Quite A Dichotomy

The Presidents of two major world powers appearing together at the Olympic Games Opening ceremonies, one threatening to invade a neighboring country’s democracy, the other supporting him and accused of gross human rights atrocities, and a third world-power president* not present, boycotting the games.  

Quite a dichotomy, hypocritical, considering the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

More great leadership. 

***** S&E *****

*That country a political mess, the politicians responsible for and feeding one of the worst country-wide divisive situations in its history.

Why?

CNN. “5 Things”. 1.17.2022

Schools are also a focus (COVID-19 issues) as many struggle to remain open for in-person learning — but a lack of money isn’t the problem. Much of the $190 billion that Congress authorized for schools earlier in the pandemic has yet to be used. In a majority of states, less than 20% of the federal money had been spent by the end of November, according to data from the US Department of Education.

https://covid-relief-data.ed.gov/

Now why would that be? There is a need. The money is available.

Why? My guess? It’s a leadership and management issue, terms not synonymous with the bureaucracy found in government. I suppose you might suspect misuse of funds in there too?

***** S&E *****

West Virginians elected “representative”

Business Nightcap, 1/4/2022).

Millionaire Senator Joe Manchin, D. West Virginia, torpedoed not only the billionaire tax, but also, potentially, the entirety of President Biden’s social infrastructure agenda.

Manchin’s push back won him praise from billionaires such as Ken Langone, who told CNBC in November: “I’m going to have one of the biggest fundraisers I’ve ever had for him. He’s special. He’s precious. He’s a great American.”  (CNN

Maybe bought off?

West Virginia, among the poorest states in the USA, ranks 44th in Real Per Capita Income (Chamber of Commerce).

There is a man-cave type “For Sale” sign in a garage: “Year: Any. Model: Congress. Phone: Special Interest Groups.”

The Blog has no opinion on the Build Back Better bill. It seems like the more one reads about it the tougher it is to find the truth, and corruption.

***** S&E *****

Santa’s Out there, somewhere…

A friend shared this one…

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”  The text below is borrowed from a friend.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit Grandma on the day my brother dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” he jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted, “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kirby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kirby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but I had never shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments, I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.” The nice lady smiled at me as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door, and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally, it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering beside my Grandma in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95
.
May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care…
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

***** S&E *****

More Leadership News from DC

https://share.smartnews.com/5QJ2u

And then, apart from DC, there is this little gem…

An article from “Insider”:  12/4/ 2021

A Trump-loving former KKK leader who was jailed for beating a Black man is running for office as a Republican in Georgia, reports “Insider”.

Chester Doles, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi National Alliance, is running for office as a Republican in Georgia, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Doles, who spent decades in the KKK, including as Maryland’s Grand Klaliff, filed paperwork earlier this year to run for a spot on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners in 2022, the paper reported.

The 61-year-old running for a local county commission office in a deeply conservative district has a chequered past. Doles has been to prison twice, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He served four years in prison in 1993 after being convicted on federal charges related to the beating of a Black man in Maryland. In 2003, he was arrested on federal firearms charges and spent four more years in prison.

In December 2016, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Doles was arrested on assault charges.

The paper said that Doles also had been linked to the Hammerskins — a white-supremacist “skinhead” group.

He marched with the group in the 2017 Unite the Right rally, the deadly white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to The Washington Post.

In 2019, Doles described himself as a “fourth-generation Klansman.” He told 11 Alive that he now denounces racism and blames his past actions on “youthful indiscretions.”

He said that his politics is now “in line with all Republicans” and added that he’s a supporter of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes Doles as an “ardent supporter” of former President Donald Trump.

In December 2020, he was pictured in a selfie with Sen. Kelly Loeffler. She said she didn’t know who he was.

What was that about leopards not changing its spots…?

***** S&E *****

A simple, spot on comment

I’m liking Allison Morrow’s “my two cents” comment  on “CNN’s Business Nightcap”, 10/7/2021, re the debt ceiling issue and Congress’s, let’s call it, behavior.

Morrow:  “This whole thing is extremely stupid and unnecessary.”  Nice summary  of the situation!

The very people who are arguing over the issue are the ones who created it.  Yes, stupid.  Yes, unnecessary!

***** S&E *****

20 Years…

20 years in Afghanistan, 1000’s of American deaths and even more disabling injuries, billions of dollars wasted on equipment, supplies and facilities, and look at the mess. Is there any hope that our government learns from this — that you can’t install democracy where it is not wanted, that you can’t change a culture that is rooted in warring factions, conflict, and religious hate.

20 years and look what we have accomplished.

It is so sad. Many Afghan citizens probably want a peaceful life, an opportunity to be successful, hope for an open and free educational system, long for a safe and free living environment, and look what they have.

20 years…

The human cost is the greatest cost of all.

Here is an article from Forbes, Aug 23, 2021 that itemizes the other waste of our 20 year war:

!https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/?sh=79e80c4141db

**** S&E *****

Experience

Ya just gotta love this quote, which based on my research, is credited to Will Rogers, Mark Twain, and others…

Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

***** S&E *****

Just Plain Ugly !

If this does not make one angry, does not touch one’s sense of justice, then “one” might be part of the problem!

Curtis Flowers spent nearly half his life in prison for the murders of four people and may still be on death row if not for the investigative work of a podcast.

Badly broken in this case!

Read the story of Curtis Flowers as documented on 60 minutes and aired on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/curtis-flowers-in-the-dark-60-minutes-2021-07-25/

Then ask why the prosecuting attorney was never prosecuted. Above the law?

There ARE professional organizations who need to clean up their ranks. It only takes a few to darken and stain the reputations of some otherwise good professional organizations. And it is awful some are in the judicial system where the impact is personal and critical. This example is ugly.

***** S&E ****