Memorial Day: What Your Teacher Never Told You! (Edition III)

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Please enjoy this reprised edition of “Break It Down!” This post was originally published May 30, 2012 at:, and reposted May 27, 2015 at as Memorial Day: What Your Teacher Never Told You!)

OK, so Memorial Day was earlier this week.  You may be familiar with my holiday week philosophy, which is: make it easy on the readers, who are always otherwise engaged, no matter the holiday.  Of course, in the process, I am also giving myself a break.  That makes for a natural win-win scenario.

With that overarching thought in mind, I will endeavor to apply three elementary rules of communication:

  1. Utilize the KISS PrincipleAKAKeep It Short & Simple(also Keep It Simple Stupid)
  2. Convey new or “not widely circulated” information
  3. Always remember to emphasizepoints 1 and 2 above

Memorial Day is a federal holiday to honor America’s fallen soldiers.  It originated after the Civil War.  Falling between Easter and Independence Day, it is often equated with a late spring break, or a pre-summer respite.

The weekend typically includes a cornucopia of sports.  For example this week included the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600, the NBA FinalsCollege Men’s Baseball playoffs, and College Women’s Softball competition, among others.

With the plethora of activity always thrown into the mix, the holiday is sometimes almost lost in the shuffle. But wait; Memorial Day has a special cultural significance.  In fact, it is because of that nexus we should pay special homage to this late spring holiday.

The first well-known observance of a Memorial Day type was held May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Over 250 Union soldiers that had been prisoners of war, died in Charleston, and were quickly buried in makeshift graves. A group of blacks, mostly freedmen, organized the observance and led cleanup and landscaping of the burial site.

Most of the nearly 10,000 people who attended were freedmen and their families.  Of that number, 3.000 were children, newly enrolled in freedman’s schools.  Mutual aid societies, black ministers, and white Northern missionaries were also in attendance.

David W. BlightProfessor of American History at Yale University, and Director of the school’s Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, described the day this way:

“This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the War had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”

Professor Blight conceded there is no evidence that the Charleston event led directly to the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.  But the record is clear they formed the earliest truly large-scale event, complete with media coverage.  Their effort was the prototype, if not the catalyst.

Having said that, I believe I honored the rules established above for this post:

  • Told this story in a direct and uncomplicated fashion
  • Presented information I am confident most readers did not know
  • Recognized points 1and 2, were accomplished and closed the post

Enjoy your bonus time, and be sure to reflect on “Memorial Day: What Your Teachers Never Told You! (Edition III)”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the links or /

A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

The Long Arc of the Moral Universe: Is That Karma I’m Seeing?

It’s time to Break It Down!

As I hear, speak, read, and write about, and watch the current events of the day unfold, it has become increasingly evident over the past few years that the ideological chasm that divides our country is deep, wide, and firmly entrenched. For example, if you like #45, or perhaps more pointedly, if you dislike Hillary Clinton, there is apparently nothing that the Commander-in-Chief can do or say to cause you to second guess, or regret the fact you voted for him, and/or that he won. A number of polls suggest that up to 96% of the people who voted him have no regrets, and that only 2% do.

A never-ending series of counter-positioned narratives began emerging as soon as he was inaugurated. The Administration started spinning immediately. The day after the Inauguration reports surfaced claiming the crowd gathered on the National Mall was the largest in history. At his maiden press briefing, Sean Spicer, White House press secretary attacked the media (a recurring theme), accusing them of deliberately misleading the public about the size of the new administration’s inauguration crowd. As Mr. Spicer put it:

“Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular Tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.”

The press secretary offered scant facts to disprove the media reports of comparatively low turnout, and most of it was misleading or inaccurate. The overall contention that the 2017 inaugural drew the “largest audience” ever is just untrue.

Among Spicer’s flawed assertions were, he claimed:

  • It was the first time floor coverings were used to protect the grass on the Mall. It was not. The coverings were used in 2013.
  • It was the first time usage of fencing and magnetometers on the Mall for preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the mall as quickly as in the past. False. According to a 2017 Congressional Research Service screening magnetometers, or metal detectors, have been used in past inaugurations. The claim was further disputed by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, who tweeted that two unnamed law enforcement officials told him “Magnetometers were not used in the areas of the of the Mall that Spicer indicated.

Spicer chastised the press for tweeting out “inaccurate numbers involving crowd size:”

  • “No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. We do know a few things. So let’s go through the facts.”
  1. We know the platform from where the President was sworn in to 4th Street holds about 250,000 people
  2. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000.
  3. From the media tent to the Washington Monument, another 250,000 people.
  • “All of this space was full when the President took the oath of office.”

Many news organizationsincluding PolitiFact, note that it’s difficult to gauge crowd size. The National Park Service discontinued the practice in the National Mall after the Million Man March in 1995. If Mr. Spicer’s claims of full spaces were correct, which photographs contradict, it would put the crowd size at least 720,000, which is higher than the preliminary estimates reported in the media, but on par with the 700,000 to 900,000 organizers expected to attend. #45 touted 1.5 million on January 21 at CIA headquarters.

The catch is that still would not be the top figure.

Here are the attendance estimates for the 2017 and 7 previous inaugurations:

Inauguration Estimated attendance 
Trump, 2017 250,000 to 600,000
Barack Obama, 2013 1 million
Obama, 2009 1.8 million
George W. Bush, 2005 400,000
Bush, 2001 300,000
Bill Clinton, 1997 250,000
Clinton, 1993 800,000
George H.W. Bush, 1989 300,000

So this testy indoctrination was the template for the relationship between the administration, the media, the truth, and We The People. One might say it is tenuous. At best! My favorite assessment to date was formulated and expressed by David Broder, in a NYT article on April 10, 2017, in which he wrote about #45:

“It’s not so much that he isn’t well informed; it’s that he is prodigiously learned in the sort of knowledge that doesn’t accord with the facts of our current dimension.”

You can interpret that however you choose. But as I’ve already noted, his fan club could care less. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, perhaps put it best when she explained Mr. Spicer’s amazing assertions, designed I suppose to align with #45’s conclusions about inaugural crowd size. She introduced the term “alternative facts.” That pretty much says it all.

So let’s pivot back to that ideological chasm I mentioned earlier. Before #45, President Barack Obama served 8 years as President. His tenure was not without its share of drama. One of numerous Republican stunts he survived was a crusade by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann calling for his impeachment. In one of the more bizarre episodes of the GOP’s total access, no holds barred approach to obstructionism during President Obama’s tenure; Ms. Bachmann had the temerity to spearhead a movement for impeachment while she was actually under investigation for multiple ethics violations. She was the subject of five separate ethics probes related to her 2012 Presidential Campaign, including:

  • In Iowa, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Bachmann’s alleged improper payments to a state senator
  • She was under investigation for improper use of presidential campaign funds to promote her book
  • She was investigated for the theft of an email list of a Iowa homeschoolers
  • She was under investigation for money laundering
  • The Office of Congressional Ethics also investigated Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign

Forget the absurdity of it all. If you are reading this, you undoubtedly already know two things. First, Barack Obama was not impeached; second, Michele Bachmann’s tenure in Congress was short lived, ending in 2015, prior to that of President Obama. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is credited with the quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I’d like to think that arc is also laden with karma. Today is #45’s 125th day in office. Over the little more than four months he has held the post, he has distinguished himself in some interesting ways.

  • He was forced to fire General Michael Flynn for having lied to Vice President Pence, after insisting upon hiring him despite President Obama advising him not to do so.
  • He fired FBI Director James Comey after Comey admitted in a Congressional hearing that there is an ongoing investigation in which he was included.
  • He allegedly asked the FBI Director to drop the Flynn Investigation.
  • He is reported to have asked Intelligence Chiefs to publicly push back against the FBI probe.
  • He appointed his daughter Ivanka to an official White House post after saying he would not do so.
  • He claimed during a Commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy that he is the most unfairly treated politician ever.
  • He rolled out a Muslim Ban (or pause, if you prefer) that has been rejected by multiple federal courts.

Harkening back to the Obama years, the GOP officialdom elevated opposition and obstruction to a high art form. South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson yelled out “You lie” at President Obama in a joint session of Congress. Illinois Representative Joe Walsh threatened President Obama in a tweet after 3 Dallas police officers were killed. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann actively campaigned for President Obama’s impeachment, and of course, in the most famous dis of all, citizen, and then candidate, Donald Trump led the Birtherism charge, maintaining that President Obama was not born in America. The candidate did not concede President Obama was American until mid-September, just a few weeks before the election.

A week ago, Texas Congressman Al Green (’06!) addressed the House of Representatives and called for the impeachment of #45. Representative Green said he was acting as a matter of conscience, and called the basis for his actions, “perspicuous.” He added, “No one is above the law, and that includes the President of the United States of America.”

At a town hall in Houston on Saturday, Congressman Green shared with his constituents a number of threatening voicemails he received. ABC News reported that the voicemails were directed to his office, and included messages like:

  • “You ain’t going to impeach nobody.”
  • “Try it and we will lynch all of you,”
  • “You’ll be hanging from a tree.”

Notwithstanding the threats communicated in the voicemails, the Congressman told constituents at the town hall:

“We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”

Let me be perfectly clear. I have absolutely, positively no expectation that #45 will be impeached. Call me cynical, but I do not believe a Republican Congress is going to impeach its new champion. Nevertheless, in the interim, I fully believe there will be a great deal of GOP angst for the duration of this administration’s tenure, even if it’s 4 or 8 years. To that end, to paraphrase Dr. King, The Long Arc of the Moral Universe: Is That Karma I’m Seeing?”

I’m done; holla back!

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What If Barack Had Said or Done…? OMG!

It’s time to Break It Down!

Please ignore my addressing the former President in an overly familiar manner. Stay with me. I will endeavor to make this brief. The central point here is that #45 has said or done too many things to count that would have disqualified candidate Obama, or resulted in the summary termination of an Obama Presidency.

I don’t have enough time to write about, and no one has enough endurance to read about all the things that could be included in a post such as this. Recognizing that the ground is so fertile, one can always revisit, collect, and introduce new material, I am going to select 10 items, just to make the case. Without further ado, let’s do this.

  1. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” – June 16, 2015
  2. “I will build a great wall. – And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – And I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great wall, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
  3. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate is a fraud.” – August 6, 2012
  4. “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks – if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white.” – June 5, 2013
  5. “Grab them by the pussy.” – 2005 tape
  6. Visited his own private properties for golf outings during 10 of his first 11 weekends in office, after complaining frequently during the campaign about President Obama’s golfing outings.
  7. Promoted the narrative that his Inauguration crowd was the largest in history.
  8. Claimed Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower
  9. Banned American media while inviting in Russia media to a White House meeting
  10. Shared classified Israeli intelligence with Russia (which is an ally of Iran, which is an enemy of Israel, with which Trump claims interest in having the best relationship ever).

Let me be perfectly clear. I am not suggesting these five statements and five actions constitute the worst assertions or acts that #45 has made or engaged in during or before his Presidency. In fact, they are a mere sample, and a small one at that, of the limited filter for his comments and actions. Indeed, also a window into his character.

The simple premise of this post is this President has been given incredibly broad latitude, in general, but specifically, an immeasurably greater amount than would have been granted to President Obama. In a highly partisan world, I understand how and why that is perfectly acceptable with people who supported Mr. Trump, and who are delighted that, as a result of his efforts, they have “taken their country back.” However, for everyone else, and even for those Trump supporters who presumably want to see this nation live up to its Creed, this double standard, or possible refutation of standards altogether, should be a source of grave concern.

Of all things related to the current administration, nothing that I can think of is more antithetical to historic American values and political policy positions than our newfound ease with the coziness Team Trump has not only demonstrated, but also insisted upon, vis-à-vis Russia. Yes, President Obama’s administration attempted the infamous “Russian reset.” But let’s face it. That was not in the wake of the fallout and feedback of Russian hacking, as apprised by our national intelligence apparatus. It actually appears that #45, his surrogates, and many of his supporters favor Moscow’s version of events over that of our own national security community.

It has just surfaced the former FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo detailing #45 asking him to curtail the Flynn Investigation. Sources close to the situation say Comey, who is a Republican, never wrote memos about President Obama. This is at least the second time he wrote about the current President, including the irrational diatribe about his Inauguration crowd size. The source indicated that while it was not unusual for Mr. Comey to write such memos, he did not do so in instances in which the communications were normal and the communicator was truthful. 

Just think about that. Suppose for a moment that the FBI, or the CIA, or Homeland Security, or the NSA, or all of them, plus the other 12 agencies that form our security community posited that President Obama won an election that Russia conspired to affect on his behalf. How about if the FBI Director indicated that there was an on-going investigation that intended to at least look to see if there was a possibility Obama appointees were somehow tied to Russia’s attempts to interfere with our election. How would the GOP Congress respond to that? How would the media in general, and Fox News in particular react? What would be the collective response of the American electorate? More interestingly, what would those Trump supporters, who blithely dismiss so much about all this, be saying?

“What If Barack Had Said or Done…? OMG!” Enough said…you already know. I’m done; holla back!

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Men’s Health: A Compelling Quality of Life Issue – Vol. III

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Disclaimer: This post appeared originally on June 29, 2011 and was reprinted on July 2, 2014 (  It contains references that are graphic in nature, and which may be considered offensive; reader discretion is advised.  The initial catalyst for posting this information was my 2011 Colonoscopy.  I had a second procedure in 2014, and a third last week. Today seemed like a perfect time to reprise this post).

A few days ago I had my third Colonoscopy, which is the endoscopic test of the colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a camera.  The procedure is recommended for men over age 50, on a periodic basis; every 10 years if no irregularities are found, and more frequently if non-benign polyps or other issues arise during the test.  In my previous tests, the results indicated non-benign polyps were found. Subsequently, I was scheduled for a follow-up after 3 years, as a regular sequential step in my Annual Physical regimen. That is a precautionary measure, not any kind of alert or scare.  That is as it should be.

I am delighted to end the suspense, as it relates to this year’s Colonoscopy. My test revealed normal mucosa, and no arteriovenous malformation, diverticula, polyps, masses, evidence of colitis or any other abnormalities. That’s about as good as it gets. Given my previous history, my next exam is scheduled for 5 years from now instead of three. I’m moving in the right direction. Perhaps if I garner comparable results next time, I can earn the 10-year periodic exam.

This is not intended to provide a blow-by-blow of my procedure.  I am addressing this topic to provide a public service.  I have observed both anecdotally and from numerous data streams, men in general and African American men in particular, are notorious for neglecting our health.  There are too many reasons to enumerate, but a few include:

  • Distrust of doctors (Some black men still reference the Tuskegee Experiment)
  • Fear…of doctors, of medicine, bad news, of pain, of surgery, of anesthesia, the unknown
  • Unawareness of early warning signs
  • No regular doctor
  • Lack of health care benefits (African Americans are more likely to be Unemployed or Underemployed, and therefore less likely to have insurance)
  • Misplaced priorities(some men take better care of their homes and/or cars than they do their personal health)
  • Good intentions; bad execution (Many of us “intend to” schedule an appointment to see a doctor, but don’t)
  • Procrastination (Delay, delay, delay)
  • Superman complex (The perception that one is young, healthy, and totally bullet proof)
  • We are on a super secret suicide mission (No, we just act like it)

Those are 10 of my own very unscientific, totally straight off the top of my head reasons.  After setting them to paper, I decided to look for an expert opinion…OK; I checked to see what a doctor thought.  Not surprisingly (to me anyway), there was a fair amount of overlap.

Dr. Sharon OrrangeAssistant Professor of Clinical General Internal Medicine at the University of Southern California has weighed in with what she believes are “The 10 Real Reasons Men Don’t Go to the Doctor.”  Since she actually practices medicine, I will allocate more weight to her opinion than mine…though keep in mind, I do have the inherent advantage of being a man.  Dr. Orrange’s 10 most compelling (or real, as she puts it) reasons are:

  1. You are afraid we will put our finger up your butt.We will, especially if you are over 40 or have any complaints related to your bowel movements.  Yes, you get a rectal exam after the age of 40 once a year for a feel of your prostate and so we can check your stool for microscopic blood that you can’t see.
  2. You are afraid we will examine your balls.  We will, if you are 40 or younger. The peak age for testicular cancer is 18-40 so guidelines recommend you get a once a year testicular exam. Don’t worry it won’t hurt at all.
  3. I feel FINE.  I am glad you feel fine, but you can feel FINE with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugars.  Your mother or wife won’t feel fine when they are taking care of you after you have a stroke.  Don’t wait until you feel awful to come see us.
  4. Going to the Doctor is a chick thing.Many of you feel this way but remember we live longer than you do.  If doctor visits are a chick thing well, then, nursing homes are a guy thing.  You have to get over this.  It’s true, the waiting room magazines are not for guys but when you come see us you will see that many of the medical assistants, doctors, phlebotomists and medical records folks are men.  Real men go to doctors.
  5. You are embarrassed to talk about what’s going on with you.The bright red blood on the toilet paper when you wipe, the red itchy rash in your groin and on your feet, the problems you have at times getting a boner, getting up at night a few times to pee, we hear it all the time.  You are not alone and our job is to show you how common this is and help fix it for you.
  6. You don’t find the office hours convenient.  I get this and urge you to find a doctor who is accessible and can work around your office hours.  Seriously though. The average guy watches 16 hours of TV a week, you can come for a 30-minute visit once a year and maybe a couple of follow-up visits as needed.
  7. Going to the Doctor is giving in to your nagging wife.  I had a patient who gave his wife for her 20th anniversary a copy of his Lipitor prescription, thinking this was a GIFT to his wife that he was taking care of his medical issues.  It is true; women rightly do nag their dads, brothers, and husbands to go to the doctor because they are tired of square dancing with women at the assisted living facilities.
  8. You don’t realize we are here for prevention.You don’t have to be sick to come see us and if you establish a relationship with us you have easy access when you do get sick.  Once a year we can touch base with you to discuss age appropriate screening, which we KNOW, helps keep you well.
  9. You don’t have a relationship with a physicianIf you are not attached to a regular physician by the age of 40 you are more likely to get in trouble. Unlike women who need annual pap smears and contraception, you haven’t had to see someone regularly from the age of 18-30.  Find someone your friends use, or enlist your partner’s help to find someone that might be a connection.  You want someone accessible and younger physicians are much more likely to e-mail so look until you find the right match.
  10. You think we will pick on you for your habits.  Drinking a 12-pack on the weekends, not exercising and eating bad foods, among other things.  These things are not as uncommon as you might expect.  We will put you on a long leash and let you pick and choose the habits to get rid of as needed.

If you are a Doctor Dodger, the reality is, it is of little consequence whether your reasons for doing so more closely resemble Dr. Orrange’s list or mine.  If your recalcitrance leads to a preventable heart attack, some form of cancer, or a stroke, you will have contributed directly to reducing your quality of life, as well as that of your family members.  Such actions could also lead to premature death.  It really is pretty simple; fear, embarrassment, death (sooner rather than later)…pick one dude!

Let’s be clear here, human beings are not immortal.  Psalms 90:10 advises us: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”  Proponents of the Bill Maher School of Thought dismiss such biblical advisory as akin to magic, wizardry, or witchcraft.  But I am reasonably certain even Mr. Maher concedes that we all will die.  Moreover, I wouldn’t bet the farm that he doesn’t have a regular physician, regardless of his rationale.

The point of seeing healthcare professionals on a regular basis is not to live forever; none of us will.  Rather, the idea is to leverage the best possible existence out of our all too brief time here on earth.

As most of us know, women live longer than men.  Once upon a time, this was largely attributable to the rigors of backbreaking manual labor, and long before that, due to the results of men losing too many battles with the lions or other members of the Wild Kingdom, in the quest to determine who would eat…and who would be dinner.

Neither of those historical tableaus aligns with today’s American reality.  No, the underlying contemporary contributory factors for those of us now living in the USA are that poor exercise habits, irresponsible dietary choices, too much smoking and drinking, and eschewing regular checkups and prevention screenings combine to lead to a lower quality of life (health wise), and ultimately, to a shortened lifespan; on average five years less than for women.

According to a 2007 Harris Interactive survey that included over 1,100 men, the American Academy of Family Physicians found that:

  • Many men go to the Doctor only when they are very sick
  • Before they did, many of these men waited several daysto see if they felt better
  • Most of these men had a regular doctor
  • Most had currently active health insurance
  • Most said they felt comfortable talking to their physician

In an even more recent survey, conducted by Esquire magazine in January of 2011, researchers found that:

  • Roughly half of American men ages 18-50 had no primary care physician
  • One third had not had a check-up in more than a year
  • More than 40% had never had their cholesterol checked
  • 70% had never had a prostate exam

Do you perchance know the leading causes of death in America?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), complete information available in 2007, broke down like this:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 616,067
  • Cancer: 562,875
  • Stroke(cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
  • Diabetes: 71,382
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
  • Nephritis, nephritic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
  • Septicemia: 34,828

Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2007

Based on CDC research, Heart Disease and Cancer, the top two causes of death in the United States in 2007, led to nearly twice as many deaths as the cumulative totals of causes 3 through 10.  In fact, the number of deaths attributable to Heart Disease alone, (616,067), nearly equaled the total for causes 3 through 10 (667,589).

It is important to recognize that the relative death rate for men is higher than that for women for all causes listed in the Top 10.  While there are hereditary factors that contribute to individual proclivity to develop Heart Disease, a timely and committed change in lifestyle in concert with an appropriate medical remediationprevention, and/or maintenance strategy can help most men (and women) live a relatively normal life.

In a departure from my previous posts on the subject I am compelled to add that in addition to whatever periodic schedule one adheres to for his or her Colonoscopy, one should also schedule an Annual Physical. I had mine a few months ago, including a battery of tests and supporting lab work. The results were outstanding for the second consecutive year. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to institute a regimen to monitor and promote positive health consequences. This is where I could make a call to arms for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or healthcare reform. But I’ll leave that for another day. This pitch is for men…and women who have men they care about in their lives.  Of course, women require Colonoscopies too. But as I noted elsewhere in this post, as with most medical matters, they already do a much better job than men. I enthusiastically urge all of you to do everything within your power, individually and collectively, to to do the right thing for your own health, and for the health of those whom you love.

In summary, this post is a cry for help on behalf of men.  Perhaps, more aptly stated, it is a call for men to step up and help themselves.  As a general rule, ours is an interdependent society.  That means, someone, somewhere relies upon you.  So men, I urge you to unite on behalf of a cause that is intuitively selfish, but intellectually selfless.  I entreat you to recognize this undeniable truth; “Men’s Health: A Compelling Quality of Life Issue – Vol. III!”  Yes, this is a cause that requires you to think of (and act) for yourself first.  But in doing so, your wife, or significant other, your children, your siblings, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your career, your civic association, your fraternity, and yes, your state of mind, will all benefit.

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link  A new post is published each Wednesday.  For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

Trump’s First 100 Days: A Plethora of Activity, A Paucity of Accomplishments (One Man’s View)

It’s time to Break It Down!

While I spent a fair amount of time leading up to the 2016 National Election discussing politics, including the Democratic and Republican fields of candidates, and ultimately the two finalists, I have written less about politics in general, and virtually nothing about the eventual winner, since the Inauguration. That was a conscious decision, of course. Moreover, though I do not presage a permanent shift moving forward, I am making an exception for today.

As we all know, Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. And, unless you’ve been in a cave, you know Saturday marked 100 days of his Presidency. I will not be attempting to entertain you with some fanciful (and I believe false) narrative that explains how despite all the less than spectacular assessments of his performance, he has somehow exceeded expectations. I’ll leave that to Fox and Friends. So if that’s what you need, or more pointedly, if that’s what you require, I’ve generously provided a heads up on where you can turn.

Having stipulated that, the President did hold on to the SCOTUS balance that existed prior to the death of former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, with the successful confirmation of Neil Gorsuch. He’s also rolled back some regulations he maintains help business (though a number of ordinary Americans view them as anti-consumer). As a candidate #45 made numerous boasts and promises. Among them was the oft-repeated assertion that we (the people) would win so much we would become tired of winning. Hold that thought.

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, Candidate Trump traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the 16th President’s (Lincoln) most famous speech, to make a pitch of his own. In a facility named for former President Eisenhower, and on land irrevocably tied to Lincoln, Trump extolled his vision for the first hundred days of a Trump Administration. You can click on the final link below to see what he served up.

In this post, I’m going to keep it short, and much simpler. On the real, here’s what you need to know, vis-à-vis #45 and many of his boastful promises. I understand, fully, that by and large his supporters couldn’t care less about the things he claimed he’d do, versus those he hasn’t done, or hasn’t done yet. For you, he’s a jolly good fellow. I get it. For everyone else, there’s this:

  • As noted earlier, he won…yet he has not released his taxes
  • Hillary is not in jail
  • Mexico is not paying for the wall
  • The Muslim ban (or pause, if you insist) has been rebuffed by the federal judiciary
  • Obamacare has not been repealed & replaced
  • China has not been labeled a currency manipulator
  • No plan to destroy ISIS was produced in 30 days
  • NAFTA has not been overturned…or renegotiated
  • The U.S. has not withdrawn from NATO
  • We have not torn up or exited the Iran Nuclear Agreement
  • The Wall Street-to-Washington Swamp has not been drained
  • He has not sued all those female accusers (as far as we know)

I could go on, but hopefully, you get the point. If you don’t, methinks you’re just not trying hard enough. One of Trump’s frequently used phrases, both as a candidate, and since January 20th, is, “People are saying.” If you’ll allow me a “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” moment, I must note, people are saying the Trump Administration has been characterized by chaos and incompetence.

In assembling an administrative team composed largely of individuals who’ve never served at any level, or in any capacity of government, it is easy to argue that many of his cabinet members are competent, and frankly ill suited for their current roles. This disconnect, has consistently led to dissention, disruption, and disorder. Trump surrogates and supporters push back, insisting that, on one hand, Trump voters wanted someone who would break the status quo, and on the other hand, that his slow-going is due to having been a businessman, and not having governmental experience. As someone who is not guilty of being able to contemplate two distinct, if not opposing thoughts, at once, I concede both of those things may be true. That however, does not mean We The People are well served by both…or either. In fact, our day-to-day experiences, to date, suggest we most certainly are not.

I cited above a list of things Trump has not done. But every coin has a flip side. In that light, a few things he has done include:

  • Claimed his was the largest Inaugural in history. It wasn’t.
  • Promised Ivanka would not serve the country in an official capacity. She does.
  • Insisted President Obama wiretapped him. He didn’t

Suffice it to say, neither of these lists is exhaustive. But both are emblematic of the propensity and frequency with which this President seems to just say things that, to paraphrase David Broder in a New York Times article, “Are not so much an indication that he isn’t well informed; but that he is prodigiously learned in the sort of knowledge that doesn’t accord with the facts of our current dimension.” My Star Trek Translator boils that down to, “That dude lies like a Ferengi.” To be clear, Mr. Broder did not add that translation.

Who knows? Perhaps Team Trump will consider this list and re-double its efforts to make it happen in some cases. I certainly do not expect any of his supporters, surrogates, or voters to abandon him. I know there is nothing any of that lot could have said to make me withdraw my support for President Obama when he was POTUS. I extend kudos to them for their loyalty…even if it is misplaced.

Circling back to Candidate Trump’s boasts about winning until we get tire of winning, no mas! I don’t know about you, but if this is winning, I’m tired. That’s pretty much all I got…”Trump’s First 100 Days: A Plethora of Activity, A Paucity of Accomplishments (One Man’s View)!”

I’m done; holla back!

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