Just Scream

By George Smith

Ever felt like you needed to just open your mouth and scream? Not just a scream, but a primal scream, an ear-splitting, guttural sound emanating from your lower intestine, tearing thought your stomach, resonating off your diaphragm and creating a noise that actually scares the virtual devil out of those around you?

That’s the way I feel today.

After almost three weeks visiting Scotland and Ireland, I came back to the United States ready to renew my affirmation and love of this country. But then the realization that this country – the 2019 version – is not the version of my youth. Nor is it the country I want for my grandchildren.

The innocence, the beauty of its people, the diversity, the respect of other religious the friendliness shown by strangers to strangers, the love of family and the belief that nothing is stronger than blood ties, is elusive, if not downright missing from the moral fiber of the country.

I came back to these headlines and stories about the world’s most important nation:■ Transgender protections rolled back■ Mississippi, Alabama pass laws banning abortions even in cases of incest and rape■ Trump flails at companies hiring foreign workers; Trump hires foreign workers■ Trump puts $20 makeover on hold; slave master Jackson gets nod over Harriet Tubman■ Mike Pence tells West Point grads to “get ready for war. It will happen.”■ Florida lawmaker says “God told me to introduce abortion legislation”■ DOJ on crash course with intelligence agencies■ Trump mocks politicians opposed to tariffs as ‘babies,’ including some Republicans■ U.S. halting visas of same-sex partners of diplomats■ Trump helped his parents evade taxes, ‘including instances of outright fraud’■ ‘Good time’ to be a farmer, Trump says as he announces $16 billion in aid.■ Trump insists Chinese tariffs will cover $16 billion farm trade aid package■ Banker charged after lending millions to Paul Manafort in exchange for Trump job■ Judge suspended over anti-Trump remarks

And the list goes on…..

What has this nation become when millions accept an emperor-in-waiting as the political messiah and millions more see him as the rise of the end of democracy in the nation?

The bottom line?  The 45th president commits horrible acts of rudeness simply because of his title and personality; he is juvenile in his use of the “bully” pulpit and his utter distain for women and anyone who disagrees with him; he is not smart in protocols of diplomacy or understands the basics of the foundations of this country (including separation of powers and the responsibilities of the different branches of government.

This self-labelled “stable genius” does not read, has no realistic sense of history, no compassion for those suppressed simply for being “different,” no comprehensive of today’s global economy and America’s place in it, and does not trust men and women who have spent decades in specialized areas of global intelligence, he has no idea of the correct use of the global economy as a deterrent to aberrant behavior by rogue nations or how the U.S. economy and politics affects the world.

And most of all, thr president does not understand nor care that he is, (almost single-handedly with sufficient help from his so-called party  friends like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Jim Jordan and Lindsey Graham) is destroying the Republican Party.

“Republican Party” actually no longer applies to the conservative branch of politics. It is now the Trump Party, lock, stock and elephant.

Past heroes of that party – the Bush groupies, the John McCains supporters, the true followers of Reagan – are all lamenting the position taken in total opposition to compassionate conservatism, balanced budget and the paring down of big government.

As a nation we must rise above partisan politics and personal pettiness. That is not possible with Trump, a pompously pious, personally pedantic, would-be dictator in the White House.

We’ll see what this country is made of in a short 18 months.

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Things Don’t Age Well in Marshall

By Ron Munden

Recently I received a couple of calls from people telling me that I really needed to go down and look at Marshall’s Wonderland of Lights carousel.  At the end of last week, I found the carousel and took a picture.

I though that the City paid $60,000 for the carousel but I was told that the number was $80,000.  I do know that when the City purchased it, they were not aware that it had a three-phase electric motor.  There is no three-phase power available on the Courthouse Square so the City had to swap out some of its electronics before it could be used and that did add additional cost.

While I questioned the City spending money on a carousel, I agreed it was a very attractive addition to Wonderland of Lights.  That was the first year.  I was told the canopy was damaged during the disassembly at the end of 2015.  The canopy has not been used since that first year.

Since the canopy was critical to the appearance of the carousel, the City was able to turn a first-rate carousel into a third-rate carnival ride in one year.

Even though the City purchased a trailer for storing the carousel, in the last few years many of the major components of the carousel have not been put in the trailer and stored outdoors in the weather for 10 months each year.

It is my understanding that some of the gears are now faulty and must be replaced before the next WOL. Another questionable expenditure for the City.

The bad news is that Marshall will never have an attractive carousel again.  The good news is that I shot lots of pictures of the carousel before it entered Marshall’s accelerated aging program.

Look at the photos of the carousel Marshall had but will never have again.

Click here to view the slideshow of Marshall’s carousel in 2015.

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