Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No keen insights today


Remember, man, that thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return

Or jocularity.  This is Ash Wednesday.  It's a day that even some mainline Protectants appreciate.  It's a day that reminds us of the unsettling fact that in a hundred years, all but the smallest, micro-percentage of us will have been forgotten by the world.  That's right.  By the year 2116, the odds are my great grandkids might be aware that I existed.  If technology lives up to its promises, there might be some clips of me somewhere, on a shelf, in a storage container.  But so far we've not discovered any technology that is eternal.  So by 2116, my boys - if they are still around by then - will remember, my grandkids might, and any great grandkids might remember the name.  But that's it.  The rest of the planet will have moved happily on.  Just as the vast majority is unaware of me now.  The entire planet will have forgotten me by then. 

So what's left?  That would be how I am remembered by the Almighty.  In the end, for all we talk about, fret about, fuss about, blog about, what should be my main focus is me.  Not in the selfish sense of the world.  But in the 'where do I start to fix the problems?' sense.  If I look out at the problems of the world, I should always remember that I'm a major part of those problems.  And before I begin casting those stones, I had best do an inventory of my own state of affairs.  Not that I shouldn't call out injustice or sin or evil, and certainly I should feed the hungry,cloth the naked and visit the prisons.  But as my Mom told me growing up, the first person I need to worry about fixing is the person I see in the mirror every morning.

That's not a bad reminder, and that's what Ash Wednesday is for.  It reminds us that we are chaff, dust in the wind so to speak.  For all the bells and whistles of a materialistic, consumerist society, in the end I'm not worth anything if I'm not right with God.  So that will be what I'm thinking over today.  May all of you have a chance to reflect on that rather non-media generated priority.  God bless.

"You are a fine person, Bilbo Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”   J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's pizza time!

It's national pizza day

Not national pizza with everything but anchovies day.  Any fool knows that's November 12.  And of course it's not National Cheese Pizza day, which instead is strategically placed between September 4th and September 6th.  This is national Pizza and National Bagels day.  Which makes sense.  In college, there was a bar in Marion, OH called The OK Pizza and Bagels.  Back then, many of us weren't sure what a bagel was, and what, exactly, it had to do with pizza.  But how times change.  Now it's a national day of observance!  No doubt furniture sales and shopping days will be in this important day's future.

So in honor of Peyton Manning's win, and in keeping with the honor our elected officials wished for this day, we will order some Papa John's pizza, get a round of bagels, and enjoy the night.  No school tonight kids!  Ah, the joy of homeschooling.  See you all tomorrow!

I can't argue with that

"Kasich Disses Conservatism, Trump Disses the Audience, Bush Declares He's in the Abortion Sweet Spot, Cruz Apologizes to Carson Again, Carson Functions While on Valium, Rubio Channels Dan Quayle and the Fat Guy Attacks Rubio and Innocent Babies"

Except for the fat guy statement.  Let's not get personal. 

You'd think the GOP would be ahead in the national polls by about 120%.  We've had one of the least competent leaders in American history as our President, who has overseen one of the most anemic recoveries - if you can call it a recovery - in modern history.  He has sown division, discord and racial tension.  He has helped bring America down from the Superpower perch that it was burdened with for so many decades.  His one major legislative accomplishment - health care reform - has done as much harm as it has helped.  He is snarky, snippy and sarcastic and demeaning to anyone who doesn't treat him as some royal steward of the nation. 

And running to replace him is an elderly, half-crazy, socialist Santa Clause who passionately advocates for the secular European culture of death while insisting that he can give everyone almost everything without question.  Against him is an elderly, scandal ridden woman with a checkered past as Secretary of State whose main claim to fame is her marriage to a man who was one of two impeached presidents. 

Yet against this, the GOP is still only running neck and neck, and depending on the candidate, is actually behind in the polls.  Just what it is about the modern Republican party that is dedicated to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I can't say.  It probably has something to do with the age old battle between late 20th Century Republicans who were only about money verses those blue color Reagan Democrat types who really care about religious and social issues.  As long as that battle remains unresolved, expect the Democrats to win with just about anyone on the ticket..

I know, I know.  The media and Hollywood and our educational systems are firmly in the liberal camp and, by extension, completely supportive of the Democratic party.  But just because you are faced with opponents who have all the firearms doesn't mean you should paint a giant bull's-eye on your back. 

Why is anyone surprised

That aging feminists are invoking the fires of hell and old sexist stereotypes in order to corral the phallic-challenged among us into the Hillary pens?  This is liberalism.  The same that promised open mindedness and live and let live regarding gay rights, that last year had to assure us Kim Davis is the only person who will ever go to jail over gay rights.  Trust them.  It will never, ever happen again.

This is the same liberalism that equated record stores that wouldn't play Madonna albums with McCarthyism and kristallnacht.    The same that now sides with bans against Chick fil A over its founder's beliefs about gay marriage.  Even if it means elected officials using the legislature to ban the restaurants from their cities.

This is the same liberalism that venerated George Carlin and his pleas for a completely open society where anyone can say anything, no matter how offensive to established values.  The same that now considers it hateful and offensive to point out that men can't have babies and seeks to eradicate offensive speech from the public forum.

This is the same liberalism that insisted women should never be attacked when they courageously come forward in sexual harassment cases.  The same liberals and feminists who stood silently by as Bill Clinton's White House attacked and destroyed every woman who came forward and accused him of sexual harassment. 

This is the same liberalism that stood by as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Joe Liebermann and Herman Cain were on the receiving end of words and phrases that the same liberals once would have decried as sexist, anti-Semitic, and racist.  Why then, oh why, is everyone running around shocked that hyper liberal feminist activists like Gloria Steinem or former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would use phrases and arguments that sound suspiciously tike the sexism and fundamentalism that have been the very thing from which liberalism promises to rescue us?

By now we should realize there is no liberalism.  There never has been.  There is not even a movement that particularly cares about sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, censorship, intolerance or open mindedness.  There is merely a new revolutionary world order that seeks to impose itself on society, and will use any trick at the moment to achieve its ends.  Those who have long believed that this movement is the only one that cares might want to wake up and smell the latte.

Well done Indiana

Indiana is quickly becoming a major focus in the war against traditional religious morality.  As the Left makes it clear that there isn't enough room in America for the two of us, there are some willing to fight back.  And fight we must.  The days of thinking we can somehow take all of the blasphemies, heresies, debaucheries, narcissism, hedonism, godlessness and tyranny that seem to define the Left, set them politely aside, and embrace the rest, have got to go.  I can't think of what else the Left can do to make us realize it wants us gone.  Out of the picture.  Subservient to its exclusive gospel proclamation.  Thank goodness there are those in Indiana and in other places who are beginning to wake up to the obvious.

Yep

Don't let enemies of the Faith dictate the terms.  We are to love our enemies, pray for our enemies, and forgive our enemies.  But in doing so, at no point does that mean they will cease to be our enemies.  They might eventually.  But while they are enemies, don't let them call the shots.  Let us stand up and proclaim what we are and what we believe.  Let us define our terms.  And, quite frankly, let us be prepared to call out our enemies for what they are and for what they believe so that the unsuspecting won't be caught unawares. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

NARAL Reminds me

That liberalism isn't just about thought control and brainwashing.  It's about doing those things in order to convince the most educated generation in history that squares are, in fact, round.  So in keeping with the news that saying "Men can't have babies" could be hurtful to Transgender people, NARAL is upset that the Doritos ad "Humanizes" the fetus.  I just thought NARAL was upset that an ultrasound was shown with both parents and in a positive light.  Censorship being a very liberal thing.  But no.  In keeping with the 'How dumb can we make people' quest of the Left, NARAL is actually upset that the ultrasound shows what ultrasounds show.  And yet liberalism is taking over the minds and hearts of our once Christian culture. 

Remember kiddies, don't show ultrasounds because it might show what ultrasounds show.  Don't go around saying men can't have babies, because it can be hurtful and offensive.  This is the nation we're leaving to our children. And for that, I apologize. 

The choice the Left doesn't want to talk about

Speaking of our post-Christian society

Donald McClarey reminds us of how far America has come from our Christian roots.  Note well, the proclamation was for our national sins.  The old myth that it took the Baby Boomers to realize sex was fun, war was bad, and America wasn't better than God is just that: a myth.  In fact, I'm not sure if there are other countries with as much national self awareness that have produced so many willing to continually critique and criticize their nation the way Americans do.  But this proclamation reached into the very Christian notion of sin, the reality of sin, the consequences of sin, and the fact that mercy is always available, but our humble and contrite turning to God is not some option in the equation. 

Remember when

Remember when it was those religious fundamentalists on the 700 Club or the Moral Majority who were the uptight busy-bodies, always protesting the latest movie, or song, or Coke commercial?  Remember when liberals promised us a land of openness and tolerance and agreeing to disagree and respect for different opinions and beliefs?  Remember when the only real bad guys were the ones who were offended and demanded expressions of art and literature conform to their moral absolutes?  Yeah.  So do I.  Which is why NARAL is absolutely making an ass of itself for anyone over the age of 35

It just reminds us that the pro-choice movement is not about choice at all.  It is about death.  And it seeks to hide us from the facts by promising debauchery and selfishness so that we will embrace the heresies and blasphemies of the modern Left, while not thinking too hard about the various safety nets it insists will always work and are no big problem. 

Super Bowl reunions

Of course there is much talk about the Super Bowl MVPs all coming together for Super Bowl 50.  And there should be.  It was quite stirring to see them all together, possibly for the last time.   But there was another awesome reunion.  Click here. Tommy Okon and Joe Green reunite.  That's the little boy with the bottle of Coke and "Mean" Joe Green in what is arguably one of the best commercials ever made.  Brings back memories. 

As long as this continues to be true:



Bernie Sanders, or any radical revolutionary, will pick up steam.  You don't have to hate Capitalism or the Free Market to admit that those economic approaches in the hands of a godless, hedonistic and narcissistic society will end up no good.  Of course, Democratic Socialism in the same godless, hedonistic and narcissistic society won't work either.  That's the rub. 

Christians, including Catholics, have long lost our moxie when it comes to stating that we have the Truth, and the Truth alone can set us free.  Other cultures and societies can have parts of the Truth, or have decent enough attempts at goodness.  But in the end, they will fall far short of the mark.

In a fallen world, anything will fall short of the mark.  That must be admitted.  But the One, True Faith will do much better in that fallen world than other beliefs that are farther from the Truth.  And yet, we can't admit that simple fact.  Not today.  Not in the face of the triumphant Left and its heretical beliefs in multi-cultural revelation. As a result, many Christians, Catholics included, see the problems with our American society.  They see the stagnant wages, the inability to provide livings, the growing consolidation of wealth among radically non-religious, non-Christian advocates who take from the government everything they can get and then snap their fingers to God, country and Americans.  They see the problem.

Unfortunately, they then whitewash the issues because we long ago accepted that Christianity was just our meat, Islam is their meat, Buddhism their meat, Atheism their meat, and if we can all just get along and teach the right things in our classrooms, all will be right with the world.  So they imagine that it's the rascally Free Market or that vile Capitalism that has been the mischief.  As such, perhaps given the grave difficulties so many are experiencing in our country, it might be time to go radical and think Socialist!  What could possibly go wrong? I submit the same exact thing will go wrong, because in the end, I submit that the real problem isn't Capitalism or the Free Market, or even Socialism, but a godless and hedonistic and narcissistic society. 

In the television show The Middle, Patricia Heaton plays the ultimate post-modern mom and wife.  She's lazy.  She has big dreams, but never bothers to work for them, and spends most of her time running around trying to fix the resulting problems.  It's a very well written and funny show.

In one episode, they look at their old, dilapidated home.  They decide they will move to a new housing development; condominiums where others do the heavy lifting with repairs and yard work, and they can just relax.  Their kids are less than happy.  They don't want to leave their friends.  They don't want to relocate.  When the family goes to look at the model homes, Frankie (Patricia's character) is swept away.  It looks so wonderful.  So perfect.  But Axel, her smart mouthed, underachieving teenage son, hits the nail on the head.  He points out that the model home looks good because they don't live there.  Once they move their crappy furniture in and lay around and do nothing with their lives, it will end up being as crappy as their current home.

And that's the problem.  Taking any economic or political theory and applying it to the same godless, non-Christian (or anti-Christian) society isn't going to fix anything.  We Christians lost the stomach for pointing out that Christianity is the exclusive Truth revealed by God through Jesus Christ.  We can't bring ourselves to believe that even though we can never make a perfect world, there are better chances with Christ to make a good world with good ethics, sacrifice, hard work and responsibility than in other systems based on other beliefs.  Because of our inability to say this, we've convinced ourselves that any belief is as good as our own.  Any morals as good as ours.  So it must be those pesky political and economic theories. 

Sorry, our country long ago shed its Christian roots.  Did I mention we are a godless, hedonistic, narcissistic nation of grown up children who resent work and want everything handed to us on a silver platter without responsibility?  Do we really think that ditching Capitalism and the Free Market for a Democratic Socialist model will change that?  I don't think so.  Who knows, if we first embrace our Christian roots and declare our Faith's exclusive contribution to humanity, even Democratic Socialism might work.  But putting the cart before the horse, and pushing for the political theory over the Divine Revelation?  That will just take our crappy social furniture, and make the new economic home as crappy as it is now.

The most addictively disturbing commercial from the Super Bowl


Because liberals never threaten that hell stuff




I'm sure Ms. Albright doesn't mean it literally.  It's just a nice little splash of cold water in the face to those who justify warming up to liberalism with the notion that liberals are just more open, tolerant, and non-judgmental than those evil right wing types and all their hell and judgment rubbish.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Go Peyton!

 
I don't have a dog in this fightThe Evil Empire has been destroyed, at least for this season.  I don't have a bone to pick with the Panthers, though Cam Newton is a bit over the top for my liking.  Still, I wouldn't mind seeing Ted Ginn rack up some points and wow the football audience.

But is there anyone who wouldn't like to see nice guy Peyton Manning go out in a blaze of glory?  And with him, he wouldn't come back.  It wouldn't be like the sad Michael Jordan return that sucked the air out of one sports history's greatest career finishes.  Once he leaves - and almost everyone believes this will be his last hurrah - he will be gone.  After all, he's almost 40 years old.  That's like 90 in football years.  Especially for a quarterback.  So we'll see. 

If the Panthers win, I won't cry.  But if the Broncos win, despite the shafting they gave to Tebow, for the sake of Manning, I will celebrate. 

I will wait and see

At this point, where we have come to expect our leaders to go from one religious shrine to another, there might not be anything worth worrying about.  The old boundaries between religious belief and practice are quickly melting away.  Even if we downplay Islamic terrorism, we can't ignore the results.  Islam has managed to force the world into setting a growing list of distinctions aside and trying to embrace one global religious belief.  Which would suit most modern liberals just fine. 

Exactly how other religions see it, I don't know.  My guess is they are split between traditionalists who see something unique in their own religious tradition that is simply incompatible with other faiths, and those who see refusing to completely embrace other faiths as the only incompatible belief.  After a century of genocide and global war, Cold War and borderline nuclear annihilation, followed by a wave of tens of thousands killed in the name of religious extremism, we shouldn't be surprised that there would be some form of reaction on the part of the major world religions.  Especially since radically anti-religious advocates have seized on the extremism to condemn all religious beliefs.  Given the disproportionate level of influence such secular voices have in our modern academia and media, religious leaders had to act.

So we'll see.  I try not to jump to conclusions.  But based on what I've seen, I doubt I'll be surprised by what happens, one way or another.  

Newsweek throws red meat to the tribal faithful

And announces that it is Right Wing Extremists who are the real threat to Americans.  Of course they are.  America is the third largest population in the world with 318 million Americans.  Of those, only .9% are Muslim.  31% are Conservative.  That means 98,580,000 Americans identify as Conservative vs. 2,862,000 who identify as Muslim.

Now, approximately 26.9% of Americans are under 20 years old, and about 9.1% are 70 years old or older.  That's about 36% who are outside of the adults who are capable of killing.  I know that 19 year olds or 12 year olds or 75 year olds are capable of killing.  But for the sake of arguing, let's try to keep the numbers around those adults in America who are between 20 and 70.  That's 64% of these groups who are adults.

Now, what is an extremist?  Surveys repeatedly taken of worldwide Muslims kept finding that between 10% to 16% of Muslims worldwide supported terrorism at least to some degree.  That's actually Muslims who support terrorism.  That's actually support strapping a bomb to a baby or killing a room filled with innocent civilians.  I'd say that's extreme.  For the sake of arguing and charity, let's make it 10%.

What about those Right Wingers?  What is a "Right Wing Extremist"?  For some liberals, of course, anyone not liberal is a Right Wing Extremist.  But let's assume not.  Is it someone against the Government?  Part of the KKK?  Neo-Nazis?  Self-proclaimed militia?  Someone who doesn't like Obama?  A racist who happens to be Conservative?  Do they all have to support bombing federal buildings and shooting up black churches to be extremist?  I don't know.  It's not defined.  So let's just keep the numbers relatively close.  10% of Conservatives are extremists at least capable of killing in the name of their ideals.

So that brings us back to the numbers.  Based on the numbers above, approximately 181,000 adult American Muslims are extremists and either capable of, or fully supportive of, violence and killing.  Compare that to around 6 million adult American conservatives who are the same.  Since we've been assured  that illegal immigration isn't a problem regarding extremists, and the Muslim killers are always home grown, we won't worry about the immigration issue.  Just good old fashion American terrorists like Grandma used to make.

So there you go.  You are more likely to get killed by an American Right Wing Extremist than a Muslim extremist.  Naturally.  Look at the numbers.  How much more likely?  Apparently quite a bit more likely.  I would assume about 35% more likely, give or take.  That would make sense based on population numbers.  Of course I would also assume that I would be about 35% more likely to be killed in an auto accident with a Right Wing Extremist than a Muslim Extremist, or be swindled by a Right Wing Extremist than a Muslim Extremist, or 35% more likely to sit behind a Muslim extremist at a sporting event than sit behind a Right Wing Extremist at the same event.  So in terms of killing, I would assume if there were 45 Americans killed by Muslims since 2002, that there have been around 1530 killed by American Right Wing extremists.  Correct?

And yet, according to the Newsweek article, there were 45 people killed by Muslim extremists since 2002, and 48 killed by Right Wing Extremists.  How can this be?   That almost suggests that either fewer Right Wing Extremists are willing to kill, or there are far, far fewer Right Wing Extremists than we're led to believe, or there are a crap ton more Muslim extremists, or something.  Especially since the argument is we are spending too much time focused on Muslims and Islamic extremism when we should be focused on those Right Wingers.  If that's the case, then it stands to reason we've foiled more Islamic attacks than Right Wing attacks.  At least I would think so.  So something isn't right.  Somehow, when I step back and look, I'm far less convinced of the obvious bias that Newsweek is trying to get me to accept.

I admit I'm no statistician and numbers have never been my strong point.  But I decided to play around with the numbers in my amateur fashion.  After all, the article itself seemed to stink of hyper-left wing partisanship; bloody meat thrown to the rabid tribalists.  For instance, it deftly avoids 2001 as the starting point for the casualty rate.  That nicely dodges the whole 9/11 thing.  But then, I couldn't help but notice it drops the Oklahoma City Bombing in, just to remind us of what those Right Wingers are capable of.  And yet, it never brings 9/11 into the equation to remind us of what those rascally Muslim extremists are capable of.  Even if they argue they're only worried about domestic terror, let's not forget the 9/11 terrorists were here legally. And it also isn't fair, then, to discount the possibility of immigrants legal and illegal.  But let's face it, that's not why they mention Oklahoma and ignore 9/11.  First red flag that got me to thinking.

It also tries to go through the history of right wing extremism, but without nodding to atrocities committed here or world wide by radical left wing organizations or Islamic nations through the years.  That sort of 'ignore part of the evidence and you can prove anything' form of propaganda immediately sends up warning flares to me.

Of course the article paints a bleak picture, linking extremists with Republican leaders, racism and the GOP, Conservatives in general with their worst counterparts.  That's propaganda in the nutshell: use fact, twist facts, add lies, and mix with biases while ignoring inconvenient facts.  How do you know Jews are corrupt?  Find some corrupt people who happen to be Jewish and go from there.  Same with Blacks.  Same with Muslims.  Same with Atheists.  It's a time honored approach.  Not that some of the violence or evil done by Conservatives wouldn't have a particular feel or tone about it.  Sure it would.  But the same goes for evil done by Christians, or Blacks, or Whites, or Muslims, or anyone.  Or, dare I see, even liberals! 

I'm not saying that there isn't a story here.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't be looking at everything honestly - including violence done by Left and Right Wing extremists, and how such a small percentage of the population manages to kill almost as many as one of the largest demographic groups.  But this article is not trying to look at facts.  It is a little bit of raw meat thrown to the rabid wolves.  In fact, anyone who takes this and immediately uses it to build any case at all should send up warning flags to the rest of us about that person's credibility.  I know I'd be hesitant to listen to such a person again.  Which is why I seldom read Newsweek anymore.

Happy Birthday Mr. Reagan

Over at The American Catholic, for Reagan's birthday, Donald McClarey has a nice piece reminding us about Ronald Reagan and what he brought to the American landscape in the 1980s.  My parents were Reagan Democrats.  That is, they were sick and tired of Jimmy Carter's lackluster leadership and felt that he, as well as the Democrats, had embraced values and ideas that were incompatible with America's ultimate well being.  The rest of their families, as far as I know, remained Democrat in votes as well as name.  Their families liked Reagan, don't get me wrong.  There was no real animosity.  They simply wouldn't vote for him, being staunch Democrats.

Among our younger generation, however, that sentiment was different.  I began watching politics in 1980 when it came to my attention that we had just elected a war monger president who would be nuking the world any minute.  Really.  The message us youngsters heard, especially from Boomer aged pundits, was 'Go get laid now, because ol'Ronnie is going to nuke the world!'  Recently, a special on the Cold War run by National Geographic actually postulated that the whole 'get it now' attitude of our generation came from this period in time; this idea that our end was now inevitable and there would be no retirement. The NatGeo special didn't directly link it to the Leftwing propaganda against Reagan.  But at least it admitted the feeling of inevitable doom from that period of time. 

The 1982 Recession didn't help, and soon we heard charges of senility and stupidity that was leading to poverty, racism, discrimination and Big Brother (that was big in 1984).  Yet, by 1986 things were changing.  The economy had rebounded.  Yes, Reagan's almost na├»ve faith in the goodness of Americans paved the way for a godless market in a godless country to seize upon his policies and exploit them for the benefit of the wealthy and the exclusion of the middle class and American welfare in general.  But at the time, things were leaps and bounds better than 1979. 

Plus, we just came off of the Geneva Summit where Reagan  and Gorbachev took the first fruitful steps that would not only diminish the fears of a nuclear holocaust, but made it clear we might just end this whole Cold War thing peacefully. 

Naturally, not wanting to be burned by inconvenient progress, the Left attacked, and we had the Iran Contra scandal.  Most people couldn't tell you want the legalities of that scandal were.  The point wasn't to get Reagan legally.  If they could, all the better.  But it was to smear his reputation by forcing out the fact that he had broken his promise about negotiating with terrorists, or something similar.  That was the hope.  Despite the scandal, however, and despite the market downturn that happened in 1987, Reagan left office the most popular president since polls were started.

Why?  First, because he appealed to the older generation that might not like the other party, but supported the well being of America more than partisanship.  Second, he had a strong sense of who he was and what he believed and he governed accordingly.  He wasn't a detail kind of guy and that was no problem.  He handed the details to his workers and let them do the heavy lifting.  But he knew what he believed and he set out a set of policy plans in 1980 based on his beliefs, and with the exception of lowering our debt, he accomplished those promises in his first term.

Finally, he was a good leader, and by most accounts, a good person.  Even if at the time he towered above other figures, he was a down home sort of guy.  He could lead.  He could get America where he wanted it to go.  But he did it by getting people to join him.  Whether a Democratic congress, or a Soviet leader.  So strong was his leadership abilities that Gorbachev was picked to lead the Soviet Union as a direct result of Reagan's unwavering style in the US.

But despite this, he was a good man.  During the special about the Geneva Conference that I've referenced before, there was a charming little anecdote told by some of the staff workers who were with the Reagans.  The Reagans were staying somewhere with a family in Geneva.  One of the children asked Reagan to watch his pet goldfish.  Unfortunately, the goldfish died the night before Reagan was to meet with Gorbachev.  Reagan was crushed in the morning when he saw the fish was dead.  He told one of his staffers to find another fish just like it!  He then went onto the meeting, all the world watching, all the critics in knots worried that he would nuke the world, everyone  holding their breath.  When the historic meeting was over, Reagan returned to the residence and - this is told by those who were there - the first thing out of his mouth was, "Did you get the fish?" 

It reminds me of the famous story of Joe Montana in his Super bowl XXIII victory.  Pressed against the clock.  Seconds ticking away.  Touchdown needed to win.  Starting at the other end of the field.  As the team gathered in the huddle, nerves on edge, adrenalin pumping, it's said that Montana suddenly looked up and said, "Hey, is that John Candy?"  Whether it happened that way or not, I don't know.  But it illustrated the leadership Montana brought to the game. Perhaps the strongest leader pro football ever had.  Joe Cool. 

And that was Reagan.  The fate of the world on the line, the Cold War, the threat of nuclear annihilation, the eyes of the world and history glaring down.  And through it all, the first thing he had on his mind when he returned was concern for a child's pet fish.  That's leadership.  That's that It factor.  And that's what made my generation a bit off kilter when it came to the media generated Reagan hate.  Because the Boomer dominated pop culture we in which we grew up hated the man, we should have had no love for him ourselves.  Many did hate him.  Worse than anything I've heard said about Obama.  And yet, on the street level, even if we didn't like him and were obliged by the media narrative to ridicule the man, many of us also knew, deep down, we were better off than we had been only a few years earlier.  We didn't proclaim our admiration openly of course.  But we knew. And what's more, we felt safe and believed there was light at the end of the Cold War tunnel because of Reagan, not despite Reagan.  In the bigger scheme of things, in the fallen world we've always been forced to live in, that's not bad.