The First Lady & The Morons Who Hate Her.

Let’s just lay this one out there and make it clear: the trait I like most in my First Families is their being in the background. I never want to hear that the spouse of the President of the United States is heading up anything except a program to encourage reading, being kind to animals, or some charity. I wish them to have absolutely zero political impact in any way at all. I didn’t vote for them, I don’t want them to have any power over anything except what’s for dinner at the White House.

Melania Trump

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There have been publicly active first ladies going back over a century. For all practical purposes, Woodrow Wilson’s wife, Edith, was the president after he had a stroke.

Edith Wilson

Not too many years later, Eleanor Roosevelt was prominent in a number of areas within the political sphere. Some of this, like Edith Wilson, was due to the fact that Franklin was limited in mobility due to his health, and restrictions on him during WWII due to security concerns.

We continued this with the modern era of royal First Ladies, and the rise of Jacqueline Kennedy. Now, in fairness to the woman, she was attractive and widowed in a sensational manner. The press fawned over her like none before her, and she became hemmed in by the legend. I think she hated it based on my study of history, but knew she was stuck with it for ill or good.

Lady Bird Johnson receded into the background, as did the next three First ladies.

Nancy Reagan was not an activist in any modern sense of the word, but as a former actress, and the wife of a man the press tried to destroy because he was a moron and tried to kill us all with atomic war, she was fair game for stupidly saying that kids should “Just say “no” to drugs.”

That is not what I think/thought, but it is certainly how the press, at the early stages of anti-republican dementia, portrayed them. Like it or not, much of the raging leftist mania of the press was inspired by Russia (at that time known as the Soviet Union.) More than a few of our “guardians of the First Amendement” were actually taking money/influence from the KGB, and actively working to undermine the United States in the Cold War.

Reagan fixed that issue by winning the Cold War, but the leftist control of the popular press, and a good bit of academia, was now in place.

They left Barbara Bush alone for the most part, but only because she wasn’t going to play along with them, and largely ignored their hurtful things. Also, George Bush (The Senior) was not as conservative as Reagan, and more of a globalist. So the press gave him a bit more of a pass.

Now we come to the most recent generation’s incarnation (since Eleanor Roosevelt) of the activist First Lady: Hillary Rodham Clinton. She had her finger in all sorts of pies, scandals, and oppression of other women. She was Bill’s enforcer when he was accused of sexual assault/rape. She was “put in charge” of reforming health care. Thankfully that was shot down in flames, or by now we would be enjoying our own versions of the Alfie Evans tragedy on a daily basis. Hillary was lauded by the press for her strong stands, her great brilliance, and her near incandescent beauty. Although most of that is just wrong. Seriously, beautiful? I’ve met longshoremen in wigs that were sexier… well, maybe this isn’t the place for that story. But when the press is on your side, you can do no wrong.

Laura Bush was mostly invisible, but the press made darned sure we all knew about the tragic death of her boyfriend when she was a young woman. They loved to beat up on the moron in the White House (Do you see a pattern? Disagree with the goals/views of the press and you’re stupid.) and spent 8 years tearing George the Younger down for being Hitler.

We now come to Michelle Obama. I am no fan of the Obamas in any way, but I wasn’t about to go after her for her unusual choice in clothing. But good grief, people, she was not the “most beautiful woman in America.” Seriously. I know a lot of breath-takingly beautiful women of all sorts of colors. She isn’t one of them. Her program to lecture all of us on race and school lunches was not her job as First Lady. I don’t want anyone (see first paragraph) who isn’t elected to hector me about anything from an “office” that is a courtesy at best. And her arms aren’t all that and a bag of chips. But she was worshiped by the press and we couldn’t object or we’d all be racists. (Yeah, I went there.)

Now, in Melania Trump, we have a fashion model who speaks five languages and ran her own business. She is without a doubt more intelligent than all the late-night hosts put together, but some of them have the gall to mock her on her accent when she speaks English. I’m willing to bet Kimmel, who’s Spanish accent when reading the teleprompter is worse than mine, is about 20 points below her on any scale of anything. Except cloddish behavior. And yet he mocked her accent.

The press keeps telling us that Melania’s being held hostage in the White House. She hates Donald. She is depressed. She can’t get top designers to create fashion for her since she’s a fascist, etc.

Yeah. I think there’s a better answer to it all: She’s radiantly beautiful, in great shape, brighter than almost all in the press, could wear a shower curtain and make it look good (*Hillary tried that, but it didn’t work out so well.*), and they’re jealous of the fact that she’s all of the above, and not making policy.

Again, see paragraph one: that’s not her job. So, Melania, if you’re reading this, keep up the good work. I hope your recovery from surgery is speedy and turns out to be a good rest for you. Just continue to be a great wife and a great mom. Take time to exult in the fact that you have faith in God, are beautiful, and far classier than all of your critics.

If this sounds like a fan letter for Melania, and a slap at the activist First Ladies, you are correct.

As I said, it’s not their job to make policy.

God Bless Melania Trump. Now, leave the woman alone.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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An Open Letter To All Veterans. #EndVetSuicide

Let me preface this with a simple statement and then a warning: I am not, nor do I claim to be, a veteran of any combat action that the United States government recognizes. I am not a holder of the CAB, CIB, or any other warfare device – fact is, I never even got dolphins. I never even held an M-16 during my enlistment. Hell, I even skipped going to the range with the other recruits because the Company Commander knew I could shoot. I didn’t carry a satchel charge to an enemy bunker, I never parachuted out of an aircraft, and I sure as heck didn’t get any bullet holes in my hide during my five years of service.

And, now, the warning: I am about to rant. If you don’t want to read my opinions on the subject of Post Traumatic Stress in veterans, then go away now and keep your pie-hole shut. Seriously. This is not a scholarly piece, but it is from the heart.

If you want to read the rest of this, take a moment to click on this link about Post Traumatic Stress at the National Institute of Mental Health. It will set some basis for my commentary.

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For the three of you still reading the blog at this point, I would like to make a statement:

I, Joseph Courtemanche, deeply apologize if I have ever given the impression that I doubted you when you said your mental health problems were caused by, or exacerbated by your service in the United States Armed Forces. I didn’t doubt you, and if I left that impression, I am deeply sorry.

With that out of the way, I would like each of you, veteran and civilian alike, to reflect on the fact that suicide is a serious problem in the military. It follows you out the gate when your enlistment/office is over, and it takes the lives of far too many veterans every day. Mocking someone for expressing a need for mental health care does nothing but notch the Grim Reaper’s sickle.

I am not a victim of mental health issues. I even have a letter from the government that says I’m mentally fit. I make no claim to any current disability due to my service in the mental health area.

But that can change. In an instant. And, once that instant is passed, it may last forever.

This past week a veteran killed himself in Minnesota. It made the news – a rarity. The press dismisses these deaths for the most part. This poor soul had sought help from the VA and was sent to a hospital to be medically cleared before they would help him. He left the hospital emergency room at a civilian hospital and was dead about an hour later.

I don’t know what happened at the VA, or in that emergency room. I don’t know what the police did/didn’t do for/to this fellow. None of it matters. He’s dead. Do better next time if you were deficient.

What has me white-hot-angry is the response of some who identified themselves as veterans in the comments section of the newspaper website I visited. The comments ranged from “He served in Germany in the 90’s. That was great duty, how could he really have PTSD?” to “He just wanted free stuff and was a loser.” Maybe not those exact words, but close enough.

I understand the natural instinct of some vets to think that if their service was “easy” it was for everyone at the same place/time/era. I also understand the inclination of combat veterans to be dismissive of those who didn’t “see the elephant.” Both are natural, human responses. We all measure ourselves by what we have done in our own lives, and weigh others as lesser, or occasionally greater, as a result of that perspective.

My friends you cannot possibly know what that individual faced. Nor does it matter: they are a brother/sister veteran who has a problem and needs help. Start by acknowledging them as important. Pray for them. Guide them to help. Under no circumstances reply that “You ain’t seen **&* compared to what I did.” Not only is it not helpful, but you’ve just dismissed someone who opened up to you in hopes of understanding. You’ve struck another blow in their lives that they did not need. You made it easier for the Grim Reaper.

That’s pretty much the rant. Be kind. Love on your vet. Listen. Help. Pray.

Because while you drank beer in Thailand and horsed around with your buddies, the guy asking for help was in the engine room of the ship that caught fire and killed their best friend. They were in the tank that ran off the road in Germany and landed upside down in the river, killing everyone but them. You were in Minot watching the days go by on the flight-line and eating donuts, but they were responding to crashed aircraft, spouse suicides, gruesome traffic accidents, and God knows what else as a Military Police Officer. That quiet woman who sits next to you at work? She was on the radio with the kid who fell out of the helicopter. The kid who was a cook at Fort Leonard Wood? How could a cook get PTSD? He was in the field kitchen when the Bradley ran over their sleeping tent in the dark, and he can’t handle confined spaces ever again.

All of those things, and 10,000,000 more would scar you. You couldn’t just walk away if you were in the military. You got up the next day and did it again. And again. And again… You numbed yourself with booze, you ignored the tears in the shower when nobody was around because the other people would think less of you. You didn’t come to grips with it until years later, and then it was too late. You were damaged. And when you sought that help you needed, the guys at the VFW laughed at you and told you it wasn’t bad enough to be an issue.

Well, it was. And it is. And God help us if we don’t take care of each other.

I’m done. If you’re a vet, and need help, you can hit the tabs on the bottom of this page for veteran’s assistance lines. You can post a comment (I screen them all and will keep it private) and I’ll respond. I’ll call you. I might even show up on your doorstep if you need that to make it one-more-day.

Why? Because too damned many of us take our own lives, and you’re way too important to lose. You’re my comrade and I love you.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Why I Watch Roseanne. @therealroseanne Is A Gem.

Years ago, my wife and I actually watched broadcast television. This was in the time before cable exploded with so many new networks that you couldn’t keep track of them. We watched a couple of shows semi-regulary, among them Home Improvement, The Simpsons and , and Roseanne

As time went by, life intruded and our tastes shifted to more specialized programming on the cable networks. Part of it was that broadcast television had too many ads, and we didn’t videotape (*there’s a lovely memory*) every show, but would tune in most of the time when it came on. DVR technology has largely obviated that choice.

But, I digress. We found a lot to enjoy with the Conner family, but Roseanne Barr‘s personal life grated. Both my wife and I quit watching her after the National Anthem incident. She finished icing the cake (Pun intended) with her Hitler photoshoot, and Jewish cookies coming out of the oven. (Yeah, I know she’s Jewish, but some things just don’t strike me as funny.)

Her trainwreck of a personal life continued to grow when she outed George Zimmerman’s address, and if there was a chance to offend, she took it. Comedians are notorious attention whores (so are writers who act and are Santa), so I gave her a pass/just ignored it for the most part.

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But I’ll have to admit that I was curious when Roseanne revived her old show, and the clip of her arguing with a late-night vermin about his overwhelming attitude hit the social media channels. A Trump fan? Seriously?

I tuned in on Roseanne with my wife to see if it was a trick. I more than slightly expected to walk away outraged by her behavior.

Nope. Loved it. Loved the second show. Watched them all now, and have the DVR set for her show every Tuesday night.

Will she enrage me and disappoint me down the road? I’m not sure. But with most things in life, you will never find out if you don’t take a few risks.

I like the show because it’s really the America where I, and most of my coworkers, live. Lots of people work paycheck to paycheck. Most have screwed up lives with divorce, weird kids (HI MOM!1!1!!!) and other trauma. That, and the fact that in spite of the things that try to tear us apart every day, the Conner family loves each other. They may not trust each other, but they do love each other. Warts and all.

Also, and this apparently makes liberal’s heads explode, she points out the fact that you aren’t a misogynist, racist, homophobic scumbucket because you don’t vote Democrat. You’re just a person who sees a strong need for change, and supports Americans above others.

And as long as she stays away from baking cookies while wearing a mustache, and skips public singing engagements at sporting events, I’ll continue to watch. And enjoy.

Rock it, @therealroseanne. I’ll be the guy over at @joecourtemanche enjoying your antics.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Any Minute Now It Will Be Spring.

Winter is possibly over. I’m not rushing into anything yet, but it is with great anticipation that I planted some seeds in a warming tray and started the cuttings from my sweet potatoes along in their jars.

Hope for a garden – someday.

What, you might ask, has prompted this burst of insane optimism? I shall detail below the pitch to buy my book.

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1. We have but a few hundred pounds of ice left in my yard. Even though it’s been almost 70 degrees this week, there is still a band of ice about five inches thick, a foot wide, and twenty feet long that lingers in the shade of my fence. This is, quite possibly, the most nutrient rich ice on the planet, as Stormy has been conditioned to poop only on snow by this horrendous winter. She chases, with growing frustration, the ever shrinking areas where her sense of decorum tells here she can void her bowels. Soon she will have to use the grass again. This is usually a time of great trepidation, if the last several dogs are any indicator. She didn’t develop this quirk until this winter, but it’s been a very long time since grass was available on a regular basis.

2. I didn’t wear a winter coat on Tuesday and I didn’t die.

3. The sidewalks, and intersections, are finally ice free (mostly) and I was able to walk to work that same day I shed the winter coat. I have amassed 17 pounds since I last walked to work. Fortunately, it is only in my chest, not around my waist. I have magnificent moobs, a full cup size larger than the last time I was allowed to go shirtless. The authorities have requested that I remain fully clothed until I’m only 10 pounds above my previous level. On the bright side, this is still 40 pounds lighter than when I started the diet/exercise regime two years ago.

4. Sunshine is hot enough to cause normal humans to sweat once again. In Minnesota, there are long periods where the sun is without any warmth at all, and you can freeze to death in direct sunlight. The sun is now several degrees further north than it was all winter, and our temperature today was a full 80 degrees warmer than the coldest night this past winter.

5. I was blinded four times this week by fish-white legs. Minnesota has the most beautiful women in Minnesota, but God knows that we all benefit from tights, leggings, and jeans during the long winter months. The FAA has issued cautions to aviators about looking down on urban areas during the first few days of Spring, as the glare from flesh that has not seen any sun in months is much like staring into a halogen lamp.

6. Stormy has been rolling in her favorite patch of yard again. As with most of my life, it begins and ends with a happy dog.

That’s not a bad thing.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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I Like Dogs. A Lot. Especially #Stormy. (Let’s See How Many Hits That Causes On Twitter With The Haters)

Let’s start off with the dog photo of #Stormy the #Rescue #Sheltie: (I love hashtags in text, dont’ you?)

(Bonus – you got Santa as well.)

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

You’re wondering what I’m up to with this, I’ll bet. It’s simple: I’ve given up on social commentary for the moment. The press, and the Mueller Inquisition have abandoned all pretense of fairness, it’s a full-out witch hunt, and I have been agreeing with Kanye West on Twitter. Yes, it is End Times.

How do I deal with the End Times? I watch animal videos on Instagram and Facebook. I have, quite wisely in my opinion, joined several groups that favor Shelties, Herding Shelties, and Great Danes on both platforms. I have/do owned and caroused with both breeds throughout my life, and find them endlessly amusing. Both breeds prove that God hard-wired certain traits in the genetic code, as they do the same crazy stuff across the globe.

I can spend an hour watching Great Danes rip garden edging out and parade around with their trophies. Shelties herding ducks is even more amusing. But the chaos of hidden cameras when they think the rest of the family can’t see them is beyond description.

Now, like great liquor, not all of it is available to the general public. As an example, I once had a couple of bottles of someone’s private reserve 10 year-old Kentucky Bourbon placed in my sweaty palms. You can pretty much dump anything else you’ve ever consumed as sewer water in comparison. Same goes for these videos: the truly great ones are shared only among owners/fanciers of the breed.

But I provide two examples of the kind of thing that help me keep my head from exploding so that you can understand why they beat listening to Rachel Maddow thump her tail about Sean Hannity’s real estate holdings. (I apologize if that image in your mind requires brain bleach.)

Great Dane’s first:

Now, the smaller set gets their time with a Sheltie Video:

To answer the man’s question, are you sorry? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH NEVER! No actual guilt, just chagrin at being caught.

Much like me. Now, go watch some dog videos and ignore the television. You’ll live longer.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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