Archive for the ‘ Afterwits ’ Category

Off Topic…Not Political at All

I’ve seen several posts today around how the Vice President has politicized the Olympic Games.  One went on and on as to how it was something new.

As in it’s never been done before.

I hate to be a nag, but guess what, it’s not new.

First of all the Olympics (in my opinion) are the most political gathering on the planet outside of the United Nations.  It is a time when nations pretending to come together in unity are there to compete against one another using their citizens as pawns in the process.

There were a few times in the past where politics clouded the view of the playing field.

Germany having started World War I was banned from the 1920 Olympics.  I’m so glad it wasn’t political.

Then there was that time in Germany when they had the Nazi Olympics and nothing was political.

Japan having bombed Pearl Harbor and killed thousands was banned in 1948. Well, at least it wasn’t political.

South Africa – banned in 1964 over their racist policies, and their neighbor, Rhodesia was in 1972.  Thank goodness politics didn’t hamper the games.

In 1956, fewer than 3,500 athletes attended the games in Melbourne, Australia when Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq boycotted the games in protest of the Israeli invasion of the Sinai.

And just a few weeks prior to the torch lighting, The USSR invaded Hungary suppressing an uprising and rolling over people with tanks.  The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland boycotted in protest.  But that doesn’t sound political at all to me, You?

That same year, East and West Germany competed as one team.  They would do so until 1964 when things weren’t so political.

Of course the protest by American athletes at 1968’s Mexico City Olympics wasn’t at all political.

In 1972 eleven Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and murdered along with a German police officer by the Palestinian terrorist organization called Black September.  But, no one in Munich or the rest of the world thought it political.

Apartheid caused most of Africa to “non-politically” boycott the 1964 and 1976 Olympics.

Jimmy Carter, who was not political at all, kept the USA home from Moscow.

Of course the Refugee Team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio wasn’t a politically motivated move at all.  Really, we’d all be foolish to think so.

Of course there’s always the change to the Marathon story.  Queen Alexandra, consort of The United Kingdom’s Edward VII, changed marathoning forever when she decided the race should start on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle so “the little ones in the nursery” could watch the start, and had it end at the Royal Box in thereviewing stand, which she had had moved so the sun would not be in her eyes, extending the race from its customary but not arbitrary 25 miles to 26.2 miles.

But then, how could the Queen of England be considered political?

To Infinity and Beyond!

On this date in 1986, Florida Congressman (now Senator) Bill Nelson lifted off in the Space Shuttle from Cape Canaveral.

Here’s a thought, make one that seats 535!

We’ll call it Congress in Motion.

Apologies to 2017

We had plans, you and I, 2017.

We were going to lose 20 pounds together; 35 to go!

We really meant to get the book published, honest we talked about it all year.

Does cutting my day lilies down to the ground count as dividing them?

De-clutter the garage, didn’t happen.

Was this too far to dream?

And what about that cabinet under the sink?  You gave me no encouragement.

And those pants that no longer fit. (See diet promise above.)

I know I told you I’d cull my library, but we both knew that was lie from the start.

Yes, 2017, I had plans for you…I failed you. Mea Culpa.

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving!

It’s a truly American Holiday; not that only Americans are thankful.  But with a few exceptions it is an annual holiday only in the USofA.

Virginia claims the first Thanksgiving; they hold fast to the tradition and stick by the narrative.  They claim their celebration was held on December 4, 1619, and it may well have been, but it was celebration of Thanksgiving in a religious sense. They even made a proclamation;

“We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Prayer may have been on the menu, but a feast of venison, cranberries, and corn such as the Pilgrims of Massachusetts would have a few years later were not.

There was no pumpkin pie, turkey, or mashed potatoes on the menu that day in Massachusetts.  Potatoes had not been introduced to  the region, turkeys were deemed foul fowl, and there was no wheat for flour to make a pie.

What we deem the first Thanksgiving and what we learned in school was the three day festival of Thanksgiving held in the Bay State, er colony of Massachusetts.

The celebration was in honor of the first harvest the folks had, and supposedly, they shared their good fortune with the indigenous folks nearby.

Maybe, maybe not.  I wasn’t there.

This is the Thanksgiving from which we get our lore and to which we trace our roots as a thankful nation.  It was held at Plymouth Plantation, and there was a feast.

The celebration consisted of three days of food, hunting, games, and fun in general.

Squanto, a Patuxet Indian who had been captured by Virginian, John Smith in the Indian slave trade and then escaped or was released (no one is sure) and somehow wound UP in Newfoundland, made his way to New England and taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn.

No matter what the details, it was “big doins” and you know how we like to hold on to our traditions.

The First President to declare a day of National Thanksgiving was The First President, George Washington.  John Adams and James Madison would follow suit, but neither of those days were to celebrate harvest, they were celebrations of freedom, victory, and the American nation.

President Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1863 on the last Thursday of November in the midst of the Civil War.

They celebrated what we do not know, but can only imagine survival was on the list.  Soldiers stopping to give thanks when they were never sure if a bullet was headed their way is a sobering and humbling thought.

That day stuck for a while until the Depression when FDR changed it to the 3rd Thursday in November to help retailers extend the Christmas shopping season.

The change was met with outrage by most. Some of his detractors called it “Franksgiving.”

Burn.

A little later FDR issued a proclamation declaring the 4th Thursday as Thanksgiving forever. Congress not wanting to cede power passed a joint resolution on October 6, 1941 declaring the last Thursday of November as the holiday beginning in 1942.

But in December of that same year, the Senate came back and passed an amendment to the resolution that required the holiday to be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.  Subtle difference, but impactful nonetheless.

The amendment passed the House, the President signed the bill and voila! Now you have a National holiday when all government offices are closed.

Some states ignored the 4th Thursday rule and continued with the last Thursday.  Texas was the last holdout, acquiescing in 1956.

Hey, don’t mess with Texas, right?

Nowadays, its a day when we reflect on the things with which we been blessed over the year, eat too much, watch college football, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

And of course, start Christmas shopping!

This year, I’m thankful for much and could take UP pages with the blessings I’ve received.

But I’ll leave it at this.

I’m thankful for all of you who take time from your busy days to read my ramblings and ravings and I’m thankful that you chime in from time to time.

Happy Thanksgiving!