Who you calling a wimp…, wimp?

What I’m referring to here is back in 1987, Newsweek published a story about the then Vice President seeking his own White House bid titled, “George Bush: Fighting the ‘Wimp Factor,” referring to George Herbert Walker Bush, who would become the 41st President of The United States.

That was back in the day when Republicans were afraid of how they would be perceived by the media and didn’t fight back against them.

That was back in the day (the pre-FOX News days) when “the media” could get away with pretty much whatever they wanted.  They had the power to mold the country’s take on any topic or situation.

Well…, those days are gone my friends, and I’m officially calling out former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas!

This offending magazine hit the newsstands when George H. W. Bush’s granddaughter, Jenna, was only 6 years old, but it ended up leaving a lasting impression on her.

Jenna Bush Hager would go on to say that, Newsweek’s cover calling George H.W. Bush [her grandfather] a “wimp” confused her.  “He was a hero in our eyes.”

And rightly so.

“When we lived here in D.C., when we were in elementary school, I have this vivid memory of going to the grocery store, I was with my mom, and saw the cover of Newsweek that said ‘Wimp’ and it had a picture of my grandpa next to it.  It confused me, it confused us, because he was the antithesis of a wimp,” Bush Hager said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“He was somebody that showed us that family matters.  He never was looking at work when we were next to him.  He was present.  He played with us.  He made us feel special,” Bush Hager continued. “He spoke softly and he didn’t speak about himself, he was humble.  But why did that have to equate to being a wimp?  It didn’t to us.  He was our hero.”

The United States formally entered World War II December 8, 1941, following Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.  Six months later, George Bush enlisted into the U.S. Navy immediately after he graduated from High School.

He became a naval aviator in 10 months.

He was commissioned as an ensign on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him one of the youngest aviators in the history of the Navy.

Initially, his squadron participated in the victorious Battle of the Philippine Sea, one of the largest air battles of World War II.

Bush was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944, and his aircraft carrier, The San Jacinto, commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands.  He piloted one of the four Grumman TBM Avengers that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima on September 2, 1944.  His aircraft was hit by flak during the attack, but Bush successfully released bombs and scored several hits anyway. With his engine ablaze, he flew several miles from the island, where he and his crew bailed out.  Bush waited for four hours in a small raft before he was rescued by the submarine USS Finback.

Through 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

After Bush received his military discharge, he enrolled at Yale University.  He earned an undergraduate degree in economics on an accelerated program that enabled him to graduate in two and a half years, rather than the usual four.  He also captained the Yale baseball team and played in the first two College World Series.

He moved his family to West Texas where he entered the oil business, worked his way up the ladder, eventually owning his own oil drilling company, and becoming a millionaire by the age of 40.

He was the United States Ambassador to The United Nations.

He served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

He served as Vice President for two terms under Ronald Reagan.

He was elected the 41st President of The United States, where Bush defeated Michael Dukakis in the Electoral College by a total of 426 to 111, losing only nine states.

As President, he oversaw the fall of The Berlin Wall and the fall of The Soviet Union.

He also oversaw Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War, in Iraq.  Inarguably one of the most successful military operations in our country’s history.

I would say that this is the resume’ of a man who was anything but a wimp.

According to Brian Flood of Fox News, “It seems that the man responsible for calling Bush a wimp agrees with Bush Hager now, even if it took him decades to admit it.  Earlier this week, former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said he regretted using the word “wimp” to describe H.W. Bush.

Thomas, in an op-ed for Yahoo, wrote that he edited the story and added the word “wimp” despite objections from the story’s reporter.

“But the clear implication of the cover story…, was that Bush somehow lacked the inner fortitude to lead the free world,” he wrote.  “How wrong we were.  As the 41st president, Bush was anything but a wimp.”

As usual, the eventual retraction of a story or a statement does not match the impact or effect of the original story or statement.

Thank you Mr. Thomas for waiting until the poor man was dead to admit you were wrong, and the statement was a mistake.  But in all actuality, you knew you were wrong at the time as well.  You just didn’t care, and you weren’t going to let facts get in the way of your desired narrative.  You were just doing your job as a member of the “biased, liberal, fake news media,” while attempting to cast George H. W. Bush in a negative light.

Mr. Evan Welling Thomas III, now there’s a wimpy sounding name for you, deserves to be called out for being the “biased, liberal, fake news media” propagandist that he was, and is.  He is also a proud member in a family where his grandfather, Norman Thomas, was a six-time Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

That figures.  Such a proud leftist, and wimpy, heritage.

I’m sorry that George’s granddaughter, Jenna, was subjected to this character assignation perpetrated by Evan Thomas and Newsweek (which I like to call “WeakNews”).

Like they might say in a sports locker room, “Mr. Thomas…, you couldn’t hold George’s jockstrap!

 

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“Gobble, Gobble, Gobble?” What’s the true story of “Thanksgiving?”

The “Thanksgiving” that The Pilgrims celebrated back in 1621 (almost 400 years ago) may not have been exactly what many of us believe it was, but it was probably pretty close.  Let’s take a look.

The Pilgrims’ first year in this new land had been a very difficult one to say the least, and the ones who were still there were just truly thankful to be alive.  They were also very thankful to the Native American people who helped them to survive in this new land, and of course they were thankful to God as well.

Almost a year earlier the first landing party had arrived at the site of what later became the settlement of Plymouth.  During that first winter, the Mayflower colonists suffered greatly.  45 out of 102 immigrants died that winter.  The following March, the first formal contact occurred with the Indians (or Native Americans).

(Note: All the way back to 1492, and the days of Christopher Columbus, the Native Americans here were referred to as “Indians” because Columbus believed he had landed in India, which was his real target destination at the time.)

Both sides managed to establish a formal treaty of peace. This treaty ensured that each people would not bring harm to the other, and that they would come to each other’s aid in a time of war.

By November 1621, only 53 pilgrims were alive to celebrate the harvest feast which modern Americans now know as “The First Thanksgiving.” Of the original 18 adult women, 13 died the first winter while another died in May. Only four adult women were left alive for the first Thanksgiving.

This first “Thanksgiving” was really a celebration of survival, a show of goodwill and a way for the settlers to show their appreciation to their Native American neighbors, by sharing a feast with them after their harvest, and before the onset of another winter.

When we think about “Thanksgiving,” it’s all about the food!  Turkey, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, hot rolls, and pumpkin pie are what most of us would feel is required of a real “Thanksgiving” dinner.  Different families may have certain additional items that have been added to the tradition as well.  But what did the Pilgrims and their guests have to eat at that first “Thanksgiving?”

Well, the Pilgrims and their guests didn’t have corn, apples, potatoes or even cranberries. No one knows for sure if they even had turkey, although they did eat turkey from time to time.  Ducks or geese would have been more plentiful this time of year.  The only food we know they had for sure was deer (venison).

The feast between The Pilgrims and the Native American Wampanoag people probably also contained fish, lobster, eels, clams, turnips, berries, pumpkin, and squash.

You didn’t hear any moms or dads yelling at the kids to use their fork either.  Forks weren’t even invented yet!

So where did we get the idea from that you have to have turkey and cranberry sauce and such on Thanksgiving?  It was because the people of the Victorian Era prepared Thanksgiving that way.

thanksgiving dinner

The Victorian era of history was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign over Britain from 1837 until she died in January of 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, and refined social behavior.  Thanksgiving became a national holiday, beginning in 1863, when Abraham Lincoln issued his presidential Thanksgiving proclamations.  There were actually two of them, one to celebrate Thanksgiving in August, and a second one in November.  Before Lincoln, Americans outside New England did not usually celebrate the holiday.

So there you have it, and remember to say “please” before you ask someone to “pass the eels” this Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Note: Thank you to Rick Shenkman, of the History News Network, for contributing to this article.

 

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Believe it or not! This painting of Jesus miraculously survived a devastating, all-consuming, fire!

A lightning strike reportedly ignited a massive fire last Tuesday night at the historic, 150-year-old, First Baptist Church in Wakefield, Massachusetts.

Everything inside the church was turned to ashes.

Well…, almost everything.

Miraculously, the fire crews found one thing in the rubble that survived the brutal flames somehow.

It was a lone painting.

A painting depicting Jesus Christ, standing in a white robe with hands, bearing the marks of crucifixion, extended.

The painting somehow survived…, untouched!

“It’s a beautiful sign of hope and a reminder that Jesus is with us,” church member Maria Kakolowski told a local TV station.  “I am personally just taking it as a sign and a reminder that Jesus, the Christ that we serve, is still alive and even though our church building is gone, our “church” is still here.  The God that we serve is still here.”

According to Lucia I. Suarez Sang, a Reporter for FoxNews.com, “Crews began dismantling the remnants of the historic building last Wednesday morning.  There is no official cause of the fire, however, residents nearby said they saw lightning hit the church’s steeple.”

The fire was reported after powerful thunderstorms rolled through the greater Boston area.

In a statement, church officials expressed their gratitude that no parishioners were hurt and thanked the fire department for battling the seven-alarm blaze.

“We know that we serve a God who specializes in restoring brokenness and who can bring beauty even from ashes,” they wrote. “So we move into the future with trust, hope, and gratitude.”

Pastor Norm Bendroth said he was settling down to watch the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series last Tuesday night when he saw “a fireball in the sky.”

“It just went up like a tinderbox.  It’s a building built in 1870 and it’s a balloon-style (an all wood structure building that uses long, vertical 2″ x 4″ lumber for the exterior walls), so once the fire started you know the whole building just went up quickly,” he said.

According to the National Register of Historic Places, the structure was constructed around 1872 and rebuilt after a fire in 1912.

The estimated damage was more than $1 million.

The town’s fire chief, Michael Sullivan, told the Boston Globe newspaper that, “the extent of the fire on arrival was just too great for us to stop it.”

He added, “It’s a shame, it was a beautiful church.  We feel bad about that but there’s really nothing we could do.”

A “GoFundMe” page has been set-up to help the church.

Do you believe in miracles?

How else can this painting surviving completely unscathed be explained?

Please email me and let me know what you think!

 

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jesus painting

Halloween is coming!  But how did it get here, and where did it come from?

The story of Halloween takes a long and winding road.  It starts way back in the times when Stonehenge was constructed in ancient England, and evolves as the Christian Church gets involved, and again when the celebration travels from the European continent over to North America.

OK, so let’s get started!

Where did the name “Halloween” come from?

The word “Halloween” or “Hallowe’en” dates back to about 1745 and is of Christian origin.  The word “Hallowe’en” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening.”  It comes from a Scottish term for “All Hallows’ Eve” (the evening before All Hallows’ Day).  In Scottish, the word “eve” is “even,” and this is contracted to e’en or een.  Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Hallowe’en.

Where did our celebration of “Halloween” originate from and how did it evolve?

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (Pronounced sow-in, go figure!).  The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st.  This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with death.

Celts believed that on the night before their New Year (Oct. 31st), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.  On the night of October 31st they celebrated Samhain (remember, pronounced sow-in), when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.  In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of these spirits made it easier for the Druids (the Celtic priests) to make predictions about the future.  For a people entirely dependent on the unpredictable natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction as they headed into the long, dark winter.

To celebrate the event, the Druids built huge sacred bonfires, and the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic gods.  During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins.

By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory.  Over the course of the next four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.  The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead.  The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.  The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

In 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV established the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day.  Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13th to November 1st.

By the 9th century (the 800’s) the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites.  In 1000 A.D., the church made November 2nd All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead.  It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday.  All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils.  The All Saints Day celebration was also called “All-hallows” or “All-hallowmas” (from Middle English “Alholowmesse” meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

So the merging of the Celtic, Roman and Christian celebrations and holidays, related to what we now call Halloween, was now fairly complete.

But the evolution of Halloween was not complete yet.  Americans of course would have to put their spin on it!

Over a half a century later in America, the celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant beliefs there.  Halloween was much more common in the southern colonies.

As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge.

The first American Halloween celebrations included public gatherings held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.  Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds.

By the middle of the nineteenth century (the 1800’s), annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century (the late 1800’s) America was flooded with new immigrants.  These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a more non-religious, community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment.

By the 1950’s, Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young, probably due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom.  The centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived.  Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share in the Halloween celebration.

So there you have the history of “Halloween.”

A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow every year.  Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday, behind only Christmas.

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends.  For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and evil in nature.  Our customs and superstitions are scarier too.

Christian churches now tend to officially disassociate themselves from the celebration of Halloween, since the evolution of the holiday has taken it off into a “Godless” direction.

When we think of Halloween now, we think of the night, darkness, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, witches, bats, spiders, graveyards, vampires, the devil and demons.  Basically, anything scary.

Did You Know?:

Over one fourth of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween?

It’s true!

Pumpkins entered into the Halloween celebration after Irish immigrants came to America and found that pumpkins were easier to carve than potatoes?

It’s true!

Jack-o-lanterns have been around for hundreds of years. The legend actually revolves around a man named Jack.  Jack supposedly made a deal with the devil, which of course usually does not turn out good.  In the end, Jack is stuck between heaven and hell, wandering around, looking for his final resting place, lighting his way, carrying a pumpkin with a candle in it to light his way.

It’s true!

Candy corn, a popular treat during Halloween, was first created in the late 1800’s.  More than 35 million pounds of candy corn is produced each year!

It’s true!

The word “witch” comes from the word “wica,” an Old Saxon word that means “wise one.”  The early-known witches were dealers in medicinal herbs and charms and were highly respected in their communities.

It’s true!

Well, now your Halloween IQ has just been increased over 100%!

Here are just a few more parting shots!

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

A: Frostbite.

 

Q: Why are ghosts so bad at lying?

A: Because you can see right through them!

 

Q: What’s it like to be kissed by a vampire?

A: It’s a pain in the neck.

 

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Boo.

Boo, who?

Well you don’t have to cry about it!

 

NOTE:  If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog today, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Follow” button.  That’ll keep you up to date on my latest posts.

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

halloween

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