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ARTWORK BY NORMAN ROCKWELL
When the Commander-in-Chief orders more then a military parade
Thursday, February 8, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- In July, America’s current president observed the massive Bastille Day parade in France, a display of military might similar to Russia’s May Day chest-pounding.
Perhaps it is easy and delightful for the world’s most powerful soul to sign the order that commands the most powerful military on the globe to march in a bigger, greater parade then one would see in Paris or Moscow.
Is the President’s current order for a giant parade -- one that will likely convince arms buyers where to spend money -- the best way for a Commander-in-Chief to show our greatest power?
Ask Dwight David Eisenhower, of Kansas.
America’s 34th president shortly after World War Two, Dwight Eisenhower started the 20th century at the US Army’s West Point and spent decades rising through the ranks to finally lead the most powerful military in the world.
Eisenhower graduated West Point, as the nation’s military moved troops and supplies on horseback and wagons. Mules carried weapons and ammunition up mountains. The tank and aircraft came only after the man from Kansas finished West Point.
When Herbert Hoover sat in the Oval Office, Eisenhower had risen to the job of deputy to the Army’s chief, Douglas MacArthur, but the military languished. Since the nation’s economy had collapsed in 1929, Hoover ordered massive reductions on military capability. Ships were been sunk and planes destroyed to lower costs. With few personnel in uniform and little work to do, Eisenhower spent most of Herbert Hoover’s presidency reading western novels in a quiet office in Washington.
In the year of Hoover’s reelection, a rag-tag camp of homeless veterans who had fought for the United Stated Expeditionary Force led by General John J. Pershing begged the President to rescue them. For months, while Eisenhower read cowboy books, the President did nothing as the Doughboys who won the “Great War” shivered in the District of Columbia.
Finally, when summer arrived, the Commander-in-Chief issued an order to MacArthur and Eisenhower. They were commanded not to rescue the veterans who had carried the Flag to victory in World War One, but to use armed troops to crush Hooverville and eject veterans begging for compensation that the government had promised a decade earlier.
Eisenhower caught a taxi with his boss, after President Hoover ordered the military to show the District of Columbia how great the military can look. Eisenhower watched, as MacArthur ordered General George Patton to lead young soldiers on horses to gallop in attack and crack heads while clunky tanks rolled over tents. The President’s likely opponent in the 1932 election -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the governor of America’s largest state -- was stunned reading news of the Army’s crackdown, saying that the Commander-in-Chief instead should have ordered sandwiches and coffee for the Doughboys.
In November 1932, voters said that the way to save America was to fire one president and hire a leader who promised a “New Deal” for ordinary Americans. Roosevelt -- a rich man who angered the super-rich by putting them last -- changed everything in America, including the military. Telling the American people that “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” the new President raised taxes, hired workers, rebuilt banks, grew the economy, expanded the military, and rescued ordinary Americans from the economic collapse, after everyone endured years of Hoover doing nothing beyond cracking heads in the capitol.
When Roosevelt -- the new Commander-in-Chief -- sent Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines, to craft the region’s military strength, Dwight Eisenhower rose to the top of the ranks in Washington. Eisenhower led the military, as Roosevelt carefully guided America through neutrality-yet-strength while Europe disintegration into open warfare and the Empire of Japan waged conquest across the Pacific.
On December 7th 1941, the United States suffered thousands killed, when the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan bombing Pearl Harbor, on a Hawaiian island few knew anything about. President Roosevelt addressed Congress, saying that “a day that shall live in infamy” threw America the global war, now known as World War Two.
While it falls on Congress to grant any war, it is the President who serves as Commander-in-Chief. Douglas MacArthur -- now desperately defending the Philippines against the Japanese -- got Roosevelt’s order to lead all forces in the Pacific. The Commander-in-Chief ordered Dwight David Eisenhower to lead forces in Europe.
Because the pen shows the ultimate power of a Commander-in-Chief, so too is it that humility displays greater strength than the chest-pounding to order of a parade.
Just as GEORGE WASHINGTON fell to his knees to ask GOD for HIS help in defeating a King, and ABRAHAM LINCOLN ordered Glory to rescue our imperfect Union from open rebellion, FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT sat on a battleship not to pound his chest, but to join with a half-American -- an Englishman named WINSTON CHURCHILL -- to pray with soldiers and sailors for GOD to help defeat thugs and genocidal killers.
Though each of the three are viewed by historians as the only “great” presidents, each looked upward, in ultimate humility, and showed souls who would risk their own lives that the greatness of this nation is not given, but earned.
As MacArthur pushed through muddy islands of the Pacific, Eisenhower ordered troops to sweep across the desert and climb mountains. Roosevelt and Churchill stood together not for parades, but fighting Axis forces waging a brutal global war of hatred. No one could tell in 1942 whether the Allies would win. Thousands lost their lives as leaders faced uncertainty as to the outcome.
Even when the tide turned and Allied forces invaded the French coast, in June 1944, General Eisenhower called to his troops to share in his plea to God, that their bravery would be His gift, in victory. The other letter that stayed in his pocket was to admit in defeat that the only soul who carried the cross of defeat was himself. Thankfully, by the greatest display of power was not the pounding of the chest, but the absolute courage of ordinary Americans, pushing their way through gun shots and explosions, onto beaches, and up cliffs, embraced by God’s Grace, to finally push back thugs and murders.
The final victory in Europe, in May 1945, came one month after Franklin Delano Roosevelt lose his own life. When the President died in April, the New York Times -- the nation’s largest newspaper, which each day on the front page listed ever name and rank of souls lost -- declared simply, “ROOSEVELT, Franklin D., New York, Commander-in-Chief.”
To march Victory in Europe Day, massive parades in New York and across the nation welcomed Dwight Eisenhower and military service personnel from four long years of war. Only when Douglas MacArthur ordered Japanese leaders onto America’s largest battleship in the waters of Tokyo to absolute surrender did the world’s most brutal war finally end. Fully 11 million Americans wore the uniform, in a nation of 150 million.
When Roosevelt’s successor -- Harry Truman -- faced his own reelection, in 1948, both the Democratic and Republican parties tried to recruit Dwight David Eisenhower to run for the job of Commander-in-Chief. After his initial decline, Eisenhower agreed to run in 1952, to lead a country that rose from humility to become the greatest power in the world. With the rise of atomic and nuclear weapons and a Cold War against the Soviet Union, Eisenhower held the heaviest burden of any Commander-in-Chief. All souls on the planet could be lost when fire and brimstone rained down from planes, ships and ground-launched missiles.
And so, as the American people rose from the ashes of a Great Depression and achieved victory in a global war, few expected that the newest Commander-in-Chief would do more than address the troops and visit academies and bases. President Eisenhower, however, did not order American military forces to march before him in a great parade, so Americans could pound the chest harder then a May Day in Moscow or the Bastille Day in Paris.
Instead, the soldier who read cowboy books and oversaw a nation at risk of nuclear war showed his greatest power in 1957, in perhaps the most civil action shown by a Commander-in-Chief. Dwight David Eisenhower used a pen and issued the order that America’s might would march into Little Rock, Arkansas, not to parade weapons or pound the chest, but instead walk children to school.
Few expected the leader of the Republican party and a former military chief to do much about racial tension in America. But when Eisenhower’s new Chief Justice delivered a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that “separate is not equal,” racial tension turned into raw violence. Within a year after the Court’s Brown v. Board decision that ordered an end to segregation, the tension grew so brutal that children faced attacks on their way to school.
Addressing the American people, President Eisenhower correctly said that, “We cannot legislate the human heart.” Indeed, while hatred may be a poison, the self-inflicted cost of drinking that foul concoction is not itself a crime. But when children got attacked when going to school, America’s Commander-in-Chief showed the meaning of an order’s greatest power.
Dwight Eisenhower put his pen to paper and ordered state troops be federalized to protect Black students admitted to the all-White high school in Little Rock. The artwork that opens this opinion is by Norman Rockwell and shows one little girl being escorted by federalized marshals, and mirrors the tension that drew harsh criticism of Eisenhower’s action. Though not depiction Little Rock, the art echoes the greatest weight borne in a President’s order.
Now, America’s newest president has issued his own order, commanding military forces conduct a massive parade. The rich man from New York who wears a great hat can sit with his beautiful wife to see the greatest parade in the world to display more might then can be seen on Bastille Day or May Day.
If the use of the pen by this Commander-in-Chief is so he can watch a grand parade, perhaps ordinary Americans are right to wonder about deep division and racial tension shall also be confronted. The poison of hatred is ripping America apart. Even the Third Man in the military’s Chain-of-Command is openly opposed to the President’s position to deport Dreamers in uniform.
As this Commander-in-Chief smiles as his wife watches planes fly over them and performs a proud salute as troops march before him, let this newest President learn that greatness is not given for a hat or parade, but instead is earned, by a humble soul acting through righteous words and Glory’s deeds.
Jerry Brown’s true act of grace is "Ronald Reagan Day"
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Not everybody likes Ronald Reagan.
Lots of Democrats hate him, starting with how he ran California, as Governor between 1966 and 1974.
My own parents hated the Governor, since he wanted to fire my dad, and all teachers arrested for smoking reefer. My mom ordered the TV turned off when I watched presidential speeches. Shortly before her death, she said she would never get a $50 bill if my proposal to put him onto the currency ever happened.
So it is no surprise that the 15 years spent to put Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt on the money draws exactly one supporter -- me.
In “my way or the highway” politics, few hold their nose on even the smallest compromise. And what is a smaller action than to change the faces on our money?
Who would be the easiest to expect that he would hate Ronald Reagan more than my parents?
Maybe Jerry Brown, who watched his father lose the 1966 race for governor to Mr. Reagan.
Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Sr. -- known simply as, “The Guv” -- reinvented California. He moved water across the state and forged a world-class education system. He reshaped the roads and buildings and economy. Our population exploded, making California the biggest in the Union.
It would be easy to expect Pat Brown’s son to hate the guy who beat The Guv.
Jerry Brown is both the oldest governor in California, and also was the youngest. Eight years after his dad lost to Mr. Reagan, Jerry Brown was himself elected -- in his 30s -- to run California’s government. After his eight years, it was only a stint as Mayor of Oakland that put his name back in the limelight, until he returned -- and won -- a series of state political elections.
Who could more easily catch a free ride to hate Mr. Reagan?
Today, we can see that true power starts with a true heart and is carried through a steady hand.
Taking the simplest action -- to use a pen -- Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. declares today to be “Ronald Reagan Day” in California.
Most won’t hear about it. Plenty will be mad. Some will be confused.
But by his pen, Jerry Brown displayed rare kindness. While others yell, Jerry Brown earns a mark for human decency.
Paraphrasing a Russian novelist, Jerry Brown’s pen is more powerful than dynamite, for while dynamite explodes once, words explode a thousand times.
Thank you, Governor Brown, for putting aside the selfishness and arrogance of politics, so as to simply recognize someone who sat at the same desk.
Who shall smile, when Russia fires brimstone upon North Korea?
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Before getting a free hour of prime-time television to show names of donors, the President told the press that the only way to unite our divided nation is a “major action.”
Since the two biggest domestic actions in his first year in office has been to feed the rich and hire the poor to build a wall, it seems unlikely that this President can unite our imperfect Union through action of peace.
He possess no peace within him.
Thus, the self-proclaimed “stable genius” likely believes that his only path to uniting Americans is war.
Put aside for a moment whether war is acceptable in any form, and look at the strategic actions this President seems likely to pursue.
Though the “stable genius” is wrongly reading history, it seems that fire and brimstone shall be his “major action.”
-- In his first trip to the Middle East, the President flew with family to sign the biggest weapons deal -- $110 million -- to Saudi Arabia. The very next day, the Saudis handed a check for a $100 million “donation” to the President’s daughter. (Hmm, Saudi's obviously have money and bombs.)
-- While the people of Israel still debate “Who is a Jew,” the willingness of the American President to reject any delicacy over Jerusalem suggests that somebody is worth something to the Divider-in-Chief.
So who would be left for the “stable genius” to shake hands with? Who is beyond the rich shippers or weapon owners?
That would be Vladimir Putin.
Our own Great Leader poo-poos the ongoing, widespread investigation of whether treason and bribery are pertinent. Our President stays tight with a former Young Communist turned spy-chief who has controlled Russia for decades.
Obviously, the global real estate mogul who has shaken hands with Mr. Putin for decades can count money. But what else is there to gain from Russia?
Vladimir Putin plays a game that Russians have played for centuries. It is “The Great Game” and asks just one question: “Who shall control half the world?”
If our President tells the press just before his first State of the Union that unity of our own people requires a “major action,” then the “stable genius” must be viewing Russia as his best friend.
What could that “major action” be?
Let us pray this is wrong, but our deepest risk is that Hater-in-Chief will look to his grinning best friend and ask Vladimir Putin to drop Soviet-built fire and brimstone upon North Korea.
If our own “stable genius” is wrong, neither the American people nor history itself shall judge him well for what immediately would become a Second Korean War.
Perhaps Vladimir Putin is just holding massive military drills so that Russian troops can drive Soviet-built trucks for a trip across the snow.
Or perhaps the Russian leader rightfully is keeping ready, when the insane leader of the neighboring nuclear power is firing strategic missiles from North Korea.
After all, even President Bush knew enough about strategic nuclear risk that he ordered our CIA chief to say in an open hearing in Congress that North Korea has The Bomb.
So our Great Leader must give a genius answer as to whether getting Russia to drop fire and brimstone onto North Korea will lead to immediate victory, because a sustained Second Korean War is not a path to uniting the America people.
THANK YOU, MR. ROOSEVELT... The last president who historians deem as "great" addresses the Congress.
What is the State of our imperfect Union?
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- The 44 presidents who delivered State of the Union reports to the Congress were seldom loved, but despite what one may feel about politics, we can be sure that every prior president -- no matter their party or views -- loved The People.
Now we are a nation divided by hate and the president with the lowest polling numbers at this part of a first term is being hit by his boomerang of hatred.
Perhaps now, the plunge is so great that Americans across the aisle agree that it is necessary and proper to oust the president.
As Herbert Hoover learned, when you throw a boomerang of fear and hate, it always comes back. When one spits in the wind, no fine suit or nice hat can avoid the rain of hatred.
If it were simply “America’s long national nightmare” -- as Gerald Ford said upon taking office, after Mr. Nixon resigned -- then perhaps the secret enemies list and crooked acts would allow the departure of one failed leader to be enough to save the nation.
A year ago, Oust 45 Save America put forward a multi-front battle to isolate the President. The initial message was to view the Republican party as distinct and different from the man who tweets hatred and turns his back on acts of violence.
What did the Oust 45 Save America petition offer as the FOUR FRONTS to oust the President?
Republican leaders in Congress have turned their back on the deep cost of hatred that is ripping America apart. Some leaders are exiting the Congress, even at the height of their own careers. The House Speaker is not alone. Also exiting is the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and leading Senators. Why are they leaving? Possibly because these decent leaders otherwise will lose, either in a primary facing the President’s chosen lackeys, or in a massive flood of fury against anyone in the President’s party.
This is a free country, and while we may disagree, it is wrong to say that only one party is right. Instead, greatness comes from working together. We won global wars, and grew our massive economy and promoted the laying of track and roads and wider rivers. We even landing humans on the Moon.
It is not just THIS president who is hated by The People.
Even George Washington -- who brought our country into existence -- saw his name bashed in every issue of a leading Philadelphia newspaper. Washington refused to spend four more years having his name dragged through the mud.
The Honest Man who is the first president of the Grand Old Party and rescued our imperfect Union from open rebellion bled from bullets of hate fired by an actor.
So, too, did the Youngest Elected President himself die from bullets, in a town where hatred could be seen where the American Flag flew upside down.
With the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt , every president since the death of Mr. Lincoln either got kicked out of office when seeking reelection, killed or died, or limped from the White House due to voters fury over ineptitude, division, or scandal.
The difference is that EVERY PRIOR PRESIDENT loved “The People.” All of them.
No matter how he may brag and pound his chest, the current president has given to Americans the deepest division since open rebellion. One man has enslaved Americans to hatred and fury but turns his own back to violent crimes. In our lowest moment, our President kicked us down the mountain of greatness, and then laughed in tweets and bragging.
IF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DOES NOT ISOLATE AND REMOVE THE PRESIDENT, THEY WILL EVAPORATE.
Voters who hate this president will get off the couch in November 2018, and it is not the president whose name appear on the ballot. It will be EVERY OTHER REPUBLICAN -- regardless of their personal grace and decency -- who will suffer the brimstone of voters burning fury, as ordinary Americans “Kick out The Bums.”
Oust 45 Save America again urges rank-and-file Republicans to work with the other side, to isolate and remove the president.
His arrogance is complete, and his response to isolation will not be like Mr. Nixon, who resigned in his sixth year in office. Thus, the machine of power will not be liberated from the chains of division. Instead, the Apprentice of the President will repeat his bragging, while voters harden and reject his party.
Upon losing the majority in both chambers of Congress, what is the fate of Mr. Lincoln’s Grand Old Party? There is no way to rescue us from “America’s long national nightmare.”
The bravery of Republican rank-and-file to join hands across the aisle and oust the president is the way to save America.
If a bipartisan push ousts 45, then good luck to our 46th president. Everyone has politics, but if the White House keys get handed over to another arch-conservative, at least he has a brief shining moment to show the value of of his own human decency.
If the GOP turns their back and remains enslaved by a rich man, then ordinary Americans have reason to abandon the GOP itself . Parties begin with a single voter’s registration . The only way history is made is when people get up from the couch.
Perhaps Gerald Ford could say in his grave, that once again, “America’s long national nightmare is over.”
Change the Faces Act... Proposed legislation to a government controled by one party seemingly unable of fund the government itself. Why not do SOMETHING, -a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g- to bring people together. Stop spreading hate and hold your nose long enough to pass a law.
Does America still have a Confessor-in-Chief?
Sunday, January 28, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Once it was that our presidents -- every one of them -- loved The People... all of the people.
Sure, there were political disagreements. Labor unions feared the firing of air traffic controllers during the first days of the Reagan Administration, and forever after the economy changed.
The IBM corporation -- perhaps the biggest symbol -- told workers in 1984 that no long did the company promise never to lay off anyone.
Perks and pensions and health care and vacations evaporated, and the “safety net” put forward during Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” began shredded.
Yet, still, massive numbers of American workers -- including a high percentage of labor union members -- loved America’s 40th president.
The biggest controversy of the Reagan Administration also stands as a mark of personal confession by the president himself.
The Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council worked together on a plan to patch together highly-controversial policies, and push forward with secret crimes.
By law, US policy said we would NOT work with the Iranian government, because the regime that captured dozens of diplomats for 444 days also was engaged in open war with a neighboring nation. The law said, “Don’t want to hug the Ayatola.”
And in central America, the hard-right “contras” battling against the far-left led to open murders that spread beyond a single nation, to also rip apart neighboring nations. In a slap, the Congress sent legislation to the President saying, “Don’t hug the Contras.”
The president sits at the top of a mountain, all below are staff and department workers and the military and spies.
Sometimes, big things get ordered that no one likes, but the president gives the order. President Richard Nixon ordered a sustained secret bombing of the Cambodian nation, which we had not waged war against. But Mr. Nixon ordered the bombs be dropped, just as he had ordered the CIA to topple a leftist government in Chile.
Sometimes, big things happen and the president doesn’t know. Enter the man who loved jelly beans.
President Reagan hired a CIA chief who turned the skies around, from deep angst over Congress not liking them, to instead now have a president who nods even when he doesn’t know what they’re doing.
The National Security Agency put a Lt. Colonel to work, patching a way to cut a deal with hated foreigners.
To his great credit, when Ronald Reagan seemed to finally recognize that “Iran-Contra” would etch a scandal into the stone of history, he ordered an independent investigation within the White House itself. He demanded that the Confessor-in-Chief be able to kneel to the American people, and admit that what had been wrong once was still wrong.
Few remember the honorable tone by Mr. Reagan’s voice, because his own fury was within. When a sin is conducted, the inner soul must first see the wrongness, before a confession is recognized as being needed. While Members of Congress balked or yelled, and each side pounded their chest, quietly the Confessor-in-Chief cleaned house.
The internal investigation conducted by President Reagan was lost in the mud of Congressional hearings and the chuckling smile of a Lt. Colonel. Only historians will see that those who loved Mr. Reagan had even more reason to do so, for at the deep moment of scandal, the Confessor-in-Chief -- unlike Mr. Nixon -- accepted that what is wrong once stays wrong forever.
In the midst of Mr. Reagan’s eight years, the division of the nation -- and the world -- held us at the brink. Europeans worried that the Soviet Union would battle America by dropping nuclear weapons across their own continent. Workers became poorer. The rich got richer. And a huge spending on the military made everything else tough for government to afford.
The president ran a far-right campaign and lost seats in both chambers of Congress in every election afterward, because policies outraged voters. Nonetheless, Mr. Reagan seemed willing to admit when others had better ideas, such as saving Franklin Roosevelt’s greatest achievement -- Social Security. Only by meeting with House Speaker Tip O’Neill and a old super-liberal Congressman from Florida named Claude Pepper did Social Security get saved. That confession allowed a president who was hated to rescue on who was loved.
Perhaps that may be good enough reason to not hate forever the actor-turned-politician. Maybe that Republican might be a good face to show that people can work together on something, even if it is as simple as changing the faces of our money. Take away the Republican on the $50 -- a general so brutal that his nickname was, “The Butcher” -- and instead make America smile again. Let the Democrat on the $20 -- whose biggest military job was to kill Indians -- get replaced by Mr. Roosevelt. If Congress takes up the simplest task, perhaps it can show that government can SOMETHING together, rather then bash one another. Maybe it Washington and Lincoln get to embrace two Kings -- Elvis and MLK -- instead of someone who discovered electricity or a slave-owner. Maybe the rich man on the $10 who wanted George as our new King can instead be replaced by Harriet Tubman, who put her life at risk to led an underground railroad, and gave true meaning of liberty and justice.
The man who loved jelly beans was (and is) himself hated by vast swaths of the American people. During his governorship in California, parents with kids in college didn’t approve of policy that forced tuition, where once there was none. Crackdowns against free speech and the far-left resulted in massive arrests, firings, and political tension.
Yet he worked with his harshest critics to find a middle ground on Social Security. Presidents are at their best when they listen to the other side, and are kind enough to find the truth of what can be done to help the people.
If before government could work together on huge things, now we can’t even fix the roads. A government with absolute control of the Congress and White House fail to pass a budget to keep the government open. Maybe changing faces on the money is just too big a task for politicians who can only yell at each other.
Just as every soul is imperfect, and this is an imperfect Union, certainly every president does things wrong. Every president -- aside from Mr. Roosevelt -- is hated. (Ronald Reagan said constantly that he would NEVER say a mean word about Franklin Roosevelt.)
Confession are rare in politics, and lately it is not love but hate that our president seems to use as his tool in office. The prior president is a good dad, but just as brash as any soul to believe that victory means never bending. And the man with great hair from a small state simply could not confess about his own imperfection.
Please, God, let it be so, that if THIS president -- like Mr. Nixon -- is willing to shake hands with the Devil, so as to stay rich and buy and election, then it is You who are omnipotent. It is You, God, who will know whether an imperfect soul is exploring within to assess personal failure and political game-playing.
If, Dear God, the Confessor-in-Chief washes his hands so as to seal his fate with tweets of hatred, then the failure of an imperfect soul to look within not only fails at running the government, but will have ripped this nation apart. The glutton of wealth and coveting of power weigh as much as do 30 pieces of silver.
Not ‘that’ Animal Farm, but ‘-t-he-’ Animal Farm
Friday, January 26, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Long Beach, California is not a huge city, or a small one.
With about 500,000 residents, it is home to the longest beach in southern California, is bordered by two larger regional rivers, and is the second-largest urban city in Los Angeles County.
Since people love their pets everywhere, Long Beach residents celebrates “Doggie Day in America” everyday, whether on a beach-front doggie romping zone, the many doggie parks, or neighborhood sidewalks on 50 square miles of land.
Sometimes people don’t use a leash, which they should, because if their doggie bolts onto the street, a car will always win.
When a dog or cat vanishes, the city’s facility handling strays is a large one, and serves many of the smaller neighboring cities.
Government costs money, and very few communities have a “no-kill” ordinance, so if one’s pet is gone, you must hunt the animal shelter vigorously, as there is only so many days a beloved pet to survive.
Some cities -- very few -- adopt “no-kill” rules, such as the neighboring small town of Seal Beach. Many residents there volunteer every week, because no creature is taken down, no matter how long the animal stays at the small facility.
How can things fundamentally change? Is it just about the money? Is it a facility serving more than one city? Is it the human view that our species dominates all others?
Most likely, it’s all of those things. So if one cares about whether a dog is walked using a leash, perhaps such a view holds deeper meaning if a community reaches out, to embrach a complete change in the spirit of humanity.
Perhaps an animal facility can be something other than a mere temporary site where animals live or die.
That would cost money, and even a “no-kill” rule would leave thousands of residents unconcerned, uninterested, and unchanged.
Unless you change everything.
We know that “Animal Farm” was a book, but perhaps that phrase can hold far deeper meaning if truly it is about animals, and not a mask of how humans behave to one another.
Paint it in light spirit, and “Animal Farm” could indeed become a theme that changes the human spirit, first in the adopting city, and perhaps everywhere. If successful, “Animal Farm” would lift the commitment of pet owners, and, yes, many would understand that a leash is part of caring about animals. If done beautifully, “Animal Farm” could spread to Any Town USA.
The fundamental change that builds the barn in the “Animal Farm” is a “no-kill” rule, and that will cost money. Leadership is a true exercise of reaching out to ordinary Americans, and saying, “Well, yes, this will cost money, but if we are committed to treating animals with humanity, then it is just a small price for saving their lives.”
Some voters would say “no,” because it’s a free country and everyone has the right to their views. But if a leash is only the small start, and the cost is modest, then dog owners would understand that their creator matters to everyone, so why not lightly leash them, and use plastic to gather droppings? If others care enough about animals, then you should care about their shoes.
If a facility is not taking lives, then the numbers grow. Cages can be counted, but if animals have an open period of life spent in a facility, should their lives not include joy? Perhaps, after a short assessment of which animals are peaceful of spirit, it would be quickly obvious which could live in a farm-like setting.
Rather then narrow cages that imprison living creatures, perhaps a wide open area, with trees, and protected housing, can feel like one does when living a rural life. If done beautifully, families would visit far more frequently then to simply pick a survivor, or hunt for their lost loved one.
“Animal Farm” could become a pleasure zone, where recreation is to be among peaceful souls. And like any farm, sure a space is not simply about animals walking freely. Meals on wide tables often are met with a barn dance so that neighbors can gather together. Anound the facility, an orchard gives shade and beautiful and fruit.
If done with amazing vigor, the “Animal Farm” could indeed connect children and families to creators most do not see. If there is a “no-kill” rule, then providing space -- for rental -- to raise chickens and cows and sheep could assure that every animal on site shall live. While government should not tell farmers how to conduct their business, still, if a city operates “Animal Farm,” rental of space should state that any animal living in the barn will not be slain withing that space. While sheep may give wool, and cows may yield milk and cheese, and chickens lay eggs, a true change in human spirit could give to everyone a site where no animal’s life ends in the hands of the butcher.
It is unthinkable that so broad a view can be tossed into the community for debate, and result in passage of a measure on the ballot. But that is how leadership is measured. If people agree, then all things change. If so simple a rule as to not kill lost animals leads to a mind-bending “Animal Farm,” then that city will become an Oasis within the desert.
When kids in school can walk to the “Animal Farm” and volunteer or earn units by milking a cow or learning to make a wool scarf, then everything in life is different, even though they still like in the second-largest city of Los Angeles County.
If families know when cherries or apricots can be harvested, then we can thank Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who told Americans that we can feed people in the cities with “Victory Gardens.”
Perhaps a highly-urban city becomes a site where students can take part in the 4H and Future Farmers of America.
And while residents rent space to raise animals, it falls to them to decide when and why those creatures leave. Perhaps souls previously committed to domination of all other species will see their own role as shepherd rather then butcher.
Anyone who puts forward a big idea can feel pride that it is debated and acted upon. Even more heartwarming is when children lead a different view of humanity, such as the connections with animals.
It is not that “Animal Farm” we will remember, but “-t-h-e- Animal Farm.”
IMAGE CREDIT -- "The Planet of the Apes" (1973).
The President will soon announce that Grace belongs to him
Monday, January 22, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- In ten months, the Republican party will disintegrate.
This nation is being ripped apart by hatred, and the President himself is using division as a tool.
In 2016, voter turnout was small, and when waters are at low tide, the few who turn out hold greater say in victory. A famous man with great hair beat a babbler who would not slap her opponent in the face and smile. And people who voted for love had lost. Why get off the couch for a babbler whose own machine had beaten Mr. Love?
But in 10 months, Americans will turn out in massive numbers, again driven by raw hatred. The division used by the President will push people off the couch, and they will turn out in massive numbers to oust the Republican party.
The massive defeat of the “Grand Old Party” -- in this humble messenger’s view -- will be the end of the GOP itself.
In 1974, Republicans were led be a President who also knew about hatred. Richard Milhous Nixon also kept an enemies list. He always swung the knife to slice open division.
Who can tell whether THIS president is a crook, but a smoking gun made clear to both parties that Richard Nixon had to go. The House Judiciary Committee passed an act of impeachment, in a bipartisan vote. The House Floor was scheduling a full vote. If the bipartisan numbers passed it -- as expected -- then Senators would decide whether America’s president was a crook, and oust him from office.
In August 1974, a group of senior Republicans marched to the White House and demanded to see the President. In the Oval Office, Sen. Barry Goldwater -- who had been the GOP presidential nominee ten years earlier -- told Mr. Nixon that the House was going to pass impeachment, and when it arrived to the Senate, it would be himself who makes the motion to convict.
Days later, Richard Milhous Nixon -- a former Congressman and Senator and Vice President -- left in his sixth year as president. Even the leader of the most power nation in the world must face reality.
Despite the August 1974 resignation, Mr. Nixon haunted the Republican party, and three months later the GOP was demolished in the Nov 1974 Off-Year election. Only because Nixon resigned did the GOP have the chance to rebuild itself, and the new president -- Gerald Ford -- almost won two years later.
Now, four decades after the horrible 1974 Off-Year election, Republicans again have voters who do not trust the current president, and many who absolutely hate him. To his credit, when one divides, there are SOME who love you. Clearly, America’s 45th president has a “base” of support. But just as the waters were at low tide in 2016, the sheer numbers of support for the President simply can not lift the GOP to survival in the coming election.
As bad as the 1974 election was, the Republicans will suffer far worse in ten months.
The one soul sitting in the Oval Office will not accept the guidance of Richard Nixon. This president is NOT going to resign. Instead, his selfishness and arrogance will so deeply divide the nation that the GOP itself will be smashed to massive defeat.
When Mr. Nixon resigned, he no longer owned the GOP machinery, and that allowed the team to work an Off-Year election without Nixon’s ghost spooking the voters.
Now, America’s long national nightmare is back, but if the current president refuses to leave office, then he will be the only name not printed on the ballot, and yet doom Republicans to the collapse.
What will happen to Republicans? Many have announced retirement. Most who remain will lose. Both chambers of the Congress will likely shift, taking Republican away from the powerful majority to instead become the powerless minority.
The few Republicans who do survive will then go to the president in the days after their massive defeat, and be furious that their lose falls onto his feet. There will be a lot of yelling and some tears.
Once again, this is just a personal opinion, but this humble messenger believes that our president will abandon the Republican party itself.
In November of this year, the president will look at his furious friends, and like a bully, he will laugh at their own suffering. And then he will abandon the Republican party.
How can I possibly believe this?
I am just a former hack who spent 25 years worked for five elected officials within the Democratic party. About two years ago, while looking for a sixth official to hire me, I suffered a stroke and emergency major brain surgery. Life knocks everyone down, and this is simply my own challenges, but the smack-down was so massive that I said, “God, You can just take me.”
As I hobbled through the hospital, barely able to talk or think clearly, within me came the words, “Let go of selfishness and arrogance.” Okay... seems like something to remember. Some days later, while again walking, the words were, “Humbly messenger.” Yep, okay....
I spent the hardest year of my life paying exactly ZERO attention to the 2016 election. That made me the luckiest soul in America, for while everyone else had to endure the race, I simply had to learn again how to walk and read and speak. I voted, but only as an exercise to see whether I could do it. (Voted Vermont in the primary and Libertarian in November.)
One year ago, the addition within was, “Party of Grace.” Okay, I am supposed to leave the political party which I have worked in for 25 years in a career, and to register for a political vehicle that does not technically exist? That took me months, until finally I simply accepted that my role is for a party with one member, so as to be a voice in the wilderness.
So what I humbly suggest is that when the GOP collapses in ten months, the president will laugh at the surviving members, and tell them that HE matters more then history itself. He is history.
If the president leaves the Republican party, he is getting out of a fancy car. He will need a new vehicle to speed him through to victory in less then two years. Because time keeps ticking, if he exits one party, he must immediately make use of time. You either use it or lose it.
Thus, my humble view is that in December 2018, our president will announce that he is truly exiting a shattered party, so as to form his own. He will completely own the vehicle.
When you lead a party, it has to have a name. It won’t be the “Great party,” as people will laugh inside the voting booth. It should not be the “Fat-Cat” or “Party of Hate.” Therefore, he should wrap his arm around the remaining base of support.
The president will declare that a “Party of Grace” is his own. He will call himself the first Grace candidate. He will dump massive amounts of his own money and hire (and then fire) all of the apprentices.
The appeal for a man gripped by selfishness and arrogance is to believe that Grace can be owned. He will paint himself as the only candidate worthy to voters who are souls of deep faith.
How on God’s green Earth can a broken soul form a party that doesn’t exist, and beat the two largest vehicles that have together dominated politics in America?
Most likely by lying, spitting and violence. Said Hitler, the best response to reason is violence. For a national leader whose first year is summed up by the words of “sh_t-hole,” “shutdown” and “tweet,” who could possibly know what is true? When hatred is the tool being swung by a president, it is not the mind that will rescue America. It is the left hand that holds a knife and the right hand swinging a hammer. In a battle of fists, the heart itself will be smashed.
How could a man whose hate defines the 202 election possibly win?
On the right, the president’s departure breaks the Republican party apart. How could they nominate someone with a wide base of support, if they’re reduced to yelling and crying?
On the left, a machine may choose the same face or her friend, but it is still a machine. The progressive opposition loves who they love, but once again, why get off the couch if Mr. Love falls to a machine?
The president himself does not stand on concrete. Instead, he shifts positions, doesn’t repeat his own words, and bargains with anyone who will cut him a deal. Nice way to get rich, but even Mr. Nixon rightly said, “If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.”
The sand at the ocean’s edge remains, even when the tide rises. When the waters subside the grains remain. The sand shifts and the shape may alter, but whether it is a beach or the desert, there need be no concrete to pass across sand.
While the left and right fight their own inner battles, the clock keeps ticking, and if you don’t use time, you lose it. The president will laugh at his Republican survivors in November 2018, and make use of time in the following weeks -- amidst the holidays -- to form a new party.
Again, this is merely an opinion, but this humble messenger believes that the president will announce in December 2018 that he is giving birth to the Party of Grace, and will redefine history itself.
As the first soul to register Party of Grace, this voice may soon be dragged from the wilderness, and while one’s own life is never predictable, always shall the agenda be, Kindness Listening Truth.”
Writer to run first Party of Grace race
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT –– (LONG BEACH, CA) –– Dec. 21, 2017 –– Billy Orton, a novelist and former political staffer, knows how to run alone.
In the 2016 election cycle, he ran for Congress to help promote another candidate’s victory. He ran alone and knew he would lose.
In 2004, as a campaign consultant, he ran a statewide race for a Libertarian, and helped two Republicans and a Democrat. Three lost.
In 2002, the Democratic party roped him into a 365-day race as a sacrificial lamb, where he pushed a Republican incumbent into spending seven times the money. (The only question asked everywhere? "What'a'ya think 'bout medical marijuana?" His reply? "Treat it like alcohol.")
Earlier, in 1985, while attending Cal State Long Beach, he won more than 800 votes, campaigning in a Gumby suit, as leader of a slate.
“I did win a seat representing students in the faculty’s Academic Senate,” said Orton, who served three years on that panel, where scores of professors usually saw him as the sole student voting and debating.
Perhaps then it wouldn’t be unusual that the novelist might run another race in 2020.
But exactly two years ago, after 25 years working in politics, Orton got knocked to his knees by a major stroke, and had his brain sliced open in emergency surgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center, just before Christmas 2015.
“I’m the luckiest soul in America,” said the writer, who spent exactly zero attention to the 2016 presidential election. While most Americans suffered the hardest campaign of their life, Orton started the year in the Long Beach hospital, barely able to walk, unable to read, and limited to a few dozen spoken words.
“I asked God just to take me,” said Orton. Only the arrival of family turned his direction, to simply never give up.
For most of 2016, the writer hobbled to volunteer, to pour coffee and clean tables where the homeless are fed in downtown Long Beach. He swept floors and served cookies and chips to campaign volunteers in a state Senate race for a long-time acquaintance. And in an exercise to assess his own abilities, he used a manual typewriter to write essays and letters, including three to the White House, thanking Mr. Obama for saving his life.
While Orton did vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the June primary and backed a third party candidate in November, the lasting impression of the year was raging hatred poisoning America.
As a new president prepared to take office, the novelist began an absurd comedy to make Americans laugh again, posing the question of, “What happens if hate wins?”
In 2017 -- the second year after the stroke -- Orton is no longer a Democrat.
Shortly after the Inauguration, he registered as “Party of Grace,” a political organization that technically does not exist, and which has exactly one member.
He spread word to half-a-million people on social media inviting guests to a “Political Reviv’ul Mtg and Barn Dance,” held in a Thai restaurant, as the first-ever public event, held on July 4th. He was the only Party of Grace soul watching the fireworks above the Queen Mary.
Will the former Gumby candidate run again, in a party spelled with the letter G?
“Next December, Americans will show whether hatred is ripping us apart,” said the founder and only registered voter of the Party of Grace. The Facebook group and website domains he bought may be as much clout as the organization holds.
Still, on Dec. 19, Orton wrote a three-page letter to the President -- using an antique manual typewriter -- saying that he likely would run in the 2020 cycle as the first candidate of Party of Grace.
“I doubt the President has time to read my letter,” said Orton, who has written to every President since Gerald Ford.
Where are his politics? All over the map.
-- Liberals bashed Orton’s center-right 2002 race for state Assembly, and talking proudly of voting for John McCain two years earlier.
-- Conservatives scoff at Orton getting a reply from the last President, who apparently had staff periodically bring a stack of “Thanks for saving my life” letters to the Oval Office for signature.
-- Centrists wish him luck, but know he leads a party with exactly one member.
Back on his feet and no longer wearing a suit and tie, Orton continues work on novels, and just enrolled to start a masters in English program at Cal State Long Beach, where he earned a bachelors in history. As a symbol, he picked up a student ID card exactly two years after the emergency brain surgery.
“It’s hardest to read and to recite,” said Orton, “but the best political speech is a short one.”
While he does not offer which office he may seek, he did stand earlier for Congress, the state Assembly, and student body President. He’s also indicated possible entry for the city council seat in the Long Beach district where he wrote his first three novels.
Why say it will be a year before an announcement of candidacy? It is a “bookmark,” and in his letter the White House he speculates that the 2018 election will so destroy the GOP that the President himself may ditch the Republican party, to form a new one.
“The first law of politics is that time is inexorable,” said the writer, who does not want Party of Grace captured by hatred. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Meanwhile, the lucky soul is happy being an obscure novel whose biggest daily task is to walk his kid’s dog.
“Every day is both a challenge and a reward,” said the writer, whose website -- www.billyorton.com -- provides links to Party of Grace, and is an archive of his novels and personal writing.
What else is the obscure novelist doing?
'LOVE AND HATE IN AMERICA' -- NOVELS IN 'POST GENDER' FICTION – (LONG BEACH, CA) -- Nov. 29, 2017 -- Does gender determine heroism? Has only one soldier married a stripper? When a young mother loves her husband, does it matter than both are women? It doesn't matter to this novelist, who simply wishes to give greatness to characters deserving it. Staff Sergeant Lori L Lewis, of Long Beach CA, and her wife, December Carrera, must cross the White House itself to find out whether love or hate won.
FaceBook "Love and Hate in America" Group SmashWords (FREE NOVELS)
As you endured the 2016 election...
THIS HUMBLY MESSENGER ASKED GOD SIMPLY TO TAKE ME AWAY... – (LONG BEACH, CA) -- ... Rather then that I stay... tied... bound... locked... a bed I don't sleep in... held in place... no idea where I am... and then my Kid and Dad and Brother... (Why haven't they rescued me from this prison and safed me?)
In Dec 2015, my Kid takes me to ER and my brain is spiced in major surgery. Strapped to the bed, unable to say words, is the thought visible in the soul, "You can just take me, God... I'll just fold it up." And there's Kid and family, and then the guiding message is, "Just never give up.
While you suffered a horrifying national election, I started on New Year's Day, grateful to God for His Grace allowing that I was the luckiest soul in a ward where no other stroke patient hobbled with such fortune.
How lucky to not read or listen to the fury and hate dividing this nation, my task merely was personal, and simply to survive. While your heart ripped open, I learned to walk and read and speak and live. I am as fortunate as a soul can be. If now my only role is to be a humble messenger, then I thank His Most Great Most Magnificent, to be in full sacrifice, to let go of selfishness and arrogance, particularly where I spent decades in politics and writing.
I may thank God that I again have eyes that can see and fingers that can type, for through His Gift, and with the fullness of His Heart, am I able to offer my own imperfect soul, to talk of messages that perhaps I may never know in fullness or understand 'what' or 'why' and thus simply can I consider this revival of a human soul as being my own life given by His Gift.
I no longer am registered with the Democratic Party, where I entered in 1992, and worked as a press secretary for five state lawmakers, and as a public relations hack in organized labor and political campaigns. I proudly am just an obscure novelist working on a fourth book that I had not believed would possibly begin.
The PARTY OF GRACE shown in the upper corner is where now my voter registration changed this year. The Party of Grace technically does not exist, but the link in the upper meme is the Facebook group where this humble messenger seeks a vehicle to carry to others thoughts that I don't even quite understand why.
Stroke surgery gives Bill a brain vacation
HEART PITTER PATT... – (JANUARY 27, 2016) -- Somehow I recall that on Dec 1, 2008, my body weight was 232 pounts. All my life, weight varied wildly. I never understood why I could gain or lose ten or more pounds in a week, despite no major eating changes. As it turned out, the failure of my heart resulted in fluid being stored in my body, sending huge shifts in my size, because the fluid and the heart were a nasty combo. At the end of 2008, I finally got a doctor who figured out why my heart and fluid were messed up, and in 2009 through 2012 the improvement moved me down from the 230s into the 220s, 210s, and 200s, all reflecting positive medical actions between me, my primarly doctor, and my heart doctor. Then, in 2012, I realized that it would be helpful for me to use a daily file to record how weight could be a helpful sum to show the progress of heart treatment. Then, in 2014, I finally was put into a survical action where my heart was cut open, patched with lots of surgery, and the result shows major improvement. However, the fluctuations remained, and the ultimate outcome in Dec 2015 was a major head stroke. That is shown in the righthand area. Based on the initial result from the Dec 14 surgery and the intense month of recovery at the hospital, not only did I survive the stroke, but there seems to now be a normalization of weight changes. I have been recording my daily weight, and for the first time in my life, there seems to be no wild shift in my weight. What this suggests is that not only did I live, but now my body seems to have achived a weight that goes up or down by a pound or so, and my weight is at a size of where I was about 30 years ago. So, sure, being knocked down for the major hospital thing that I experiendes between Dec 13 and Jan 5, I cound myself to be luckier than I every have been in my life. Woo hoo!
IMAGE: Forty years before a stroke, an 8th Grader on America's Bicentennial Year (1976)
BIOGRAPHY EDITED 20 MAY 2018
ABOUT THIS SITE
Billy Orton began writing in the 1970s using a manual typewriter. This is a collection of his personal writing.
ONE SOUL REBORN
In Dec 2015, a stroke and major brain surgery knocked Billy Orton down.
On New Year's Day 2016, he hobbled through a hospital, spoke few words, could not read, and short-term memories swam away like fish.
Billy's hardest year -- 2016 -- made him the luckiest soul in America, for while all others endured an ugly presidential election, he simply had to learn to again walk and read and speak.
Exactly two years after brain surgery, Billy picked up an ID card to start a Masters program at Cal State Long Beach, where he finished a bachelors decades earlier.
Billy stutters, and cannot recite a speech. Reading remains hard. Vision is weak. Hands don't work so well. So this humble messenger thanks God (and Mr. Roosevelt) each day for life's great fortune.
Only God, in His omnipotence, knows what the future holds, but we each can learn that every day is both a challenge and a reward.
By letting go of selfishness and arrogance, this humble messenger is indeed the luckiest soul in America.
PARTY OF GRACE (2020)
Is the first PARTY OF GRACE campaign going to be a 2020 race for PRESIDENT? Maybe if the graduate student runs at Cal State Long Beach! Maybe Bill runs again as a SACRIFICIAL LAMB for United States CONGRESS or the California State ASSEMBLY? Or does he push himself hard to chase a possible victory on the Long Beach CITY COUNCIL? THE DECISION WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN DEC 2018. Meanwhile, a 250-word ballot statement is a good writing exercise for a lucky soul experiencing life's rebirth.
When eyes at times feel blind and hands often work poorly, jumping through hoops assesses what one can do.
WALK EVEN IN STRUGGLE
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SO ONE CAN COUNT FOOTSTEPS
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Three months campaigning to help defeat a front-runner. CERTAIN LOSS
Marched 365 days as a "Sacrificial Lamb." Outspent 7-to-1. Said everything I wanted.
Campaign Home Page
Press Releases Page
Sample ballot candidate statement
The 'First Day in Office' series
First Ten Bills
First Ten Phone Calls
First Ten Resolutions
First steps on budget reform
Bill Didn't Win
Bill's Concession Statement
VOTE GUMBY (1985)
Gumby was once just a little green slab of clay. You should see what he can do today. Vote Gumby. Three Gumbies Won.
Dad writes to his unbord kid
Random Advice and Hippy Values
Four novels of 'Post Gender' fiction
The VB&B Business Plan
Father's Day Essay
Two Years on the Water
POTUS Knows Best
September 3, 2008
Palin masters first week on national stage
July 22, 2008
Shoot them, try them or set them free
June 1, 2008
The Anvil of History
March 4, 2008
Cheers, Mr. Roosevelt
February 20, 2008
Going Beyond a Single Word
February 6, 2008
The President's Lawyers Fight our Troops on Health Care
August 22, 2007
Lots of ’splaining to do
July 12, 2007
More Happy Talk from the President
April 13, 2007
End the Army's Bull Puckey
April 12, 2007
Americans in the crosshairs of death
January 30, 2007
SPEECH: The Three Paths to Power
November 11, 2006
Clean Government, Civility and Cooperation
October 8, 2005:
Bill's break of support for Senator McCain
June 28, 2005:
On the President’s War Speech
January 1, 2004:
The Three Rs: The Path to National Recovery
November 22, 2003:
In Memorium: John Fitzgerald Kennedy
November 3, 2003:
Iraqi farmers, Achilles & The President
September 24, 2003:
The President's Most Feared Foe
May 31, 2003:
Springtime Snowflakes: The Rummygram Blizzard
May 13, 2003:
George, Victoria & Empire: A new ballgame for "The Big A"
April 1, 2003:
Resign, Mr. Rumsfeld
March 13, 2003:
The War, the President & Mr. Lincoln
March 6, 2003:
Press conferences, U.N. vetoes and Jacques Chirac
March 1, 2003:
IRAQ: War, Peace & Secrecy
February 13, 2003:
Ari's 'Old News,' or Who let the North Koreans get The Bomb
Jan 27, 2003:
POLITICAL SUPERBOWL: Our team isn't scoring too many points, but the game isn't over.
January 13, 2003:
Stopping the Second Korean War
May 22, 2001:
GMO labeling & testing is cure for crop export panics