Deflate-gate isn’t new

Since it seems like every newscast begins with the headline “Deflate-gate” over the past few days, most people probably think this just came up in the playoff game for the Super bowl. Actually, the Indianapolis Colts “smelled a rat” back last November about under-inflated balls supplied by the Patriots following its regular season game against them. But I guess that was just “swept under the rug.” After all, it wasn’t a big championship game.

But this time the charge was taken more seriously. Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show this morning said she thought they were now “Trying to get their ducks in a row.”

Quarterback Tom Brady says he had nothing to do with any deflating of balls. Head Coach Bill Belichick said repeatedly that “He has no idea how that could have happened.”

This is just the latest in a series of scandals which the media has dubbed “Gate”

When I was in Washington, DC last August I saw the building where it all began on 17 June 1972 when the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel was bugged by members of the Republican party. We all know that was traced back to President Richard M. Nixon, and that’s what took him down. After that every scandal became a “Gate.” There are so many I won’t attempt to name them all. All the way from Billy-gate to Debate-gate to Frankie-gate to House-gate to Iraq-gate, Korea-gate, Closet-gate, Flake-gate, Gamer-gate, Portrait-gate and on and on. You get the picture. I guess this just goes down as another infamous cliche.

The question remains as to whether these incidents, take Watergate and Deflate-gate, for example… whether they were isolated incidents or just one more in a string of such practices that happen all the time but those involved are not caught. In the latter in certainly seems so, and I think the former as well.

But let’s get our mind off of the news and think about all of these sayings! All the ones used above except gate, along with their origins, may be found in Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. If you don’t have your copy, order one online today at Amazon or any reputable retailer. They are “going like hotcakes!” (That’s in there too!)

 

RC Cola and a Moon Pie

In the South, an RC Cola and a Moon Pie have traditionally gone together like a sausage and biscuit. Every year about this time, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a typical old Southern village in Bedford County, throws what they call the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival. Today it’s happening with a parade at 11:00 and a lot of vendors with everything from crafts to art and music. And our governor, Bill Haslam is attending. There’s a Saturday live radio show in the family style Bell Buckle Cafe. But the temps are in the 90s and there is always a crowd in the thousands.

I love Bell Buckle, and we go at least once or twice every summer just to shop the quaint craft and antique shops and grab a tasty meal and possibly an ice cream.  I’ve also been known to go for a Moon Pie and an RC Cola on occasions.

My upcoming book will be the first in a long series of volumes scheduled to be released titled Exploring Our Exciting World. This one will be about the Southeast US, and Bell Buckle will be just one in a bushel basket full of fine locations to visit. These books will be unique in that they feature best attractions to visit in each area including festivals, sports events, National and State Parks, Historic Landmarks, and Amusement Parks plus Institutions of Higher Learning. But another unusual feature will be that a lot of it will be from personal experience, and each book will have contributions from others. The first book is scheduled for release in October, 2014. 

For other great books see stclairpublications.com.

I’m rooting for California Chrome

In 1978, Affirmed was the last horse to take the triple crown. Before that, in 1973, Secretariat was the first to accomplished this coveted feat in 25 years.

Since 1978, 12 horses have won the first two rounds and fallen short of winning the third leg..

I guess the reason I’m so up on California Chrome is the fact that he was purchased as a colt by co-owners Coburn and Martin for only $10,000, when many champions go for millions. Also, his trainer is 77 years old. I like fantastic success stories. This colt was an unlikely winner, and now has taken 6 straight races and is in good form to take it all.

Although I’m not an avid horse fan, I’ve been to a race at Kentucky Downs and it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill. I’ve also been to Kentucky Horse Park at Lexington and seen the Thoroughbreds up close.

Kudos to jockey Victor Espinoza! Though he is a celebrated winner, the whole enchilada had to work together to get California Chrome to where he is today. With the Belmont Stakes three weeks away, my hat’s off to him and I offer my fondest wish for a thrilling finish for a deserving team.

 

Kentucky Baptists Giving Away Guns at Church

I could hardly believe my ears this morning when I heard on a Nashville TV station that USA Today reported that the Kentucky Baptist Convention has voted to have a Second Amendment Celebration by giving away guns at churches in an effort to “convert unchurched young men to Christ.” At least one church, Lone Oak Baptist in Paducah,  is having an event this evening at which they are giving guns as door prizes. I checked it out, and this is factual!

What’s wrong with this picture? Sure, I believe in our rights. I’m exercising my First Amendment right of free speech and press right now. But the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, not a lack of common sense. I also have a right to pick up snakes, but I chose not to do so.

It is recorded in John 18:36 that Jesus spoke against his servants fighting, even to prevent his delivery to his enemies for crucifixion. His was a message of love, and I hardly see churches giving away firearms as a promotion of love.

So I won’t be giving away guns, handling snakes or bombing abortion clinics. That’s just my “two cents worth.”

 

 

Where were you when Kennedy was killed?

Fifty years ago today was a fateful day in our nation’s history. It was at the very moment when we heard the surreal news that our President had been shot that Americans of my generation realized that even our most revered leaders are not immortal.  I was a high school senior between classes. At first I thought that it wasn’t true: that someone was playing a sick joke. Then I reached my class and the radio was blaring the story over the intercom. My heart sunk. I seemed to grow up in an instant.

Quickly theories circulated that it was a conspiracy against our country, and even that our own government wanted him dead. The Warren Commission later ruled that it was the work of one lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had himself been killed.

Today many are divided on this subject, with a majority of Americans still believing in some form of conspiracy. Whether or not it was, no one can be certain, but conspiracy theories sell more books.

As for Kennedy, he is now being heralded by the democrats as a liberal (he put forth new progressive ideals and helped the less fortunate). His New Frontier was rated with FDR’s New Deal. Conversely, the republicans as a conservative (he lowered taxes to help the economy). He is compared to both Lincoln and Reagan. But we must remember, the political parties continually evolve and their views are much different today than fifty years ago.

My little book, Beyond the Thistle Patch, talks in more detail about that momentous day fifty years ago. It contains dialogue from that day and a picture from Dallas. Check it out on our website at stclairpublications.com or Amazon in any country. Also available in Kindle format.

 

Obamacare is a trainwreck- Why?

I’m neither a tea party-er nor a liberal. Extremists seem to clash with reality on both ends of the spectrum in either politics or religion.

Even many democrats are now willing to admit that Obamacare is a disaster. First, the website failed to function properly, and still won’t. Now hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing their healthcare (in spite of Presidential statements that they could keep it) and if they can obtain new coverage, they all have to take mandated services many don’t want or need, paying up to ten times their previous premiums.

I could have told them what would happen, but unfortunately they didn’t ask me or any other longterm insurance company executives that have seen such plans repeatedly fail. A number of states, New York among them, have tried to run state plans for the unfortunates who were unable to obtain coverage through the normal channels and they “fell flat on their faces.”

Let’s face it, insurance companies, like other businesses, have to make a profit to survive. When they have to provide preexisting condition coverage without asking any questions, and maternity and prenatal dental coverage, etc., they can’t do it “for peanuts.”

When our government tries to get involved with something for which they are not qualified, they will without a doubt fail. For many years my agency and I sold a great volume in life and health coverage. I have even been responsible for helping to design plans for companies. I do not want the job of helping the governnment with its trainwreck. But “give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.”

Notwithstanding all of this, if you want to get your mind on something worthwhile, go to stclairpublications.com and pick up a copy of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, or get it in either paperback or Kindle on Amazon.

Zimmerman case was not about race

I have tried to stay away from controversial issues because I have friends of many opinions. However, this issue grabbed me because I felt that my opinion was valid. We need to stop making everything about race. All races are equal. Yesterday, a letter I sent to my local newspaper appeared on the opinions page at the top with the large headline I have on this post. Here is the article. I hope some of my friends let me know how you feel about it.

First let me begin by saying that I am far from a bigot. I have a bit of Cherokee ancestry myself. I have friends of various races, nationalities and religions. Several of my grandchildren are of mixed race, as neither of my daughters married “whites”.

Now let’s talk about factors which identify race. Is it primarily the color of one’s skin? Certainly not. Mariah Carey, for example, would pass for white anywhere, yet she is identified as “black.” One of my granddaughters, at about age 12, told me adamantly that Michael Jackson was not black!

Is it the origin of their last name? I think not. Jackson, Johnson and Martin were originally European names. Many years ago, African Americans began to identify anyone with “one drop” of black blood as being of the black race. Apparently for others of mixed race this does not apply.

George Zimmerman’s mother, who herself testified in her son’s trial, is Peruvian and she is obviously of Mesoamerican descent—probably Aztec. Her skin is far darker than many “blacks” in the U.S., and the skin of her son, George, is brown, not white. Nevertheless, the news media continue to identify him as “white” adding fuel to the flame of racial prejudice. I even heard it said that the “not guilty” verdict for Zimmerman “set back race relations by fifty years.”

In a letter to the Orlando Sentinel soon after his son’s arrest, Zimmerman’s father noted that George was of a Spanish speaking minority and “would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.” He also mentioned that some of his relatives are black.

Both sides were careful to select an all woman jury, most of which were mothers, so as not to have prejudiced persons listening to the many grueling days of testimonies by witnesses on both sides. Yet when this jury proclaimed him “not guilty,” cries went up across the nation that justice had not been done. One report was that if the tables had been turned and the killing had been done by a black, the result would have been reversed.

Do they really believe this? O.J. Simpson was tried for killing two whites and was acquitted. Afterward he even wrote a book practically admitting his guilt, and was convicted in a civil suit.

What all this does prove is the fact that the racial divide still exists in a nation in which it should have been erased decades ago. Whichever way this intelligent jury adjudged this case I would have accepted it. Even Trayvon’s parents asked for no violence.

Please, America, let’s keep our wits about us and move on. Yes, a young boy’s life was taken which should still be living. But under Florida law self defense is allowed and the prosecution failed to convince the jury that Zimmerman was guilty of either murder or manslaughter “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Our judicial system isn’t perfect, neither are our laws. But they are still the law, and we must move on.

Stan St. Clair

Today marks another historic milestone

After a hotly contested presidential race and a narrow miss of going over what became known as ‘the fiscal cliff,’ America’s eyes today are turned toward the second public inaugaration of the first American President of African descent. It is also, coincidentally, Martin Luther King Day, celebrating the legacy of the most beloved non-violent leader for Civil Rights in America’s history. 

Yes, our nation is sharply devided, perhaps on a scale not equaled since the Civil War, a schism, like that of Dr. King, involving Civil Rights. Now, however, the sharp divide is more about other weighty matters.

My book, A Place in Time, available on Amazon.com, chronicles the divisions still existing in the reconstruction era, in a short, easy-to-read novel which puts you in the picture from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the first downfall of the Ku Klux Clan. Order your copy today.

Feliz Navidad

On this holy day in Christianity I arose early. Not because I was anticipating opening presents, but because I was wide awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. First, I want to wish my readers a very happy and blessed day. The reason for the celebration is remembering the birth of the Christ Child who came over 2,000 years ago–not on December 25– but that doesn’t matter. The remembrance is what counts.

Over the past two weeks, like millions of other people, I have had a mixture of emotions. While still reeling from the senseless slaughter of innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, we were hit with the lingering illness of our precious little Pomeranian, Stardust, the dog which had been our special joy over the past 16 years plus, and her passing away on Tuesday, a week ago today. At first this was so stunning a blow that I could hardly communicate with others. And I shall always miss her. But we were blessed to have her. When placing this beside the loss of the parents and family members of the victims of Sandy Hook, I realize that it is paled in comparison. May God comfort them and give them tranquility of soul.

Today represents love and hope. The birth of the Prince of Peace. May his love give all a brighter tomorrow. Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, God Jul and may all receive His peace.

St. Clair Publications author, Tammy M. Brown, interviewed on Birmingham TV

It is so exciting when one of our authors is honored by a TV news appearance. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Tammy Mentzer Brown’s book, A Teacher’s Prayer,  is already a great seller. Yesterday evening she was Interviewed on Birmingham’s FOX6 News. Her story is one which reminds us that even in the worst of circumstances, the care and prayers of others can make a huge difference in our lives. Since her school days when she was in the Presbyterian Children’s Home in Alabama, and had been the victim of repeated abuses, one of her teachers had been praying for her and she didn’t even realize it. After thirty years they were joyfully reunited. Thanksgiving makes us think of being thankful for the positive events in our lives. Share this one with Tammy.

Here is a link to her story as shared by the FOX News team: http://www.myfoxal.com/category/240204/video-landing-page?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7954797