Comedy and Politics
In today’s times it seems that the only group that can actually talk about politics intelligently is comedians. Politicians want/have to lie to their voters so they will stay in office. They have to cozy up with many people they do not actually agree with. They basically have to watch very carefully what they say in their position (unless its Donald Trump it seems). Ordinary citizens usually do not bring of politics in casual conversation. Its not polite and can get very heated very fast. When politics is brought up said argument ensues and it becomes more about who can win a verbal argument with clever comebacks than an actual enlightening discussion on truth and understanding.
But comedians are different. Comedians have a captive audience that has paid to come see the comedian. They most likely are familiar and think the comedian is funny. The audience doesn’t speak back at the comedian save for a few boos or cheers. So the comedian has much more freedom than the politician or normal citizen to talk about subjects that are normally taboo.
Much of what is funny in life is everyday occurrences seen through a deeper perspective than most people have. Many comedians have grown up using comedy to help them deal with the hardships of life. Politics are often used to try to address many hardships in life. So its no coincidence that the two often coincide.
I used to be a delivery driver. I had a lot of time in my van driving around. So I often listened to podcasts. One of the podcasts I listened to was the Joe Rogan experience. Joe Rogan is sportscaster for MMA as well as a comedian. Now I disagree with a lot of his views. I’m not a fan of the cussing or disrespect towards Christianity. But there’s a lot of things I agree with him about.
He’s a liberal, but he’s not for the liberal agenda of being overly soft and cuddly to protect people’s feelings. Often comedy can be offensive, sometimes for good sometimes not. But sometimes people need to be offended. Other times things are not offensive that people take offensively. What I appreciate about him the most though is that he brings in many guests into the studio, both ones he agrees with, and ones he does not agree with. Some of his guests include: Ben Shapiro, Neil Degrass Tyson, Jordan Peterson, Alex Jones, Elon Musk, Edward Snowden, Bernie Sanders, and too many more to list! America needs more of bringing individuals of differing beliefs together to have a friendly discussion.
I also have to confess that I have watched some of Dave Chapelle’s comedy stints. He’s very funny, but he’s also insightful. He has some very interesting things to say about Race, political relations in America, and other things.
While there are toxic comedians who are getting cheap laughs by throwing barbs there is some good comedy out there that is exploring political issues in ways we cannot find elsewhere. Comedy’s ability to lower people’s defenses and help them understand an issue through laughter helps go a long way. I hope we can take note of this and build upon it in the future.
Health for The Holidays
As November begins, we’re officially entering into the holiday season. Halloween, along with the very real candy stashes, is still here, and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years parties are right around the corner.
While the holidays can be an incredible time of family, festivities and food, they also tend to be a season where most of us take some time off from taking care of our health. While it’s OK to take time to celebrate, this becomes an issue when you let yourself give up on your health for months at a time.
Here are four quick and easy tips to stay healthy for the holidays:
1) Toss the Candy – Leftover Halloween candy can be a tempting treat for many, especially if you have children and with a seemingly endless supply of candy. Get yourself off to a healthy holiday season by selecting and keeping only a few pieces of favorite candies. Consider mailing a care package, including candy, to a soldier overseas!
2) Keep Up an Active Routine – In the chaos of the holidays, it can be more difficult to get to the gym for your normal workouts. But it’s vitally important to stay physically active—in fact, it’s essential for your physical and mental health. Schedule an appointment with yourself for a workout at least a few times a week, whether it’s for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a yoga DVD or a class at the gym. Your stress level will thank you!
3) Practice Moderation – Your family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and the parties of the holiday season, will tempt you with a variety of indulgent foods outside your normal diet. It’s OK to treat yourself—just do so with a plan in mind! Before heading out to a party, eat a healthy snack so you aren’t starving when you get there. Fill up your plate with fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, then choose a small portion of dessert to round out your meal. And when it comes time to indulge, treat yourself to the foods that are once-a-year traditions, not foods you can have all the time.
4) Prepare Healthy Recipes – Try a healthy recipe like an Apple Salad with Figs and Almonds.
2 large apples, diced
6 dried figs, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 ribs celery, diced
½ cup Fat-free lemon yogurt
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
In a small bowl, combine apples, figs, carrots and celery. Add yogurt and mix thoroughly. Top with slivered almonds and serve.
Figs are a good source of iron, calcium and phosphorus. You can eat figs raw, as in this salad, or add them to baked goods. Enjoy!
Got a new idea? Google it. There’s nothing new under the sun – or the Halloween moon.
Search for “cow skull scarecrow.” They materialize in various guises. Most are on the great give-away-your-ideas website Pinterest. Mine’s on my Facebook page. I thought I invented him. He’s got distant cousins everywhere.
Halloween is over. I know that. It’s also coming up in under a year. We’re ahead of the curve.
A year gives me time to add new features to my creation. (He took only 30 minutes to design and build before I added the toothy last-minute stroke-of-genius skull.) For now, I’m getting my hat, jeans and shirt back. They’ll be even more tattered and raggedy by next Halloween.
Little Christmas lights for Mr. Scarecrow’s cavernous eyes were a last-minute addition. Besides a lack of horns, the glowing eyes distinguish him from others of his ilk. Maybe I’ll install scarier lights next year. Meanwhile, my friend Holle is the one who suggested eye socket illumination. Thanks Holle.
Boo! Moo! He needs a scary voice. I’m thinking cheap Bluetooth speaker for putting words in his mouth, like “Moove away kid! You bother me!” But even with a voice, he’s not likely to scare off any crows, especially if we keep him in the urban setting where we have no crows.
Would a crow look good perched on his shoulder? I think so. Or a talking raven? (Ravens are just big crows that say more than just “caw.” Thank you Edgar Allen Poe.)
Let’s Google “talking scarecrow with crow” to see what’s out there. Maybe a ventriloquist act?
You guessed it. All sorts of scarecrows exist with crows, including at least one with a talking crow on his shoulder. Just no ventriloquists. None I could find. If you’re a ventriloquist, go for it.
And there you have it. Life is all about exchanging ideas and creating variations on existing themes – even one’s own themes. You knew that. But maybe you never heard it straight from a scarecrow. By next month my PVC-pipe scarecrow may be transformed into Santa Claus. He can sing Christmas carols and stand alongside our four annual snowmen. I’ll disguise his skull with a bearded mask and add a pillow to give him some girth. Has anyone ever created a scarecrow Santa?
ANOTHER GOOGLE PAUSE.
Sure enough. Someone named Charlene. Like me, she’s a cheapskate. She wrote:
“I had a scarecrow at the cemetery for fall. (Cemetery? I’m hoping she didn’t mean a real cemetery. Poor taste.) Instead of throwing it away, I made it into a Santa Claus for the holidays. Felt, a dollar Santa hat, and hot glue. Turned out very well.”
Good for Charlene.
Sigh. In the old days, a fresh idea could be your idea. Now Google and Pinterest underline Ecclesiastes 1:9 – the nothing-new-under-the-sun verse.
Did Solomon say it first? Or was he proving his point by quoting an existing axiom?
Either way, he got it right.
Meanwhile, Google, eat your heart out. Solomon came first.
Before I start I want to thank all my great friends that have asked for me to write this column again. Some of the ones I need to thank are Nancy Gordon, Bo Jackson, Kyle Josey and Shirley Taylor, but there are so many many more. You all have made this old lady very blessed. No wonder I love Post so much.
Sunday night I was watching Devin Ward on KCBD who was honoring the Post Bold Gold Antelopes for the second time this season as Team of the Week. Devin made the statement, “Rivalry is the spice for sports.” That is what I want to talk about this week.
This being the last game of the regular season of football the rivalry has been seen some this year. The old rivals that Post has had for many years are not like they were when I was in school. Our biggest and longest rival has to be Slaton. There are stories from as far back as I can think of Slaton or Post painting or planting seeds on the other football field. Other rivals were Denver City, Tahoka, Idalou, and even some with New Deal. New Deal didn’t show much problems last week.
Denver City was a power house when I was in school. They always beat everybody in the district to become district champs every year. My junior year we beat them 14-0 here in Post. We were so happy that we called KOMA radio station to announce our win. That didn’t work too well for Post, because the next year they beat us 90-0 at Denver City.
That same year we won district with only one loss going into the playoffs. That loss was to little ole Tahoka. They had dropped down out of our district but we played them before district started. They beat us 3-0. They were always thought of as a little bitty school that wasn’t near as great as Post.
There are so many stories of Slaton I wouldn’t have room for all of them. During the Coach David Thompson reign we were playing at Slaton. We were ahead at half. The visitor’s locker room was under the student section of the Slaton side. The students or the band poured Mellow yellow all over the boys when they came out of the locker room for the second half. Coach Thompson never took the starters out of the game the second half, so we won pretty good. When asked why from the Slaton coach, he told him about the Mellow Yellow. Slaton always called us Mellow Yellow instead of Bold Gold.
There were several years when the junior high and jv teams would go straight to the bus from the field. They would bend over to get lower than the windows and the Slaton police would lead us out of town. This was because we had some windows broken in buses years before. Then there was the year that the Slaton students vaselined the Post side stands. The Slaton teachers had to clean them off before we could get in the stands.
The sign out on the highway by north Avenue S that shows all our wins and playoff accomplishments now has a steal bracing. That’s because Slaton sawed off the wooden legs when it first was put out there.
In October of 1982, I was 4 months pregnant and had my gallbladder removed. Dr. Sealby told me I would have surgery on Monday afternoon, but would have to be hospitalized until Saturday morning. I thought at the time that the Slaton game was that Friday night. Friday morning I was walking down the hall of the hospital. A nurse walked up to me and said that I wouldn’t get to see Slaton beat Post that night. That ticked me off pretty bad. I finally got Dr. Sealby to discharge me at 5:00 p.m. Donald Windham drove through the drive way of the hospital, and I jumped in the car with him. At 7:30 I was in the stands to watch us clobber Slaton 45-0.
As time has passed I have learned that all these towns have really good people in them. Two of those people that had Slaton and Tahoka as their hometowns are as much a Postite as any of the rest of us. They are Luann and Gordon Terry. Luann was from Slaton and Gordon grew up in Tahoka. We are blessed to have them in Post for these many years.
I am in the stands for Tahoka every time my granddaughter Addi plays for Tahoka. She will start her first junior high season on the 14th. It was hard to put blue and white on at first, but now I wear it all the time. Rivalry isn’t dead but it has certainly been calmed.
By: Elizabeth Tanner
90 Years Ago: Mastodon teeth, measuring from about 12 to 14 inches in length, six inches wide, and five inches in thickness, were found alongside a thigh bone bigger than the size of a man about a fourth of a mile from the Boy Scout Camp by J.B. Mitchell. Parker’s Bakery advertised as shown below.
70 Years Ago: The PHS girls basketball team visited Hillsboro to participate in the State Basketball Tournament after winning the title of District Champs. The coach at the time was N. R. King. W. H. Newbury, resident of the Graham Community tells The Post Dispatch that when he was a boy about nine years Old and living Tennessee, he made his first money raising 84 lb. of tobacco and selling it at five cents a pound. Although he wasn’t large enough to plow, his father helped him. After the tobacco was harvested, they hauled it to a boat landing on the Cumberland River and sold it for $4.20. With part of this money, Newbury bought a Barlow knife, a set of marbles, a dime’s worth of sugar, a hat and a pair of suspenders. He gave what was left to his mother. Although Newbury doesn’t use tobacco in any form, he is proud of his first efforts to raise the stuff. He said that “a feller got me to take a chew of it and that’s done me for 79 years.” Cap Rock Dairy delivered milk to your door.
50 Years Ago: “Killer Three,” starring Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, Robert Walker, Diane Varsie and Dick Clark, was showed at the Tower Theatre. 10 Post students were picked for Tri-State Honor Band at the Tri-State Music Festival in Enid, Oklahoma. The Junior Livestock Show ran the dates listed below.
30 Years Ago: PHS sent 22 students to UIL Regionals. Cody Aaron Wall was born to Robert and Delhanna Wall on March 19, 1989. The Wool Judging Team placed first in the Mesa District Wool Judging Contest. On the team was Daniel Redman, Shane Bevers, and Thomas Albert shown below.
By Robert Romano
Can federalism survive? It’s up to Congress
Under the original Constitution, and even with its subsequent amendments, power was supposed to be distributed between the federal and state and local governments, with the idea that the national government would have the fewest powers to affect local administration except in certain areas.
And so, the federal government was tasked with regulating interstate and foreign commerce, creating uniform immigration laws, building roads, bridges and the like, post offices, intellectual property laws, establishing courts, ensuring the national defense and so forth.
Those are all Article 1, Section 8 powers under the Constitution. Those powers not articulated were granted to the states under the 10th Amendment.
But one big advantage the federal government and Congress have is the power to spend and borrow money on the credit of the United States and to print money. States cannot do that, and so with the power of the purse, the federal government has been able to progressively expand control over state and local governments by attaching terms and conditions to federal funding, sometimes for good and sometimes for otherwise.
This power has been utilized a few times using federal transportation funds: in 1974 to set the speed limit to 55 miles per hour and in 1984 to set the national drinking age to 21. Sometimes it works in reverse: in 1995, Congress undid the speed limit law.
Other examples include the 2001 No Child Left Behind that conditions federal education funding on the use of standardized testing by states.
In 2010, Congress enacted Obamacare which included a provision compelling states to expand Medicaid if they wanted to continue to receive Medicaid funds. This was struck down in the 2012 Supreme Court ruling, which stated in portion, “that portion of the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding. Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer.”
There, the majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts does appear to put a limitation on the exercise of the power of the purse, but one could argue it was contradictory. If funds are tied to “accompanying conditions,” and the penalty of not complying is losing the funding, then there never is “genuine choice.” Every grant of federal funds to states is usually for a specific purpose, and generally, they can take it or leave it. What appears to have tripped up Congress here was the fact that states had been implementing Medicaid for decades and so were dependent on the prior stream of funding. Still, Roberts’ definition of coercive appears somewhat arbitrary rather than a rule to make it easy to spot when the line is crossed. I suspect future Supreme Court implementation will be haphazard.
In 2015 the Obama administration via the Department of Housing and Urban Development sought to condition community development block grants on the rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines. This was done in pursuance of the Fair Housing Act’s mandated to “affirmatively further fair housing.”
In 2017, the Trump administration sought to condition federal funds on state and local law enforcement cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on detaining illegal immigrants for deportation.
Generally, exercises of federal power in enumerated powers, like commerce or immigration, are thought to “preempt” state exercises in similar areas under Article VI of the Constitution, making the Constitution and all laws pursuant to it the supreme law of the land.
More broadly, Congress has sought since the 1860s to regulate states in the post-Civil War era under the 14th Amendment’s prohibition on states depriving any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Section 5 of that Amendment gives Congress the “power to enforce, through appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”
That has led to decades of civil rights laws, which combined with the powers to regulate interstate commerce, has given the federal government the ability to regulate employment discrimination, public accommodations and fair housing issues. The aforementioned Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation in 2015 fell under that rubric. That same year, the Supreme Court found in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project that disparate impact analysis could be used to overturn a state’s implementation of federal housing grants.
But just because the federal government can do something under the Constitution, does not mean it ought to. After the Texas decision, Congress actually got together and did a 180 on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation and passed a funding prohibition to prevent HUD implementation of the rule if it included terms and conditions for changing local zoning laws.
This was novel. It sought to use the power of the purse, not exert federal control over states and localities, but to limit it.
Other times, lawmakers may find good reasons to compel local law enforcement cooperation in federal enforcement matters, as with the ICE detainer problem. Americans for Limited Government has certainly supported items like that in limited circumstances. It seems a good principle that matters that are within the scope of enumerated federal powers ought to remain national, and those not clearly explicated ought to remain local.
But this is where discretion comes in. Ultimately, the people decide many of these issues when they elect their representatives in Congress.
The lesson here is that the Supreme Court won’t always be there to intervene because the Constitution is not necessarily always an obstacle to intruding on state and local affairs. The federal government is about as limited as the Constitution makes it to be; which is another way of saying that it is pretty darn powerful. More constraints could be added, but that will require more constitutional amendments. Within the existing constitutional constraints, therefore, Congress has the ability to further limit the exercise of federal power over the states with the power of the purse. And where necessary they should probably exercise it more often.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
Be kind to everyone
America is tearing itself apart — over everything. Politics. Cultural issues. Economics. Foreign policy. Social justice.
Everything is put through that prism, and for some, the issues we are confronting today are simply irreconcilable, and define every single aspect of our existence, including who we are allowed to keep company with—even friends and family members. We are all in camps.
Drip by drip, moment by moment, these differences are breaking our bonds. As friends, family, and if we can’t find a way to stop it, as a country. We can lose everything. Don’t think we can’t.
But we also don’t have to. This was on display when a light-hearted moment appeared on the American people’s television screens on Oct. 6 when the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers. Ellen DeGeneres and former President George W. Bush were pictured sitting together, laughing and enjoying the game.
God forbid. DeGeneres faced some backlash on social media, but the full fury would not come — with celebrities denouncing DeGeneres for consorting with a “war criminal” — until she defended in a monologue on her television program not only her friendship with the former president, but our civil society as a whole.
Here’s what she said: “During the game they showed a shot of George and me laughing together and so people were upset. They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?… But a lot of people were mad and they do what people do when they’re mad: They tweet.”
DeGeneres found one tweet she did like, though, from a user who wrote: “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.” Her audience cheered loudly and DeGeneres clapped and exclaimed, “Exactly.”
She added, “Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different.”
DeGeneres concluded, “I wish people wouldn’t wear fur, I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur… But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people who think the same way that you do. I mean, be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.” Her audience loved it and gave her an ovation, and so do I.
In a time where actor Mark Hamill, who depicted Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, mean-spiritedly attacks Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for posting a fun family photo with their kid dressed up as a Star Wars character, later walking it back by “agreeing” that the kid was awesome (wasn’t that the point of the picture in the first place, Mark?), DeGeneres’ take is refreshing.
My parents and my entire immediate family are Democrats. I am not. But a family we remain. We love each other unconditionally. Family first, not politics.
And country first, not party.
At the end of the day, America is still a country — and we all have to fight for it before we lose the civil society forever. Republicans, Democrats, independents. Everyone. Thank you, Ellen, for helping all Americans to see that.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
What is my purpose?
Genesis 2:15 NIV
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Many people are frustrated because year after year they can’t seem to be able to “FIND” their purpose. The truth is, purpose is not something you can find. Satan wants us looking for it while God wants us to UNDERSTAND that it’s something we can enjoy, live in, walk in and experience daily!
Purpose is like salvation. I’m not going to be saved when I’m face to face with Jesus. I’m saved RIGHT NOW. I’m living in salvation and am free to experience the benefits of it in the now. In the same way, our purpose is not some mystery that one day we will figure out. Neither is it a final destination we will arrive at someday. No, purpose is the journey! It’s in the now! You can operate in it and breathe in it today by deciding to be fruitful & productive for the benefit of others. When a person doesn’t understand this, they are unable to live in the NOW and can’t enjoy TODAY. Their spirit is not at rest because they feel like they are always searching or reaching for something. The truth we must UNDERSTAND is that purpose comes from within and is expressed through our fruitfulness!
God didn’t help me “find” my purpose. He helped me understand it. Purpose doesn’t come from having a title, power, some special status or position. Fulfilling purpose is about making ourselves useful at home, church, work, our communities and so on. Genesis 2:15 tells us the first thing God did with the man was put him in the garden to work it. Being lazy and not looking for ways to contribute to society is a good way to disrespect our purpose. One way I challenge myself is by remembering that “if I don’t live to SERVE, I don’t DESERVE to live.”