Welcome to Bananamerica

What would you call a country that impeached its duly elected president twice on the basis of a fictional dossier?

What would you call a country that jailed without bond dozens of protesters and held them without trial for more than two years?

What would you call a country that engaged in massive voter fraud that likely resulted in the wrong person being elected president?

What would you call a country that indicted a former president and current political candidate on the grounds of a highly dubious claim that he gave money to a porn star to keep her from talking about their relationship, which he denies?

What would you can a country in which a leader of a major political party says an arrested political candidate will get the chance to prove he is innocent – rather than and constitutional requirement that the prosecution prove he is guilty?

Sad to say, that is our country. We have become a banana republic: Bananamerica.

A banana republic is a place where the rule of law is not constitution but the strength of a particular political tyrant. Regime change comes through revolution, fighting in the streets, or outright fraud at the ballot box. The “banana” term comes from the politically incorrect fact that such countries tend to exist in places warm enough to grow banana – most of South America.

Banana republics tend to be ruled by guys in military uniforms who smoke Cuban cigars and wear several pounds of military medals on their chests. “Bananas” is a 1971 Woody Allen film that pokes fun at such republics.

Our former president doesn’t wear military outfits or smoke Cuban cigars.  He neither smokes nor drinks. But his political opponents have been trying every hairbrained scheme they can think of to eliminate him as a competitor for the White House. This latest plot – to show he paid off a porn star – would be laughable under normal conditions.  After all, would it shock anyone if it turned out a politician was messing around with a sleazy woman?

Don’t get me wrong.  I wish everyone serving in public office would live a moral life. But when you have a president who is basically an agent of the Chinese government, who has family members on the take from China, Russia, and Ukraine, and who has not exactly lived a life of upstanding morality, I find the sleazy woman allegation pale by comparison.

Woke on Ice

When I think of professional ice hockey I think of tough men, strength, speed, and athletic passion.

I don’t think of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I always figured the National Hockey League would be the last holdout against wokeness. If the NHL goes snowflake all sense of sporting sense is lost. But that has happened.

From an October 18, 2022, statement by the league:

“The National Hockey League and its 32 teams today released their inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Report, a comprehensive document that both details accelerated efforts by the League and its teams in recent years and includes a groundbreaking demographic study of the NHL workforce at both the League and Club levels.

“The report is based on seven dimensions that the NHL is following to “build (diversity and inclusion) at every point where a player, fan, or employee might interact with the game, taking important steps to lay the foundation for progress,” according to its executive summary.

“The dimensions encompass leadership, education, marketing, employment, partnerships, participation and community engagement.”

You can read all about the wonder-woke works of the NHL on the league’s website. Although I’m writing about hockey today, you can find similar silliness on the websites of all professional sports. They all are virtue-signaling to prove how much they care about the trendy concerns of the woke.

As you can read in the league’s diversity report, the vast majority of professional hockey players are white men.  Frankly, I could have told you that without taking a survey. Maybe I’m just not thinking out of the box but I expect most hockey players come from northern countries that have lots of ice. You aren’t going to find many hockey players in jungles, deserts, or rainforests.

News flash: the population of every nation and region on earth does not have a perfect balance of ethnicity and different groups play different sports.  As a result, all sports reflect a lack of diversity and inclusion.

A few examples:

  • About three-quarters of professional basketball players are black.  Most are tall, quick on their feet, and athletic.
  • Most professional football players are large and strong.
  • In most cases, Sumo wrestlers are big, fat, Japanese men.
  • Most marathons are won by short, skinny, Africans.
  • Irish Hurling is dominated by Irish men.
  • Irish Camogie is dominated by Irish women.

I seriously doubt that any of these sports I have cited will ever be played by a perfect diversity of the human race. That is fine and dandy with me.

I think the hockey folks have lost their way.  Instead of diversity and inclusion, they need to worry about the excitement of the game and try to keep down the price of beer and pretzels at their various arenas.

But if they find a sumo wrestler who has quick reflexes and can skate, he might make a great goalie.

An Eye for an Eye?

Parkland School shooter Nikolas Cruz will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing 17 people in 2018. Under Florida law, he could have been given the death penalty but that requires a unanimous decision by the jury – and one juror refused to vote for death.

Given the horrendous nature of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the decision to allow Cruz to remain alive has been widely criticized. The comments usually suggest that the guy deserves to die and, frankly, if anyone ever rated the death penalty, it is Cruz.

I doubt that. And frankly, I’m very much a conservative law-and-order kind of guy.

There are many people who deserved the death penalty as much as Cruz. Richard Speck and Charles Manson come to mind. The guy who shot Saint John Paul II got parole. The guy who shot President Reagan got parole.

We have people serving in Congress who have sanctioned the murder of millions of unborn babies, stolen billions from the taxpayers, and entangled us in unproductive wars. By those standards, there are lots of people as deserving of death as Cruz, which isn’t to diminish the pain and suffering he caused.

I favor putting him in a jail cell and throwing away the key. My reason goes to a fundamental purpose of the Catholic faith: getting souls to heaven.

If you think Cruz already is destined for Hell, I recommend viewing one of my favorite movies, The Scarlet and the Black. Yes, it is a movie, but it is a true story of faith and salvation.

There are two key players in the film, both of whom were real people.

Colonel Herbert Kappler (played by Cristopher Plummer) headed the German occupation forces in Rome in 1943. He was by all standards, an evil man. He ordered the deaths of thousands and hunted Jews to send them to concentration camps.

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty (played by Gregory Peck) was the colonel’s nemesis, taking refuge in the Vatican but sneaking out in various disguises to organize a massive network to harbor Jews and smuggle them to the safety of allied territory.

The movie is an exciting game of cat and mouse. And since we all know how the war ended, I’m not being a spoiler when I tell you that the colonel ends up in prison for life and the Monsignor was honored as a hero. He was a Catholic hero because in addition to saving thousands of lives during the war he saved a soul after the war that might surprise you.

Kappler had only one visitor during his time in prison: Monsignor O’Flaherty, who visited him once a month to offer spiritual counsel and, perhaps, even friendship. In 1959, he baptized Kappler and welcomed him into the Catholic faith.

Many people look at mass murderer Cruz and demand an eye for an eye. I’m sure there were many in Rome who felt the same way about Kappler.

But that isn’t the Catholic way. Our way is the path to eternal life – even for those we might deem least deserving.

If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em

The State of Illinois is proposing a solution to its carp problem.

To some folks, it might sound like a fishy version of making lemonade out of lemons. Frankly, I think it is a fishy plan.

But before we discuss the proposal, we should describe the problem, which has been growing for nearly 50 years. It started in the 1970s when Asian Carp were introduced to ponds in the United States to keep them clean. Carp, you see, are voracious eaters and voracious reproducers. (By the way, there are actually four species lumped into the “Asian” category: bighead, silver, black, and grass.)

The carp weren’t a problem until the 1990s when floods in the Mississippi basin covered many of the carp-dwelling ponds and released the hungry fish into rivers where nobody wanted them. They soon became a threat to indigenous fish by eating their food sources and, in some cases, their eggs and young.

Soon, places I’ve been known to cast a line with a hook were teaming with the invasive carp; The Mississippi River, Rock River, and Illinois River are full of the swimming critters. In fact, if you are fishing on the Rock River in Illinois and put a line in the water with a worm on a hook, it is difficult NOT to catch an Asian Carp. And because the Silver Carp like to jump out of the water, you best pay attention when driving a boat or you can get fish-smacked in the face.

Needless to say, Asian Carp have become a problem in Illinois. The government even built an electric barrier on the Illinois River to keep the fish out of Lake Michigan. Sadly, carp appear to be smarter than government experts and continue to multiply and invade.

This is where the new proposal comes in; give carp a new name and convince people they are good to eat. If diners go ga-ga for carp, the other fish will be spared.

The new name is Copi, derived from copious.

“Copi is a great name: Short, crisp, and easy to say. What diner won’t be intrigued when they read Copi tacos or Copi burgers on a menu?” Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan said in a statement. “It’s a tasty fish that’s easy to work with in the kitchen and it plates beautifully. Every time we’ve offered samples during the Illinois State Fair, people have walked away floored by how delicious it is.”

Perhaps if you cook a Copi just right, it will be tasty. But to torture Shakespeare, a carp by any other name is still a carp. I have serious doubts that gourmets will flock to the fish counter at Caputo’s and demand Copi.

But I could be wrong. There is a history of success in making a fish palatable by giving it a trendy name. You may have enjoyed a meal of Chilean Sea Bass at one of your favorite fine-dining establishments. However, what you are eating is actually a Patagonian Toothfish.

Of course, the two situations are not identical.  In the case of the fishermen of Chile, they have a really delicious fish that had a bad name. In Illinois, we have a not-so-tasty fish with a name that suggests it should be avoided.

It is going to be interesting to see if Copi turns up on menus across Chicago. Maybe someone will open a chain of Copi Cafes.

If this happens, I have a few other suggestions for renaming bothersome things in Illinois.

  • People spend a fortune every summer trying to eradicate dandelions from their lawns. Let’s change their name to Salad Saints and encourage homeowners to take out the tasteless grass and plant the Salad Saints food crop.
  • Thistles are a thorn in the side of every gardener. Let’s change the name to Purple Pleasure and hold flowers and give prizes for the prickliest Purple Pleasure plants.
  • Coyotes have started to roam the Chicago suburbs. People are afraid they will attack small dogs, perhaps even children. But they also help reduce the population of garden-eating rabbits. So, let’s give the coyote a new name: Native Hare Hound.
  • Mosquitos are universally hated and are the target of a wide range of eradication programs. But no matter what we do, they persist. They really need a new name: Summer Hummer.

Rebranding can be successful. It can even lead to multiple uses of an existing item.

For example, baking soda was created for, logically, baking. However, it can be used to deodorize your refrigerator, clean your oven, or refresh your tennis shoes.

Listerine is a popular mouthwash. But it originally was developed as a surgical antiseptic. It also functioned as a floor cleaner and, later, a cure for bad breath.

Clearly, a new name and improved image can make for a better fate for all sorts of things, even a fish. Time will tell if people think a Copi tastes better than a carp.

As for me, I’ll be happy to catch ‘em but I won’t eat ‘em.

Stop Horsing Around

Once upon a time, the primary mode of transportation in the United States was the horse. It was relatively inexpensive and ran on hay, oats, and water.

Early in the 20th century, smart people came up with the automobile, which was much more powerful and faster than the horse. It ran on gasoline, a remarkable liquid that could store vast energy and release it in a controlled explosion in the internal combustion engine. Some called it a miracle.

Over the course of roughly 50 years, vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine replaced vehicles powered by horses. This happened first in cities, then in suburbs, then small towns, and finally, in rural areas.

The change happened gradually, the product of supply and demand, basic economics, and technical advances.

The government didn’t make it happen. People chose cars over horses because it made practical, economic sense.

Of course, the government functions differently these days. There is a green agenda pushing for the demise of the internal combustion engine and the gasoline or oil it runs on. The preferred solution seems to be the electric car, despite the fact that a huge share of electricity is produced using the same “fossil fuels” that non-electric cars require.

It makes me wonder what would have happed in the first half of the 20th century if the government had managed the evolution from horse to car. I expect the process would have gone something like this:

  1. A major speech by the President decrying the evil characteristics of the horse: they can run out of control and trample people, create lots of stinky waste, require food and water that could be given to the starving residents of rural India, and make hoof marks that make paths unstable for joggers and bicyclists.
  2. Impose a huge tax on hay and oats that are used to feed horses.
  3. Limit the amount of water allotted to horses.
  4. Triple the property tax on the facilities of blacksmiths.
  5. Require monthly health and safety inspections of all horses. (This will require hiring 100,00 federal horse inspectors at taxpayer expense.)
  6. Require monthly health and safety inspections of all blacksmith shops and horse stables. (This will require hiring 100,00 federal equine facility inspectors at taxpayer expense.)
  7. Make it illegal to park a horse on a city street – anywhere.
  8. Provide federal funding for the construction of gasoline filling stations across the country.
  9. Provide a $5,000 tax credit for each car purchased.
  10. Create tough regulations that make it impossible to open a new blacksmith shop or stable.

Ridiculous, you say.  But that is pretty much how the government is FORCING a transition to what it says (but doesn’t prove) is “green” energy.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m sure that in 1920 there were people who didn’t want to trade their horse for a car. But unlike today, the government didn’t tell them they had to make the change because Uncle Sam was going to ban horse ownership.

In fact, horses are still in use in many parts of the world, even in the good old USA. There are some things horses do better than cars.

And there are things a powerful gasoline-fueled car can to better than an electric car, at least for the foreseeable future. If you don’t believe me, try getting your kicks on Route 66 in a Tesla.

Victims of Bad Design

These scissors are, I am grateful to say, a good design.

Remarkable inventions make life easier and more enjoyable.

I think of the miracles I use each day:

  • A climate-control system keeps my house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • A tiny computer connects via the internet to people all over the world, as well as endless sources of news, information, and entertainment.
  • Local stores provide me with a broad choice of food and drink… or I can go to a restaurant of various cuisines.
  • A have machines to prepare my food and clean my clothes.
  • I can order virtually anything I need online and have it on my doorstep in a day or two.
  • I have a car that is reliable and fuel-efficient beyond anything my parents or grandparents could have imagined.

I could go on but you get the point; like most Americans, I benefit from all sorts of great stuff.

That reality makes what I am about to say all the more disturbing. It pains and confuses me to say it. However, some really, really, bad produce designs persist in our otherwise brilliant modern world.

I offer some examples:

  • The traditional glass ketchup bottle. Although various squeeze bottles have become popular, the old tapered glass bottle was designed better to keep the ketchup in than let it out. You no doubt have had the experience of tapping it on the bottom, shaking it, then smacking it will all your might, and, finally, having the contents splatter out on your food and well beyond.
  • The olive oil can. You can buy this wonderful oil in a bottle, but the larger size (and thus more economical) comes in a tall, rectangular metal “box”. The box has a spout in the top that pops up just far enough from the edge of the box that it is impossible to pour out the olive oil without spilling a large amount on the top of the box. It is messy to clean up and usually drips onto the kitchen counter. All sorts of methods for preventing a spill have been developed – none of them effective.
  • Paper towel dispensers. This is a problem in public washrooms. My experience is only with men’s rooms but I am confident the same problem haunts women’s rooms. Many dispensers are silvery boxes hanging on the wall with a slot on the bottom to dispense paper towels. In a world of ideal design, you would tug on the paper towel and one would come out. But these dispensers are designed to force you to pull very have on the towel, causing more than you need to fall out, with no way to return the unused towels to the dispenser.
  • Plastic cases for all sorts of products. I’m sure it would be easier to break out of some jails than it is to break into much plastic packaging. I recently bought a new pair of scissors. They came encased in plastic wrapping nearly the thickness of the hood of my car. It required a good deal of cutting with my sharpest pocketknife to free the scissors. I might have been able to get them out if I had a pair of decent scissors, but I didn’t, which is why I order a new pair.

I am sure there is a reason why each of these products is designed as it is. I also am sure the reasons are not good enough to offset the annoyance caused.

And then there is the situation of Amazon sending me a six-inch product in a three-foot box…

What Are You Willing to Die For?

How would you like to be a martyr?

I don’t mean some minor suffering like not having cream for your coffee or having your cable go out during a big football game.

I’m talking about agony and death and suffering in pain that you fear you could never tolerate. Interested? Me neither.

What always has amazed me is that that are thousands of people throughout history who have been willing to die because they believed in the one true God.

In the 7th chapter of Second Maccabees, you can read about seven brothers who could have spared themselves a horrible death by simply eating a little pork (forbidden by their religion).

St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He refused to deny Christ before the Rabbinic court in Jerusalem and was stoned to death.

Thomas More sided with the Church rather than the state and lost his head as a result.

You may be thinking that these events happened long, long ago and we live in modern times. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people must be willing to die for the faith. There are numerous cases of Christians being killed for refusing to convert to Islam

I got to thinking about this a few days ago when I was watching an old movie about the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire just before the time of Constantine. In the movie, suspected Christians would be dragged before a Roman official and asked to pledge their loyalty to the Roman gods rather than the one true God. If they made a tip of the hat to Apollo, Jupiter, and Mars, they could go free. If they refused, they got a date in the coliseum with the lions, tigers, and bears.

Talk about a moment of truth. And as we know, many chose to die in the arena, firm in the belief that God would give them strength and they would be rewarded in Heaven.

I don’t know anyone personally who has ever faced such a choice. I certainly have not.

However, I have known people who made extreme career sacrifices because they refused to go along with something they didn’t think was moral or ethical. And I see the government of the United States – and its collaborators in social media and news media – becoming more like Roman magistrates all the time. We’re just more subtle about how we create martyrs.

Let’s suppose you are going for a job interview that would advance your career and give your family financial security. You are a nice Christian person and have all the qualifications. You are having a great interview and it seems like the job is a sure thing. Then you are asked if you support abortion – the company it turns out is a big supporter of Planned Parenthood. How you answer will certainly determine whether you get the job. Do you stand up for the truth or finesse your way through – or simply lie.

Let’s suppose you live a couple thousand miles from your grandchildren and have not seen them for more than a year. You try to make an airline reservation but are asked to show proof of vaccination, which you don’t have because you have moral objections to the vaccine. Do you run out and get vaccinated? Do you find someone to make you a counterfeit vaccine card? Do you accept not seeing your grandkids?

If you are a doctor and advocate for the use of Wuhan virus treatments other than what the government recommends, you won’t be dragged into Yankee Stadium and fed to snarling dogs.  But you will be fired from your hospital job, have your liability insurance canceled, and lose your medical license.

A 20-year Navy chaplain recent asked for a religious exception to getting the
Wuhan vaccine and was told he will be discharged from the service and have his pension denied.

In other words, people are having their lives destroyed because they didn’t give some bureaucrat the approved answer to a question that probably should not be asked in the first place.

We now face a virus worse than Wuhan, a virus of condemnation for what you think or believe. Maybe you have yet to be put to the test but I guarantee your time will come. This appears to be a universal virus.

It Was a Dull and Inspiring Morning

NPS Photo by Michael Quinn

I had a rather dull morning. Still, it was inspiring.

That requires some explanation. I spent the morning sitting in the juror lounge at the Henry Hyde Judicial Office Facility, Wheaton, Illinois, home of the 18th Judicial Court.

No, I was not in trouble; I was called to jury duty.

Some folks fear being called to serve on a jury. The timing is uncertain and nobody who works wants to be away from the job days or even weeks.

However, I thought it might be interesting. Visions of old Perry Mason episodes ran through my mind and I imagined having to weigh complicated evidence and be part of a wise decision.

That wasn’t how it worked out. I went through something similar to airport security, reported to the juror lounge, received a badge with my official number on it, and was told to wait.

The juror lounge was quite comfortable (my tax dollars at work).  It had big comfortable chairs, tables with outlets for phone and computer chargers, free WIFI and free coffee. (I really should say the WIFI and coffee were taxpayer-funded; nothing you get from the government is free.)

I settled down in a comfy corner, turned on my computer, and went to work on the things I usually do in the morning. At any moment, I expected to be called to serve the needs of the nation. But after about three hours, a pleasant voice came on the intercom and announced that no jurors would be needed today and everyone could leave. (There were several dozen of us waiting.)

So… I picked up my juror pay (a check for $16.48) and departed.

I think that covers the dull part of my morning.

As for the inspiring part… that had to do with being reminded that I am a citizen of the United States of America. That reminder came in the form of the nicely produced video they showed all the potential jurors telling us how noble it is to serve on a jury.

OK. I know. That sounds really corny. So be it.

No… someone should not be able to just wander across the border and declare themselves an American – and a voter.

Officially, there are two ways to be a citizen. I am a citizen because I was born and raised in the USA

The video talked about the history of the American judicial system, the right to a fair trial, and lots of good things mentioned in that often-misquoted document, the Constitution of the United States. It reminded me that serving on a jury is a responsibility not offered to people in most countries of this world. And because you have to be a citizen to be a juror, I was reminded that citizenship has – and should have – requirements.

The other way is to come from another country (legally, please) and go through the 10 steps to become a naturalized American citizen:

Step 1. Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen

Step 2. Determine if you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen

Step 3. Prepare your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

Step 4. Submit your Form N-400 and pay your fees

Step 5. Go to your biometrics appointment, if applicable

Step 6. Complete the interview

Step 7. Receive a decision from USCIS on your Form N-400

Step 8. Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance

Step 9. Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States

Step 10. Understanding U.S. citizenship

I know several people who came to the United States from other nations and went through the long process of becoming citizens. When they got to the finish line, it was a day of gratitude and celebration.

Today, I’m thinking about how grateful I am to be an American… about the men and women who sacrificed to make this country free… to the people who died fighting for us in some of the most desolate corners of the planet.

I’m also thinking of the debates going on over voting rights, immigration rights, and the many government benefits Americans enjoy. We have to take seriously the meaning of citizenship, its responsibilities, and its value.

This morning, I had to prove with an official picture ID that I am who I say I am – even though I was summoned to jury duty by the court. I believe the same proof must be required to vote, drive a car, adopt a child, take out a loan at a bank, or collect mail at the post office.

If an American isn’t required to prove his identity and citizenship, the value of citizenship is lost – and so is America.

The United States is NOT a Democracy

No, the United States is not a democracy. And that is a good thing.

The nation has been in a bit of a political pickle of late and it would be much worse were we a democracy.

I expect this requires some explanation. You see, our nation is a republic. A democracy and a republic are different animals, and the founding fathers of America had the sense to pick the right animal.

In a democracy, the majority rules. Decisions are made by everyone voting and believing the majority will make correct decisions – or at least the decisions the most people agree with.

Ancient Greece is often pointed to as an example of pure democracy. It was one man, one vote, and majority rules. Notice that it was only men. And it also was only men of certain propertied status. In reality, it was a rather narrow version of democracy.

Another example of “pure” democracy is the old New England town hall meeting. Everyone in a quaint little village would gather in the town hall (or perhaps the church, I hate to tell you) and vote on the important issues of the day.

That would seem to be democracy at its best. In fact, the closer to the people a decision is being made, the better democracy works. So, folks in a little village can decide on which day to have the annual pumpkin festival or whether to pool their money to put a new coat of paint on city hall.

This isn’t to say that democracy can’t go bad locally. The majority of the village could vote to take farmer Green’s land because they want to make a park and his land has the prettiest trees – in addition to most people not liking farmer Green because he is mean and grumpy.

When expanded to a state or national level, democracy gets dangerous, which is why the smart guys in the beginning of America designed the country as a republic.  A republic is different because the people in various districts choose people to represent them. They choose people they believe will represent their interests and make wise decisions.

Voters trust those representatives because there is built into the US Constitution a system of checks and balances. There are three branches of government, and each requires the cooperation of the other: executive, legislative, judicial.

The executive branch (the President and about a million people who work for him) requires consent to its actions of the other branches or it becomes a dictatorship. We have seen some ugly hints of dictatorship in recent months.

The legislative branch is charged with making laws to benefit the people. The House is, as least theoretically, the closest to the people and generates most of the effort to tax and spend. The Senate, originally elected by state legislators, does an immense amount of debating and, at least theoretically, makes sure the rights of the states are not trampled.

The founders didn’t want the most populous states to lord it over the small states. And to be honest, that remains a threat today. I, for one, do not want New York, California, Illinois, and Michigan to determine whether I can raise chickens in my backyard.

The judicial branch at the highest level makes sure the other two branches don’t do anything that violates the Constitution. As we have seen, what does and does not violate the Constitution can be open to a good deal of interpretation.

The system looks a bit complicated and is not the speediest way to get things done. THAT IS THE POINT!

Legislation is supposed to face a long and difficult path with heaps of analysis and examination of all possible plusses and minuses. If Congress wants to revamp the health care system or spend multi-trillion dollars on green energy initiatives, it ought to take a long time and receive plenty of input from everyone who is likely to gain or lose. At a minimum, legislators and citizens alike should have ample time to read and analyze a proposed law – especially if it is hundreds of pages long and might contain a bit of partisan mischief.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a national emergency that really, truly, requires immediate action. An example would be missiles on the way from China or a zombie apocalypse. Other than that, most problems we face are things there is time to talk about.

I often hear some version of “we live in a democracy and the majority should rule.” Well… not exactly. In such a world, 51 percent of the people could vote to take all the wealth of the other 49 percent. Such an action would violate a host of Biblical and natural laws.

That’s why America’s founders wrote a Constitution based on law, with a good deal of common sense thrown in. It is a Constitution designed to protect the people from a tyrannical government, not a roadmap of what the people should do to serve the state.

You may sometimes feel frustrated that the government isn’t getting more done. Perhaps you should be grateful.

Hollywood Welcomes Woke

No Time to Die opens in theaters this week.

It is the latest James Bond movie and the last of the genre in which Daniel Craig will portray 007.

The release of a new Bond gets lots of folks excited. But what may be more stimulating is the debate over who will be the NEXT James Bond, in light of Craig’s decision to park his Aston Martin.

It also will inspire debates over which actor was the best and worse Bond. I’m torn between Craig and Roger Moore.

In today’s Woke world, we’re seeing demands for the next James Bond to be a more divers, inclusive character.  Put another way, some people want him to be something different that a white, male, Brit, woman-chasing, alcoholic, smoker. That leaves me shaken, not stirred.

So… making him something else, say an Asian, lesbian, vegetarian contradicts his character.  That isn’t to say that Hollywood couldn’t make a movie about an Asian, lesbian, vegetarian secret-service agent – just not James Bond.

Daniel Craig appears to agree with my viewpoint but who knows what will happen. However, if they change James Bond into Jessica Bond, they will have to do many more character-altering movies.

I offer a few suggestions:

  • Riana Hood, Princess of Thieves.
  • Juliana and Juliette.
  • Sleeping Handsome.
  • Sam Black and the Seven Pixies.
  • Andy of a Thousand Days.
  • All the President’s Persons.
  • The Princely Diaries.
  • Harry Poppins.
  • Joey of Arc.
  • The Legend of Daisy Crochet.

I know, these all sound ridiculous. My concern is Hollywood might make them and be rewarded with Academy Awards.