By BILL SHARKEY III
Martinez News-Gazette Columnist
INCREDIBLE!!! The so-called leader of this nation who received some two million votes less than his opponent, but won the electoral college, can lead ‘us’, his constituents, down the road to so much chaos and uncertainty. More disarray with our organizations of government and much more consternation for our longtime allies around the globe. For the past two years, since January 20, 2017, our word is no longer our bond in the eyes of many of those who have worked with us and believed in us. Why has this happened? How could some seven decades of understanding and mutual respect been trashed? Not only agreements between our allies have fallen apart, but personal relationships between longtime friends, leaders of our friendly nations, fallen apart due to a lack of knowledgeable courteous leadership and long-established international diplomatic protocol practices.
Head-scratching continues most everywhere over the kinship-like relationships between the Oval Office Occupant and the ‘strong men’ leaders in nations who are adversaries. What goes on here? Do the relationships provide inspiration for him? Is it like running around the neighborhood with the ‘big boys’? Rubbing elbows with them makes him feel bigger? Provides social status with an unsavory group? It’s becoming more unsettling for a lot of us who do not like the ‘smell’ of the situation.
To add to his collection of these strong men, he has added the new leader of Brazil, a far-right politician who was a White House visitor this past week. They were all smiles during their press conference while the Oval Office Guy expounded on ‘local issues; making known once again internationally his dislike for the late Senator John McCain, widely-acclaimed national hero and political leader who passed away and left the tawdry scene in Washington some seven months ago. If one needs an example of a no-class leader, the White House occupant is it.
As is reported after most all of these visits, the host in the White House has a comment like, “We are great friends”, or “We have a great relationship”, like he has with his North Korean lover? Egad!!!
The comment to further the point, ‘I never liked John McCain, and I never will,” sayeth the know-it-all, again to the international audience. Then, adding to the awkward and unseemly comments, pointed out that the McCain family did not thank him for the use of an Air Force plane which carried Senator McCain, his family and the military personnel involved home to Arizona. What’s the word? Gosh??
THE BAD TASTE you may have after reading the piece above, how about some baseball stuff? Right around the corner, and approaching fast. Getting a head start were the Oakland A’s in Tokyo starting their 2019 season. Their appearance was a real tumultuous event, the media said.
Along with the media hype with analysis of each team, their new hot players, their outrageous new multi-million-dollar contracts, chances for a pennant this year, and all the rest. All of interest to avid baseball buffs. However. a recent news clip caught our eye, one of several clips which have been made public this season. This one not baseball, but a golf tournament result from The Players Championship last weekend.
As we enter each political election season, we hear the words “every vote counts” encouraging citizens to do their duty and cast their ballots, by mail or at the polling place. Recently we have seen a number of races, local and on the national scene where such was the case
At the end of the tournament on Sunday, Rory McIlroy, one of the top golfers in the world, a lad from Ireland having a splendid day on St. Patrick’s Day, shot a score of 272, 16 under par, earning him the largest payday in golf to date, $2,225,000! Does each vote (strokes in this case) count? You bet they do. The second place went to Jim Furyk, a 48-year-old ‘old pro’ who finished just ONE STROKE behind McIlroy with a score of 273. His winnings for a weekend of golf, and a second place payoff…$1,350,000! While more than most of us make in a year of good work, the one extra stroke during the tournament cost Furyk $900,000. That’s a very expensive putt to miss!! But, I’ll bet ‘Mama” was at the front door saying, “Welcome home, Honey”.
KEEPING TRACK of advertising which keeps newspapers, radio stations and TV networks in business with their revenue, we judge that mattresses, automobiles, hearing aids and, now, termite exterminators lead the parade. Of course, the legal advertisements, which only lawyers read, contribute a pretty good share. Times have changed. Many brick and mortar businesses do not advertise like they once did, and the print media is struggling. Check your newspapers.
ACADEMIC SCANDAL blowing up out of nowhere this past week or so. Wow! What a scandal. Many wealthy parents handing over TONS of bucks to get their kids into college. And, greedy college personnel falling for the bribes. A real disgrace on both sides, and embarrassing to students and alumni not involved. So many questions to be asked, like, ”Did your parents pay someone to take exams for you, or did someone submit a phony resume saying you did things which were not true?”
We can see some really tough legal times ahead as schools decide what to do about the students involved. If they were successful and met the graduation requirements; can they keep the diploma? And, while they are on the campus, will they find themselves less than socially accepted? An awful situation, but one which will need to see punishment or penalties of some kind. Many red faces!!
AIRPLANE CRASHES always provide so many questions. And so much mourning for the victims and their families. The recent two crashes are now receiving much closer scrutiny and public attention than usual. Was there gross negligence by Boeing? Were the pilots poorly or inadequately trained or prepared for the emergencies?
Now, add to the news and speculations, the Oval Office Occupant’s appointment of a former Boeing executive to head the agency who has been alleged to have been ‘pushing’ Boeing and casting negative ‘stuff’ on others. What will this turn out to be? Another poor judgement?
CHEERS to all Irishmen who survived March 17 and the traditional, sometimes, over exuberance at celebrations. Also, a moment of loving reverence for my wonderful mother, Dorothy, a full-blooded Dane, who was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1908, and who passed in 1978. RIP, Mom!