The Wednesday Rant.

March 8, 2017 | Posted in General

First, thanks for all the comments, texts and messages about my “tribute” to “The Cat Man” my friend Steve Catallo whom we said good-bye to last week. It’s still hard to imagine, the adjustment takes time which unfortunately is not something we have a lot of.

This week my tone and tenor is far different, because of the aforementioned “time” thing. I don’t want to have something in my mind and let it sit there for too long, because it begins to fester (not Uncle Fester) but the download process is always aggravated by ongoing jolts of misinformation, bloviation and human verbal vomiting that must be addressed from some vantage point that attempts to make sense of the senseless, otherwise cranial constipation takes over and next thing you know “shit for brains” isn’t just something your first boss called you, it becomes a real thing.

Can’t have that.

So most if not all of my angst comes from one of the great all time lessons in life.

Expectation and Reality rarely line up, the gap between those two extremes is where suffering resides.

The closer I cling to my expectations, the more self-imposed suffering I must endure. To be clear, most of what we experience is FWS (First World Suffering.) You don’t like Obama, or Trump or any fill in the blank politician, your team loses for 100 years or more, didn’t get the parking spot you wanted or the promotion you “expected” to get goes to some wanker in the next office. To my knowledge none of the people who read this weekly tirade go without food, water or clean underwear. They don’t hold a child dying of malnutrition in their arms or walk six miles one way with a clay pot on their head to get water for the day. FWS is a privilege we have by simply being dropped off on American soil instead of Rwanda, Darfur or another “Third World Country.”

There is of course other real FWS…as children die in the streets of Chicago killed by other children. The cycle of violence in this city and others is a stain on our landscape. When I ponder which is worse, the 275 pound grandmother that strangled her eight year old, 40 pound straight-A granddaughter to death OR the five year old who had to have a closed casket because he was unrecognizable to his mother, my “suffering” doesn’t measure up.

Then there is “reality” which is often painful and confusing, but its not suffering…its just…the pain of dealing with the reality of life.

But there is power in pain, a transformation of energy that if channeled can cause a great ripple effect of good. Some of the great movements of our time began when people who “expected” life to be different got tired of “suffering” and rose up, painful as it might have been, faced “reality” and moved forward, giving permission for others to do the same.

So while I still “expect” others to “get it” and stop acting like a lower life forms, the reality is that evidence to the contrary is always in the headlines.

Poachers break into a zoo in France, kill a rhino and cut off it’s horn because some limp dick in Asia thinks it will give him a raging woody. Apparently they haven’t seen the fetching young thing in the Viagra commercials over there. Wiping out a species for its “horn” which is really just hair, and has the same erectile effect as eating a human fingernail-none-doesn’t matter to a segment of a culture and society that clings to a false belief- repeated so often they think its true.

You know…like a talk radio host who has a show that comes to his listeners from a “private bunker” and churns out all sorts of crap without a scrap of real evidence. Or the yakker who makes upwards of $40 million a year deriding and degrading for over two decades, insisting that he is the all knowing, all seeing center of the universe when it comes to politics and the military, two things he has never had the guts to participate in. Throw in the latest loudmouth from Texas who just got an award from IHeart Media as “The Greatest Talk Radio Host in America” and who’s main theme is making fun of the children gunned down in Chicago in a segment called “Thuglandia.” His fanpage boasts a picture of him with cigar in hand in front of the American flag. He lists Robert E. Lee among his heroes, the great Confederate General- but like so many blowhards, he has decided to not serve our nation but just profit from it.

He makes a living making fun out of children dying.

With 20 years in radio this I know for sure. When it comes to “political talk radio” hosts they talk like they know everything, about everything but in reality…haven’t done much of anything. In this country that is all that matters… apparently.

So as this Wednesday rolled around, with the current president accusing the last president of wiretapping on the say so of a talk radio loudmouth in his “private bunker” and asshats wandering around France killing rhinos so some old guy can try to make his equipment stand at attention, a grandmother killing her granddaughter, the “Head of Hud” rewriting slave history as “immigration” and the seemingly endless see-saw of ideologies, the conclusion for me on this “Hump Day” is simply this.

“Great Expectations” might be a good book title, but its nothing compared to “Reality Bites.”

Just gotta make sure you don’t get bit I guess.

It’s days like today when the words of that renowned and revered life sage Christopher “Straight Talkin” Walken come to mind.

Be well.
JSA

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The Wednesday Rant.

March 1, 2017 | Posted in General

I got nothing.

Well, that isn’t entirely true.

I got something but I don’t think its a good idea to back up and dump it into the already overflowing virtual landfill of Facebook. You know the usual stuff, politics, low level human behavior…politics.  It would most likely cause angst among many, perhaps a few lost friends that I really have never met and wouldn’t know if they stopped me on the street or danced a jig naked on my desk. So the loss of a “friend” on this giant billboard isn’t the same as the loss of a “friend” in “real” life so the caution I am using probably doesn’t matter much.

But the loss of my “real” friend matters a great deal to me.

We went to high school in the last century together, he was one of those guys that had the long flowing locks, quick step and even quicker smiles. A bit on the shy side, once he opened up, the room lit up-especially the locker room full of lanky football heroes. He was a tailback on offense, a scat back runner that no one ever really got a good hit on, never gave the defense a chance to put a lick on him. I remember #24  dancing through the opening made by the offensive line, twisting, turning and slicing behind the block made by our big fullback #35 who was more than happy to take the pounding so “The Cat Man” didn’t.

That’s was his nickname, due mostly in part to his last name but also because he was cat-like in his reflexes and ability spring forth out of a pile for a few extra yards.

When we walked out of high school forty-years ago for the last time, our Bulldog purple and gold jersey’s handed down to the next group of superheroes, and for the most part we all went our separate ways. I would see “The Cat Man” now and then, his brother married my sister and so when holidays rolled around, we would gather in the kitchen, knock back some cheer and talk about how great we once were.

For five years I bowled with my dad and our guys in the Wednesday Night Men’s Late League, and every couple of weeks we were up against “The Cat Man” and his guys, until well past midnight. A lot of laughter, beer frames and high-fives were always in order and when bowling came to end, it would be a very long time before I saw him again.

Years passed…then one day got a call that “The Cat Man” was in a bad way.

I went to see him in the hospital and hardly recognized my friend, my teammate. Jaundice, bent and crooked in so many ways that I didn’t have the words. No longer were his eyes clear and smile quick. We talked for a long time about demons, both real and imagined. He was in a battle of titanic proportions and admitted that he no longer could see any light at the end of the tunnel.

I hugged him before I left. I told him that I loved him and he mattered to so many. I told him I would run interference for him anytime, anywhere.

That was ten years ago.

In 2013 a memorial service was held for one of our coaches, Ray Smith, and shortly after a celebration of sorts for our head coach Frank Preo and Bulldogs converged from all across the country to back slap, tell stories and bullshit our way back in time, before worry lines, broken dreams and loss.

At one point I stood back from the bar and surveyed the room that was generating enough energy to make Elon Musk jealous and over by the door, just making his way into the room…

“The Cat Man.”

We hugged, we cried and we hugged again. It wasn’t long before guys recognized him, and the huddle grew bigger. Laughter soon took over, we stood a bit taller, sucked in our guts, threw back our shoulders and in short order were basically ready to put our helmets on one more time.

That was the last time I saw him.

“The Cat Man” died on Sunday night. He was 58.

I will be at his wake tomorrow evening. We will huddle up as we always do at these things, full grown men now, swaying nervously looking for the right words at such a very wrong time, silently greeting each other as we enter the room where his mom, brother and sister, his wife and children will thank the long line of visitors and most likely we will gaze upon the pictures and images of his very short time on earth.

And the reminder comes once again.

That tomorrow is promised to no one.

If today was your last day on the planet, and you don’t wake up tomorrow are you good with how you spent the time you were given? That has been the one constant question in my mind for the past few days as it is when death becomes more than a snooze alarm, but a serious wake up call.

I had a half-dozen messages today “Hey where is the Rant? I so look forward to it.”

Well…here it is.

Nothing about Trump’s speech or Conway sitting on a couch or who is getting traded for who and that the Dow hit 21,000 or the dismantling of the EPA.

Today I could care less.

“The Cat Man” died.

Be well.
JSA

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The Wednesday Rant.

February 22, 2017 | Posted in General

For the past twenty years I have spent more time “on the air” than “in the air” as it were. From the first moment I turned on the microphone at WDBC Radio in Escanba in 1997, to the upper echelons of Oprah Radio, WGN, CBS, SiriusXM and a couple other stops, I have never once had any reservation about speaking what as on my mind, live and in real time about any issue, subject, concern or topic.

Nor have I once backed down from a discussion with callers, looking for that coveted piece of property known as “common ground.” Conversion comes from conversation, not confrontation. The great challenge in life is that most of us don’t want to give up our “stuff” because that “stuff” is who we think we are, and to change our mind is akin to total surrender and who wants to do that?

So after twenty years and thousands of shows, conversations, discussions, bloviating, pontificating, ruminating and contemplating I always come to the same conclusion, no matter how many angles I look at the human condition.

Everyone thinks they are “right.”

The reason we cannot get out of our own way, is because we don’t even know we are in the way…because we “know” there simply cannot be another way.

“It’s my way…or the highway…”

Unhooking from the hard wiring that dictates our beliefs only happens when the system finally collapses on itself and shows up in a myriad of ways, illness, heart attacks, stress, anxiety, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, divorce…you know… the hemorrhoids of life (by the way I have always felt they should be called ass-teroids which would be more appropriate) and even then…sometimes we don’t “get it.”

As I watch the flamethrowers set on full “incinerate” mode in the landfill of Facebook, torching each other as we insist on who is more “right” I am always reminded that as Billy Joel chirped, “we didn’t start the fire…” but that being said, it seems we are bent on making sure the flames continue. When a building is engulfed, firefighters don’t take out a flame thrower, they use water to snuff it out.

But not us…oh no. “Burn baby burn…”

For what?

To be right…so we can satisfy that ego part of us that needs to be right, that validating stamp of “righteousness”…that learned behavior we picked up along way making sure that as we swim in a world of 7 billion other people, we alone have the market cornered on…

“What’s right.”

For most of us, we have been taught to see the world in a “this OR that” landscape, where we divide our short life spans into political or religious categories, looking to fit our stuff in with other people who are like us. We gather with our chosen tribes, back slapping and lap sitting our way into a sort of human yak herd, asses facing inward and horns outward as to ward off any attempt at breaking the circle thus destabilizing the righteous tundra we paw at constantly to reassure ourselves that the ground beneath our feet is familiar and secure.

However, sometimes those “wake up calls” shakes the herd and some brazen human yak decides to see the world in a “this AND that” way, thus totally changing their wiring diagram and catapulting them into unfamiliar territory (the very image of a yak being launched on a catapult is already worth the time writing this) and their life slowly changes, even if the the wake up call is abrupt and loud.

The need to be right…lessens…the urge to be happy…increases.

Human evolution is slow.

It’s frustrating, gyrating and incredible all at once. That fact we have made it this far as a species is nothing short of a miracle to me, as we have tried every way you can think of to eradicate each other since two upright beings argued about the “right way” to dispatch a Woolly Mammoth or some other large mammal of the Pleistocene Epoch.

But here we are.

It’s been said that “when you argue for your limitations you get to keep them.” Unfortunately…those limitations also keep you…”right” where you “think” you belong.

“Tug of War” can only work if both sides of the rope are being pulled.

“Right?”

Be well.
JSA

Yaks

 

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The Monday Memo.

February 20, 2017 | Posted in General

President’s Day Edition!

Today is a federal holiday, all those pesky tax funded government services that just clog up life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are on hold until tomorrow. Banks are closed as well but you can use ATM (All The Money) machines without restriction whilst celebrating the 45 men that have guided our great nation.

Well maybe not 45 but more like 40 great men. Or…maybe 28 or 23 great men that…well how about 17 really great men that were able to help bend history and…uh…okay so about about 12…a dozen really incredible men that have made America the greatest nation on earth…or maybe really 8 or 9 guys.

So before you go out and commemorate our past presidents by purchasing tires, living room furniture and/or a great mattress (Last Presidents Day, J.C. Penney took 40% to 60% off furniture and mattresses! Hooray for US!) its easy to remember who the “Final Four” are when it comes to presidents with once glance at Mt. Rushmore- Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Honest Abe.

Some think tankers often put FDR above his cousin TR (which probably would have really ticked him off) along with Eisenhower and Truman in front of Thomas Jefferson who may or may not have cared less.

But there isn’t any monument to the lesser known, bottom of the list men that may have held the title of president but didn’t really do a helluva lot.

Andrew Johnson might just be the worst US President this country has ever experienced. AJ was VP when Lincoln was assassinated. He was the first president to be impeached, and after the Civil War when the country was a sandbox of shit and violent riots and revolts popping up all over the country; he did more to extend the period of national divide and contention then he did to heal the wounds of the war… Basically he did zip.

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here” insisted Warren G. Harding who enjoyed being liked more than he coveted being a great president. As POTUS he kept himself busy with golf, poker, and his mistress, while appointees and cronies plundered the U.S. government who came to be known as “the Ohio gang. ” Many of them were later charged with defrauding the government, and some of them went to jail.

While he might have been the greatest general in US history, Ulysses S. Grant’s incredible military skills didn’t translate well to his presidency and it was a deep bunghole of corruption. While not as bad as Andrew Johnson, who he proceeded, Grant thought he could just delegate and then sit back to regulate-except that the people he delegated to…were idiots and as my friend Duane Kinnart points out, it was his sister Alysses S. Grant that had more of an impact. Whether or not Grant actually had a sister named Alysses doesn’t really matter, because as we have learned “alternative truth” is just as viable as you know…real truth.

Our tenth president was John Tyler, who was such a dolt according to his own Whig party they kicked him out. The “Whigs” eventually went the way of the Dodo Bird…go figure.

POTUS #7 was given the nickname “Old Hickory” by troops he commanded in the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson because he was so tough but he spent much of his presidential time in the early years to dealing with “The Petticoat” affair (also known as the Eaton affair) was an 1830–1831 U.S. scandal involving members of President Andrew Jackson’s Cabinet and their wives. Led by Floride Calhoun, wife of Vice President John C. Calhoun, these women (the “petticoats”) socially ostracized John Eaton, the Secretary of War, and his wife Peggy over disapproval of the circumstances surrounding their marriage and what they considered her failure to meet the moral standards of a cabinet wife. The affair shook up the Jackson administration and led to the resignation of all but one cabinet member. Add to that the “Indian Removal Act” of 1830 that paved the way for the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of American Indians from their traditional homelands to the West, in an event widely known as the “Trail of Tears,” a forced resettlement of the native population.

Nice huh?

Finally we remember of course other of those great men and their famous deeds…Richard M. Nixon insisting he wasn’t a crook or liar, LBJ who couldn’t keep his cowboy ego in check and the Vietnam Wall is part of his legacy, James Buchanan who said “slavery isn’t an issue” and allowed seven states to secede which created the stage for the Un-Civil War and while there could be an extensive debate on both sides of the political aisle about who is the “worst” so perhaps a few quotes from our esteemed elected leaders are in order as we honor them today.

”Facts are stupid things.” -Ronald Reagan, at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, ”Facts are stubborn things”

“You cannot be president of the United States if you don’t have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial and the Civil War and all that stuff. You can’t be. And we are blessed. So don’t feel sorry for — don’t cry for me, Argentina. Message: I care.” —President George H.W. Bush, speaking to employees of an insurance company during the 1992 New Hampshire primary

”It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” —Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair

And finally this perspective from the great general and president Dwight D. Eisenhower who said ” Things have never more like the way they are today in history.”

Exactly right Ike.

The more things change…the more they….don’t.

Be well
JSA

Nixon

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The Wednesday Rant.

February 15, 2017 | Posted in General

Disclaimer~

For the record, what follows has nothing to do with how I voted, or you voted, or if you voted. It’s a commentary on comparison, for better or for worse. It’s also lengthy, but I kept it intact full well knowing the attention span of most humans  is about 28 seconds these days.

I first read about Theodore Roosevelt in the “Child Craft” book volume “Great Men and Famous Deeds.” back in 1966. Since then I have become an avowed “Ted Head” and have read nearly every book he wrote or has been written about him. His journey from a sick young boy to robust leader of America, author, explorer and vigorous defender of “the strenuous life” has been a main tenet for me for the past fifty years.

So the worst thing that can happen is to have my girlfriend point out the “Perspective” section in the Chicago Tribune a week ago with a big picture of President Theodore Roosevelt and a caption that read

“Is Donald Trump the new Teddy Roosevelt?

I read the piece written by a young man who works for a think-tank policy center in Chicago and as my blood pressure began rise I knew that sleep was going to be a bit sparse until I was able to transform the torrent of thoughts at this absurd comparison into a response.

Three days later I was done.

I reached out to the the author of the 700 word commentary and shared my thoughts with him. He responded in kind, as I had approached him in a respectful way. For the record, I have been watching comparisons of TR and DT for two years so it’s not a new thing for me. What follows is the original email I sent to him.

” I read with great interest your piece in the “Perspective” section of the Chicago Tribune dated February 11, 2017 titled “Is Trump the new Teddy Roosevelt?”

Actually, I have read it four times, first for impact, second for clarity, third for accuracy and the fourth time, just minutes ago at a bit after 4:30 this morning to be objective before I attempt a measured response, which comes two days after my initial reaction which was a level of shock akin to reading the comparison of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees with former President Rutherford B. Hayes because they have similar facial features and according to Brees “Being a quarterback and holding a high political office both require a “buck stops here kind of mentality just like being the president.”

That motto of course belongs to Harry S. Truman, not Hayes but I digress. Point is just because there are what might appear to be similarities on the surface of our 26th and 45th presidents, it’s below the water line where I put my focus.

With respect, due to your time, energy and effort on the “Perspective” piece, and as a decades long student of Theodore Roosevelt, his life and work before, during and after The White house and as a talk radio host that has conducted extensive interviews on our 26th president from some of the preeminent historians of our time including Douglas Brinkley and Patti O’Toole, I can understand why you attempted to make the “case for cloning” but in my opinion failed to do so, where it matters most, past a loud demeanor and insisting nature.

The “rise” of Teddy Roosevelt in no way was similar to Donald Trump. You must know from your research that it was TR’s father who infused him with a deep sense of duty and a “to whom much is given much is expected” credo, which is it the exact opposite of Trump who grew up with “to whom much is given, then expect more…and more…and more.” Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was called “Great Heart” by his children and insisted that they make the world a better place with no regard to their own rewards.

Hardly the same foundation blueprint that Mr. Trump’s “rise” has been built on which leans more towards legal maneuvering, multiple bankruptcies, and telling B-list celebs “ You’re Fired” on television.

As to the mythical fascination of the military your point does not connect for me based on historical fact. TR had a deep sense of duty to country-nothing “mythical” or “factious” but rather an “obligation” that came from of his father once again, but not for his own valor, but rather the fact that Roosevelt Sr. “paid” a stand in soldier, to serve in his place in the Civil War, (an accepted practice in those days,) but a responsibility that young TR vowed he would never skip no matter his position. Prior to his service in the Spanish–American War, Roosevelt had already seen reserve military service from 1882 to 1886 with the New York National Guard. Commissioned on August 1, 1882 as a 2nd Lieutenant with B Company, 8th Regiment, he was promoted to Captain and company commander a year later, and he remained in command until he resigned his commission. As you know under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for the charge up Kettle Hill on July 1, 1898, while supporting the regulars. Roosevelt had the only horse, and rode back and forth between rifle pits at the forefront of the advance up Kettle Hill, an advance that he urged despite the absence of any orders from superiors. He was forced to walk up the last part of Kettle Hill, because his horse had been entangled in barbed wire.

The victories came at a cost of 200 killed and 1,000 wounded.

In contrast, Donald Trump attended military school when he was seventeen for five years and has stated he has had “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” Five deferments from service in the Vietnam years and his continued insistence that he had great sacrifice in that time. “It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.” Somehow I don’t hear TR saying of John McCain (even if he vehemently disagreed with his politics) that “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Trump lived out a “fantasy” at military school and “always wanted a Purple Heart” but apparently wasn’t willing to serve his country to put his life on the line like so many men and women have.  Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill and was awarded the Medal of Honor for doing so, 103 years later. Our 26th president was the real deal in every way, our 45th “Commander in Chief” in my opinion (and as a veteran myself) is not.

TR was a fervent “Trust Buster” that took on the likes of JP Morgan as he distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 44 monopolistic corporations as a “trust buster.” He took care, however, to show that he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle, but was only against their corrupt, illegal practices. His “Square Deal” included regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs; he saw it as a fair deal for both the average citizen and the businessmen.

The same “wealthy businessmen” TR despised, Trump is not only attempting to put in vital cabinet positions but they form his inner most circle. One look at extensive list of Trump “enterprises” would reveal much of the same corrupt and illegal practices might have gotten Trump “called on the carpet” at the White House back in 1907, (perhaps standing in line with Morgan) but for all the reasons that have been passed off as “success” in his run for the Oval Office in 2016.

TR was a brilliant intellectual, a noted naturalist and staunch conservationist and author of over 20 books. Trump speaks according to experts at a 6th grade level, claims that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and hired a “ghostwriter” who has gone on record stating he regrets taking on the project to promote a “larger than life” myth that is based on ego.

The difference to me is obvious, Trump “sees himself larger than life” and Roosevelt “was larger than life.”

Theodore Roosevelt had a long record of public and military service before being installed as vice-president to William McKinley by the republican party who felt that the best way to keep him from making waves of change was to put him in the then benign VP slot. If not for an assassin’s bullet that claimed the life of McKinley, it’s quite possible that TR would not hold a place on Mt. Rushmore, averted a national disaster by ending the 1902 coal strike, put in place consumer protections for food and labor along with championing the working class the he knew are the bedrock of the republic, been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, built the Panama Canal and created the National Park System.

TR saved the Grand Canyon from strip mining and private development, by using the power of his office in 1908-full well knowing the value of the land to future generations was more important than the profits to be gained from private interests. In contrast, President Trump is on record as saying the EPA should be abolished and has put a man up for confirmation to head the EPA who as spent his political career suing the very office he seeks for obstructing “development.”

Donald Trump’s rise to the White House was nothing like Roosevelt’s in that he offended everyone from a disabled reporter to women to a POW and dug into a group of people that have long felt their country had left them behind by promising that which he cannot deliver, spending billions of dollars to put himself in the spotlight of the most coveted office in the land, which feeds his ego more than it will feed their needs. Trump recently told Anderson Cooper that “I can be the most presidential person ever, other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln all right? But I can be the most presidential person. But I may not be able to do the job nearly as well if I do that.”

While I am not sure what all that means, TR was quite clear when he wrote “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

At the surface, I see where your attempt to make the comparison between the two as they share a loud, brash, in-your-face reformer of sorts from New York, who is bent on “bucking the establishment” could hold water. TR was tough on immigration but understood the value of Mexico in the unfolding century. He wouldn’t build a wall, he would build stronger bridges between the two countries.

Under the surface however the most important distinction between the two is boldly apparent.

Theodore Roosevelt lived a robust, dedicated  “bully” existence ( a term of exuberance and fortitude) before, during and after his tenure as president. In contrast, Donald Trump is just a “bully” in my opinion who leans on threats, exaggerations, non-truths, half truths and insults… and that difference more than any strained attempt at similarity is the defining factor between being enshrined on Mount Rushmore with Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson and building skyscrapers with your own name on them.

Much of what Roosevelt did while in office under the republican banner would today be considered liberal- conservation, social and work place reform, trust busting, investing in long term projects that would affect future generations. The challenges in 1907 are different than they are in 2017 but there are some fundamental pieces that never change.

Theodore Roosevelt had character built out of deep loss, failure and challenge, whereas Donald Trump (in my opinion) is a character, a product of his own PR and a reality show. For me that along with the aforementioned laundry list of accomplishments TR put in place is more than enough to make any comparison pale at best. Your writing ability aside, I hope that President Trump doesn’t read it and think in some way he needs to be the 5th face on the rock in South Dakota because he has on some level been compared to TR.

Respectfully,

John St. Augustine

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