March 24, 2021
A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation.
A politician is a statesman who places the nation at his service.
Ray’s Daily first published on March 24, 2005
Over the years I have heard people ridicule and vilify our elected officials. Over that same period I have had the good fortune to spend a lot of time in Washington. Sometimes I represented the computer industry, on other occasions Indiana interests, health planning, and most recently the global needs of children. Over the years I found most members to be hard working, good men and women, people who put the concerns of their constituency and the nation above petty politics. Most have had outstanding staffs and worked hard to understand the issues of the day in order to make intelligent voting decisions. Sure many pandered to their constituents, maybe that is somewhat their role, but in the main they tried to do a good job, vote their conscious, and do so with some modicum of dignity. Civility was a required attribute of the effective member, especially on the Senate side.
Some of these people became friends, people that I have respected and liked. Some still are doing the job. But I am sad to report that I think that the current climate of total partisanship has taken its toll. The exercise of power and the utilization of threat by the leadership has forced too many to get in lock step as they go to what appears to be a battle to the death. The same dictatorial power is used to manage the members through the electorate, almost all seats in the House are totally protected from the threat of the other party, but the party can still run one of their members against an incumbent if he does not toe the line.
Are all issues so black and white that the members for all practical purposes feel comfortable voting as part of a partisan block? Have our representatives lost their ability to put statesmanship above politics because of the power of the leadership? Our country faces huge problems, staggering deficits, a national medical care crisis, under funded schools and public safety, and much more. It is a time when we need our best and brightest to help assure the future for our country, for ourselves, and especially for our children. Decisions should not be the result of intimidation or blackmail.
I guess what saddens me most is how so much of the public seems to buy into what is going on. They seem to see the world as made up of either enemies or friends, with no in between, some even to the point of hating anyone who has been labeled a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. They see little problem in emasculating the House Ethics Committee. For many it has become too easy to just categorize and label others, in that way we don’t have to worry about understanding the issues, all we have to do is be for or against people.
I am sorry to rant and rave in my daily. These thoughts are normally reserved for those of you who are on my public interest lists. It is just that recent events and the threatened meltdown in the Senate pose a great threat and could result in irreparable damage to the institutions that have served us so well for hundreds of years. I think we need to do what we can to make sure that does not happen.
A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation.
James Clarke (1854 – 1916)
We were taking six children on a camping trip. I drove the lead car with our gear, and my husband followed in the station wagon. At a tollbooth, I realized that we hadn’t divided the cash supply, and my husband didn’t have any money. I paid a double toll, explaining to the woman attendant, “I’m paying for the car behind me. He has all those children and no money.”
Without cracking a smile, she replied, “Good! Keep him that way.”
Among the most effective labor-saving devices is the neighbor who hasn’t returned your garden tools.
I called to make airline reservations and was put on hold. After several minutes of taped music, a recorded voice came on: “If you have been waiting longer than ten minutes, press eight. This will not speed up your call, but it will give you something to do while you wait.”
At the rate changes are occurring everywhere, anyone nostalgic for the “good old days” is yearning for last week.
There was a tailor named Mendel and he was worried about his business. Mendel was down to his last $50 and was torn between buying a sign and getting food for his family. Mendel decided to pray.
“Dear God,” he said, “I don’t know what to do. If I buy a sign it may bring in business, but I need to buy groceries for my family…and if the sign doesn’t bring in sales, we will starve.”
God replied, “Mendel, buy the sign. Don’t worry, your family won’t starve.”
So, Mendel bought the sign and business took off. The tailor fed his family and all was well. However, as time passed it became evident that Mendel couldn’t keep up with orders all by himself. He contemplated hiring on a helper, but wondered if he could afford it. So, he asked God if getting help would be a prudent move.
“Go ahead,” God tells Mendel, “hire some help, you’ll do okay.”
And so Mendel did. And business took off beyond his wildest dreams. After a time, the tailor decided to move to a larger site that would accommodate the growing demands of his business. As he surveyed certain locations, he found a perfect storefront, but the rental price was really steep.
“God,” Mendel again prayed, “I found the perfect place to relocate my business. But the cost of the lease worries me. I don’t want to get in over my head.”
“Go ahead and a get a lease on the store, Mendel,” said God. “Trust me, you’ll be okay–I haven’t steered you wrong yet, have I?”
So Mendel signed a lease on the 5th Avenue store and profits from his business went through the roof. Out of heartfelt gratitude, Mendel proposed to the Almighty that he dedicate the store to Him.
“How do you like the name “Yaweh and Mendel,” the tailor asked.
“Nah,” God said. “Let’s go with ‘Lord and Taylor.'”
Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts.
Helen Gahagan Douglas
An old wild west fort is about to be attacked. The wily old General sends for his trusty Indian Scout. “Yumti-Bi,” he said, “you must use all your thirty years of skill in trying to estimate the sort of army we are up against here.” Yumti-Bi laid down and put his ear to the ground… “Heap large war party,” he says, “maybe three hundred braves, four chiefs, two on black stallions, two on white stallions. All have war paint…many many guns. Medicine man also with them.” “Good grief!” exclaims the General, “you can tell all of that just by listening to the ground???” “No, General,” replied the Indian, “I can see under the gate…”
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Our dog, Longie, suddenly began barking daily at 4 a.m.
Irritated and sleepy, my husband, Larry, searched the back yard for what might have disturbed this otherwise placid animal. For three days he found nothing amiss.
Then the dog woke up the neighborhood at 3 a.m. with frantic barking. When Larry looked out the window, he discovered someone throwing pebbles to land near Longie.
Larry hurried outside and found the culprit. Crouching on the other side of the fence was our quiet neighbor, the last man you’d suspect of wrongdoing. My husband demanded to know what he was doing.
“My mother-in-law is visiting,” the embarrassed neighbor explained. “If she loses her beauty sleep another night, she says she’ll leave.”
Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.
President John Adams
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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