January 6, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of January 6, 2017. Southern culture is way different from the culture in Missouri. As Roman Catholics, Susan and I celebrate the formal end of Christmas and the beginning of the Carnival Season with the “Feast of the Epiphany”. “In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, Epiphany celebrates the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. It focuses primarily on this revelation to the Three Wise Men, but also in his baptism in the Jordan and at the wedding at Cana. In the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church, Theophany – as Epiphany is known in the East – commemorates the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity at his Baptism in the River Jordan.” Here, in the south, “Carnival” is party time from today until Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent, begins on March 1, 2017. This is a time for partying, drinking, letting loose   … and the reason there is a spike in the birthrate in November. 

During Carnival, just about every grocery store and bakery bakes and sells “King Cakes”. “What started out roughly 300 years ago as a dry French bread–type dough with sugar on top and a bean inside now comes in many varieties depending on the country. Some king cakes are made of a sweet brioche dough in the shape of a hollow circle with a glazed topping sprinkled with colored sugar. Hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are eaten in New Orleans during the Carnival season. In other countries, king cakes are made with a puff pastry, filled with one of several fillings (e.g., almond, apple, chocolate/pear, etc.), and have a small figurine hidden inside. The figurine changes from bakery to bakery and often represents a hit movie or other cultural icon. The cake often has a small plastic baby (to represent the Baby Jesus) inside or underneath; and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations.” My favorites? “Cheeky Monkey Cake Company” A pulled pork king cake with BBQ Sauce and a bacon filled king cake with a maple-cream cheese filling. 

A politicians mind set is universal, isn’t it? (BBC NEWS) — Taiwan politician’s funeral features 50 pole dancers. “A Taiwanese funeral featuring 50 pole dancers has become the talk of the Chinese internet this week. Videos of the funeral procession, which took place on Tuesday, have been circulating online showing skimpily-clad women gyrating on top of jeeps in the southern city of Chiayi. The funeral was for local politician Tung Hsiang, who died last month. His family said they wanted to honor Mr. Tung, who loved “having a lively fun time”, local media reported. The procession, featuring the convoy of colorful jeeps blasting loud music, brought traffic to a standstill in the city centre.” No doubt if Mr. Tung were alive   … he would enjoy the company of 50 pole dancers   … or perhaps just send the message that he had shafted his constituents at least 50 times.

Some people just need to have their butt kicked!!! (BBC NEWS) — Mums against meme trolls. “The mother of a terminally ill 3-year-old-boy whose image has been turned into a mocking meme, is fighting back against those who have used him as the subject of their jokes on social media. And she’s not the only mum to make this stand. Grayson Smith, from rural Alabama, was born with a number of conditions including epilepsy, apnea, a heart defect, and protrusions of brain tissue through his skull. His mum Jenny says when he was born, doctors gave him just weeks to live … But in November she was horrified when one follower of the page alerted her to a meme featuring a photo of a smiling Grayson, holding a pumpkin. It was captioned “that face you make when your parents are actually cousins” – a reference to Grayson’s appearance. “When I saw it my heart just sank,” Jenny says. “It was Grayson’s first field trip to the pumpkin patch when he’d been able to pick out his very first pumpkin; and I had to fight back because I didn’t want people to take such a special day from Grayson and turn it into something so cruel.” You would have to be a real looser to post stuff ridiculing this child? A “Scumbaggus Americanus.” My heart goes out to the mother!

Medical news: (BBC NEWS) — Doctors confirm 200-year-old diagnosis. “Doctors have confirmed a diagnosis made more than 200 years ago by one of medicine’s most influential surgeons. John Hunter had diagnosed a patient in 1786 with a “tumor as hard as bone”. As well as confirming the diagnosis, the cancer team believe Mr Hunter’s centuries-old samples may give clues as to how cancer is changing over time. Mr. Hunter became surgeon to King George III in 1776 and is one of the surgeons credited with moving the medical discipline from butchery to a science. He’s also rumored to have given himself gonorrhea as an experiment while writing a book about venereal diseases.” He must have been a real hands on guy, if he gave himself gonorrhea. 1776 wasn’t exactly a banner year for King George III either.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, watching the evening news and waiting for Susan to come home. Another mass shooting at the Ft Lauderdale Airport: 9 shot, 5 dead. In other news, they are calling for a hard freeze tonight and the possibility of a dusting. The last time they had snow here in Pascagoula was in 2006. It is unlikely to stick but will make bridges slick. Something for me to worry about tomorrow because Susan has to drive to work and folks down here have no clue about driving in this type of weather. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Chicken Stir Fry and Garden Salad. The movie? “The Light Between Oceans [2016]

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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December 30, 2016

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of December 30, 2016. So … it’s Friday evening and time to post another “Ramblings”. The definition of “Tragedy” is: “A serious drama in which a central character, the protagonist — usually an important, heroic person — meets with disaster either through some personal fault or through unavoidable circumstances. In most cases, the protagonist’s downfall conveys a sense of human dignity in the face of great conflict.” An example of “Tragedy” is: (BBC NEWS) — Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher: Joint service planned, reports in US say. “The family of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are reportedly planning a joint memorial service. The Singin’ In The Rain star, 84, died from a suspected stroke on Wednesday, while grieving for her daughter Fisher, who died just a day earlier. Fisher, 60, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series, died after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Todd Fisher told the New York Daily News a joint service was “likely”. Reynolds’ son said: “It’s what we want to do, but we’re still working on the mechanics. “We like the idea, if it’s at all possible. I think it’s appropriate.” From all reports, they were really, really close. I guess you really can die from a broken heart.

This is a fascinating read about genetics!! (BBC NEWS) — Could just two people repopulate the Earth? “The last man on Earth is a common trope in fiction – but what if it actually happened? How many people would it take to save our species?” As an example:   “To understand why inbreeding can be so deadly, we need to get to grips with some genetics. We all have two copies of every gene, one from each parent. But some gene variants don’t show up unless you have two exactly the same. Most inherited diseases are caused by these “recessive” variants, which sneak through the evolutionary radar because they are harmless on their own. In fact, the average person has between one and two lethal recessive mutations in their genome. When a couple are related, it doesn’t take long for the mask to slip. Take achromatopsia, a rare recessive disorder which causes total color blindness. It affects 1 in 33,000 Americans and is carried by one in 100. If one of our post-apocalyptic survivors had the variant, there’s a one in four chance of their child having a copy. So far, so good. After just one generation of incest, the risk skyrockets – with a one in four chance of their child having two copies. That’s a 1 in 16 chance that the original couple’s first grandchild would have the disease.” 

Something to look forward to in 2017. (BBC NEWS) — 10 Films to watch in 2017. “From an ‘auteurist’ Marvel movie and Star Wars: Episode VIII to new work by Christopher Nolan, Edgar Wright, Sofia Coppola and Alexander Payne, look out for these, says Sam Adams.” This article has a breakdown for each the these 10 movies being released in 2017.

And the “monkey’s uncle” medical news: (BBC NEWS) — Hip pain may be ‘hangover from evolution’ “Scientists at the University of Oxford say a hangover from evolution could help explain why humans get so much shoulder, hip and knee pain. And if current trends continue they predict the humans of the future could be at even greater risk. They studied 300 specimens from different species spanning 400 million years to see how bones changed subtly over millennia. The changes came as man began standing up straight on two legs. Other researchers have noticed similar evolutionary quirks in humans. Some people prone to lower back problems, for example, could have spines closer in shape to those of our nearest ape relative – the chimpanzee.” Some folks with lower back problems also have an affinity for bananas. 

Interesting. (BBC NEWS) — Some young dinosaurs shed teeth, say experts. ‘Some dinosaurs lost their teeth as they grew up, according to fossil evidence. The hatchlings ate meat with their teeth, then used beaks to peck at plants as adults, say scientists. The discovery is a surprise and has not been seen in any other reptile. Limusaurus inextricabilis lived in China around 150 million years ago. The first fossilized remains of the animal were discovered about a decade ago. “Initially, we believed that we found two different ceratosaurian dinosaurs from the Wucaiwan area, one toothed and the other toothless, and we even started to describe them separately,” said Shuo Wang of Capital Normal University in Beijing, China, who led the research. The paleontologists then realized that the dinosaurs looked remarkably similar, except for the presence of teeth. They found that the dinosaur lost its teeth over time, making it the first known reptile to do this.” Isn’t losing your teeth a natural part of aging?

Want to save some money?? (BBC NEWS) — How 2 Math Grads are Disrupting the Auto Insurance Industry. “Jackson, Mississippi – Recent studies indicate that drivers are paying too much for car insurance. Are you aware that you could receive a large discount just for using this new startup’s service? In addition, if you are currently insured and live in a qualified ZIP code you may get an extremely high discount. For a long time, there was no easy way to compare quotes from all of these huge car insurance companies. You had to check one site, then jump to another and enter all of your information all over again. Drivers were stuck doing all the work to save money. Now, all that has changed. Thanks to this new startup, EverQuote™, the information you need to help you save can be found in one place. Featured in the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies for 2016, it is not a question that customers are finding what they are looking for – lower quotes.” Well worth visiting their website.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to come home. Her “furry babies” are waiting for her by the door. She has to work tomorrow   … and we will spend a quiet New Years Eve, just the two of us. Honestly? I doubt we make it past 10:00 pm!!   Our New Years meal? A Corned Beef Brisket, Black Eyed Peas, Cabbage and a Garden Salad   … and an afternoon of Susan watching football   … and me watching Susan.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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December 23, 2016

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of December 23, 2016. On Monday, the “Electoral College” formalized Donald Trump as the President Elect. The fringe/nutjob elements on the Left and on the Right are forecasting doom, the death of our America as we know it!! Reminds me of the rhetoric I heard after Ronald Reagan was elected.

In my lifetime I have watched remarkable breakthroughs in technology, like personal computers and cell phones. I wonder if I will live long enough to see this? (BBC NEWS) — Sex robots: Experts debate the rise of the love droids. “Would you have sex with a robot? Would you marry one? Would a robot have the right to say no to such a union? These were just a few of the questions being asked at the second Love and Sex with Robots conference hastily rearranged at Goldsmiths University in London after the government in Malaysia – the original location – banned it. It has proved controversial, not only to countries with conservative views. There were no representatives from the sex industry in attendance and no sex robots on display, leading some to question the point of the event. RealDolls, a Californian-based firm that makes lifelike sex toys, claimed that it would release an artificial intelligence-enhanced sex doll next year. The launch, if it happens, will be vindication for Dr David Levy, who has long predicted the era of intelligent human-looking robots.”  Blows me away!!! RealDolls sells full sized, anatomically correct dolls, starting at $5,400.00.

And the culinary news: (BBC NEWS) — Prehistoric porridge? “First pots for plant cooking found Prehistoric people may have cooked wild grains and plants in pots as early as 10,000 years ago, according to new evidence. Scientists say the food was “a kind of porridge”, acting as the staple diet when there was no meat from hunting. The pottery fragments were found at two sites in the Libyan Sahara, which was then green and fertile. The ability to prepare plants and grains in pots would have been a big advance at the time. Dr Julie Dunne, of the University of Bristol, said: “This is the first direct evidence of plant processing globally, and, remarkably, shows that these early North African hunter-gatherers consumed many different types of plants, including grains/seeds, leafy plants and aquatic plants   … Pots were invented twice in human history – in East Asia about 16,000 years ago, then in North Africa some 12,000 years ago.”  I guess that means, as a species, there were two times in our history that we had a pot to pee in!

And speaking about peeing: (BBC NEWS) — HB2 law: North Carolina to repeal ‘bathroom bill. “North Carolina lawmakers will repeal a controversial HB2 law which limits protections offered to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper announced the repeal after Charlotte City Council voted to strike down a local law that prompted HB2. The law requires transgender people to use toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates. The ruling led to boycotts by sports teams, businesses, and entertainers. Public bathrooms have become a flashpoint in the battle over transgender rights in the US.”   How do you enforce this law? Transgender folks don’t have “Transgender” tattooed on their forehead! If they look like a man or women and use a stall   … how can anyone tell their plumbing doesn’t match?

The word of the year. (BBC NEWS) — Merriam-Webster’s word of the year sums up 2016. “Dictionary Merriam-Webster has named “surreal” as its word of the year. The lexicographer selected surreal – which means “unbelievable, fantastic” – after spikes in searches following terrorist attacks and the US election. The attacks in Brussels, the Bastille Day massacre in Nice and the attempted coup in Turkey all saw an increase in how often people searched for the word. But the single biggest spike in look-ups came the day after Donald Trump’s election, said Merriam-Webster. “It just seems like one of those years,” said Peter Sokolowski, the dictionary’s editor at large. “Surreal” is also defined as meaning “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream”, according to Merriam Webster.” Isn’t it surreal that the word for 2016 is “surreal”? Personally, I would have chosen “Trump”.

Perhaps the word of the year should be “ironic”:   (BBC NEWS) — Real-life Libya plane hijack halts hijack film shoot. “A film being shot at Malta airport about a plane hijacking was disrupted amid the real hijacking of a Libyan Airbus A320, an official told the BBC. “It’s very ironic because then there was the real hijack on,” said Magda Magri Naudi, the mayor of Lija. The movie – Entebbe – is based on a hostage situation that occurred 40 years ago in Uganda. Unlike that hijacking, the two hijackers in Friday’s incident surrendered peacefully to police. In 1976, Israeli forces freed 105 hostages in a surprise raid at Uganda’s Entebbe airport, killing about eight hostage-takers and 20 Ugandan troops. According to internet movie data base, IMDB, Entebbe – which is expected to be released next year – stars Rosamund Pike, Vincent Cassel and Daniel Bruhl.”

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to come home. Looking forward to a quiet Christmas weekend. We will have Honey Glazed Baked Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole on Christmas Day,

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug and best wishes for a Merry Christmas!!

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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December 16, 2016

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of December 16, 2016. Interesting. When I was a kid   … the summers lasted forever. As an adult … June, July, August passed in a blink of an eye. Is our perception of time really that subjective? If so   … why?

Had my bi-annual “Fluff and Buff” at the VA on Wednesday. Reinforced my belief that the organizational structure of the VA is totally screwed up. Everything is computerized, which would be a good thing   …   except their systems and software are outdated. You have a “Primary Care” Physician who interfaces with the veteran and there are separate individual “clinics”, like the “Orthopedic Clinic”, the “Radiology Clinic”, the “Acoustic Clinic”, the “Glasses Fitting Clinic”, etc. that he/she refers “consults”. None of the “clinics” communicate with each other. They just enter test results, etc. into the system. For example. I was suffering from double vision so my Primary Care Physician referred me to the ‘Eye Clinic”. The “Eye Clinic” referred me to the “Radiology Clinic” for an MRI to see if my Acoustic Neuroma was impacting my optic nerve. And set another appointment a couple of weeks after the MRI. This whole process went on over several months. On November 8, 2016, I was told by the “Eye Clinic” they would order me “prism’ glasses which will fix the double vision. This past Wednesday, the glasses still had not come in. So while at the complex I went to the “Eye Clinic” to see if they were actually ordered. I was told, because I did not go to the “Glasses Fitting Clinic” to choose a frame, the order was cancelled. NO ONE told me I had to go to the “Glasses Fitting Clinic”!!! So I went to the “Glasses Fitting Clinic” and selected a frame. When I asked how long it would take to get the glasses   …   I was told they didn’t know because it was the “Eye Clinic” that ordered the glasses. Wonder why it takes MONTHS to resolve a medical issue at the VA?

Disgusting! (BBC NEWS) — Hundreds of US gymnasts allege sexual abuse. “Hundreds of US gymnasts have come forward to say they were sexually abused by adults in the sport. A nine-month investigation by the Indianapolis Star finds 368 gymnasts allege abuse over 20 years, by at least 100 coaches, gym owners and others. The allegations come amid claims that the US body that governs gymnastics did not do enough to prevent the assaults. But USA Gymnastics says it is “proud of the work it has done to address and guard against child sexual abuse”. The sport received huge attention earlier in the year due to the success of its women’s team at the Rio Olympics. The newspaper writes that gym owners and athletes were reluctant to come forward with their allegations for fear that they would attract negative attention and lose potentially lucrative sponsorships” There is a special place in hell for “kiddy diddlers”.

In the “about time” news: (BBC NEWS) — Fake news: Facebook rolls out new tools to tackle false stories. “Facebook has announced new features to help combat fabricated news stories on the world’s largest social network. New reporting features are being rolled out, along with other changes designed to combat the spread of misinformation. Facebook was widely criticized last month after some users complained that fake news had influenced the US presidential election. The new features include the ability to flag fake stories, as well as possible future changes to Facebook’s algorithm. “We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully,” the company said in its announcement.” Wonderful. Now we also need an app that will tackle false stories in ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, WNBC, etc.

Interesting 3 some:   (BBC NEWS) — Babies made from three people approved in UK. “Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK’s fertility regulator. The historic and controversial move is to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases. Doctors in Newcastle – who developed the advanced form of IVF – are expected to be the first to offer the procedure and have already appealed for donor eggs. The first such child could be born, at the earliest, by the end of 2017. Some families have lost multiple children to incurable mitochondrial diseases, which can leave people with insufficient energy to keep their heart beating. The diseases are passed down from only the mother so a technique using a donor egg as well as the mother’s egg and father’s sperm has been developed.” Personally   … I think making babies the old fashioned way has it’s charms.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and reading Facebook posts. (chuckling) … Blows me away!! My “liberal” Facebook friends are complaining that Trump has appointed retired generals to his cabinet and CEO’s of VERY successful companies. Few, if any, professional politicians. My “conservative” Facebook friends are bitching his appointments are not conservative enough. I guess, he is p*ssing off both sides of the political establishment! Does anyone remember the mantra: “We need to get nonpolitical folks, citizens, running our government, instead of professional politicians?” Well you got it. We are at war. Doesn’t appointing retired generals to be advisors make sense? Our economy is in the tank, recovering but not fast enough to help our middle class. Isn’t appointing CEO’s of successful companies for input, a damn good move to improve our economy? Susan has to work tomorrow. I will spend the day making prints. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Cooking for two is challenging because of portion control. There are always leftovers. We have a freezer full!! So Sunday will be “Leftover Sunday”! The movie? “Zoolander 2 [2016]”. 

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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December 9, 2016

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of December 9, 2016. A truly great American passed away yesterday. (NPR) — John Glenn, First American To Orbit The Earth, Dies At 95. “The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn’t stop his pioneering ways. Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space. Glenn was 95; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last week.” My parents had purchased our first color television in early 1962. A Magnavox cabinet with a stereo record player and a HUGE 24” inch screen. On November 21, 1962, I remember watching the evening news on CBS, with Walter Cronkite … the day before, November 20, 1962, John Glenn became the fifth man to orbit the earth, after cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov and the sub-orbital flights of Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. I remember watching the same evening news on January 27, 1967, 4 ½ years later when Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral. Our America was different then. Even though we were in the middle of the “Cold War” … it had a purpose … a focus on winning the race to the moon. Apollo 11 won that race July 20, 1969.

And news from our friends in an Islamic paradise: (BBC NEWS) — Iran fashion workers jailed for ‘spreading prostitution’. “Twelve people involved in the fashion industry in Iran are reported to have been jailed for “spreading prostitution” via images posted online. The eight women and four men were handed sentences of between five months and six years by a court in Shiraz, a lawyer told the Ilna news agency. They were also banned from working in fashion and travelling abroad for two years afterwards, Mahmoud Taravat said. He added that his clients had denied the charges and planned to appeal. The 12 were convicted of charges including spreading prostitution and promoting corruption via the publication of obscene images online, inciting Muslims to corrupt themselves through putting on fashion shows, and spreading a “Western-style culture of nudity”.” In this Muslim paradise, “Western-style culture of nudity” means having to wear a Hijab. But, unlike Saudi Arabia … another Muslim paradise … Iranian women can drive a car.

In the paleontology news: (BBC NEWS) — ‘Beautiful’ dinosaur tail found preserved in amber. “The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar. The one-of-a-kind discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years. Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside … The 99-million-year-old amber had already been polished for jewelry and the seller had thought it was plant material. On closer inspection, however, it turned out to be the tail of a feathered dinosaur about the size of a sparrow.” Hard to imagine a feather covered dinosaur, the size of a sparrow! Almost “cute”!! A nightmare? A life support system for a set of huge jaws: a feather covered Tyrannosaurus Rex! Something to think about. They died out. Will we? 

And a rare example of our Red and Blue Pigs, (the “Pigs” reference is from “Animal Farm”) actually doing a good job.   (BBC NEWS) — US Congress fights ticket-grabbing bots. “Congress has passed legislation to US President Barack Obama that would crack down on bots that buy batches of tickets online before humans. Such software sometimes means that concert and theatre tickets sell out in minutes. Using these programs is an “unfair and deceptive practice”, the legislation says. It was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and passed by the Senate last month. Should the president sign the legislation into law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be able to crack down on those who use such programs.” The limited regulation of commerce is a legitimate governmental function. Not favor/raise a class of persons above another … but provide a level playing field. This legislation levels the playing field, the competition for tickets. Wish our Red and Blue Pigs could do as well in other areas! I do NOT believe our “Founding Fathers” contemplated professional politicians. Rather, they viewed office holders serving, to be volunteering their serve because they could afford to do so. No doubt, there are pilgrims who actually do want to serve. In my mind? They are a minority. Most want the power, and the ability to retire filthy rich. Have yet to see ANY former Congressman or Senator apply for Food Stamps, (TANIF) Why is that?

And … just an interesting read: (BBC NEWS) — The secret history of black Santas. “America’s biggest shopping mall grabbed headlines this week by hiring its first African-American Father Christmas. But black Santas have been around for a lot longer than you might think – and even played a role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. “Everything that Santa represents has to be you. That’s my honest belief. You can’t have some grumpy old guy who doesn’t love kids sitting there representing somebody who is joyful, somebody who is loving.” Kenny Green is a man who takes his job seriously. He has been playing Santa Claus for the past five years and although the mall where he works, in a suburb of Washington DC, has hosted a black Santa for as long as anyone can remember, he says they are still “few and far between” in the rest of America … Which is why, he says, it was “huge” that the Mall of America – the country’s biggest indoor shopping complex – decided to hire a black Santa for the first time this year.” Honestly? I can not remember ever seeing a Black Santa.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, watching the evening news. Susan had an ophthalmologist appointment today to check on the diabetic neuropathy in her right eye. She will have tomorrow off, so we will spend the day together. She has reduced her nicotine consumption significantly while I remain nicotine free. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Spaghetti and meatballs. The movie? ‘”The Accountant [2016]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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