The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month Redux ’19

It’s time to Break It Down!

A decade ago, I wrote a post in recognition of Veteran’s Day, and the service personnel we as a nation honor on that day. In 2009, and again in 2015 when I reprised this post, Veterans Day fell on Wednesday. In 2018, the day fell on Sunday. This year, Monday, day before yesterday, was Veterans Day. Again, I’ve decided to edit/re-post the Veteran’s Day 2009/2015/2018 Edition of “Break It Down!”

It’s worth noting that while our fighting forces officially exited Iraq in December 2011, we still have military personnel fighting ISIL/ISIS there, and in Syria. We also still maintain forces, roughly 13,000 troops in Afghanistan (the other hotspot referenced in the initial post). In addition, for the record, we have a variety of personnel in Iran, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Yemen…lest you think the world is one big blissful, peaceful place.

I hope you enjoyed your day, and that you took an opportunity to reach out and thank a Veteran. Moreover, for my part, to all of you who are Veterans, “Thank you for your service.”

Many of you may know, or at least faintly recall that I frequently alter the blog format to integrate holiday traditions into the discussion. Often holidays are expanded by days away from work, long weekends, travel, and a host of leisure activities. In those cases, I prefer to scale back in recognition that aside from road map directions, GPS instructions, and the like, very little reading will be taking place.

As most Americans know, last year marked the 100-year Anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, AKA “The Great War,” and/or, “The War That Ended All Wars.” At first, it was known as Armistice Day. It later became known as Veterans Day. But what do we really know about this day that has been set aside to honor real American heroes and sheroes?

Well, first, Veterans Day is not Memorial Day, and vice-versa. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day is intended largely to honor Living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty. Memorial Day honors those veterans who died in the service of their country, particularly those killed in combat, or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

We also know that Veterans Day is a different kind of federal holiday. With the exception of Sundays, it falls on its actual date. In 1968Congress approved the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This law, which took effect in 1971, amended the observance of certain federal holidays so that Washington’s BirthdayMemorial DayColumbus Day, and Veterans Day would be observed on Mondays instead of fixed dates.

Congress passed the Act to increase the number of three-day holiday weekend for federal employees. After a loud and persistent outcry from Veterans and Veterans’ groups, who argued the historical significance of November 11th was compromised by the change, Veterans Day observance was returned to November 11th in 1978.

So how did this affinity for November 11th come about? As with many historical facts, it evolved. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day. The significance of Armistice Day is that it was the day of the signing of the Armistice that terminated World War I (WW I). In effect, WW I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. That was when the Germans signed the document, ending hostilities that had begun in 1914President Woodrow Wilson subsequently proclaimed the first Armistice DayNovember 11, 1919. 

WW I was deemed The Great War, and was thought by many, at the time, to be “The War That Ended All Wars.” It was, as the numeric designation suggests, the First World War. Of course, more wars would ensue. There was World War II (WW II), later the Korean Conflict, and then Vietnam.

In 1953, a storeowner in Emporia, KansasAl King, launched an idea to honor all Veterans, not just those who served in WW I. The idea took root, sailed through Congress, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law May 26, 1954Congress amended the Act November 8, 1954, changing Armistice to Veterans, and thus it has been ever since.

So now, especially remember…“The 11th Hour of the Eleventh Day of the 11th Month Redux ’19!” To augment a popular bumper sticker, “If you can read this, thank a teacher”…and a veteran.

I’m done; holla back!

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Where So-called Information Misinforms: TrumpWorld

It’s time to Break It Down!

Sir Winston Churchill once spoke of “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Ironically, the line was intended to describe the intentions and interests of Russia in 1939. Eighty years later, the phraseology might be used to describe Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia.

But that’s something we know. That there is a functioning connectivity between the two, and that for all practical purposes, it indecipherable. Moreover, the reason for the unintelligible nature of the relationship is hidden in plain sight.

That is to say, the more evidence presented, the more the principals deny and or dissemble. Mr. Trump, America’s Popinjay-in Chief, routinely counsels us not to trust the FBI, the Justice Department, the Courts, and the entirety of our national intelligence apparatus, while simultaneously advising members and former members of his administration not to comply with congressional subpoenas. Given that backdrop, and his stated praise of dictators, including, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Rodrigo Duterte, Erdogan, Xi Jinping, to name just a few, picking low hanging fruit. One is almost tempted to surmise he thinks he’s King Donald, or some other potentate label. But I digress.

Back to the point of the post. According to the Washington Post and MSNBC, by October 9, 2019 (993 days in office), Trump had uttered 13,435 false or misleading statements. Some would call them lies, but why quibble? Anyway, you choose to look at it or characterize it, over the course of just less than a thousand days, the person who wears the title President of the United States has fixed his mouth to say something untruthful more than 13 times…each and every day.

Fast forward to present day. An interesting development is unfolding. Twitter and Facebook are reviewing and taking down posts that spread disinformation about how and when to vote on Election Day. I’ve seen and heard Trump and a number of his supporters, surrogates, and sycophants complaining that social media outlets are trying to destroy Trump and steal his presidency. OK, now is the time to pay close attention to how this claim breaks down.

Social media takes steps to sift out and discard disinformation. The President and his peeps say that’s an effort to take out their guy. Keep in mind, this is a man who’s preeminent political strategy seems to be the reckless and frequent infusion of untruths into the retail political marketplace. Several things seem clear from this turn of events:

  • While flatly denying it, Trump and his team appear to be tacitly conceding they need to continue their wanton propensity to sling false and misleading claims into the political orbit in order to be able to compete; say nothing of succeed.
  • Facebook and Twitter, while downplaying the role their hands-off tact played on the 2016 Election outcome, appear to tacitly admit that the mass misinformation conveyed on their platforms affected election results.
  • Finally, the most important element in ensuring a fair and appropriately administered election is an informed and (with emphasis) vigilant electorate.

If you are happy with how your national government has been run for the past three years, all’s well; no worries. Do nothing other than what you’ve been doing. Conversely, if you think our leadership has lost its way, and we are in need of a course correction, you need to stand up, step out and commit to doing your part, as well as encouraging and assisting others to do theirs. Be informed, be engaged, and by all means, be knowledgeable. It’s imperative to understand our current location. “Where So-called Information Misinforms: TrumpWorld!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at:; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your inbox.

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