May Lightning Strike Me: Heresies and Reckless Punditry

With apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams, I paraphrase…

“These are the saddest of possible words

Tucker to Hannity to Ingraham”

80 years ago, a generation fought in jungles, bloody battlefields, and deadly beaches thousands of miles away to defeat their enemies and maintain their freedom. Today, many are declaring their “freedom” by refusing to walk a block or drive a few miles to a drug store and get a vaccination.

About 50% of American adults have refused the Covid 19 vaccination with the insouciance of a condemned man declining a blindfold awaiting execution.

President Biden is suggesting that a $100 cash incentive be used to get people to get the vaccine. Not sure if that would be effective. What may be effective is when an unvaccinated person catches Covid and requires medical treatment, they are subject to a $1000 surcharge that will be used to assist vaccinated patients suffering from long term Covid effects.

We needed Joe Biden just like we needed Gerald Ford after the stench and corruption of their predecessors’ administrations. However I don’t want see an 82 year old man, no matter how decent, running for President in 2024.

One wishes that the expectations and pressures that the public places on the performances and personas of athletes would also apply equally or more to the representatives they voted to office. 

If our Founders could see the current state of the government they created, they would renounce their efforts and become monarchists again.

Give me movies with stories > movies based on special effects

Photo by Nickolett Emmert from Pixels

Doctors act as pilots for our health. Initially doctors help us get off the ground from birth to maturity through pre-natal care and immunizations. In the second phase, they serve to keep us “in the air.” They address any turbulence or bumps we experience while in flight. Finally, as we get ready to “land”, some for our final destination, doctors are expected to ensure a smooth landing.

So the incoming starting QB (Bryce Young) at Alabama is expected to make close to $1 million thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling on endorsement deals for college athletes. I wonder how incentivized his offensive linemen are as they may not be offered any money for their jerseys or profiles?

After reading The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis, I have doubts about any medical pronouncements made by the CDC. With the possible exception of Dr. Fauci, I have very little confidence in the accuracy of Covid 19 information from anyone. ( I recommend the book!).

The Catholic Church serves as a typewriter, useful to a few but largely irrelevant and obsolete for the many, particularly to those who were once customers.

I wouldn’t object if there was a law banning car and home insurance commercials and marketing. I’d love to say “good-bye” to LiMu, Doug, Flo and The General. The commercials are dumb, not funny nor have any entertainment or informational value. Next to go, gambling site ads…

The best investment I ever made wasn’t a stock, mutual fund or bitcoin. It was a library card.


The start of the first American Civil War occurred on April 12, 1861 when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter. The start of the second American Civil War started on January 6, 2021. In the first American Civil War, the battlefields included Gettysburg, Shiloh, Fredericksburg and Vicksburg. In the second American Civil War, the battlefields will be named vaccinations, Roe v Wade, science vs. superstition, income equality, Black Lives Matter, voting rights, Qanon conspiracies and Trumpism. One side comes with memes, verbal and violent bombast, the other’s armor are facts, data, science, rationality, experience and proof.

Eric Burleigh

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” In 1954, these words at a Congressional hearing helped lead to the demise of the demagoguery of Senator Joe McCarthy. These same words can easily be applied 67 years later to a former disgraced President, U.S Senators from Texas, Kentucky and Wisconsin,  a totally incompetent female representative from Georgia and a plethora of anti-vaxxers from government and media. Not to mention clueless distributors of lies, propaganda and false information on social media.

Our culture, politics, economy and government have been subverted by irrationality, superstition, and stupidity. What is worse? That many of our politicians, business leaders, social media executives and  “journalists” are pushing lies, targeted exaggerations and  Or that so many citizens do not have the education, intellectual bandwidth and judgment to read between the lies.

The Republicans and the extremists are fighting the Second American Civil War with haymakers and head shots; the Democrats are content with soft jabs and body shots. Mitch McConnell likes the punchers chance.

Replay in the major sports such as basketball, football and baseball takes place in a matter of minutes. Upon this review, those involved in acts of violence are identified and ejected from the game. Depending upon the degree of the act of violence, an athlete may be subject to a long or short suspension or even possibly expulsion from the sport. We don’t need a 1/6/2021 Congressional Commission. The evidence is on various videos and media reports – – plain for any rational person to see. It’s time to mete out the punishment. Severe punishment. We are talking about treachery here.

Navigation Aggravation: Trying to Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment

My experience shown within a flowchart in trying to set up an appointment with my general practitioner. I can’t call the office directly. I have to go through a centralized portal. I waited over 20 minutes to get a representative and in that time I was barraged by their automated marketing and promotional messages.

P.S. I could not get an appointment within a period of time so that they could address my immediate issues.

Observations on reaching the last year of my seventh decade

From left to right, Sandra, Eric, Joanne and two other unnamed cousins

Feeling wistful, ruminative and a bit thankful…

If life is a train ride, my station may be coming up soon. Regrettably most of us don’t know when our ride will end. A few friends and family members have disembarked too early, leaving me sitting sadly alone in the train car. 

All of us have an “aha” or life changing moment. Mine occurred on the morning of February 14, 1960 when I was told about my father’s sudden death. At age 7, I learned about impermanence, self reliance and responsibility. Some people never receive those insights no matter their age.

I have not measured my life’s success based on my net worth, corporate executive titles or possessions I owned. Simply I wanted to be the best husband, son, brother, uncle and friend I could be. Largely that meant I needed to be “present” when someone needed help or encouragement.

My 44 years of marriage to a wonderful woman represents the best decision and greatest commitment of my life. The joy and love from this woman more than offset any disappointments, failures, and travails I have experienced. Life does not always offer an easy road but I am grateful for my constant and supportive companion.

Some of my life’s biggest disappointments, socially and in business, were as a result of women. This is not an indictment of women as much it shows my lowered expectations of the words, promises and actions of my brother man.

Coincidentally, but not surprising, my biggest supporters and influencers, in my youth, were women. Besides my wife Chris, my sister Sandra was a source of encouragement, love and motivation. Sandra’s death twenty seven years ago is my greatest personal loss.

Two biggest trends in my lifetime: (1) the explosion, breadth and advancement of technology in business and personal life and (2) the disintegration, coarseness and division of our politics and civility.

I have no heirs but I am sad about the type of world that my generation is leaving to those generations behind us. We’ve left them problems with government debt, climate change, rebuilding infrastructure, improving public education etc. Those are issues that we should have been focusing on instead of building walls, creating conspiracy theories and disputing fair elections.

I was looking at some pictures of birthday parties for me or cousins when I was 6 or 7. The black and white pictures were a bit faded, many of my family in the photo are deceased but the memories remain. Was there anything more exciting for a young boy or girl than to look forward to a birthday party with friends and family?

The basic evidence of humanity among people is simply sharing a smile.

I’ve lived 25,202 days. That’s a lot of opportunities to appreciate sunsets, sunrises, great conversations, varied travel experiences, meet new friends, and make social and business contributions. Success and appreciation of life are often measured by how close our results = opportunities.

Sign of the Times:  We need a Facebook prompt to remember and celebrate a friend or relative’s birthday. 

Why is it that despite much improved personal training and sports medicine that today’s pitchers can’t go beyond five innings and basketball players can only play half a season?

Greatest U.S. Presidents Survey

C-Span conducted a Presidential Historians Survey 2021. They judged Presidents based on the following criteria: 1. Public Persuasion, 2. Crisis Leadership, 3. Economic Management, 4. Moral Authority, 5. International Relations, 6. Administrative Skills, 7. Relations with Congress, 8. Vision, 9. Pursued Equal Justice for All, and 10. Performance within Context of Times.

My list is a small re-shuffling of the list. I am a huge admirer of FDR who pulled the U.S. from a depression, a world war and initiated a variety of badly needed social programs. My recent readings of books regarding the Truman presidency has moved him up from my previous lists.

Donald Trump is listed in the bottom four of the survey only ahead of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce. On my list, he would be our worst President just based on his actions of 1/6/2021.

C-span Presidential HistoriansEric Amateur Historian
1. Abraham Lincoln1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt3. George Washington
4. Theodore Roosevelt4. Harry Truman
5. Dwight Eisenhower5. Thomas Jefferson
6. Harry Truman6. Theodore Roosevelt
7. Thomas Jefferson7. John F. Kennedy
8. John F. Kennedy8. Barack Obama
9. Ronald Reagan9. Dwight Eisenhower
10. Barack Obama10. Ronald Reagan