No, I am not a Republican, nor Conservative in the least. I had this very discussion among a group of liberal Democrats, and I could not even finish my argument. I think there is room for disagreement on how laws are written and enforced in this country. Hating ‘hate crime’ laws might be an exaggeration. An important distinction, it is not the crimes against individual groups that I find appalling, but qualifying crimes into special categories.

Picture or a law scale and book in an office.
Picture or a law scale and book in an office.
I Hate Laws That Categorize

I feel as if I would be a hypocrite to say categorizing laws based on characteristics is wrong when applied to police, but okay when applied to minorities. I do not believe that crimes against law enforcement or theft of the elderly need to be written in a way that says their crime is unique and different solely because of descriptors. In fact, there are very few crimes that should be defined by the characteristics of an individual. The only ones I can think off-hand would be sexual crimes against a child. …


If I had a dream job, I would love to tell people that I am a professional treasure hunter. Stop with the laughing. No, I don’t think I am Indiana Jones even though I have dressed like him at comic-cons. It is not a get rich quick scheme. Actually, it is more of a hobby that ends up costing more than whatever I find. Still, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt in the hopes that I might score big one day.

I think I am far from alone in my unbridled excitement. Treasure hunting takes many forms. There are those trying to strike it rich, but then there are those of us who just love the search and, if wealth follows, all the better. …


Who doesn’t like a holiday? Everyone has their list of holidays they celebrate — some with more enthusiasm than others, and they all fall into a few, overlapping categories — religious, family, historical, silly, etc. The sub-category I wish to discuss is U.S. Federal Holidays. These days are recognizable for Americans because the banks are closed and, for some who work, it is ‘time-and-a-half’ pay.

Currently, the U.S. government recognizes 10 Federal holidays for Americans. They are New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), Martin Luther King Day (3rd Monday in January), President’s Day (3rd Monday In February), Memorial Day (Last Monday in May), Fourth of July (July 4th — obviously I hope), Labor Day (1st Monday in September), Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October — sadly), Veteran’s Day (November 11th), Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November), and Christmas (December 25th). …


That is not a typo, and if it is not a typo then you must feel I’m a little crazy?

Nope, and I know it seems counter-intuitive to want to significantly increase the part of Government most Americans believe is irrevocably broken. The branch most Americans claim is rife with incompetence. It is so bad that recently polling reveals a Congressional approval rating of under 20%. Still, this is exactly what I am proposing, at least to one-half of Congress, the House of Representatives.

Capitol Building by Architect of The Capitol
Capitol Building by Architect of The Capitol
Capitol Building by Architect of The Capitol

This is not the first time I have complained about representation for the House, nor is it the first time I have discussed its origins. When the U.S. Constitution was being written, the legislative body was divided into two separate bodies. The upper chamber became the Senate. Each state in the union was granted two Senators thus ensuring lesser populated states would not be dominated by their larger neighbors. The lower chamber was organized into the House of Representatives and was designed with proportional representation. This bicameral agreement was known as The Great Compromise during the debating and ratification process of the U.S. …


Does the Coronavirus have you glad to be at home instead of at the office? Do you feel uncomfortable speaking publicly in front of large groups? Is your preference a good book to a night on the town? Are you nervous about asking someone on a date? You could be shy, introverted, quiet, and/or a homebody, and I feel for you. However, it is unlikely that you are suffering from the mental health condition — Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD for short). SAD is a different beast altogether, an actual mental disorder, and seriously debilitating.

Stay Away. I’m practicing Social Distancing.
Stay Away. I’m practicing Social Distancing.
Motto For Social Anxiety Disorder Sufferers, LOL!

Now, I do not want to trivialize another’s issues, but let me give some examples of social anxiety induced fear with which I am familiar. Have you ever went from an ‘A’ to a ‘C’ in a college class just to avoid an oral presentation? Have you ever accepted jail time from a judge rather than engage in group counseling? Do you wake up a night remembering embarrassing moments from grade-school like it was yesterday? When you walk into a room full of strangers, do you have the unfounded fear that they are talking about you? …


Do you remember George C. Scott’s wonderful theatrical take on World War II general, George Patton? General Patton was considered one of the best as well as one of the most feared Allied commanders by the Germans. He led the 3rd Army by the force of his domineering personality against the equally stout but increasingly despondent Germans. Similarly, Speaker Pelosi has been engaged in a war of attrition against President Trump since 2016 who, himself, has also become increasingly desperate for the past 4 years.

As World War II ended against the Germans, Patton supported a continuation of the war, only this time against the Soviets. Patton was not alone either in this belief. Legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill also felt the war should continue against the ‘Red Army,’ even drawing up ‘Operation Unthinkable.’ The belief was that the ‘Commies’ were going to need to be confronted eventually, so better to do it now while everyone was trained, mobilized, and already stationed in Continental Europe. …


Some say that streaming services have led to a golden age of television. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are the stars. In fact, the number of platforms has become so ubiquitous that people joke how anyone with an idea can create content for air (Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 3!). So why is it then, that one of the greatest Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980s is never mentioned for a remake? Why is it that the great Thundarr the Barbarian has seemingly been forgotten about by every Hollywood creator?

Thundarr the Barbarian was one of the better-written shows in an era when cartoons were produced to sell toys. Its premise was much darker than other network shows as you followed the titular Thundarr, Princess Ariel, and Ookla the Mok in a post-apocalyptic Earth that is now filled with “savagery, super-science, and sorcery.” The world-building done in only two seasons is some of the most elaborate of that era of television and resonates even today. It was produced by the world-renown animation company Ruby-Spears who said that Thundarr the Barbarian was their favorite show to watch. …


Every year has its list of books that make the New York Times #1 Bestsellers list and yet you will never see this one in Oprah’s Book Club. There are more novels considered classics than I can count and don’t get me wrong, I could ramble on and on over a host of fiction novels — Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last Of The Mohicans, and Jack London’s The Call of The Wild, however, they were far from the most influential book I read growing up. No, my favorite book and, truly one of the great books of all-time stands alone as a 1000-page behemoth in the non-fiction section of any library. The World Almanac and Book of Facts (TWA&BOF for short) stands alone as a unique masterpiece. To be sure, there are many publishers and varieties of Almanacs, yet TWA&BOF stands apart from all others in its size, scope, and authoritativeness. It is one of the greatest books ever written. …


Crazy, you say? Florida, a place whose citizenry are targeted relentlessly and stereotyped for outrageous behavior and suspect decisions? The Sunshine State whose greatest claim to fame, after an anthropomorphic mouse, is the botched 2000 Bush-Gore election?

If I haven’t lost you yet, bear with me and I think you will be positively convinced by the end. There are really four distinct reasons for my prognostication, and while each alone will not lead to a Democratic victory, however, when the four are taken together in concert, victory almost seems certain.

To start with it is important to remind those reading who are not invested in historic election results and polling data, as to why Florida is of such importance. First, Florida has 29 votes in the Electoral College, the 4th most of any state, and the largest state that falls within the ‘undecided’ category. The state is roughly split proportionately at 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans. Therefore, it is more than just coincidence that the eventual Presidential winner has also been the winner of Florida, George Bush (2000,2004), Barack Obama (2008,2012) and Donald Trump (2016), and usually by the narrowest of margins, as seen below…


Mike Webster Winning The Super Bowl! | William Larkin
Mike Webster Winning The Super Bowl! | William Larkin
Mike Webster #52 — Center for the Pittsburgh Steelers | By William larkin

Sports fans love lists and comparisons. Who are the Top 10 QBs ever? Who are the greatest teams ever? Who is better — Emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders? However, only Pittsburgh Steeler fans will understand the importance of this list. Only a lover of the Black-and-Gold will enjoy debating who are the Top 5 Centers in franchise history!

Fans of the National Football League’s other 31 teams might roll their eyes and look incredulous that anyone would take even the slightest interest in the Center position, but not a Yinzer. …

About

Michael Thompson

Join me at LiberalMusings.com. It is a work in progress but I like to write my opinion without the hope for monetary gain. It could be about anything.

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