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Just Life

Posted:Feb 19, 2019 10:17 am
Last Updated:Feb 21, 2019 12:01 pm

After all the searching for voter fraud, the GOP finally found some. Unfortunately, they're the ones who did it. Welcome to North Carolina.
Home Plate
Posted:Feb 15, 2019 1:10 pm
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2019 5:06 pm

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “ inches?” more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“ inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in school baseball?”

“ inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“ inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“ inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide is home plate in the Major Leagues?

“ inches!”

“SEV-EN- INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a -inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’” Pause. “Coaches…” pause, "… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our . With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our , and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of children, only to have such an atrocity swept the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at inches."

And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and how to fix it.

"Don't widen the plate."
The Wall
Posted:Feb 11, 2019 8:38 pm
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2019 6:35 am

Since Donald Trump took office not a single inch of new wall has been built. Some of the old wall has been repaired, but no new wall has been constructed. Congress has just agreed upon $1.7 billion for border security, none of which entails a concrete wall promised during the election. Previously, President Trump turned down sufficient funds to build 123 miles of new wall but Congress has just agreed to fund 65 miles of new wall specifically not concrete. More demonstration of the inferior bargaining ability of the president. None of the right wingers here will believe this. They will, instead, listen intently to the bullshit flowing unheeded from the lips of the President. It's an addiction.
Not yet, but getting closer
Posted:Jan 26, 2019 1:12 am
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2019 6:03 pm

I still remain ignorant of the details known to Mueller and not to the general public, but the last month has not been a good one for the President. Yesterday, January 25, 2019 has been particularly devastating for him. Every right winger who has and continues to support this miscreant shares in the damage done to our nation is as responsible as President Trump. It is inescapable. I have been warning about this undying loyalty for some time now and it is finally coming home to roost. The words I see here and the childish, nonsensical memes I see on face bk condemn forever those right wingers who refuse to admit the error of their ways to anti-American activity. President Trump has never been able, either intellectually or educationally, to grasp the concept of national leadership and the responsibilities inherent therein.

Until now the President has not experienced the concept of checks and balances and that, too, has come home to roost. Suddenly he is caving in rather than bragging about non-existent accomplishments. The ultracrepidarians who have struggled for two years justifying Trump leadership are even more angry now and their hatred is becoming more and more prominent. It just might be time to reconsider their position, but hubris and hatred prevent that much common sense. The right wing senators and congressmen have fallen noticeably silent, but the right wing blogs here seem to continue on in futility.
Posted:Jan 24, 2019 11:51 am
Last Updated:Feb 1, 2019 12:34 pm

Since his inauguration, President Trump has lied to the American People over 9,000 times. Those who continue to support him either don't understand the implications of such prevarication or don't care. Either way the only entity which suffers is the nation.

This liar has his supporters believing the Democrats are responsible for the shut down of the government when he admitted himself, on tape, he would take full responsibility for the shut down. Now that is seems to be a bit of a burden, he tries to shift the blame.

The sole positive portion of the Trump Administration has been the economy. This quarter the increase will be at or near zero. So much for all the good this president has been doing, or at least what his loyal followers believe he's doing. It has been estimated it will take to recover from this administration's malfeasance and misfeasance, nonetheless his loyal followers cling to him like the last straw.

Recently, we've seen blogs and FB posts trying desperately to convince the 70% of President Trump's prowess and accomplishments, not the least of which is the now infamous wall. Folks, it ain't gonna happen. We finally have a House of Representatives which refuses to cow tow to the demands of the Executive Branch and our erstwhile president is completely baffled as to his course of action. This has not dissuaded the great unwashed from their undying loyalty, however, I suspect, there is nothing which will. Logic and expertise will never overcome fear and hatred, two characteristics to which the right wingers are addicted.

I suggest those of us who actually think about these things begin a program of disregarding the nonsense spewed by the right wingers or, at least, try to find some logic in their position so as to save them from looking like fools. It's an arduous and daunting task but I think the nation is worth the effort.
Now as Then
Posted:Jan 18, 2019 4:36 pm
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2019 8:52 pm

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,--
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need ,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

H. W. Longfellow
Out Of Touch
Posted:Dec 23, 2018 12:25 pm
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2019 8:56 pm

In this season of joy and peace isn't it about time the GOP caught up with the remainder of Americans? We find ourselves in the midst of a national divide which is tearing the United States apart, while the GOP, or what's left of it, continues to swim against the current.

Most recently, polls have shown 79% of Republicans approve the construction of a
border wall, while 59% of Americans in general disapprove of such construction. A prime example of the different direction the GOP is taking from mainstream America. Furthermore, 86% of Republicans approve of President Trump's performance while 38% of American's in general share their approval. The GOP is clearly traveling the road less taken.

Whether or not Christ would approve of our president's performance is a prediction I'll leave to those professed Christians, some of whom believe adultery is not a bar to evangelicalism. Meanwhile, I'll remain in the disapproval group from a political standpoint.

In the meantime, here's wishing one and all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays.
They still don't get it
Posted:Dec 13, 2018 2:57 pm
Last Updated:Feb 15, 2019 2:04 pm

I remain unaware of all that's known by Robert Mueller in his ongoing investigation. Therefore, I remain unaware of where this journey is headed. However, the last couple of days has been enlightening beyond words and furthers my suspicions that the ongoing investigation is far more revealing than anyone here can fathom. The righties here are loathe to admit, however, the president may be up to his eyeballs in a quagmire from which escape is becoming less and less likely.

It's amazing to realize the information we are now learning for the first time has been known by Mr. Mueller for some time. Logic tells us this. The investigation would have been over months ago is there was little or no evidence warranting its continuance. Yet the right wing investigative geniuses refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing because it doesn't fit into their right/wrong, black/white world. They ask for hard and fast evidence of which we are unaware and it surpasses the limits of their understanding of the obvious. There are dichotomies galore here but the most blatant is the vehement desire for "the wall" to keep out the drug dealers and criminals while allowing a foreign nation to destroy our revered voting system so the president can garner more and more wealth.
Whining, double standards and expertise
Posted:Dec 5, 2018 8:27 am
Last Updated:Jan 10, 2019 8:54 pm

I've been reading the recent posts here in Right Wing Heaven and offer some observations.

There are disparaging words regarding Sen. Bernie Sanders using a private jet followed by some required name calling and then followed by more disparaging words from folks who openly, vehemently and vociferously support a president who has, and continues, to spend millions of dollars each weekend so he can golf. The double standard is, apparently, lost on these experts who also profess a deep and expansive knowledge of our Constitution.

There are blogs informing us of the nature of our Constitution and the Founding Father's intent in its composition. There is also a rhetorical question which removes, via name calling and demeaning words, the Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the very Constitution the author purports to explain to us lesser Americans. Yet another double standard from a self proclaimed expert in the making and workings of the Constitution.

All of these posts are then bolstered and supported by folks who are unable to pass a Constitutional Law test if their very lives depended upon it. Evidence of this hubris can be found in the support and loyalty they give to a president who fails to recognize any of which I've just alluded. Perhaps that's the key to the loyalty and support, exacerbated by the fact none of the erstwhile authors have read even one of the 85 articles of The Federalist. It is much easier to interpret the Constitution according to personal feelings and beliefs rather than the true intent of the Founding Fathers. Citizenship in the United States of America is hard. It requires resolve, perseverance, understanding and patience. The self proclaimed experts exhibit none of those traits, relying instead on what they wished was written in that glorious document rather than what is actually written.

As I sit here watching a mourning nation bid farewell to its 41st President, I see evidence of what I say. George Herbert Walker Bush took and active role in the planning of his funeral and insisted President Trump be included., despite the fact he had little respect for him. He did, however, have great respect for the Office of President and as President Donald Trump was invited. You may recall President Trump was not invited to Barbara Bush's funeral. This is the essence of Americanism. This is a concept not understood by either President Trump or his supporters. The tenor of the posts to which I refer offers strong evidence to me because the GOP currently leads the nation yet the Democratic Party is blamed for all the maladies. The prime example is the braggadocio offered by President Trump and his supporters on the state of the economy. Rumor has it a recession is just around the corner and my prediction is it will be blamed on the Democrats because that's what today's GOP does.

Keep up the education, I feel enlightened by it.
Emerson on Trump Presidency
Posted:Nov 18, 2018 10:11 am
Last Updated:Jan 11, 2019 10:58 am

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) is quoted as saying "People see only what they are prepared to see". The loyal 30% were, and still are, prepared to see President Trump as a strong leader and successful president. Therefore, that's what they see. They seem to overlook the lies, insults, misdirection and failures which have been the earmarks of his administration. No administration is perfect. All have made their mistakes and future administrations will make theirs as well. We are, after all, human. The mistakes, malfeasance and misfeasance committed by this and other administrations will live on well past the life of the particular administration. The single hope all Americans carry is the mistakes will not harm our nation and will, instead, carry it forward to a better and more Utilitarian government.

Donald Trump has been the antithesis of this philosophy. We are at a time in our history when the United States needs a strong leader, well versed in diplomacy, the workings of government and leadership. President Trump has not managed to reach any of those goals and has, instead, sought goals of his own, at his own level, which will provide sufficient results from which he can claim some sort of victory or success. When compared to the actual needs of the nation, however, he has failed miserably, except, of course, in the eyes of those who were prepared to see him succeed. We currently need a leader, not a general contractor.

As long as the 30% continue their blind, unsubstantiated loyalty our beloved nation will continue its slide into the doldrums of mediocrity when we should, at this tenuous time in world history, be leading the world toward those humanistic and even Biblical goals of Peace on Earth. The hatred, misunderstanding and misdirection created by this blind and unsubstantiated loyalty will sink our Ship of State and keep us from the lofty, but attainable, goals we once had. We shouldn't be responding to what we want to hear and see, we should be responding to what we need to hear and see.

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