An Open Letter to Senator Cornyn

Lake Jackson, TX 77566

September 20, 2020

The Honorable John Cornyn, United States Senate

Dear Senator Cornyn:

I have written or called your office in the past, urging you first to support to removal of President Trump from office during his impeachment trial, and then to demand his resignation following his treatment of peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C.  Now, as a veteran, I take exception to having a commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the United States who constantly reminds us of how little he thinks of the men and women who commit their lives and blood to the preservation of our Constitution and democratic way of life.

Moreover, the president is corrupt. He shows no sign of caring about the rule of law, the freedoms of citizens, the circumstances of the people, or about our standing in the community of nations. He cares greatly, on the other hand, about the secrecy surrounding his finances and his once-desired project in Moscow. All his behavior since he came into office has been colored by his apparent wish to remain friendly with Vladimir Putin as a business partner and personal ally.

Now, with the death of Justice Ginsburg, the President has the opportunity to replace a tireless fighter for the oppressed and the weak with a defender of wealth, power, and plutocracy. As a United States senator, you should find a compelling interest, as I do, in assuring that voters are consulted before any presidential nominee is confirmed.

Fortunately, I recall that nearly the entire Republican caucus in the U. S. Senate is on record supporting the principle that presidents must not name new justices to the Supreme Court during an election year. Instead, the American people should first be given their chance to express themselves on the matter by voting in November. It surprises me that the Majority Leader has discovered exceptions to this principle. That the honorable senator and other members of his caucus will hold courageously to this principle of democracy, however, I do not doubt for a moment.

Thank you for serving the needs of Texas, and of the United States, by giving us all a chance to have our democratic voices heard in November, before proceeding in the new year to act on a new nomination to the Court.

Sincerely,

Thomas H. Fowler

Overheard on The Presidential Playground.

“Heads I win, tails you lose.”

Kind of childish, isn’t it? It was a trick your big brother or sister played on you. By the time you got into elementary school, you were streetwise and no second grade bully was going to win your nickel with that silly challenge.

But if you have been paying attention, you know that the president is trying to play that old trick on the electorate. If I don’t win, the election must have been rigged. He says it or tweets it until it gets imprinted in the brains of some of the voters.

Ignoring him would be the normal healthy response to that kind of talk. But regardless of his current functioning grade level, we have handed him one of the world’s most powerful offices and he uses it to protect himself from the law.

He even had one of his minions in the administration urging people to arm themselves in case the election went the wrong way. That guy is heading for a little time off. He is afraid there could be physical threats. And there are those long shadows on the ceiling of his lonely apartment.

DJT got there with the help of enough American voters to attain an Electoral College majority. A majority of voters doesn’t get you anything in the USA. Buckle up for another thrilling night, week, or month of vote counting.

Quote from a Distant Friend

I have a friend who has been periodically emailing updates to old friends from his retirement home out of state. Today’s update began with an admission that he has been somewhat depressed lately, like Michelle Obama, as he pointed out.

Sadly, this is the same friend I burdened with a six page lamentation for his reading enjoyment a few days ago.

Friend, you know who you are. I owe you my sincere apology. But thank you for your email today. In it you said some things that spoke for me. You called it a rant. I call it a prose poem. Here are his words, sans his original formatting:

I resent like hell the Cheeto-faced narcissist calling my father, father-in-law, brother, and even a cousin or two Losers and Suckers. Shame. Recent revelations regarding his pandemic response are proving to be even more shameful, if not criminal. [My wife] and I have been fortunate these last six months that we have been a few degrees of separation from a close friend or family member becoming infected or dying. However, at the current rates, promulgated and exacerbated by lies and “down-playing”, I fear that that may not be the case by year’s end – 200K is [250K] too many. I recall a number of co-workers coming into my office on Election Day almost four years ago to gleefully and proudly announce that they had cancelled my vote. I wonder…Are they still proud about what these last four years have brought? Are they still gleeful?

He speaks my heart. Thank you, old friend.

Things don’t change much here in Lake Jackson. You ask, “are they still gleeful?” Probably they are. Yes, that’s a Trump-Pence sign peeking around from behind the Randy Weber sign in my neighbor’s yard.

Another Mind-Boggling Day in the Trump Years and Day 177 in COVID19 Lockdown

Five days short of six months now in semi-isolation and I wake up to read that DJT thinks I’m a sucker and a loser for submitting myself to service in the US Army in 1968.

And the same day, my next door neighbor posts a Veterans for Trump sign in his yard.

This veteran, on the other hand, thinks Donald Trump owes it to us to resign. Tomorrow. Jump on his Trump Jet and fly to Moscow where he can build his hotel and casino. His friend Vladimir can offer him sanctuary where US prosecutors will not be able to reach him.

But he must always be nice to Vladimir. Vladimir plays hardball. No reality shows for Vladimir. With Vladimir there is just reality. And it can be frightening.

Homeward Bound, Kyle Albertson and the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Virtual Chancel Choir

Something unbelievably beautiful from the St. Luke’s Sunday morning service: Homeward Bound.

St. Luke’s is doing some remarkable things with technology to reach their congregation during the days of pandemic distancing. Click the link and you will hear a most amazing voice, an outstanding choir, and a beautiful arrangement of Homeward Bound. (This is not the Simon and Garfunkel song.) And the solo part by Kyle Albertson is very moving. And, yes, he is a member of St. Luke’s who sings opera professionally.

He’s pretty good. He has done cover at the Met for a guy named Bryn Terfel.

In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed
When the sparrows stop their singing
And the sky is clear and red
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming
When the corn is past its prime
When adventure’s lost its meaning
I’ll be homeward bound in time

Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow

If you find it’s me you’re missing
If you’re hoping I’ll return
To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening
In the road I’ll stop and turn
Then the wind will set me racing
As my journey nears its end
And the path I’ll be retracing
As I’m homeward bound again

Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow

In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed
When the sparrows stop their singing
And the sky is clear and red
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming
When the corn is past its prime
When adventure’s lost its meaning
I’ll be homeward bound in time

Day 155: The Surrounding Darkness and a Crack of Light

There was a little brightness a couple of days ago when former VP Biden announced his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. She is an excellent choice both politically and in terms of her exceptional skills and knowledge of governing. And, maybe most importantly, she can throw a punch expertly and within the rules. This is a ticket that should win by a landslide.

However, there has been enough in the news during the time since Biden’s announcement to cast a pall over our wounded, limping democracy. The president is using his monarchical powers to strengthen his chances of re-election.

You say he has no monarchical powers?

Of course he does if the other two branches of government fail to restrain him. With a Republican majority in the Senate made up of craven, timorous incumbents like John Cornyn and Rafael (Ted) Cruz, there is no legislative check on his power. The Supreme Court of the United States, while not exactly an ally (yet), they most often vote the way he leans. In any case, the only aspect of our government that Trump has mastered is how to use the courts to delay. Think impeachment.

So King Donald is doing all he can to make the coronavirus work in his favor by handing the US Postal Service over to one of his supporters (Louis DeJoy gave over $1.2 million to the Trump campaign), by opposing additional funding for the USPS to handle an expected huge increase in mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 election (due to coronavirus), and continuing to do all he can to slow down mail service.

If he can slow it down enough, he not only makes it harder and riskier for people to vote, he also slows the delivery of many people’s prescription medications, Social Security checks, and household census forms. Benjamin Franklin, one of our sacred founders and creator of the post office had Poor Richard say in 1739, “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.” Wise as Franklin was, I doubt he would have ever expected that one could figure out a way to choke off his postal service as one of his tools for helping assure that he had no rivals.

So, on this 155th day of my seclusion I am seeing darkness descend over my beloved America that I never expected to see. King Donald has also put together a ragtag bunch of headbangers from ICE, the Dept. of Justice (there is a misnomer), and any little corner of the government that has some group of clerks anxious to dress up and act soldierly for the Commander in Chief. He has dressed them in military gear and sent them off without IDs to clear the path for his now famous photo op holding up a Bible of unknown provenance (but probably not the Trump family Bible), to move them away from the federal building in Portland, and again to clear a path for the ICE bus to carry away two detainees in Bend, Oregon.

And at my last grocery pickup, I spotted a truck driving around their parking lot with a blue Trump flag on one side and a Texas flag on the other. Not enough room for Old Glory, I guess.

It all leads me to the conclusion that this is no time to hide. There will be signs in my yard this election season. I have a meticulous plan that I hope will offer the passers-by some day to day variety and a soft buildup to the Democratic ticket. When I fetch my morning paper, I will post a sign for the daylight hours. I will take it in at night when the Republican trolls go around doing their misdeeds. So here is my plan for the big buildup to the Biden yard sign from the first sign to appear: