Daley, Richard

Daley, Richard:  (n) A mayor of Chicago in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. One of the last and toughest of the big-city political “bosses.”

’Tis a tale of the two Richards.

I could probably write an Almanac about it, but I shall keep it brief. Yes, I will make it short, if not sweet.

Richard Daley was the mayor of Chicago who believed in control by intimidation and using strength as a deterrent to protest.

So in 1968, when young people all over America headed to Chicago, Illinois, to make a stand against the Viet Nam War at the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Daley thought it was a good time to stop these punks and hoodlums, making an example of them by using his police force to push them, shove them, and often strike out.

America’s love generation—beaten and bloodied.

The television networks thought it good theater to cover this unfolding with a split screen—half of which broadcast speeches on the floor of the convention, and the other chronicling the struggle between college students and police officers.

It was a frightening, obtuse and mind-altering vision.

Meanwhile, another Richard, Nixon, sat back and watched the fiasco, ran for President and won in the midst of this turmoil over the Viet Nam War, which he promised to end.

Not only did he fail to cease the war, but he brought a level of corruption into the Presidency that had never been seen before, resigning in disgrace.

What would have happened if the one Richard—the Mayor of Chicago—had decided to treat the students as if they were the sons and daughters of America instead of crime bosses?

Would the other Richard–Nixon–have been able to capitalize on his second run at the chief position in the land and win?

A very interesting question. I’m sure it’s one that most people don’t care about anymore.

But since human beings have not come up with a new design for more than a hundred thousand years, it’s safe to assume that this kind of situation will rise again—where we need to be careful not to allow one Dick to make another dick.

Breathalyzer

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Breathalyzer: (n) a device used by police for measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath.

Intolerance always enters our lives when we fail to recognize our own weakness as being equally pathetic to the vices we condemn.

I have never been a drinker. Yet I don’t want to be a self-righteous tee-totaler.Dictionary B

It’s so easy to be critical of those who drink too much, drive, and are prosecuted because of the results of a breathalyzer. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous–often lethal.

Yet by the same token, I find myself somewhat bewitched by food.

They do not have a breathalyzer test for pork chops–but I have driven home from a buffet many times having eaten to the point of nausea, getting sleepy behind the wheel because my blood sugar was soaring to the stars. But no policeman would ever insinuate I was endangering the lives of others.

Please don’t misunderstand my point. Alcohol is dangerous.

Yet there are many people who can eat three-and-a half ounces of meat and be completely satisfied without becoming intoxicated by a caloric binge.

I just want to keep my tolerance available to me when I run across those who fall victim to vice and depravity.

I, too, am weak.

The fact that my consumption does not end up in a courtroom does not alter the situation.

Thank God for breathalyzers because they do keep people off the road who are primed for an accident.

But the piece of humanity we need to always keep in mind is that each one of us has peccadilloes–which if we pick at the wrong moment, can end up being anything from a sin to a crime.

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Brain

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Brain: (n) intellectual capacity

A friend of mine bought a German shepherd. He did so as a means of protecting his house.

He named the dog Rugby.Dictionary B

Rugby was probably one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever encountered in my life. I was absolutely enthralled with the kindness of this creature, but certainly convinced that Rugby was incapable of guarding anything. He was even patient with the four-year-old child who lived in the house, who was enamored with the animal’s nose, and continually tried to pluck it from his face.

I laughed at my friend when he insisted that Rugby was a replacement for a burglar alarm.

Then one day we went off on a brief shopping trip. As we returned, pulling into the driveway, we heard barking and growling. It sounded very aggressive–frightening to the ears.

Stepping into the house, we discovered a terrified gentleman penned in the corner, held prisoner by a very intimidating Rugby.

Apparently the man had decided to come into the house to steal some items to sell at the pawn shop–only to discover that the house was well protected by a deceptively dutiful German shepherd.

The man begged to have the dog called off.

As soon as my friend called the police, he motioned to Rugby to come to his side, and the family pet returned–with a wagging tail and a panting tongue.

You may ask me what this story has to do with the brain. Here it is:

The brain is like Rugby.

It doesn’t have any natural inclinations of its own, but only brings forth its training when the situation arises.

  • If you think being smart makes you generous, you are sadly mistaken.
  • If you believe that a formal education causes you to be ingenious, you will be disappointed.

A brain is merely a “thing” until something breaks in, and it does what it was trained to do.

 

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 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

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