Happy Birthday, US of A!

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On Monday, the US of A celebrates its 240th birthday.

It was, like with any birth, one that was born out of travail, crying, shouts of glee, bloodshed and even death. Truly the continent was in heavy labor as the push and screams of thousands were heard around the world.

That sorrow and agony gave way, however, to jubilation as the nation emerged covered with the scars and trappings of nativity. But as difficult as that birth was, the struggle was not over.

There would be growing pains, illnesses and diseases to overcome. There would be those who would attempt to reclaim and to destroy that life which was born out of a pledge to devote honor, lives and fortunes to see this epic birth come to be and last through all time.

Through the years, as with any baby maturing to toddler to child to teen to adult, this great nation of states joined to form a “more perfect union” had to go through its share of perils, tests and trials. In each instance, in the end, the US of A emerged on the other side a better nation.

The most trying time is undisputed, which is what occurred during what I would call the teenage years, puberty, when literally brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, sons and daughters against mothers and fathers. The greatest and most costly toll of lives and bloodshed threatened to tear the nation apart. Yet through the trauma of the Civil War, the War Between the States, a united and stronger country came of age.

Dark days still lay ahead, but it seemed the worst had passed.

Through more battles and more wars, we find ourselves today celebrating the nation we’ve become and feeling the pain of the mistakes we have made. We honor the lives who gave their all to keep this nation the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Now, we look forward to the days and years ahead.

We are traveling the rough and choppy sea of economic uncertainty, but which seems to be slowly recovering.

The ship of state must traverse the gulf as the skipper maneuvers the ship to avoid crashing on the rocks of lost hope, despair, keeping an eye on the course and the port of serenity which lies in the distance.

The tides of global unrest threaten to engulf us. We must stay resolute and strong. Together we can ride the waves and dock in safe harbor.

Many have lost hope.

Many no longer aspire to the American Dream.

Many wonder if the flag will still wave for much longer.

But we are Americans.

We will survive.

From the Cornfield, America, may she always be that shining city on a hill to which others seek to aspire.

Happy Independence Day!

Breaking Tradition

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This election cycle it seems all the conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window. The chattering class is having a field day as the usual way of doing business is being disrupted. Thoughts of how things should be or how things have been are a distant memory.

Most of the conversation has revolved around Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

But – it is not Trump alone who is snubbing his nose at long-held traditions. Remember back in the April 26 edition of Kernels From the Cornfield when I wrote:

Unhappy Brits – President Barack Obama is finding the welcome mat being rolled up as he visits the United Kingdom.

Some Brits are not too happy with the President sticking his nose in the nation’s internal affairs when he wrote an op-ed urging the British people to say, “no” on leaving the European Union.

Making matters worse, when questioned on the issue by a British reporter at a press conference today with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the President took umbrage and showed he was not pleased with being asked why he was meddling. The President in his remarks before the question had doubled down on his view that the United Kingdom should stay in the EU.

The reporter pointed out that the President had previously stated that the US of A would not submit to some of the rules and levies which the EU put on Great Britain.

Cameron did his best to pull the President out of the hole which he continued to dig.

Today, President Obama went far and beyond tradition.

Today during a press conference in Ottawa, Canada following a joint meeting with the other two leaders in North America, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, the Prez broke all the rules.

The President turned every question asked by reporters into a tirade and rant about Trump.

The President echoed Nieto and Trudeau in referring to Trump, with none calling Trump by name, a demagogue.

The Prez gave a lecture on what a populist is and that Trump is a xenophobe or nativist.

Time was that politics stopped at the shoreline. In other words, politics did not extend beyond our borders.

We handle our own political battles at home.

We do not air our dirty politics in other lands.

So much for yet another convention.

So much for time-honored tradition.

From the Cornfield, if you did not know it already, as the President campaigns with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, you will know for sure.

This election is all about a third term for Barack Obama.

The Race Is On

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The showdown is set – Clinton Versus Trump.

Talk about your thriller in Manila.

This fight is going to resonate around the world as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump compete to be leader of the free world.

But Gary Johnson is hoping to crash the party and score against the odds.

Bernie Sanders is not yet ready to concede.

Will Republicans rally around Trump?

Will Democrats rally around Clinton?

What will Sanders’ supporters do?

How many conservatives will vote for Johnson or stay home?

Will the youth vote be silent without their favorite uncle?

Recall almost a year ago I penned: Trump Effect Or How to Throw an Election

In March I wrote: Trump Effect Redux

Looking through the corn stalks and the desert sands it was easy to see that what matters most to The Donald is not the country, but The Donald.

Now the question is one I raised a couple of months ago about The Donald in: Persona Versus Person

Trying to show discipline and keep his mouth from getting him in trouble, Trump used a teleprompter in his speech wrapping up the GOP primary season.

Speaking of the primary season, it does not end until next Tuesday for Democrats when they vote in the District of Columbia.

Uncle Bernie came away with two wins last light, but disappointing loss in California. Queen Hillary racked up four wins including the two biggies, California and New Jersey.

Hillary has already made history becoming the first woman to be a major party’s presumptive presidential candidate.

Will she defy history and win a third term in a row for the party holding the White House?

Last time this happened was when George H.W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan – one of the few times in our history.

Only two Democrats have ever done that and one was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who ran himself for a third term. The other was Martin Van Buren.

Besides Bush, Republicans have three other consecutive third terms – Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt.

The State Department announced it will not release more emails from then Secretary of State Clinton until after the election…but on a date that does not exist – November 31, 2016.

From the Cornfield, I am yet undecided and may be right up until I push the buttons on election day.

Remembering D-Day

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Today, June 6th, 2016 is dedicated the memory of all those who gave their lives on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France 68 years ago in what proved to be the drive that led to the fall of the Nazi regime and brought peace to a world torn by war.

My grandfather and great uncles were among those who served. One of my great uncles, Hobart Powell, did not return from that war. Though I never was given the pleasure of knowing him, he is still alive in our hearts and memories.

Of those who assaulted the beach that day, some came home, but many were left dying or dead in the sand. As the Nazi forces tried to beat back the coalition forces of Allied powers, the German High Command failed to understand the resolve of these brave soldiers to make the world safe, to end the scourge of the Nazi atrocities and to bring peace to a troubled people.

Those efforts, those deaths were not in vain. The comrades of those who had been killed kept pressing on until they marched into Berlin and put an end to the tyranny.

From the Cornfield, pause with me now to remember and to salute those who gave their lives and all of those whom Tom Brokaw rightly labeled, “The Greatest Generation“.