Welcome, visitor!

Translations

Random Quote

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
Oscar Wilde

Linkedin Connection

Categories

Archives

The Week That Was, 2/17/18

A few weeks ago we went over the rules pertaining to men and how they need to behave around women.  We did this as a public service because of the Big Harvey scandal and the other Hollyweird scandals to numerous to recount here.  Also because of the Mass Hysteria scandals also too numerous to mention but best represented by Matt Lauer, super serial abuser, who was disguised as a mild mannered reporter.  In these cases, these serial abusers conducted their abuse unimpeded and unreported for decades.  So we realized that somebody had to go over the rules.  The Mass Hysteria wasn’t going to do it.  And now, with the resignation of Rob Porter, White House Aide, we realized that we left something out.  And that is, don’t beat your wife.  We repeat, do not beat your wife.

Now in our defense, we thought everyone knew that one but obviously we were wrong.  And, unlike the Mass Hysteria if we get something wrong or leave something out, we go back and correct the record.  So once again, do not, repeat, do not, beat your wife.

And they got them!  The Russians that is, as undaunted Special Prosecutor Eliot Mueller and his Untouchables, indicted 13 of them!  A while back we told you that the Russians were coming, the Russians were coming and it seems they were here!  And, they meddled in our election!  How?  They trolled the internet!  They used Fakebook and Twaddle!*  They spread fake news!  But alas it didn’t work.  It seems to have had no effect on the election.  Seems the Russians found out what all the Trolls already knew that no one is paying attention to them, except other Trolls.  And, the fake news you ask?  Well CNN, could have told them, that doesn’t work either.

Now they say a good Prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich and this is much better than that.  This is 13 Russians!  Unfortunately like Elvis who left the building, these 13 Russians have left the country.  So there won’t be any arrests or trials and no one can roll over on anyone.  So is this over?  Are you kidding?  This is undaunted Eliot Mueller and his Untouchables and they are not going to quit, till they get to the bottom of this.  Now some people on the staff here say they’ve already reached bottom with this but some of us are still holding out hope.  And, we’ll take ours on Rye, hold the mustard please.

And Pitchers and Catchers reported to Spring Training this last week.  Your favorite team is either in Florida or Arizona, where the sun shines most of the time and it’s always warm.  Guys, coming off injuries, will heal.  Guys, who haven’t had a good year in the last two, will regain their All Star form or reach it for the first time.  Every team and all their fans can see a pathway to the World Series, as this after all is spring.  And soon we’ll hear those two magical words, which we happen to think are the 11th Commandment.  “Play ball!”

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico

*Mike Crumling

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Eight

Mister Muscles and the Music Man—Part II

The next weekend, as it turned out, would unfold some unfortunate and disappointing happenings.  My old girlfriend from Kansas State, Linda, came through Lawrence Saturday evening returning from an educational conference and stopped by to visit me.  It was strictly forbidden for women to be in any rooms at any time at the Hof House.  So it took a bit of daring and guile to sneak her down unobserved.  We were chatting it up and bringing each other up to date on our respective collegiate goings-on when we heard footsteps in the hall, and then a knock at my door.  Having no idea who it might be—worst case scenario, the landlord—we panicked.

Linda jumped up onto the bed and squeezed into a corner of the half-partition that separated the study from the kitchenette and entry.  She’d be hidden from view there as far as the end of the dining table.  And then with some trepidation I opened the door.  It was Wendell!

Perhaps if Linda hadn’t been hiding on the bed, some socially sufficing explanation of her presence might have been offered.  But as things stood, we faced an awkward and embarrassing dilemma.  So I didn’t invite Wendell in, but just conversed curtly at the door.  He’d come by to return a book he’d borrowed from me, and I took it back with a simple “thank you.”

He then asked if he might sit down a minute as he was tired from walking and his leg hurt.  And making a snap decision to maintain the ruse, I told him I was about to leave and needed privacy right away to change clothes.  He nodded, mumbled something of an apology, and left.  Linda and I had maintained secrecy, but I sensed regretfully I’d hurt Wendell’s feelings and might now have to find a way to make amends.  And I was, sadly, correct.

The next evening was the initial band session, and Bob considerately gave Neil and me a ride to the frat house with the electric guitar in tow.  Neil introduced me to the others and we set up with the instruments in the living-room area.  It quickly became apparent that the other three were experienced musicians, having played in groups before.  The lead guitarist was a blond-haired, handsome fellow who had nimble moves over the frets and knew all the riffs to the popular rock hits like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode.”  I didn’t know the chords to much of the music and in the customary keys they’d employ.  We weren’t able to ascertain one number we all knew how to play and sing all the way through.  The drummer kept saying, “Can’t we just learn and polish one song tonight?  I gotta make some money soon.”  The evening dwindled into just listening to the lead guitarist strum off fancy chords and Neil imitating this or that James Brown move and chorus.  Finally we all pulled the plugs and packed up.

All the way out the door, Neil kept offering encouragement to the other three, unwilling to relinquish his dream now he’d come so close.  “I know we got work to do, guys,” he admitted.  “But we can put it together.  I know we can.”  But I could tell from the others’ indulging but deflated expressions this wasn’t going to fly.  A few weeks later Neil would inform me he’d learned they’d found another singer and rhythm guitarist and formed their own band.  But that evening, riding back to the co-op house, he kept trying to convince himself and me that everything was going to work out.

In the immediate days that followed, when I returned from my afternoon psychology class, Wendell was nowhere to be seen.  The corner by the student union, in spite of the throngs of student passersby, seemed forlornly empty.  After more than a week of the same, I concluded that, indeed, he must feel painfully offended and had decided to forgo my company.  And it would be up to me to take the initiative to try and patch things up.

I knew where Wendell resided in a basement room, although I’d never been inside.  So one afternoon after my class I swung around to the location of the residence, descended the concrete steps and knocked on his door.  He was there, quite surprised to see me if a tad reserved in extending any welcome.

“I’ve missed catching up with you on campus,” I said.  “And I was thinking, well, maybe you had a pretty good idea about my working out some.  Is the offer still open?”

“I guess so,” he replied.  “Come on in.  The equipment is all down here.”

He had the full run of the basement, but it was certainly a Spartan arrangement.  A toilet and shower in one corner, a sink and small fridge in another, a desk and chair beneath a window, and a mattress and box springs on the concrete floor along one wall.  However, the middle accommodated a virtual gym—dumbbells and  barbells, exercise springs, a bench and squat rack, hand grips, and a magazine rack with a collection of body-building publications.  And complementing all that exercise equipment was a shelf above the sink counter containing numerous bottles and jars of health additives and herbal supplements—bone meal, multivitamins, seaweed, green tea.  I simply stood for a few moments with my jaw agape.  Then finally I managed to exclaim, “Wow, Wendell.  You’re really serious about this stuff!”

“Yeah, if you haven’t got your health, you’ve got nothing.”

I stepped over to the bench and removed my shirt.  Wendell pulled the chair out from the desk and sat down.

“I’m open to suggestions,” I said, “about how I should go about this.”

“The magazine on top of the rack has some routines for beginners.  The one with Charles Atlas on the cover.  You might want to start with the grips, and then the dumbbells.”

I did some stretching exercises, some light calisthenics.  Then some different reps with the dumbbells.  Wendell watched, now and then offering some comment about bodybuilding in general.  He ventured that with concentrated work I might accomplish some chest expansion.  He also suggested some health foods I might try.  When I finished the workout, I thanked Wendell and asked if I might come over again and avail myself of his instruction.  He agreed and I departed.

A couple days later I repeated the visit, trying out a little work with the barbells.  Wendell observed and occasionally offered suggestions while sitting in his chair.  Pleasant, but still a little reticent.  The third time, however, I found Wendell himself dressed in his warmups and having commenced some routines of his own before my arrival.

His greeting was warm, resembling more of the old Wendell.  I peeled off my shirt and began my little regimen, pulling and stretching and lifting.  Wendell did some pulls with the stretch springs while I worked with the dumbbells.  And later, as I was wrapping things up, Wendell did something that caught me totally by surprise.  I was preparing to leave, but Wendell was just getting to the heart of his own workout.  He suddenly pulled off his sweatshirt and sweatpants— clad now only in a T-shirt and silk athletic shorts—and began to pump the barbells, exposing to view his withered leg, something I felt certain he’d only do in the company of a most trusted and respected confidant.  I thanked him again and went on my way.  The next day he was waiting for me on the corner by the student union.

Near the end of the semester, Neil invited me to spend a Saturday and have dinner at the home of his parents and sister in Kansas City.  His father was a lawyer, obviously from their trappings quite a successful one.  He treated me most hospitably, inquiring about my psychology major and why I’d decided to abandon my engineering one.  His mother served a sumptuous meal, baked chicken and homemade pie.

Just before Christmas break, I went over to the co-op house to meet Neil for lunch.  I found him in bed with the sheet pulled up around his neck.  He was in an extreme funk, all upset about having ripped the seat out of his best pair of slacks with his other pants all in the wash.  When I stopped laughing, I told him that’s one reason they invented safety pins and soon we had him patched together and were on our way out for hamburgers.  But that was the first glimmer for me of how small things could sometimes throw Neil for a real loop.

My second year at KU would entail a continued friendship with Bob Hill and intramural basketball.  But Neil transferred to Colorado University and Wendell dropped out of college.  So I had no contact with either for some time.  After graduation and a year of working in California, I reestablished contact with Neil who was living in St. Louis when I traveled there for a job interview.  He had an apartment and I stayed there a couple days, catching up on what had transpired with us both since KU.  He was working in a manufacturing plant, doing heavy physical labor which he found to be a refreshing change from the mental activities of school.  And he was proud to have landed an invitation to sing one set once with a major band in a popular St. Louis nightclub.  His big “claim to fame,” as he called it.  But I learned then for the first time that Neil struggled with some emotional problems of which I’d been totally unaware before.  Debilitating ones.  And he’d chosen not to pursue writing any further.  We corresponded for a while after that, but then lost touch.

Some years later after I’d been overseas and returned to my hometown of Emporia, I drove up to Lawrence one evening with two friends to attend a reading at the Red Dog Inn by the famous writers Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.  I was deeply committed at that point to following a literary path.  Who should be working as a doorman there at the Red Dog Inn, but Wendell!

He’d grown his hair much longer, but his muscularity was unchanged.  He was as surprised to see me as I was him.  I introduced my two friends, and before leaving that night gave him the address and phone number where I was living in Emporia.  Some months later I received a letter saying he was going to be in Emporia for a day and hoped to pay me a visit.  A few days after, a phone call came from him announcing he’d just arrived at the bus depot.

Wendell explained, after I’d picked him up, that he was now living in Ottawa, Kansas.  He was exploring the possibility of starting up a small specialty bread bakery, and had come to Emporia to contact some potential wholesale suppliers.  I put him up for the night on my foldout couch and we talked into the wee hours.  He’d never finished college, worked at whatever odd jobs he could find, never dated any girls.  But he had always maintained his exercise and diet regimen and remained an avid reader—still amazingly conversant on modern philosophy.  The next day I drove him back to the bus depot and wished him well.  I never saw Wendell again.

Eventually I myself underwent some major life changes and moved to Kansas City, procuring a position with the Johnson County Library.  One day when assisting at the circulation desk, I started to check out books to a young woman and noticed she had the same last name as my old college chum Neil.  I mentioned that and she informed me, indeed, her husband was Neil’s cousin.  “No kidding!” I exclaimed.  “Well, what’s Neil doing now?”

“You didn’t know then?” she ventured solemnly.

“Didn’t know what?”

“Neil’s no longer living.”

“Oh!  Good heavens!  I’m so sorry.  What happened?”

“Well, maybe you’d like to contact his family and get the details from them.  His parents still live here in Kansas City.”

She gave me the phone number and address, and that very evening I rang them up.

Neil’s father answered and was more than a little shocked to hear a voice from the past who’d known his son.  When I explained exactly who I was, he vaguely remembered entertaining me in their home many years before.  Then he conveyed the sad fact that Neil had committed suicide.  He’d suffered from a bipolar condition that only got worse with time.  No treatment they’d tried seemed to benefit.  And one day Neil chose to end the pain.

He then assured me that it would mean a great deal to him and his wife if I’d have dinner with them soon at their favorite restaurant and share memories I had of Neil.  I accepted.  The next Saturday night I joined them along with Neil’s sister.

We no sooner were seated at our table than Neil’s mother brought out some of Neil’s poetry they’d saved, and, to my utter amazement, a letter from me on Red Cross stationery sent to Neil from Vietnam.  I related once more how Neil and I met, some details I remembered about the Don Henry Co-op House.  How Neil had invited me to dinner there once and the boys had served fish mixed into mashed potatoes without removing the bones.  I, being a Midwest landlubber and paranoid about fish bones, had quite a lengthy time picking them out of each mouthful.  I was the last one to finish the meal.  Then I told them about the hole in Neil’s pants and the safety-pin solution.  And the ill-fated fling at organizing the “Damnations” band.

Finally I described Neil and me at the movie.  I even stood up and imitated his wild enthusiasm over James Brown and the Fabulous Flames.  And they all listened with smiles on their faces but tears in their eyes.  In the dim lighting of the restaurant for a few precious minutes their son and brother was back, Neil, young and in his prime, full of energy and dreams, the promise of his future stretching before him.  Bursting with the sweetness of life.

DOING WHAT IS RIGHT WILL KILL YOU

BRYCE ON HEALTH

– File this under “The Nuances of Life.”

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I am convinced if you did everything people told you to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle you would never get anything done. For example, exercise consumes a lot of time, whether it is performed in your house or offsite at a gym. Since I elect to go to the gym, I find I must change clothes, travel to it’s location, work out, return home, clean up and change clothes. No matter how I try to expedite the process, it’s an easy hour shot.

Playing a round of golf, going for a walk or a ride on a bicycle may be fun, but it also chews up time and zaps your energy. I recently took a sauna, something I haven’t done in a long time. It was refreshing, but I had to change clothes and wait for the unit to warm up. Afterwards I had to take a shower, my second of the day, to clean myself properly before going out for the evening. Again, another hour shot.

Buying and consuming certain groceries and vitamin pills consumes time as well. We’re admonished to eat organically. As much as we would like to avoid preservatives, fatty foods, breads and pastas, and sweets, it can become challenging to find new and creative ways to make meals. Shopping takes longer, as does cooking.

You try to avoid the boob tube and do some reading, but interferences seem to get in the way. Consequently, it seems to take longer to read a book.

Smoking and alcohol can take up quite a lot of time. As I no longer smoke or consume much alcohol, except for the occasional Scotch, I would like to think I have more free time to relax. Instead, I find myself spending more time outside pruning bushes or digging up a garden.

I’ve been so good lately in terms of watching what I eat and drink, I’m ready to scream, rip off my clothes, pound down a case of beer and eat a dozen Twinkies. Doing the right thing all the time can drive you stark raving mad. And if I did so, I would probably get a lot done as opposed to worrying about the idiosyncrasies of my health.

My luck is such that if I remain incredibly healthy, from exercise and diet, I’m more likely to be run over by a truck. At my funeral I’m sure they’ll say, “Well, at least he looks good, but he should have laid off the red meat.” You can’t win.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY

BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY

– Can an old dog learn new tricks?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Freemasons have always been proud to boast, “We’re the original fraternity,” an acknowledgement of our roots in antiquity. Since then, many other fraternities have emerged, particularly in the nineteenth century, many of which are based on Masonic customs. Aside from college fraternities, there are the Eagles, the Elks, the Lions, the Moose, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), even the VFW shows signs of fraternal relations. These organizations may appear to be relative “upstarts” when compared to our ancient fraternity, but can they teach us anything?

As in many North America jurisdictions, Florida Freemasons are barred from enjoying alcohol in the Lodge as well as games of chance. Whenever such topics arise at a Grand Communications, the proposer is shouted down and admonished in a derogatory manner, “Why don’t you go and join someone else?” Well, I finally did just that, joined another fraternal order who allowed alcohol and games of chance in the Lodge. The identity of this particular order is immaterial for the purposes of this paper, and I suspect most are pretty much the same. I certainly haven’t turned my back on Freemasonry, but after over twenty years of watching repetition, I felt it was time to relax and enjoy the company of others over a quiet drink.

I joined the new “Order” recently as they had built a new lodge building near me and I was warmly received by the members when I requested information. As I first toured the facilities, I noted their clean and well stocked bar offering a wide variety of drinks and twelve taps for various draught beers. There were also some vending games of chance available if a member was so inclined. When I saw this, I thought back to a time when Masons argued over the virtues of alcohol and games in Lodge and why there was a concerted effort to prohibit it. Personally, I suspected the Shrine didn’t want the Craft Lodges to have it as it would represent a competitor to their venue. Nevertheless…

I found the Order’s dues and initiation fees to be affordable, much more so than any Masonic Lodge in my area. This was likely due to the revenues generated from alcohol, games, and renting of facilities. In other words, membership in the Order was not a financial burden as found in many Masonic Lodges today.

The application process and initiation ceremony were highly compatible to that found in Freemasonry. This led me to suspect such orders are based on Freemasonry as the comparisons were uncanny. For example, on the Order’s application, they claimed to be looking for men (and women) of good moral character; you couldn’t join unless you believed in the existence of a Supreme Being, were of 21 years of age or older, not connected in any way to the Communist Party, did not believe in or advocate the overthrow of the government of this country by force or violence, nor was a convicted felon or registered sex offender. A criminal background check is performed on each candidate, who is also investigated by committee. Sound familiar?

The Order also donates millions of dollars to charity, a living community village (Home) is available for seniors, all of which are also familiar to Freemasons. Beyond this though, the Order offers discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, and more. In other words, membership has its privileges. The Order is open to both men and women, which would be alarming to most Masons, and there are no racial restrictions; e.g., no “Prince” Orders.

The first year’s membership is free for members of the military, law enforcement, and first responders, both current and retired (veterans). I thought this was a brilliant maneuver as it encourages membership and attracts the type of people they want to join their ranks. Freemasonry would be wise to study this further.

In meetings, the Order has jewels for the officers to wear. There are also do-guards and signs to observe. The obligation (oath) is reminiscent of that offered by Freemasonry along with a brief lecture to explain member responsibilities. Interestingly, I observed our initiation could be viewed by the outside world through the windows in the room. So much for being a “secret” society.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Order and Freemasonry resides in its Constitution, a copy of which is provided to members following initiation. Whereas Freemasonry is managed on a state by state basis (or by province or territory in Canada), the Order is run on an international basis from a single headquarters. This simplifies standards and promotes consistency between Lodges. It also means the government of the Order is flatter and more flexible to implement change.

Grand Masonic Lodges were first established in the early 1700’s, way before the advent of the U.S. Constitution. Consequently, the government of the fraternity is essentially based on the monarchy model. However, as these other orders were introduced in the United States during the late 1800’s, they tend to adhere to the concept of three separate but equal branches of government; e.g., executive, legislative, and judicial. Such an approach prohibits one person from having ultimate authority in interpreting the laws, rules and regulations which may vary depending on who is in office. It also causes a legislative body to be formed from the current and past presidents of the Orders.

CONCLUSION

I am certainly not suggesting one fraternal group is better than another; each has its own distinct set of interests and method of implementation. However, one could certainly learn from the others. For example, what the Order lacks in terms of decorum, they make up for in socialization. Conversely, what Freemasons lack in socialization, they make up for in decorum. Freemasons possess a stronger sense of history, and attention to detail in its ceremonies, thereby attempting to teach character, e.g., morality, love of God and country, honor, sacrifice, etc. By doing so they are trying to assist their members in the building of character. The other orders are much less formal, but still endeavor to promote character and Brotherhood through the help and society of others.

In contrast, the Order has been successful in:

– Generating money from alcoholic libations with no adverse effects (swearing, fighting and intemperance are not tolerated and may result in penalties or suspensions for members). Further, rooms can be rented for parties and special events.

– Negotiating benefits for its members, such as providing discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, etc.

– Attracting new members with the type of character they desire, both men and women.

One could argue Freemasonry has slowly been evolving from a true fraternity to just another men’s club. They may be more solemn in their ceremonies, but surely they are not naive to believe they have a monopoly on the concept of brotherhood.

When I recently joined the Order, my initiation class consisted of 22 people, including both men and women, which is more than double what a single Masonic Lodge in my area may get in a single year. Two weeks earlier, another 22 people were initiated, and 60 people joined in December. Not surprising, the Order is financially sound, their activities are booming, their future looks rosy, and everyone appears to be happy.

Freemasonry is missing the boat if they dismiss the other orders out of hand. They are gaining in stature while the Masons are declining. I am not suggesting the Masons totally abdicate their current mission, but there is no denying their membership has been diminishing at an alarming rate. Something needs to change before the Lodges close their doors permanently. Perhaps a new hybrid organization needs to be conceived, whereby alcohol and games of chance are allowed following a meeting or degree, that the Grand Lodge seeks supplemental benefits for its membership, or that they also try to attract the right types of people to their organization. If the other orders can do it, why not the Masons?

Freemasonry may be much older, but these younger fraternities have grown up and appear to be prospering. What do they know that we do not? I for one, am not too shy to ask. In the meantime, more people are gravitating to these new orders while turning their backs on Freemasonry. Perhaps this is a sign of our changing social values. Let us not close our eyes, ears, and mouths and hope nobody notices. It’s much too late for that.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

LAST TIME:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT  – Is it worth fighting for?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Eight

Mister Muscles and the Music Man—Part I

He was waiting on the corner just beyond the student union, two textbooks nestled beneath his left arm, the ebb and flow of student bodies between classes energetically scurrying around and past, lending him that “forgotten” appearance like a lone leaf adrift on a stream.  The afternoon’s sun rays glistened from his crew cut, illumined his dark-brown eyebrows and cherubic complexion, his pullover polo and blue-denim jeans—and the tall elevator sole on his right foot.  Wendell knew I’d be returning then from a psychology class, passing this way back to my rented room, and he stood there hungry to put questions to me, the answers to which I could only pretend I had.

My first semester at the University of Kansas had just gotten underway, following my return from that second summer in New York and my transfer away from both Kansas State and the engineering major to the liberal-arts allure of Lawrence, Kansas, and the Psychology Department at KU.  And, to put it mildly, I was enthralled by my new field of study.  The Western civilization readings, the drama class, abnormal psychology and German language studies—all these I took to like the proverbial duck to water, luxuriating in fresh intellectual discoveries.  Orwell, Jung, Euripides, Goethe.  A far cry from calculus, chemistry and manufacturing processes.  Now here, I thought, was the real fodder for any aspiring writer.  Perhaps, at last, I’d uncovered that ever elusive path to pursue my dream.

Making new friends for an underclass transfer student proved no easy task, and Wendell had been one of my first, perhaps because he himself seemed to have so few.  He waved to me as I approached and fell in step beside me, limping along our common route away from the campus and down the steep east slope of Mount Oread.  Sometimes we discussed philosophy, my Introduction to Philosophy text earlier on having provided the opening gambit to our acquaintance.  And Wendell knew something about modern philosophy, being conversant on the views of those such as Neurath and Quine, while I was still exploring the basics of Plato and Aristotle.  But today he reverted to that old familiar concern of his—from a psychological viewpoint, how important was a man’s physical build to his social image?  And what did women find most attractive in men?

I entertained his inquiries as seriously as I could, offering responses based more on speculation than empirical data, because I’d quickly developed a great empathy for Wendell.  I’d learned that he’d had polio when a child, leaving him with a deformed right leg.  And in addition to that, or perhaps partly because of it, Wendell exhibited, it seemed to me, a borderline savant syndrome.  Mentally brilliant in areas of logic and math, but shy and socially awkward with human relationships.  Devoted to compensatory body building and health foods and supplements—resulting in bulging shoulder and arm muscles.  But self-conscious and retiring in his demeanor around women.  And painfully lonely.

“To a woman,” he asked me earnestly, “is a man being handsome more important than being smart?”

“Well,” I responded, as thoughtfully as I could manage, “social psych studies have tended to show women more drawn to personality attributes than physical ones.  Self-confidence and humor seemed particularly important.  I know I’ve seen some really ugly guys with some beautiful women.”

We continued this Q&A down the hill until we arrived at the Hof House—a large, multileveled, rambling rooming house—where I had a basement room with a kitchenette.  There we parted company and Wendell, once more reiterating the invitation to join him “pumping iron” sometime, went on his way to his own basement abode.

In point of fact, however, the actual first new friendship I formed upon arriving in Lawrence was with a fellow former-K-Stater named Bob Hill, a friendship that would quite literally endure a lifetime.  Bob, a bespectacled, wiry-yet-athletic chap of medium height—dark-haired and square-jawed—was waiting in line ahead of me to see the same student counselor about a psychology class.  We struck up a conversation and learned very quickly we had a lot in common: both of us were psychology majors, both had attended K-State previously, and we each possessed a fondness for sports.  Right on the spot Bob informed me he had friends at the Don Henry Co-op House and intended to play that fall on their intramural basketball team.  He invited me to participate too.  I accepted.  And that was how I came to meet Neil, the rock-and-roll aspirant.

Neil, a sophomore English major, resided at the co-op house, an aging sprawling stone edifice long past its prime but still housing a dozen or more thrift-conscious, gregarious male students.  Of Jewish extraction, Neil was tall and broad shouldered with short, dark, curly hair and a smile as wide as his face.  And the thing that impressed me about him right away was the fact he’d actually written a number of poems and sold them to magazines for money!  Now here, I thought, was a kindred soul of literary pursuits with one foot already in the door.

I soon learned, however, that for Neil writing was actually a secondary priority.  His first great love and burning ambition was to become a rock-and-roll singer.  James Brown and the Fabulous Flames were “hot” at that time and Neil couldn’t get enough of their music.  And there were Ike and Tina Turner, The Animals, Ray Charles—the Stones and The Beatles, of course—to name only a few.  Neil drank in their music like fire water.  He fantasized about forming a band called Neil and the Damnations.  And when he discovered I could plunk around a bit on a guitar, our friendship was sealed!

The basketball competition, meanwhile, revealed one great truth to me the first time I stepped back onto the hardwood after a three-year hiatus following high school—running up and down the court had been a far sight easier as a nonsmoker.  In fact, I commented to Bob after we’d showered and the team was piling into his old black ’38 Ford sedan (referred to by the group as “the bomb”) to ride back to the co-op house, “It feels like the skin is peeling off the inside of my lungs!”

One ensuing Saturday night the co-op house held a keg party on the premises, decorating the dining hall/living-room area with colored lights to complement the record player, a table on the side for crispy snacks and sodas.  I was invited and Neil even fixed me up with a blind date, a cute little redhead freshman girl with freckles on her nose.  Bob waltzed in with a lovely French exchange student on his arm.  Before long one of the fellows hooked up his electric guitar and amplifier and then the evening began to really rock.

At one point he handed the guitar to me, and I fumbled off some cords to a Beatles tune, Neil catching up and supplying the words.  What ability I possessed had been birthed on an acoustical guitar, certainly a horse of a different color, but fooling around with an amplifier proved great fun.  And Neil was in his element belting out lyrics to the girls.

At the close of the evening, after Neil and I had walked our dates back to their sorority and were returning to the co-op house, his music fantasy took full flight.  “Mark,” he said, “we gotta put a band together.  You can play rhythm guitar and I know a guy who has drums.  And I just met a guy with a bass guitar.  If we can find a lead guitar, we’re all set.”

“I don’t know, Neil,” I replied.  “I’ve never played in a band before.  And mostly what I know are folk songs.”

“Look.  There’s a movie showing next week with all the latest bands.  Even got James Brown.  Let’s take it in.  You can see what I’m going for.”

“Okay.  Sounds good.”  So, another piece of Neil’s plan fell in place.  And the next Friday evening would find us both in the front row of the theater on Massachusetts Street.

The movie did, indeed, present for the rock devotee a dizzying overview of music’s trendiest groups blasting out set after set of the latest hits.  No plot or narrative, just one long cinematic concert.  And Neil gushed at times like a junior-high girl, singing along and providing a running commentary.  When James Brown appeared, Neil fairly leaped from his seat.  “Look, Mark!” he shouted.  “There he is, there he is!”

When Brown did his signature rendition of “Please, Please, Please,” and midway through fell to his knees in feigned grief and exhaustion and members of his entourage hurried out with a robe and lifted him up and seemed to assist him toward the wings, Neil cried out, “Oh no!  Look, Mark, he’s hurt!  He’s in pain!  Oh no!  Oh, this is terrible!”  And then Brown suddenly seemed to revive, caught his breath, pushed his helpers aside, tossed off the robe and rushed back center stage wailing “Please, please, please.”  Neil jumped up and called out in exultation, “He’s gonna be okay, Mark.  Look, he’s back!  Oh thank God, he’s back!”  Neil virtually had tears running down his cheeks in relief.  Yes, the bands were great, but for me, that evening, Neil was as entertaining as anything we were viewing up on the screen.

Some days later I ran into Wendell again walking back from campus.  He happily conveyed the news to me that he’d found a part-time job washing dishes in a restaurant downtown that would help defray college expenses.  I informed him I had a test coming up in my philosophy class and one topic to be covered was free will versus determinism.  I’d never before been exposed to the particulars of that classic conundrum, and I sought Wendell’s input on the matter.  He eagerly clarified some details for me not covered in our text, giving balance to both sides of the debate.

So, having read several essays on the subject and factoring in Wendell’s elaborations, I ruminated on it all awhile.  Before I went to bed that night, I’d become convinced that individual man’s fate incontrovertibly stood at the mercy of forces beyond his control.  Even beyond his reckoning.  His life’s path, as it were, cut in stone by chains of cause and effect, inexorable and pitiless.  A mere pool ball dominated by the stroke of a cue.  Determinism ruled.

The next afternoon while I was at my desk studying, Neil came by in a state of exhilaration.  He had just located a lead guitarist and next Sunday evening he wanted everyone to convene at the bass guitarist’s fraternity for a first “Damnations” practice session.  He’d made arrangements for me to borrow the electric guitar from the co-op house.  Would I be free to join in?  Well, with such enthusiasm on Neil’s part, how could I say no?

Then Neil noticed the philosophy text on my desk and asked about what we studied in that class, thinking he might enroll in it next semester.  I explained the general outline of the material and specifically alluded to the topic of free will and determinism.  “Exactly what is ‘determinism’?” Neil inquired.  And that launched a self-styled lecture on my part as to how “freedom” was an illusion and how humankind was actually totally directed by cause-and-effect forces both inside and out.  Why, even his decision to stop by to see me had been predetermined, I declared.

Neil listened patiently and with great interest.  Finally, as my discourse drew to a close, Neil expressed his gratitude for my explanation.  Then he stated, “I can sure see you’re really well informed and passionate about all this.  But, with all due respect, I think from what I’m hearing that mankind does make choices.  I think in fact humans do possess free will.”  Well, so much, I lamented to myself, for reason, logic and philosophic persuasion.  Now where had I gone wrong—in the telling or in the concluding?

to be continued

 

The 2018 Olympics, “Winning Isn’t Everything,”*

With the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Olympics only hours away, we thought it best to remember the father of the Modern Olympics Baron de Coubertin who said.  “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.  The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

And we also thought it was time to remember some of our favorite Olympian moments.

This first one actually happened before the Olympics, during the U.S. National Championship for Figure Skating when one hopeful but not quite good enough figure skater Tonya Harding, had her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and his crew kneecap, her main rival Nancy Kerrigan.  At first it all went well for Tonya, as Nancy Kerrigan was out and Tonya won!  And more importantly the win put Tonya on the U.S. Olympic Team 1994!  But then it all unraveled, with one of the kneecap crew, giving up everyone else, as lowlifes usually do.  Tonya claimed she knew nothing, nothing and absolutely nothing.  But then her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, was identified as the assailant and leader of the kneecap crew.  So Tonya did what lowlifes do and copped a plea.  And, after doing her probation and community service, Tonya went onto the usual has been routine of wrestling, boxing, multiple marriages and celebrity porn.  But all isn’t lost if we remember the words of the Barron, who thought being a total loser wasn’t so bad, as long as you were there.

Next up Benjamin Sinclair Johnson wins the 100 meter dash in the 1988 Olympics!  Ah but then they tested him and found steroids in his urine.  His coach Charlie Francis was beside himself claiming that the test was fixed!  Coach Francis claimed everyone took steroids and everyone knew when to stop taking the steroids so they wouldn’t show up in the inevitable urine test, after the race.  Besides Francis said his guy didn’t take the drug he tested positive for, he took another steroid so the test had to be fixed!  But the Olympic committee wasn’t swayed and they stripped Benjamin Sinclair Johnson of his Gold Medal and gave it to Carl Lewis who had come in second but more importantly, aced the urine test.  So we can see how as the Baron pointed out, winning isn’t everything.

Then there is the sad tale of Jim Thorpe, who was easily the best all around athlete of his era and maybe any era.  Jim Thorpe won both the pentathlon and the decathlon, in the 1912 Olympics, only to have his medals taken away later.  It was uncovered that he had played professional minor league baseball for two, seasons.  This was in a time when the amateur athlete was the ideal, as the amateur competed for the love of the sport.  The professional it was believed, only did it for the money.  Of course Jim Thorpe was hardly the only college athlete to do this but most played under assumed names.  For example it was long rumored that a young West Point Cadet had done the same thing but he’d played under the name “Wilson”.  Manny years later, one of his friends asked him.  “There were two guys named Wilson playing in this AA league which one, were you?”  The now retired 34th President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower smiled and said.  “The one who could hit.”

And, that brings up our last idea which isn’t from the Barron but it applies to the Olympics and most everywhere.  Whatever you do, don’t get caught.

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico

*Vincent Thomas Lombardi

DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is it worth fighting for?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Now is the time to safeguard the rights and freedoms penned by our founding fathers and valiantly defended by our sons and daughters in uniform.

When conceived, the American experiment represented a bold new form of government, not a monarchy, not autocratic, not socially shared, and certainly not a true democracy. It is a republic with representatives elected by the people. Its genius included three separate but equal branches of government, so one could not usurp the authority of the others.

It was specifically designed to afford liberty to the individual thereby enabling each person to strive to succeed. By doing so, it forged a powerful economic engine, the wonder of the world and a model for others to emulate. It carved a nation out of a wilderness, it came to the aid of others in times of crisis, a beacon for liberty and the defenders of the free world.

It is certainly not without flaws, and mistakes have been made along the way, but by comparison there is not a better model to be had.

There are those among our own citizenry contending the American experiment has failed, that it is detrimental to the people it was designed to serve, that it is evil. These are people who seek sedition over honest debate, and strive to transform the country into a pseudo-utopian world, impractical to implement.

The ideas embodied in our governing documents are abhorrent to them, as are our values and beliefs, with no remedy or replacement other than eradication. They whisper lies through their conduits in the media and academia, and thrive on creating havoc.

Their distortion of reality is fodder for the naive and uneducated, the primitives, those desperately trying to find their place in society, thereby becoming puppets for a new socioeconomic order, something even they, themselves, cannot truly define other than the destruction of the current system. These are not patriots, they are the enemies of the American experiment.

Now is not the time for indifference, apathy and complacency. The American experiment is in peril of destruction from within, by powerful forces who ignore the rules of fairness and decency. Do not palliate the severity of the threat. It is real and cannot be ignored or taken for granted any longer. If you believe in the fundamental virtue of the Constitution, now is the time to come to its aid in both word and deed. Now is the time to protect what we have painfully earned.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY – Can an old dog learn new tricks?

LAST TIME:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST  – It was great while it lasted.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

– It was great while it lasted.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I wrote as a Huffington Post contributor from September 2016 to January 2018, just sixteen months. At first, my columns were well received and promoted by the noted liberal publication, offering me some good exposure. As most of you know, I write about business management, technology, morality, and observations of our changing world. However, my political musings began to gain attention beginning with my column describing the purpose of the Electoral College, a subject very much despised by liberals. Yet, this piece was one of my most popular with HuffPo readers. Shortly after this column was released I noticed the editors grew reluctant to promote my material and I was forced to do so myself.

I quickly discovered a problem in touting my political pieces over the Internet. Since I posted it in Republican or conservative discussion groups, I never anticipated the push-back from such people who reviled the publication; e.g., “I will never read anything in the Huffington Post, that bastion of liberalism,” was a typical response. When I pled with people to ignore the publication and read the column, I would typically get a response such as, “I cannot believe this was in the Huffington Post; how did you get it printed?”

This stigma about HuffPo has not gone away as it is typically dismissed as nothing more than “Fake News” by conservatives. I can sympathize. While I was there, the liberal slant was overbearing. I was perhaps the only Republican conservative submitting material. Most appeared to be written by millennials in their early to mid twenties, which may explain the popularity of the publication among that generation. Their naivety in politics and the world around them is the reason they are commonly referred to as “snowflakes.” I could find no senior or veteran newspaper people there, just young people using it as a springboard to their next job.

My regular readers weren’t exactly shocked when I finally exited, and neither was I. Frankly, they were surprised I had lasted as long as I did.

So why did they really cut me off? It’s difficult to know for sure, but I would like to believe they finally read my column. Whatever the reason, I thank them for the opportunity to post my ramblings. I drew a lot of people to the publication, but now there is nobody left to speak for the right, just snowflakes.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT – Is it worth fighting for?

LAST TIME:  CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT  – How to keep on top of your game at work.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How to keep on top of your game at work.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let me say from the outset that the burden of responsibility for improving your skills in your chosen profession rests with YOU, not your employer. Your company may offer supplemental training but more than anything YOU are responsible for your development, not anyone else. YOU must take the initiative. In most cases, your company will assist you in your development, but YOU must demonstrate your willingness to learn and improve.

Regardless of the type of job you have, you will observe changes over time in terms of how it is performed. This is because new methods, techniques and tools are introduced to expedite how your job is performed. Staying abreast of new technology, therefore, is an important part of your development. Continuous improvement is an inherent part of craftsmanship. You must either evolve and adapt, or be left behind.

There are numerous sources available to you for ongoing professional development:

1. Personal Observations – there is probably no better instructor than your own power of observation as you will be able to watch others succeed and fail in their assignments, their work habits and ethics, as well as their office politics. This requires an attention to detail, the ability to detect changes, and an inquisitive mind that constantly asks “Why?” As a new employee, pay particular attention to interoffice memos, not just for what they say, but why they were written.

When studying people, consider their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, their character, and their formulas for success or failure, e.g., what worked and what didn’t? Never hesitate to ask questions, particularly as a new employee.

2. News and Trade Journals – just about every industry has some form of publication, either printed or in some electronic format, to report news and discuss trends. Such periodicals are invaluable in order to stay abreast of developments in your field. Many such publications offer free subscriptions, others require a modest charge. It is not uncommon for companies to pay for such subscriptions as they want to help their employees stay sharp in their field. But if such is not the case and you have to pay for a subscription out of your own pocket, the IRS will typically allow you to report it as a deduction on your income taxes.

There will also be considerable information made freely available to you over the Internet, such as the trade publication web sites, along with pertinent blogs, discussion groups, news services, and podcasts.

The important point here is you should develop a habit of staying current in your chosen profession, and you should perform such research either at home or during off hours at work. Managers generally frown on employees reading periodicals during normal working hours.

3. Participation in Industry Groups & Trade Shows – like the trade press, just about every industry has one or more nonprofit organizations to provide a forum to discuss your specialty. Such groups typically offer its members monthly meetings to listen to guest speakers, workshops and seminars, and access to a library of research papers. More importantly, it provides a venue for its members to network and compare notes pertaining to their profession. Participation in such groups are normally encouraged by businesses to promote the employee’s continued education. However, some companies are leery about participation in trade groups as it is sometimes viewed as a vehicle for exchanging resumes and changing jobs. If you still want to participate in a trade group without the support of your company, again, the IRS will typically allow you to report your dues as a deduction on your income taxes.

Major conventions and trade shows are also useful for learning about the latest technology in your field. Here you will meet vendors, obtain literature, view presentations, and touch and feel the latest gizmo. Companies encourage attendance at such shows, but typically not during business hours. And if the trade show is being held out of town, it is unlikely your company will sponsor your trip as it may be perceived as a boondoggle. The only exceptions to this is when such a trip is being used as either a form of reward to the employee or for a special fact-finding mission.

Check with your employer about their policy on participating in such organizations.

4. Professional Training – there are numerous commercial training programs offered by experts in their field. Most are instructor-led seminars or workshops held either on the company’s premises or off-site, and vary in length anywhere from a couple of hours to a week. There are also many independent study programs available that are implemented by books, DVD, or over the Internet. Regardless, your concern is the quality of education provided, and does the venue suit your needs?

5. Certification Programs – many professions offer certification programs which authenticate your level of knowledge in a subject area. Such programs typically require the person to take a test or examination, which can be rather extensive. To prepare people for the exam, the sponsor of the certification program (which is normally a nonprofit trade group) will offer a study curriculum to prepare the applicant for the test.

As a new employee, you should pursue certification programs, especially if your company supports it and pays for it. Not only will you personally benefit from it, but it could mean an increase in pay to you as well.

It is one thing to earn a certification, quite another to maintain it. Most certification programs require people to renew it periodically, such as every three years. A lot can happen in three years, which is why you should constantly stay abreast of developments in your profession.

6. Supplemental Education – many companies encourage their employees to either complete their formal education or pursue a higher degree. To this end, companies may offer financial incentives for you to complete High School or College. And if you want to obtain a Masters or Doctoral degree, they may offer programs to help you pay for such degrees. Be sure to review the benefits policies of your employer.

7. Mentors – years ago there was a period where mentors were assigned to new employees to chaperone them on their journey through the corporate world. Mentors were basically a “Big Brother/Sister” program where senior employees would offer sage advice to neophytes on adapting to the corporate world. But this is a program that has slowly been phased out over the last few years. Nonetheless, if you find someone you respect in the company who is willing to act as your mentor, by all means listen to them carefully. A mentor has three primary duties to perform:

* Role Model – a mentor has attributes the subordinate wants to aspire to attain.

* Teacher – a mentor has to be able to teach, not just academic or technical lessons but also those pertaining to corporate life; e.g., policies and procedures, ethics, socialization, politics, etc.

* Guidance Counselor – to guide the subordinate on their path through life, explaining options and making recommendations.

Very important, both the mentor and the subordinate must realize the mentor will not have all of the answers, but should be able to point the subordinate in the right direction to get the answers they need. The mentor also has to know when their work is complete and allow the subordinate to move on to the next stage of their corporate life.

8. Other Vehicles – there is a variety of other ways for perpetuating professional development in your company:

* Employee-led training or roundtable discussions – held on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss pertinent subjects. In other words, your own in-house trade group. The only problems here are: having access to suitable company facilities to hold such meetings at off-hours (most companies do not have a problem with this), and getting people to participate (many of whom will not stay beyond quitting time). But if you can develop such a forum, it can become invaluable as a learning aid.

* Private Blog or Discussion Group – to use as a clearinghouse to discuss problems and solutions pertaining to your trade. Some companies frown on such electronic forums as they suspect it is used to plot against the company or management. But if such forums are properly administered, they can be beneficial in the exchange of professional job-related information.

* Corporate Boot Camps – representing off-site retreats for in-depth discussions or training.

If such vehicles do not presently exist in your company, you might be able to earn accolades from management and your coworkers for setting up such forums.

Again I remind you, your professional development is up to YOU, not your employer. In most cases, your employer will encourage and support you in your professional development, but they cannot spoon-feed you. YOU must show the initiative.

First published: August 27, 2007

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST – It was great while it lasted.

LAST TIME:  THIS IS WAR!  – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

“The Dossier” and “The Memo”

By now no doubt you have heard of the “The Dossier”.  “The Dossier” is about President the Donald Himself and anything about President the Donald Himself will get the entire Mass Hysteria’s panties in a bunch.  But what is in “The Dossier”?  It doesn’t matter anymore.  You just say “The Dossier”.  You say it to lead off a sentence.  You say “The Dossier” in the middle of a sentence too and most importantly you end a sentence with a pregnant pause and then you look right into the camera and say “The Dossier”.  “The Dossier” brings up images of old black and white spy movies, with lots of shadows, dark alleys, beautiful exotic women that many men would die for and unfortunately, some do.  Then there are a lot of odd camera angles, dead bodies some put there by the beautiful exotic women, more shadows and everyone is in search of… “The Dossier”.

Dossier sounds French because it is a French word and what does it mean in English?  It means File.  And just saying “The File”, well that’s no fun.

Also by now you’ve heard about “The Memo” that might be released later today.  “The Memo” about the FISA Warrant about President the Donald Himself, whose name will always get everyone in the Mass Hysteria’s panties in a bunch.  That, “The Memo”, which in case you didn’t know, came about because of “The Dossier”.  So this gives you another chance to say “The Dossier” a few more times day.  And, they will be linked forever like Orville and Wilbur Wright or Burns and Allen.  What’s in “The Memo”?  Something shocking we’ve been told.  So shocking that some members in the government and the Mass Hysteria are screaming that it shouldn’t be released.  It will besmirch the reputation of the FBI!  OMG!

Now some of us around here are old enough to remember J. Edgar Hoover, the First Director of the FBI who ran the place for 48 years like some potentate from a third world country, until they carried him out by the handles.  And, because of that, J. Edgar Hoover, not to be confused with J. Edgar Comey, paid no attention to the Klu Klux Klan or the Mafia.  J. Edgar Hoover didn’t even think the Mafia existed.  We’re not sure whether he thought the Klan existed or not.  They were pretty hard to miss what with the white robes, the hoods and the burning crosses.  But we would have loved to have seen the look on his face, when someone told him the Mafia, was real.  His misguided view of the Mafia not only means that he let them carry on for decades unfettered, it also means, he missed a lot of great movies.

Now what was ole J. Edgar Hoover, not to be confused with J. Edgar Comey, doing all those years?  Well he spent most of his time spying on everyone in politics or anyone who was rich and famous.  He had secret files on most everyone in government and anybody who was anybody.  Like all the Kennedys and all their girlfriends.  That’s how he kept his job for 48 years through 8 different Presidents, from Coolidge to Nixon.  Now was the FBI appalled or embarrassed by all this when J. Edgar Hoover died and everyone saw his, no longer secret files?  Not hardly.  They named their Headquarters in Washington D.C. after him.  So like everyone else, we await the release of “The Memo”.  But we might just pass, on the shock of it all.

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico