The Daily Dose/January 13, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
Notes from our Human Experience...
NOW HEAR THIS: President Barack Obama made his final State of the Union address Tuesday night. We dislike hearing politicians yap, so we read a transcript of the speech.
He started off with a not-too-bad joke, then started in on a long list of things he wanted done, none of them within the scope of the government of a nation conceived in liberty. A lot of it sounded like a campaign speech and most of it was the sort of political Pablum that could've been given in any other State of the Union address.
It was all a bunch of whitewash, a pep rally designed to keep us from acknowledging this country is not doing all that great.
Dry, Technical Matter: Obama also talked about changing the politics of America.
Well, sir, you've had two terms to do that and you haven't gotten it done. George W Bush had two terms, too, and didn't bother changing anything either, obliging the United States to endure what might well be the worst 16-years of presidential leadership in its history.
Get Your Official Writer's Shack Policy Right Here: This nation hasn't been led since Kennedy said let's go to the moon. Since then our country hasn't been led, it's been managed and none too well at that. Time after time we have elected politicians who talk a good game but whose actions are completely different. As we continue to do, we will continue to get the government we elect.
The State Of Our Union Is Strong…Well, No It's Not: Obama said the state of our Union was strong.
LOL: He was just funnin' us, of course. Our Union is not strong, our Union is a generation or so away from complete collapse.
Our Union is a shooting gallery, with mass shootings having replaced 'good morning' as our primary form of social interaction. We have been at war continuously since 1989. Obama says our economy is strong, and, yes, American businesses - as they have done since the Pilgrims first traded with the Indians - have adapted and are making money, but anyone who has had to pound the streets looking for work knows wages are still low and benefits miserly. It is still tough for working men and women to make a go of it in America, and it will be until we have an economy anchored in low taxes and free markets, instead of high taxes and regulation.
Running The Numbers: Obama's speech checked in at about 6,200 words, a bit less than his average for his two terms. The word liberty - the fundamental tenet of our republic - was used once.
THIS SHOULD SOLVE THE DRUG PROBLEM FOREVER AND EVER: It was fun reading about how important the recapture of evil Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was.
Don't kid yourself. It's not. There is, of course, a large market for Guzman's product in the United States and whether Guzman is free or not makes no difference. All keeping his popular line of pharmaceuticals illegal merely means is the drug violence in Mexico - like the kind that resulted in his latest capture - will continue.
Dry, Technical Matter: To make El Chapo's next escape from Mexican custody as painless as possible, he's been placed in the same prison he escaped from last summer.
FunFact: Mexico is in a box. On the one hand, sure, they want to cooperate with the United States. On the other hand, there are doubtless many Mexican officials who make some pretty good dough when Guzman is free.
Get Your Official Writer's Shack Policy Right Here: Here is another argument for legalizing whatever people want to put into their bodies: if drugs were legal, Guzman is not a dangerous arch-villain, but merely another peddler trying to move some product and the resources spent trying to catch him could have been spent on something else or, better yet, not spent at all.
GREAT MOMENTS IN FORCED LABOR: The Soviet Union closes the agency responsible for running the gulag forced labor system on this date in 1960. Formed in 1918, it was used for both criminals and political prisoners and was an effective tool for the Soviets in suppressing its citizens.
Really, We Meant Well: It didn't actually close all the labor camps, however, the last one closing in 1988.
Get Out Your Record Books: Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 73 points in a 135-117 win over the Chicago Packers on this date in 1961, then the most points ever scored in a regulation game.
Oh Yeah: It was five points off of his record of 78 points, scored month earlier in a three overtime, 151-147 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Both records would last until Chamberlain's 100-point game in March and the 78-point effort is still the NBA record for most points in a losing effort.
Great Moments In Live Albums Recorded At A Prison: Johnny Cash performs two shows at Folsom State Prison in California on this date in 1968. Cash scheduled two shows in case he didn't like the first one, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon. The first show went well, though, providing 15 of the album's 17 songs.
This Is Casey, Counting Them Down: Live at Folsom was released in May and resurrected Cash's career - which had stagnated thanks to drug abuse - going to number one on Billboard's country album chart and #13 on the national album chart.
You Had An Intern For This, Right?: Live at Folsom also to went #7 on the Norwegian album chart.
Set A Course For Adventure: The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground off Giglio, Italy on this date in 2012.
The ship, captained by Francesco Schettino, was on the first leg of a ten-day cruise, and Schettino was piloting his ship so close to the coast in order to provide a spectacle for the passengers and those on the shore. 32 people died.
Columbus Would've Been Proud: Schettino did not do down with his ship. Claiming - and we are not making this up - to have slipped straight into a life boat, he made his way to shore while his passengers were left to fend for themselves. In February, 2015 Schettino was found guilty of a variety of charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a maritime disaster and sentenced to 16 years in prison, though he remains free pending appeal.
Thought For The Day: We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Benjamin Rush was the Founding Father that suggest the name Common Sense to Thomas Paine. Paine's original title had been Plain Talk.
Today's Stumper: Which president of the United States had the longest average State of the Union messages? - Answer next time!
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