<==== Robert L. Perkins ====>
May 7, 2016 - Celebrity Trumps All
So the political primaries are just about over. Looks like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the major party candidates. They each boast almost 100% name recognition among the electorate. Does this mean that celebrity trumps (pardon the pun) everything else when it comes to politics. Apparently the answer is a resounding YES. Our political process has morphed into a "reality show".
Is the American electorate the most disinterested, the laziest, the least informed and the most uneducated in our history? Perhaps so. The disparate "man on the street" interviews which we see frequently on television and the net certainly confirm that conclusion. Then why are we bombarded with endless encouragements for more of us to register and vote? Seems we should be discouraging more voters.
America is now reaping the harvest of dumb-downed education, shallow views of citizenship, unimaginable lack of knowledge of our history, downright ignorance and massive "I don't care about that, give me back my smartphone" attitudes. Regrettably, even the latest and greatest smartphone is a dumb-device in the hands of a fool.
It may be time to give up on this generation. They are so lost and uninformed with such puzzling priorities as to be beyond hope or reason. Better try to work hard on the next generation. A good starting point is that they must know and understand American history. That is, true history and its consequences, not current revisions based on contemporary immorality, sickened worldviews and childlike re-interpretations.
Thank God for those few institutions that attempt to inform their students using classical liberal traditions based on reading, language arts, history, composition, philosophy, theology, art, music and the scientific method. Where have you gone Thomas Jefferson??? We desperately need you.
January 7, 2016 - New Year Musings
Now the Year of our Lord 2016 has begun - full of freshness, expectation and hopes for a better year than the one just past. But what will we see - a better economy, a stronger stock market, a more robust job market, an improvement in race relations, a change in the administration in Washington? Many of us long for each of these this year (especially the latter). But, God help us, we may see none actually realized.
America grows weaker each day, adrift under feckless leadership, massive debt, disinterested citizens and unprecedented moral and spiritual decay. Our culture has become so rotten as to be almost unrecognizable.
The Democrat Party has turned so far to the left that Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson would not recognize it. It has become the party known for laziness, moral decadence, and weakness - dominated by the loudest voices of deadbeats, opportunists, thieves, drones and freaks. As Ronald Reagan once said, "When you get more people riding in the wagon than pulling it, then the wagon stops." They seem to ignore and disavow any long-term consequences to their child-like positions.
On the other hand, the Republican Party is full of great bluster and blither, but can't seem to accomplish anything. Their leadership is weak, cowardly and completely ineffective. They have regularly, since Reagan, put forward presidential candidates that almost any thinking person could see had no chance of winning the election. I suspect they prefer to lose, and then sit on the sidelines - sniping and casting stones at the Democrats. If they lose the election this next November, I suggest it's time for them to go the way of the Whigs. America needs a true Conservative Party manned by brave patriots, constitutionalists and those committed to personal character, accountability, self-determination, honor and hard work.
So is our outlook completely one of gloom and doom? I say not. The American people have overcome many massive obstacles throughout our history through hard work, good judgment, moral stubbornness, individual commitment and the blessings of the Almighty. It could happen again. Are you ready to do your part?
November 26, 2015 - Thanksgiving
So many of us are expressing our gratitude for the blessings we continue to enjoy - personal, familial and national. In our rush to mention those things we are "thankful for" let's not forget the eternal source, the One we should be "thankful to".
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
Amen, may it ever be so.
November 17, 2015 - A Warning to America in Verse
Reasoning With Rattlesnakes
It began as just a simple thing, a discussion between equals,
A statement here, a proposition there, with no expected sequels.
I said my part, I spoke my mind with clarity quite bold,
But fate jumped up, and slapped me down, and left my praise on hold.
Had I considered all the aspects as the tale unfolded,
I never would have entered in and felt so strong embolded.
But pride must seek a place to speak, to satisfy vainglory,
So on I went, with pure intent, to champion out the story.
It always seems the givens deemed will lead to sudden downfall,
And so it was that very day when I exposed my shortfall.
Presumed I did our dialogue would be grounded in good will,
So unprepared I found myself for deadly battle’s chill.
I bore no armor, sword or shield, as I approached the field.
I knew not of the plans in store for me, nor mine, to yield.
I granted all respect and honor to my shrouded foe.
But through deceit, his plans complete, he marked me out for woe.
An unknown foe is a danger bold when first he is uncovered.
Beware, take heed, he may be more than one may have discovered.
A slithering here, a forked tongue there, begin to be revealed
As focus comes of deception done and duplicity congealed.
It all began in simple plan to dazzle with my reason,
I thought that I could win my foe and celebrate this season.
But rattlesnakes must hiss and rattle, striking at my head.
I came to awe with logic, and he came to make me dead.
2015 Copyright 2015 – Robert L. Perkins
October 23, 2015 - Political Situation
Looks like the Benghazi Hearings in the House of Representatives have about run their course with Hillary Clinton's testimony on Thursday. She came out quite well I thought with no obvious gaffs or major meltdowns. This performance should pave her way to the Democrat nomination for POTUS in 2016. Only remaining obstacle will be the FBI investigation. May take a while to get that one resolved.
On the Republican side there is still much indecision on who their candidate will be. The party establishment is scared to death over the rebellion in the ranks against their usual desire for a bland, weak, impotent candidate. History suggests (1996, 2008, 2012) that the party insiders are afraid to win. I suppose its easier to stand on the sidelines and cast stones than get in the game and actually participate. Is there a sense out there that this party has lost its way and may be heading down the path of the Whigs? Are modern day political parties becoming irrelevant or even uncontrollable? With instant communication, unreliable news sources, blatant deception clothed as news reporting, and general disinterest in politics, can the "party" era be dying? Is there a chance that the two-party system may fragment into various small special interest groups? Will the moneyed-establishment allow this? Hang on!
October 21, 2015 - Texas Rangers Baseball Wrap-Up
Major congrats to the Texas Rangers - pennant winners in the AL West. Time for my annual "pickin' at the bones" diatribe on my favorite baseball team.
1. Bannister did a great job, we're lucky to have him - excellent staff.
2. Prince Fielder is the biggest mistake GM John Daniels has ever made. His long-term contract is a devastating financial anchor to the organization. He no longer can run, field, throw or catch to major league standards, and his batting skills have rapidly deteriorated. Don't know if he has any value on the market - certainly not to a NL team - but he must go.
3. Poor Elvis Andrus will forever be connected to the 7th inning of the last loss to Toronto, a la Nelson Cruz's lazy outfield play in the 2011 Word Series. At 27 he still has value, but if he were to stay in Texas every little mistake he makes will recall to the fans his awful 7th inning against the Blue Jays. He should probably go elsewhere, just for his own psyche's sake.
4. Odor is a breath of fresh air in many ways. His infield skills can be improved over time. His bat is a real plus as is his speed. Great future.
5. DeShields does not have the arm to play center field, but his other skills make him very valuable. He came up as an infielder. Could he take over at 2nd and move Odor to SS? Or, If Elvis stays here, maybe center might be a good spot for Elvis - he has the arm, speed, ML experience????
How does Profar fit into the mix?
6. Mitch Moreland is an adequate 1st baseman, but his hitting is very inconsistent and streaky. He has not provided the power we need at 1st, but I think we can win with him if we realize his weaknesses (platoon with Napoli) and if others step up.
7. Beltre, when healthy, remains our best player and is a clubhouse leader.
8. Choo finally woke up in the 2nd half and was a plus player.
9. Left field remains wide open I think. I fear Hamilton's career may be over. DeShields might fit in here?????
10. Catcher is open. Gimenez was a pleasant surprise, wish he could hit more. Verdict still out on Chirinos.
11. Gallo, Profar, Rua, Jackson have potential - as have so many others who have passed through here. Can Gallo learn to hit the breaking ball?
12. We need some starting pitching to support Hamels and Darvish next year. Holland faltered badly in September, Lewis is at the end of his career. Perez still unproven. This remains a W-I-P. Farm system is encouraging.
13. Bullpen became an unexpected strength this year. Props to them all.
14. Hope springs eternal. Another pennant in 2016?
July 1, 2015 - John Roberts and the SCOTUS
The recent SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare - the majority opinion being written by Chief Justice John Roberts - is amazing. We must now acknowledge the creation of a new right apparently just discovered in our US Constitution, and, accordingly, must coin a new term to express this in our everyday English. Let’s call this new term a “John Roberts-ism”. It is defined as “a new method of understanding what others may say or write, not based on what they actually did say or write, but on what one may determine they intended to say or write.” If this strains at the rationale of objectivity, and even language, so be it. A few examples might be in order.
Imagine yourself driving down a state highway in your new Ferrari. You pass a posted speed-limit sign bearing a large 60. Your speedometer reads 80. A Highway Patrolman pulls you over and asks if you observed the posted speed-limit sign? You reply that you did and acknowledge that it read 60. You protest as he begins to write you a ticket for speeding. You state, “I have decided that even though the sign clearly said 60, it was the intent of the Highway Department that it should read 90. Therefore, I was actually driving 10 mph under the limit.” This is a John Roberts-ism.
Now imagine yourself back in college. Your fraternity hosts a party, and you are set up on a blind-date with a gorgeous sorority pledge. She drinks too much, and you see an opportunity. Coaxing her to your room upstairs you proceed to rape her. She repeatedly says “No” and screams for you to “Stop” but you ignore her cries. When confronted by the Campus Police the next day you state, “Officers, the sex was consensual. She did continue to yell “No” and “Stop”, but I determined that her actual intent was to say “Yes”. Once again, we see a John Roberts-ism.
Finally, imagine yourself facing an IRS audit of your tax return. After originally preparing your return you found that you owed Uncle Sam $10,000, but you had some unexpected expenses coming up and decided that you’d rather receive a refund. You complete, sign and file your return indicating a $10,000 refund. When questioned by the IRS auditor you admit that you actually did owe $10,000 but declared, “I determined that the IRS’s intent was to pay me a refund of $10,000 and filed accordingly.” This is another example of a John Roberts-ism.
You might enjoy developing some examples of your own. Feel free to do so and please share.