engenders wonder.

I do that often and it’s amazing where the spirit takes me.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Debate

Donald Trump is wrong for not participating in the debate. The debates are not about him or whether he likes a reporter or not, it’s about us, the electorate, to see and feel where the candidates stand on the important issues facing our lives and living.

Fox News, a misnomer in itself, claims they adhere to journalistic ethics so no candidate can choose who gets to question them. Fox News, or better yet, Fox Opinion is no paragon or upholder of anything journalism, let alone ethics, but I agree with their decision in this case only.

I have been a long time writer and critic of congress as a do nothing, snipe and snip, self-serving body of mostly arrogant members. I’ve suggested it’s time to “throw them out” and bring back statesmen and stateswomen; a common core of citizen legislators who do their job and go home and not make serving the public a career.

The body politic frustration with Washington has led us, not to the rise of statesmen-like leaders, but to the rise of Trump and to the iconoclastic campaign of Bernie Sanders. Trump is the buffoon in the political room and Sanders is the maverick; the rest are either charter members of the status quo elite or are new-bees and want to bees.

The responsibility for the future lies with us. We must do our diligence and choose for the good of the whole or we will end up with what we deserve. We are the creators of this reality.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Milliard Fillmore

Since we are talking about the presidential ofice a lot these days, let me look back to one who few liked.

Milliard Fillmore.

Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and he has had an image problem for years.

Some scholars say history has given Millard a bum rap. He was dubbed by cartoonists “his accidence” after becoming President upon Zachary Taylor’s 1850 death. Fillmore served two and a half years and when he wanted to run for election on his own, no one would nominate him.

Some historians have called him a do-nothing President, but let’s look at the record. In foreign policy he successfully intervened to prevent France from taking over Hawaii in 1851. He supported commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853 visit to Japan, which opened Japan to international trade after 100 years of self-imposed isolation.

For several years a couple of professors at New Mexico’s state University have tried to get the governor to declare January 7th, “Millard Fillmore Day. It seems New Mexico owes President Fillmore a debt for having stopped Texas from carrying out a threat to annex part of that state in 1850.

He did a lot of other things too. He was the University of Buffalo’s first chancellor. He was a five-term congressman from that city and helped found a science museum, a WMCA and a hospital.

Historians credit Fillmore with starting the first library in the White House and he did not, as the myth persists, install the first bathtub in the White House.

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