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Salute! ~ To Those Who Served

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Tomorrow, we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so proudly proclaim.

Their sacrifice is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them. The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still serve.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 with the treaty signed ending the “Great War” between the Triple Entente and the Allies, the veterans are now honored each year as Veteran’s Day, though initially Armistice Day.

On a more personal note:

Normandy Award to Luther C. Powell

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Homer Powell lost in World War II

Three made it back home at the close of World War II. The one who didn’t return was my Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

First Sergeant Jack L. Hollifield

My step-father, a fresh-faced kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn’t wait to be drafted. He went to the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

USN veteran Allen Powell

My grandfather’s only son, my uncle, later followed in his father’s footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served around the world, then came home.

Allen's Honorable Discharge

All of these veterans within my own family are now gone, but not forgotten.

AFC Mark after USAF Basic Training

Their service made it possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield.

It also allowed my step-brother, John Hollifield, a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

US Army vet John Hollifield, victim of a DUI driver

The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is why I am always appreciative of those who choose to serve in our military. This is why I always have an empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

Each November 11th, we celebrate, not just the veterans of that long ago war that was to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and those who continue to serve.

From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!

Crunching Numbers

There is consternation in the chattering class and with the national journalists club members over the low approval number of President Donald Trump. No President in this very early stage of his term has ever had such a low approval percentage.

But does this number mean anything of substance?

The President, as a candidate, had abysmal numbers in the polls. No one, not even the Prez, actually thought he would pull off the upset. No one thought, based on his low approval number, that Queen Hillary Clinton could be prevented from assuming the throne in the Oval Office.

But – the polls did not tell the tale.

And methinks, even now, the polls do not tell the tale on whether the Prez will last or succeed this initial term in office.

The numbers should be of no surprise if we look back at the 2016 election. By nearly 3 million votes, Clinton won the popular vote.

In the Heartland, where Electoral College votes count, Clinton was sank before she could get in the boat.

Here is what happened:

About 139 million Americans, or 60.2% of the voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in November’s elections, according to data compiled by the US Elections Project. That compares with 58.6% of eligible voters who turned out in 2012, but it’s below the 62.2% who turned out to help elect President Barack Obama for the first time in 2008.

The popular vote totals:

Clinton 71 million
Trump 68 million

This was out of 139 million total ballots cast.

Trump scored big in the Heartland amassing 307 Electors. That was pushing close to 40 Electors more than the 270 needed to earn the seat in the Oval Office.

On Meet the Press today, retired distinguished NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out in a recent trip to the Heartland, he talked to Trump voters. Brokaw noted that some 99% said they would vote for Trump all over again.

In other words, ignore the polls.

It is not about likability.

It is not a beauty pageant.

It is about getting things done.

It’s about hearing someone who “talks like me.”

From the Cornfield, Trump will never get anywhere close to 50%. Let’s put that pipe dream where it belongs – stuffed away in the back of the closet.

The next Presidential Election will be here soon enough. Then we will know what America wants for another four years.

For the overwhelming majority who did not want The Donald in the presidency – sorry, elections are not about getting what you want. For now just deal and wait. The next election will come soon enough.

But remember – the Heartland matters too. It is not just about the Northeast and the West Coast.

Windfall?

Hard to believe, but Republicans in the US House of Representative rolled out a reform in the tax code along with a tax cut today.

And what boon it is for American taxpayers!

I mean how it set me heart to flutter listening to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan saying that American families would be keeping $1,129 each year in their paycheck!

Whatever can an average family not do with extra money?

We are talking here of nearly a whopping $22 per week!

I tell ya, the sky’s the limit now!

From the Cornfield, no wonder the lawmakers who drafted the bill and reform are strutting and beaming, crowing to the world about such a substantial tax cut!

What, if you are an average family of four, going to do with your big windfall?

Full Disclosure: I am not eligible for the big money. 🤣😭🤔

Politics and Me

Decided this afternoon to take the latest quiz from Pew Research to find out where I land on the political spectrum.

Here is the outcome: Core Conservative

Now take it for yourself and see where you place:

The outcome surprised me. But I was close to the middle of the general public, which more or less make me moderate. There was no moderate listing on the scale.

From the Cornfield, since you can take the quiz right here without leaving the site, comment afterwards your results.

Broken: The 11th Commandment

11: Thou shalt not speak ill will against thy fellow Republican in public.

So much that gem of wisdom from the late great President Ronald Reagan. That commandment was not just broken, but smashed to smithereens on Tuesday on the floor of the US Senate, no less, by retiring Republican Arizona Senator Jeff Flake with a scathing dressing down and renunciation of sitting Republican President Donald Trump.

Jumping in and piling on was the retiring Republican Senator from Tennessee, Bob Corker. Corker spoke to CNN and threw kerosene on the fire that had broke out between the Prez and himself. 

The venom, the anger in the remarks from the two Republican Senators was akin to that felt by Moses when he came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments to find the children of Israel in debauchery before the golden calf. In this case,

Flake played the role of Moses. Steve Bannon was acting out Aaron who pronounced that Trump was the new golden calf to prostrate before. Corker filled in for Moses’ right hand man, Joshua.

The result was the same – the shattering of the commandments.

Will Republican elected officials continue their adulterous relationship or will they turn back to their true ideological center?

Can Republicans survive if they stand like the three Hebrew children, not bowing or bending, able to come through the fire of white nationalism and the alt-right?

Will the Grand Old Party be hauled out and rewarded for surviving the ravenous lions in the den of jingoism and xenophobia?

From the Cornfield, has anyone checked Reagan’s grave lately?

Rampant Insanity

We have all been taught or heard that repeating or doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, is the definition of insanity.

If this is so, we have a wide swath of people who are symptomatic of insanity.

Starting at the top, we have President Donald Trump, who continues to fight, long after the outcome has been determined and the story written.

From his base their will be rousing cheers. From his detractors there will be loud denunciations.

No matter how many times the Prez either picks a fight or responds to an attack, the result is always the same.

Insanity!

Then we have the talking heads and the national press corps showing signs of madness. Each time the Prez does what he does, going off or tweeting with abandonment, the chattering class and media keep asking, “Why doesn’t the President just do this or do that?”

Matters not to them that the Prez is a 70-year-old man, set in his ways, who is not going to change or meet their expectations of what is or what is not presidential.

Trump is Trump.

Insanity!

Finally we have the man and woman in the street.

If you live in the Heartland you shake your head at the Prez and ignore.  To their detriment you tune out all things based in Washington, then wonder why the country is in the shape it is

Insanity!

If you are on the coasts or metropolitan areas, you take to the street at the least little provocation, demanding removal of the Chief by any means. Not getting your way, like a child grabbing his/her bat and ball and going on, you throw a temper tantrum.

Nothing changes and will not change until 2020 – maybe – when the next presidential election is conducted.

Insanity!

From the Cornfield, keeping my fingers crossed and praying this outbreak, this pandemic can be contained.

Remember the Grand Old Party thought they could pull off a Borg and assimilate the Prez when he was a candidate.

Remember how that turned out?

An American Revolution

***I highlighted the insanity in teal.

Sanctimonious Outrage with Injustice for All

Roman Polanski – Alleged inappropriate relations with a minor
Woody Allen – Alleged affair with former wife’s adopted daughter then marrying her
Bill Cosby – Alleged drugged women and took advantage of them without consent
All three are current members of the Directors Guild, who have never been kicked out for their alleged flaws and crimes.
Harvey Weinstein – Alleged abuse and rape, kicked out of Directors Guild, fired from company he founded.
Why?
What dirt do the other three have on the Guild that guards their membership?
From the Cornfield, this inquiring mind wants answers.

For Whom Doth the Taxman Cometh?

One of the biggest issues facing members of Congress and in the headlines is tax reform.

But from where do the tax dollars come?

Who is paying the biggest slice of the tax pie?

This new study from Pew Research paints a clear picture.

For all the talk about making sure the Middle Class reaps the lion’s share of benefit from reforming the tax code, it is not that sector of American society which pays anywhere the most of the tax burden. In fact, the Middle Class does not even contribute 5% of the haul each April. 

Yet when looked at from the perspective of who has the means and stash of disposable cash to shell out in taxes, the Middle Class does come up short. A cut in the rate would be a boon for most in the mid sphere of the US economy.

Some 48% of the money sent to the government comes from individual income tax returns. Compare this to the lament about the corporate rate, reputed to be among the highest in the world, but only results in 9% of total federal revenue.

Do we need tax reform?

Should the Middle Class get priority?

Based off the percentage from corporations flowing to the government coffers, is a tax cut needed? Will the theory of “trickle down economics” produce or prove to be “voodoo economics“?

From the Cornfield, read the full study (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/06/a-closer-look-at-who-does-and-doesnt-pay-u-s-income-tax/).

Then, answer these questions.

Revisiting ‘ThePrez’

The hottest show in the digital air continues to be the Realty TV show – The Prez!

The show received a bump this week (as if it needed one) from retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker.

Corker stated the obvious to The New York Times that President Donald Trump is hamming it up in the White House as if he was a Reality Show TV President!

DUH!

Remember this from March 20, 2016?

Reality TV Election Season 1

Or this from March 6, 2017?

Tune Out Reality Show Presidency

Then there was this on June 23 of this year: 

The Prez – A Review

Compounding it all, the national press corp has yet to learn not to swallow hook, line and sinker.

Baited

From the Cornfield, from your surprise about the Prez, perhaps it is a confirmation that now is the time to retire, Senator Corker.