What roots nourished the rise of Trump?


How did Trump come to gain such popularity? Why are so many people willing to vote for him? I was having that conversation recently, and suddenly the following line came out of my mouth:

“People voted for Obama. It’s the same thing. They like what he says. Doesn’t matter whether it has any connection to reality or not. Trump is our payment for electing Obama.”

It is a sad fact for right-wing Republicans that the past 8 years have seen the rise of the Tea Party as a force to be reckoned with, a force that enabled Republicans to gain control of congress, and what is the ultimate result of that movement presidentially? The rise of Trump — someone who overshadows all the candidates of value that the Tea Party movement has grown from the grass roots.

One might say the fact that the Tea Party is grass roots, that it isn’t an individual, focused voice, puts it at a disadvantage, and perhaps it does in this case, especially considering it is competing against such a strident voice as Trump’s.

In the same context of Obama/Trump comparison, I recall one of the complaints heard about Obama: that he was the perpetual campaigner, but he didn’t know how to govern. I get the same feeling for Trump. There are a lot of words there, but I wonder if he has any clue about how to actually govern. I expect him to be always acting like he’s on the campaign trail. Which might actually be better than his trying to govern, now that I think about it…

Again, another reminder, from a different context, this one related to generals who stage military coups. The usual problem with them is that they take over the political situation because it is a mess, but because they are used to the military way of doing things, they go stomping around trying to do that in government, not realizing that the bureaucracy works differently, and so go about breaking the system. I think Trump is going to have the same issue if he gets in. He expects to do the same thing he has done in business, not recognizing the difference between business and politics, and he’s going to be the autocrat he is in his companies, and end up either breaking the system or creating a fatal impasse.



Fitness Update: continuing record-setting


Once again I set a new daily record with my Misfit Shine. Running longer distances really racks up the points.

Last week I ran a 10-mile loop on Friday, followed by a small bike ride to the community center for one of two weekly swims that I did this week.

While running last week I contemplated the ways people handle the “monotony” of running. I know at the corporate challenge triathlon the rules prohibit the use of earphones/headsets (though I saw several people using them, and don’t think they actually disqualified everyone). It seems that some of the physical benefit of running is teaching the ability to continue on with a repetitive task. There is plenty of time for the mind to do many things while running, but it also teaches the mind and body to stay focused on a task.

I’ve been wondering how the training for this long-distance running will  affect my 5K running. I am scheduled to run the 5K for the Corporate Challenge this coming Saturday. I’ve noticed that I have found a steady pace for the longer distance running, that I can continue to keep as I extend. But for the 5K I will want to move faster. Will I be able to switch gears and up the pace on Saturday? That is the psychological and physiological question I am working through this week.

Sunday began the month of May. On April 30 my bike mileage was 1097. So I am almost 100 miles ahead of the annual pace to reach my annual goal. I also had 28 5K or longer runs for the year. My swimming yardage is up to 28,150. So I’m on pace for all goals, and even some of the things that I set since the beginning of the year.

Birthday Chronicle — # 50


Today’s post is a birthday chronicle — of my 50th birthday. I will be sharing events and ways that I celebrated the day, along with reminisces from the 50 years past.

Talking with mom yesterday, she noted that my 50th birthday was a Sunday, and that I was also born around 10 a.m. on a Sunday. Curious how both days occur on a Sunday.

Which makes me think of the child’s poem:

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,

Wednesday’s child is full of woe,

Thursday’s child has far to go,

Friday’s child is loving and giving,S

aturday’s child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

I was born on  Sunday morning, right before church. I remember being told the story of my birth being announced during morning worship. And when they got to my 10 pounds, 8.5 ounces, the women in the service supposedly let out a low groan.

It also snowed the day after I was born, and between that and the chores of running a dairy, dad almost didn’t make it to the hospital for visiting hours that day — he only made it there with a few minutes to spare.

Fast-forward 50 years, and I started the day out with a celebration with the mutt. Rocky and I went on our usual Sunday morning ride. Halfway through the run, almost at the furthest out point another male mutt decided to pay attention to Rocky.  He was maybe 45-50 pounds to Rocky’s 60. He had a collar but no visible tags. Both dogs did the sniffing thing, but eventually the other dog did enough to  get even Rocky to warn him to back off. I finally started us moving again, but the dog kept following us for a full miles and a half on the way back. Every time we would stop the sniffing would begin. And the other dog would keep trying to hump Rocky — and Rocky didn’t like it. I eventually pulled out the leash from his halter and tried whipping the other dog to get him to lead.  He didn’t get mean with me, but couldn’t get the idea to just leave.

Upon return fed breakfast to the dog, and then selected my own breakfast. Usually we have some sort of pastry, but this morning I took leftover crepes from yesterday’s breakfast, rolled a piece of sliced ham inside each, and had them for breakfast along with some Rooibos Vanilla tea.

That was followed by birthday wishes from the Seekers Sunday School Class, and being sung Happy Birthday by the Avondale UMC Cathedral choir.

After sermon and communion, we headed over to Worlds of Fun for the premier events of the 50th celebration. For the third time in four years, Nathan and I did rode the Rip Cord together. See the below featured video.

After that Betsy and I did the Worlds of Fun BBQ and Brew Festival. We really weren’t interested in the brew, though we took 3-4 samples and wet our lips before dumping each one in bitter disgust. What brought us to it were the items on the food menu — which were well worth the $20 apiece we paid — for those who liked beer it would be a real deal.  I might feature more on that in a later piece (not enough time to edit everything today).


After enjoying our $20 festival lunch, we took a romantic train ride, came home for a short nap, then Carly and I ran over to the park to pick up supper. Then it was a relaxing evening of editing the days video take, interspersed with a treat of cake.


Native Dress vs. Western Dress


This post is based on eclectic observation and little research, so people with greater knowledge and observation are encouraged to explain and comment on how my observations are incorrect, and why these false impressions, if false indeed they are, , permeate themselves within our culture.

The observations I am talking about are those for clothing styles between the west and other cultures. The Western business suit became the norm for business attire the world around – or at least it did until the West itself got into classic casual business dress.

And much of the world has also seemed to adopt our casual clothes – jeans and the like. Jeans and T-shirts can be found everywhere around the wold these days. Everyone is wearing them.

Well, not everyone. There are many conservative places and cultures (subcultures when they live in the West but keep themselves separate) that don’t allow their women to wear Western clothes.

And that last sentence is really where my thinking began. It seems the men who won’t let their women wear western clothes, have no problems wearing western clothes themselves. That is my point to ponder. Where are the cultural clothes, the native dress, for these men. Why must the women stay enshrouded and preserve the culture, while the men acculturate in their clothes?

The irony is it is portrayed as the men making or encouraging their women to stay in native dress, while not doing so themselves.

I will admit, much of the native dress is quite becoming for the women, at least the stuff that isn’t the all-enshrouding stuff meant to mask that they are women, or totally hide their presence. I personally feel it is good for men to dress like men and women like women.  That statement isn’t as limiting as it sounds — when you realize how the styles for both have changed over the years.

For instance, a regency romance my wife was reading recently talked about the men in it, and how one guy was good looking, but just didn’t have the right legs for the skin tight pants that was the fashion for men those days. Today it is women who wear such tight pants — “yoga pants”.

So, now that I’ve stirred the waters, some please tell me where I’ve been culturally naive and unobservant where clothes and fashions are concerned.

Weekend Events: AUMC book sale


Thursday — time for another forward look at the weekend — along with a backward glance at the previous weekend.

Well the first event is for all those who enjoy a good read. The annual  book sale of the Avondale United Methodist Church is going on from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday April 29-30 at the church, 3101 NE Winn Road, Kansas City, MO 64117.

Second item of note is the BBQ and Brew festival at Worlds of Fun. This is the second of three weekends of the festival. As someone uninterested in beer, I still find myself toying with participating — if only to sample the food pairings. As the website notes:

Chef Kevin’s sample size BBQ Menu includes Grilled Shrimp, BBQ Chicken and Waffles, Smoked BBQ Pork, Smoked Ribs, BBQ Spiced Chicken Wings and Bananas Foster.

I find myself fascinated by the food choices — for a season passholder the price is only $20. The offsetting items are, is there enough food to make it worth $20, and why pay $20 to sample that food when we already have a the season dining plan? Time will tell what we actually do.

One event currently planned, if weather and lines hold, is for myself and the son to do the RipCord this Sunday. I like to do it once a year (or every other, at least), and I have a specific reason for choosing this Sunday. I might explain more about that afterwards.

#87: Joy to the World!


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

This is a favorite Christmas Hymn, but it is really a hymn of the second, triumphal coming, not the virgin birth. Note the words carefully.


Joy to the world! the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,

An heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing, And

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.


Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Now thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders of His love.