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Jimmy Capps, Grand Ole Opry Member, Dead At 81

June 2, 2020

In so many performances at the Grand Ole Opry and on reunion videos, Jimmy Capps was a face that always was welcoming. 

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Guitarist Jimmy Capps, a member of the Musicians Hall of Fame who played on such timeless country songs as Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning,” has died at 81. Capps was also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, playing lead guitar in the house band. A rep for the Opry confirmed his death.

Born May 25th, 1939, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Capps began playing guitar when he was 12. In 1958, he auditioned for the Louvin Brothers’ band and was ultimately asked to join the sibling duo by Charlie Louvin. “Thanks to Charlie…I guess I owe my whole career to him,” Capps said in his 2018 autobiography The Man in Black. “That one split-second decision that he made is the reason I am here. That decision made all the difference in my life.”

Capps made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry stage with the Louvins, performing their murder ballad “Knoxville Girl,” and became an Opry member in 1959. He joined the Opry house band in 1967, playing lead guitar behind the radio show’s guest artists every week up until his death.

Donald Trump’s Abuse Of The Bible

June 2, 2020

This post can be short.  To the point.

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Wonder what this book pictured below says about adultery, cheating on a wife, demeaning POW’s, berating Gold Star families, ripping small children from the arms of a parent?

Ponder the ethical questions about using a Bible for purely personal political purposes.

The basement with Trump gets deeper and darker. Anyone think he has read the book…..any of it?  There is no way to defend such awful behavior with a Bible.

I was raised in a town of roughly 500 people, (Hancock, Wisconsin) and no one had huge amounts of money, but we were taught values. What Trump did with the Bible, and why,  shows money and fame can not buy firm foundations and respect.

Trump MUST NOT Order Troops Into The States

June 2, 2020

Donald Trump was doing on Monday night what he does continuously.  He created a needless bombastic statement that aimed not to engage in the heavy task of leading a nation that is crying out for answers but instead pulled a verbal grenade in trying to get ratings and offer PR gimmicks in place of serious policy responses.

So what is new?  The gravity of what he threatened and the way it runs counter to the foundations of our nation.

Trump stated, “If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Today the fallout of that reckless comment can be seen nationwide.  Retired senior military leaders condemned their successors in the Trump administration for ordering active-duty units on Monday to rout those peacefully protesting police violence near the White House.  What was witnessed in our nation’s capital, all so Trump could have a PR moment holding a bible in front of a church, a simple act he was not even able to carry off, was both shocking and dismaying.

It was sickening to witness Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff standing alongside Trump as military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital.  Being a party to Trump’s desire to urge our national military into a domestic confrontation is so beyond the scope of acceptability it truly stuns the senses.

The blowback was fast and furious.  General Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote on Twitter that “America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy.”

General Thomas, the former head of the Special Operations Command, tweeted: “The ‘battle space’ of America??? Not what America needs to hear … ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure … ie a Civil War.”

Today people are asking the question if Trump can send the U.S. military into a state, even when the governor of that state doesn’t ask for its assistance, or even if the governor actively opposes such a step?  For instance, the governors of California, Illinois, and Michigan have all made it most clear they will not seek the involvement of federal troops in their state efforts to handle the protests and riots.

One of the founding principles of the Republic, something that Trump has very little if any knowledge about, is that the federal military should not be involved in domestic law enforcement.   Granted, over time the law has carved out certain narrow exceptions to that rule, notably in the form of the Insurrection Act, from 1807. This law says that “whenever there is an insurrection in any state against its government, the President may, upon the request of its legislature or its governor,” call in the armed forces.  That is rather cut and dried.  A President can bring in the military only if a governor or a state requests it.  None will be doing so at this time, nor should they.

But the other modification to the law from 1956 to assist in enforcing civil rights laws is the part the Trump thinks he can now use. This provision states that, when the President determines that there are unlawful activities which “make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States,” he may call in the armed forces.   Last night I was reading views from law professors who question whether that provision, which was based on the protection of constitutional rights, would now give Trump the authority to create domestic discord by its use.

Donald Trump MUST NOT make such a reckless act, on top of his reckless statement.  He must not send federal troops to a state that says stay the hell away.  I often post about the autocratic nature of Trump and the undermining of liberal democracy.  This is yet one more shining example of his abuse of power and his affection for authoritarianism.  

It needs to be unscored that during the past three years American military officials have expressed concerns that Trump does not understand either his role as commander in chief or the role of the military that is sworn to protect the Constitution.  Those concerns have again been brought to the top of the national discussion.

What a sad and pathetic man Trump proves to be, again and again.

Joe Biden Speaks To Lack Of Leadership From Washington

June 2, 2020

Many are speaking to the lack of leadership from the White House, Washington, and from our institutional centers as a nation.  I made that clear in a post this week.  Today Joe Biden gave a powerful speech to address this most pressing problem in our nation.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the country is “crying out for leadership” amid nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd and accused Donald Trump of using force against peaceful protesters to stage a “photo op” near the White House on Monday.

In an address at City Hall in Philadelphia, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president said Floyd’s death in police custody was a “wake-up call for our nation, for all of us.” Floyd died after an officer pinned a knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.

“The country is crying out for leadership, leadership that can unite us,” Biden said.

Biden condemned Trump for his response to protests in the nation’s capital on Monday, when mostly peaceful protesters were tear-gassed and cleared from Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. Soon after, Mr. Trump walked through the park and posed for photos in front of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the president from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House, using tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said.

The former vice president nominee slammed Mr. Trump for “brandishing” a Bible while being photographed in front of St. John’s, saying: “I just wish he opened it every once in a while.” He said Mr. Trump should read the Constitution to understand the freedoms granted by the First Amendment.

“We will not allow any president to quiet our voice,” Biden said. He also addressed institutional racism, a root cause of the protests which have roiled the nation.

Trashing The Wisconsin State Capitol In Guise Of ‘Protesting’

June 2, 2020

Late tonight the image from the Wisconsin State Capitol sums up what we need to know about those who are ‘protesting’.  Hell, let us be frank and honest.  This is rioting.

And this act has NOTHING to do with the death of a man in Minneapolis. The peaceful protests are absolutely correct, and justified.   This destruction, meanwhile, has everything to do with a criminal element who wants to destroy and get some free sneakers while looting.

I am most confident the ones so ‘outraged and oppressed’ who did this act have no idea what the significance of this statute is about.  Just as the rioters did not break into Barnes And Noble bookstores, and have no use for the Soap Opera, either.  We are not dealing with a group of raging valedictorians on the streets of Madison.  We are dealing with the lowest elements.

I feel sorry for Michael Johnson and his group of cleaners as they will need a ladder or two when they tackle this project.

This makes me sick to my stomach.

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Trump Used Bible, Protesters Sprayed With Tear Gas For His Political Stunt

June 1, 2020

Donald Trump’s political stunts.

(As has been the case on my blog for most of Trump’s term in office, any reference to his title is removed/and or changed from news stories which are quoted.  That is the case below.)

It was a most awkward moment for Trump as it is clear he did not know how to handle it, rather as if he never reads and is not sure how books work.  As we watched this absurd moment play out it became clearto me that God is getting soft with man.  In the old days, God would’ve struck that stain off the planet with a lightning bolt!

This video is simply stupefying.

 

People who gathered outside the White House to protest police brutality spent Monday waving signs and screaming for justice. They watched as police officers and National Guard units flooded Lafayette Square, delivering on a threat made by Trump. And just before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, they were hit with flash-bang explosions and doused with tear gas.

It was because Trump, who spent part of the weekend in a secure bunker as protests roiled, wanted to have his picture taken holding a Bible at a battered church just beyond the gates.

That church, St. John’s — the so-called Church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has attended — had been briefly set ablaze as the protests devolved on Sunday evening. After Mr. Trump’s aides spent much of Monday expressing outrage over the burning of a place of worship, Hope Hicks, a presidential adviser, eventually hatched a plan with others at the White House to have Trump walk over to the building, according to an official familiar with the events.

As Mr. Trump delivered a speech in the Rose Garden vowing to send the military to states where governors could not bring rioting under control but calling himself “an ally of all peaceful protesters,” the sound of explosions and the yells of demonstrators could be heard. After receiving repeated warnings to disperse before the city’s curfew, the crowd was tear-gassed.

Words Of Reason At This Time Of Madison Rioting

June 1, 2020

A Facebook friend of mine. Brian Austin wrote the following words about Madison, local law enforcement, and the current situation we find ourselves.  It is perfectly stated and correctly toned.  I support each word.  As such I post it in its entirety.

I am incredibly proud of the men and women of MPD. It has been an exhausting couple of days, with possibly more to come. I am not going to try to process the last few days until I have had some sleep, but I will say this:

I loudly and publicly denounced the murder of George Floyd, as did my coworkers. The City of Madison has an educated, caring police department that wants to be a partner in the solution to the disparities in our community. Yes, there is institutionalized racism throughout our society, and there are also police allies who want to be a part of positive change. I beg you not to be so cynical that you believe this is not possible. I can acknowledge the role policing has played in the oppression of people of color. I can also acknowledge the incredible talent, compassion, and contribution the women and men of MPD bring to our community. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

MPD has done everything in our power to protect the First Amendment rights of those protesting. While I wish as a human that the anger wasn’t doled out in such a wide swath, I understand why it is so and will continue to work to establish common understanding and compassion with an outstretched hand.

But the grotesque behavior I have witnessed occurring after the protests are over is utterly unacceptable. Just as I call out the murder of George Floyd, I call out a situation that has to stop. Our small business community, already struggling to survive, is being utterly destroyed. My coworkers have endured rocks, bricks, large chunks of concrete, flaming dumpsters, spit, and physical assault. My team was shot at 2 nights ago. The men and women of MPD have responded with restraint and judiciousness under extraordinarily trying circumstances. If you think otherwise, I am happy to discuss offline, but I am telling you with every fiber of my being that you are mistaken. For those willing to still have a conversation about how we move forward together, I am, as always, ready and willing to truly listen.

For those who are burning my City and hurting my officers, this must stop now.

These views are my personal observations. I don’t speak on behalf of my employer.

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