Letter From Home “Thankfulness Over Small Things” 11/26/19

With Thanksgiving just a couple days away it struck me several hours ago as to what continues to make me smile. And what I give thanks for as we reflect on life at this time of year.

James had a hair cut at the salon where Tina, a long-time friend, does more than clip and style.  She is a fount of laugher and endless conversations which often makes me wish that James had longer hair so to make his time in the chair last for just ‘one more story’.

While the two of them were laughing I noticed on my iPad that a homeowner in our neighborhood had inquired about assistance with a matter at a city office.  He and his wife both took jobs this year in Montana but needed to resolve a matter with their home on the isthmus.   I wrote back and told him to consider the matter resolved as we could deal with it.

When I was writing back and forth to our friend out west Tima asked why I did not just dictate my comment and send it.  I know befuddlement is often seen on my face, and there is no doubt that was registered again when I asked: “What are you talking about”?

She came over to me and pointed to the lower left side of the keyboard.  In all my years I had never noticed the microphone key or questioned what it could be used for.   Neither James nor I use cell phones and so the idea of just talking and have the text typed and then sent online was a smile making moment.   We are the ones who show up her home to set up a new computer and offer advice on anti-viral programs and the like.  So when she was able to show me something most useful with technology it made for a great smile on her face, too.

I am tech-savvy–really—though the above story might belie that comment.  For instance, I have poured myself into mastering the aspects of Audacity required for my upcoming podcasts.  I head to the third-floor recording studio of our home with cups of coffee and have thrilled, after hours of tutorials, when something ‘click’s and another turn of the wheel takes place for my projects.  (It was so much easier at the radio studio when in my 20’s to get the desired results!)

Those small victories in my life are what makes for genuine smiles. Smiling over the big things in life regarding homes and cars and a host of related topics is easy to achieve.  But when it comes to the day-to-day joy in life it always comes down to the simple things, the things which should not be taken for granted, or the ones that are right in front of our face every day!

Like a key with a microphone icon on it!

James might lament today’s discovery.  ‘Just another reason for Gregory to talk’.  At times James will say he has never known a time when I was not talking.  I banter back that is why there was never any ‘dead air’ at the radio station when I was behind the microphone.  Trust that will be the same for my podcasting.

As you think about what makes your list of reasons to be thankful I hope there are many small things that only you understand as to why you treasure them.

And Happy Thanksgiving!

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Judge’s Ruling Requires White House Testimony–Checks And Balances Working

I wonder whose job it was at the White House yesterday to inform Donald Trump that he is not a king.  That his powers are limited to the laws of the United States.   That in spite of his claim that he can do whatever he likes there are brakes to be applied by the nation to reign in his actions.  Yes, I wonder who told him that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia handed him a blow to his autocratic dreams?

Following the ruling yesterday former White House counsel Donald McGahn must testify before House impeachment investigators about Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Mueller inquiry.  The rationale for the ruling comes down to the fact senior presidential aides must comply with congressional subpoenas.  Terming the administration’s arguments to severely limit and restrict such testimony as ‘fiction.’ and adding  ‘Presidents are not kings’ must have sent Orange Mussolini into a rage in the White House.

Meanwhile, citizens can take comfort in knowing another example of checks and balances is working for our republic, as the Founders desired.

There will be appeals, no doubt.  But the ruling nonetheless is weighty and correct.  The Trump administration has no sweeping claim that top presidential advisers are absolutely immune from being compelled to talk about their official duties.  And even more powerful was the judge making sure there was no doubt that also means the same for those who worked on national security issues.

I find this ruling most appropriate as it sums up the basic ‘contract’ we have as citizens to society so to make sure law and order is maintained.  Subpoenas relating to presidential misconduct must have a recognition they can not be just tossed aside.  If I were to be subpoenaed it would require me to appear or face the justified consequences.  No one at the White House is protected from this obligation.  There is no “get out of jail free” card that comes with a White House pass.

Laws and order matter.

And so it goes.