Column 1: John McCain

Martinez News-Gazette Columnist

JOHN MCCAIN, military hero, national statesman with accolades pouring in from all across the nation and around the globe, with so many accounts of his storied life, and tragic years in enemy hands. A life none of us would care to have lived, but a life lived fully to the betterment of the nation, thanks to a super patriot who knew in his on mind the difference between right and wrong, good and bad on all issues he faced, and responded accordingly. His nation benefitted greatly from his presence among us.

Senator McCain stood out in the Senate, many calling him a ‘giant’. Already there have been heard so many asking the question, “Who will take his place in the role of giant?” There have not been any names put forth yet. There are none whose reputations merit consideration for that title? What a shame! Our nation deserves better!

For me, a pivotal moment in our history was the day Senator John McCain, already suffering from the onslaught of brain cancer, quietly walked to the front of the Senate floor, held out his right hand, as so many looked on, and signaled a thumbs down as the deciding vote defeating the efforts the administration had waged to destroy the Affordable Care Act. A moment of courage quietly expressed. One that would be seen by the entire country on news broadcasts in the days which followed. The same moment shown again in the tributes paid to a giant these past days. Rest in peace, Senator John McCain. You’ve earned a rest.

AS THE NATION remembers John McCain and the details of his storied life as warrior and statesman, we also have seen and heard of the unbelievably mean and petty reactions of the elected leader of our nation, the one who wrangled four deferments from the draft due to bone spurs, as we’ve been told. (Very likely fake news??) How can such a person look in the mirror at a face which has dark mean eyes and see someone who is so hateful, and not become ill? A narcissist every moment of every day. A person who has breached every possible rule of behavior in society? A degraded individual looked down upon all around the world, who has no idea of what proper behavior is in ‘polite society’, as we say? How did this happen to our country, and continues each day for all to see? To think about his cheering sections at rallies really does cause one to be terribly concerned about what’s ahead for our citizenry now, and for the years to come.

Thinking about what is ahead, etc. How about “those really nice people”, whose virtues he has extolled over the recent years and months? You know, the fella found guilty on eight felony charges. Also his one-time personal attorney who pleaded guilty? Two really nice guys, according to the Oval Office Occupant, to whom most other people he describes in strongly-worded derogatory terms via tweets or direct comments on the TV. For a guy who does not drink and who has no apparent sense of humor or manners, I wonder how often he and First Lady Melania are invited over for a party, dinner or some bridge? (No, I am not promoting ‘drinking’! However, with Mr. Wonderful present, I would not turn down one, or a refill!)

Guess who is leaving the White House staff later this year. Second guess…who is leaving later this fall and he learned about it when he read the Oval Office Oafs tweet one morning? Right! The White House Counsel, a guy at the right hand of the Oval Office Oaf. Really classy, but typical and, for most I am certain, a relief. Now, perhaps, on to a sane existence. Exit, Don McGahn, president’s counselor. Happy day?

YES, ELECTION TIME is here. And, the voting is easy. Just think about the candidates and tax issues presented. Then vote! As someone I spend 24/7 with, a San Francisco native (and you know how they are!) she suggests, “vote early, and vote often”, as Mayor Daley of Chicago urged years ago.

Already, the poor decision forced on California voters under a blackmail-type lawyer issue, the ripples are coming down to our area with the City and the school district. What a shame (sham, too!!??) that our potential voters, many of whom stay home from the polls, now have another excuse to do so. Hard to believe they would pass up an opportunity to help operate our nation from top down. To those ‘poor souls’ who use the excuse that “my vote doesn’t really count”, we say,” BS! Get your lazy posteriors off the sofa, and in front of the TV. If you want your country to survive an on-going move toward a ruinous autocracy moving across the country by a person who believes in “strong leadership”, like Putin, and the others, exert your proud citizenship rights and vote. PLEASE!!!

By the way, some of the confusion we are experiencing this election cycle can be attributed to a few who just cannot be sincere citizens and not cause problems for the majority for self-interest reasons. Does ‘poor loser’ do it??

Hopefully, the current small skirmish between the City of Martinez, the Martinez Unified School District and the County Elections folks will be resolved so make life less tense for a bunch of people.

EAGLE SCOUT (prospective) Jose Dyer, a senior at Alhambra, will be awarded the Eagle Scout rank September 8 after several years of outstanding work to achieve the ultimate rank for a Scout. A member of Troop 405, his achievements are extraordinary, earning 30 merit badges in so many fields. In addition to a community project building benches for Alhambra and Martinez Junior High honoring students who have passed away over the years. Our congratulations to Jose, and to his parents, Donald and Lynda Lee Dyer of Martinez.

JOSE’S STORY brings back an encounter a couple years ago when this old Eagle Scout (1947) from Troop 182 assisted a lovely lady and her seeing-eye German Shepherd across very busy noon-time traffic at Nob Hill. They had gotten turned around and I saw they could use help. I offered the help with a self-introduction.

The lovely companion with my new friend, who I approached and offered help, continued to look at me with a wary eye which indicated that she was not certain I was competent or qualified to do any assisting. We made it across unscathed, but under very close scrutiny of a lovely canine who was competent and qualifried.

The other day, while shopping, I saw my new friend being assisted shopping by a young store employee. I called out to her and we shook hands. My inquiry regarding her lovely Shepherd brought a sad response. “I had to have her put down three weeks ago. She had a serious back condition which could not be cured.” A sad message, but a new trained companion is in the near future.

CHEERS this week to the Martinez Clippers who complete their first season on the diamond making our town a baseball city for the first time, and looking forward to next season. Supporters and fans are looking forward to next year at the Martinez Waterfront.

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