Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Three-day Weekend Reflections


When Monday falls on Tuesday, as it does after a three-day holiday weekend, it becomes almost impossible to catchup or even appreciate the correct day of the week. 

The Monday/Tuesday cross-over after a three-day weekend is one of the most difficult to handle. It seems as if everything that was routine for a Monday happens on Tuesday with everything that is normally scheduled for that day as well. 

The pain of holidays.

My friends and family who are retired do not seem to experience the same interaction between a holiday Monday and a mid-week Tuesday. 

On the other hand, do not misunderstand--I love three-day weekends and it would be great if we could adopt a four-day workweek to allow for more time off. 

And so--it is off to work I go this morning to face the challenges of Tuesday with a touch of Monday thrown in! Sadly, there is not another holiday until the end of May! Well, that certainly takes away the Monday on Tuesday dilemma.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday Musings - February 18, 2019





1. Happy Presidents' Day. Well, OK, it is really Happy George Washington's Birthday, the official name for the holiday.

2. Did you notice that the car ads on TV tell us that we can save more on a new car purchase than we used to spend on buying the car? I remember when a Volkswagen Bug was $1995.

3. Today is the last in a string of holidays which began six months ago during September with Labor Day. During that span we have enjoyed eight of the ten Federal holidays. There are only two holidays to enjoy during the next six months: Memorial Day and Independence Day. 

4. The return of the rain and cold forced us inside for most of the yesterday

5. Feeding the birds is a never ending process. It is fun to see them congregate on the back deck to enjoy the peanuts and birdseed. Sadly, the squirrels seem to enjoy the feast more than the birds. 

6. It is vacation planning season. Where are you heading this summer? 

7. Today in HistoryOn this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous–and famously controversial–novel The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnTwain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck’s story as a kind of sequel to his earlier book, the new novel was far more serious, focusing on the institution of slavery and other aspects of life in the antebellum South.



Headlines

Chinese and Iranian Hackers Renew Their Attacks on U.S. Companies - The New York Times

For Wall Street Banks in London, It’s Moving Time - The New York Times

In Indian-controlled Kashmir, unprecedented attack puts focus on ‘homegrown’ militants - The Washington Post

Trump policies unite allies against him at European security forum - Reuters


Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week 



Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace.      




-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Out On the Wine Trail




Big Cork Tasting Room
February 16, 2019
Yesterday was a day to get get back out onto the Wine Trail. Chris and I joined with friends and drove about an hour west of where we live to the wine region of Maryland and Northern Virginia. The specific places we went were very close to the Antietam battlefield. We have been to the battlefield on a couple of occasions, but yesterday was devoted to wine and wine tasting. 

James Britton on the Guitar
Big Cork Winery
February, 16, 2019
We visited Big Cork Winery. We enjoy visiting Big Cork and we had a wine shipment to pick up. As members of the wine club we get to visit and pick-up our periodic shipment then enjoy tasting the wines and, like yesterday, listen to some live music. James Britton was playing the guitar. We bought a bottle of wine to enjoy with the lunch we had packed. We enjoyed live music as we drank wine and ate lunch. What could be better?

From there, we visited two other wineries, both in Loudoun County, Virginia, that we had not yet visited. The first was Doukenie Winery. We had a very enjoyable visit there tasting some very nice wines. Scrolling through the list of the recent Virginia's Governor's Cup Gold Medal winners we found one of Doukenie's wines listed there which we were able to sample. The winery is situated on a beautiful lake and even though it was February, the scene was pleasant. I  enjoyed the conversation around the fire pit after the tasting. 
Doukenie Winery
February 16, 2019

The final winery of the day before returning home was Two Twisted Posts. Another very enjoyable stop where we enjoyed the tasting room and the pourer at least as much as the wines. And we enjoyed the wines, bringing a few home to add to our collection. As the sun began to set over the vineyards it was time to make our way back home. Fortunately the drive home was made short due to the conversation among the four of us in the vehicle. It is amazing how quickly time passes when we are engaged in discourse.

During the day, I was reminded that winemaking is an art form. The winemaker is presented with the raw materials--grapes, which are different each year because of the weather and the season. The challenge is to turn the raw material into great drinking wines. Yet, it is not a mechanical endeavor because the process requires talent and artistry to create the perfect drinking wine.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Around the Fire Pit -- in February?


Chris by the Fire
February 15, 2019
The middle of February arrived yesterday with mild weather--at least for the day. 
Me by the Fire
February 15, 2019

It was another much needed mid-winter break and we did not miss the opportunity to enjoy both the day and the evening. With temperatures nearing 70 degrees during the day, Chris surprised me by cleaning my truck--outside and inside! What a nice gift and I really appreciated her selfless efforts to improve the environment inside of my truck. 

I was able to get Cat, my Jaguar, out of the garage and drove it to work to get the fluids moving and the battery recharged.

But, the great ending to the day occurred after we returned home from Happy Hour with our friends. Chris and I decided that it was warm enough, with the temperatures still holding in the low 50's, to head into the yard to the fire pit and enjoy the end of the day around a warm fire talking and planning for the future.

As the evening progressed, it got colder and I put on a warmer coat, but it was the first fire of 2019 and amazingly it happened during February! 

I am happy that we were able to take advantage of the respite from rain and cold to enjoy being outside. Here's hoping for many more evenings outside during the year ahead.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 15, 2019

My Valentine


Mid-winter holidays and celebrations are a lot of fun. They help to cast off the darkness of the season and bring some light into life.

Chris Checking out the Menu
February 14, 2019
Last evening, Chris and I did something we have not done in a few years to celebrate Valentines Day: we went out to dinner. 

I know that does not seem dramatic, but for the past few years I have treated Chris to a romantic dinner at home to celebrate the day.

This year, we rode off together for an early meal at a local Mexican establishment and dined on fajitas and chimichangas along with a margarita to mark the day. It certainly was not the planked salmon and the expensive wine of past years, but we were out together. And it is important to get out of the house during the dark days. Also, in past years Chris had worked late doing parent-teacher conferences and so I had time to prepare the meal in advance of her arrival at home. This year, since she is retired, there were no conferences to attend.

Chris was dressed in a festive manner and I wore a red shirt to mark the day. I was encouraged by the number of couples and families who were similarly enjoying the evening. We went early to avoid the crowds and I have to admit it was weird to get home after dinner and still watch Jeopardy. Wow, am I getting old or what? The world revolves around Jeopardy during the winter. The only thing that we didn't get was the early-bird discount! 

It was a great evening and a romantic way to mark the celebration.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day!

It is a great celebration for lovers and would be lovers!

I remember being in grade school and doing the obligatory Valentine exchange. I wold come home with a folder full of Valentines from my classmates, and I likewise would give a Valentine to each of my classmates. It was fun to go home and open each of the Valentines and realize that there were only so many different little Valentines in the packages--I would get multiple copies of the same greeting. I wonder if kids still do that in class today?

I'm not sure I understood the reason behind Valentines Day, but it was fun to give and get a folder full of Valentines. 

Here is a fun fact--there were multiple Christian martyrs that were named Valentinus! Wow, who knew?

Here is a paragraph Wikipedia about the day:

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[1] is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Have a great day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Big, Beautiful Wall


Hopefully the agreement to fully fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year will be inked today. 

The stumbling point continues to be the wall. The President emphatically states that the wall will be big and beautiful!

A ‘big, beautiful wall?’ Yeah, right . . . - The Miami Herald



It will be immovable. 

It will be a monument to 19th century thinking transformed into reality during the 21st Century. 

We there people will be spending our national treasure on a wall rather than actually doing some good in the world and even in our own country. 

The wall will not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, nor heal the sick. 

The wall will not protect us from attack, deter aggression, nor stem the flow of drugs coming over the border through established ports of entry such as the recent largest drug bust in history.

An interesting article in the New York Times provides perspective of the magnitude of the wall project.

The Border Wall: WhatHas Trump Built So Far? - The New York Times


It appears that if the President wants a wall, he is going get a wall. I would rather build missile defense, or bolster the armed forces with the money--but the wall will certainly provide a fitting and historic commentary on the presidency.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ice on the Orioles Season


We have been enjoying some really difficult weather lately. It was what they call a wintry-mix. In reality it was freezing rain.

The freezing rain was interesting. It covered the bare branches of the trees creating a surreal scene, but it also created some dangerous driving conditions.

I would have liked to get some pictures of the ice covered trees, however, since I was driving in some really heavy traffic it would have been far too dangerous. 

February, all-in-all has been relatively mild and as we roll into mid-month, I note that MLB Spring Training is underway. Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota today! While the arrival of Spring Training is usually exciting, my enthusiasm is tempered with the knowledge that the Orioles do not look any better than the last year's team which secured 15th place on the all-time list of the worst major league teams during the modern era. The ice that we have been experiencing has extended apparently to Sarasota and the team which begins training there.

Last year's Orioles lost 115 games. I believe it is possible that this year's team could lose more! 120 losses is a definite possibility. The team has, so far, done nothing in the off season to improve the overall quality of the team. I am so underwhelmed at the Orioles that I have decided not to renew my season tickets for this year. It will be the first time in about 15 years that I will not have season tickets to see the Orioles.

I may not go attend Opening Day on April 4th. Fans vote with their feet and my feet are planning to stay away until the team decides to get serious about improving. Mediocrity is not a reason to go to the ballpark.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Musings - February 11, 2019




1. It is the second Monday of February. That is awesome. Spring begins in 37 days on March 20th!

2. It is tax season and the initial indications are that last year's tax cuts aren't showing up in the returns.

3. Cold weather is part of February in the Northeast. Knowing this, I'd rather winter somewhere further south.

4. Believe it or not, the youth basketball season is already ending. That means baseball season is warming up in the bullpen. Sadly, Jax's team lost a tough playoff game yesterday. Ethan's team had a bye and competes in their first playoff game next week.

5. I woke up this morning to an ice storm. 

6. This weekend was the first weekend since August where there was no NFL on TV. It felt good.

7. Is it me, or are other drivers on the highways getting worse? They don't signal intentions and then make sudden lane changes. Wow!
Daffodils in the Garden
February 10, 2019

8. It is now two months since I completed treatments for prostate cancer! In another month I get tested for my first results! I cannot believe how time has flown. Keep supporting everyone who is battling cancer! No one fights alone!

9. And despite the cold weather guess what I found growing in the garden yesterday? The harbinger of Springtime--daffodils! OK, maybe they are pushing the envelope a bit.

10. Today in History. Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa, where he became a leader of Johannesburg’s youth wing of the ANC. In 1952, he became deputy national president of the ANC, advocating nonviolent resistance to apartheid–South Africa’s institutionalized system of white supremacy and racial segregation. However, after the massacre of peaceful black demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, Nelson helped organize a paramilitary branch of the ANC to engage in guerrilla warfare against the white minority government.

Headlines


Talks Over Border Security Break Down, Imperiling Effort to Prevent Shutdown - The New York Times






Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week


Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: "We the People."

"We the People" tell the Government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver - the Government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the People" tell the Government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free.
  -- Reagan's Farewell Address to American People, January 11, 1989

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Thinking of Florida


Jupiter Island, Florida
 Intercostal Side
From Radio Flyer
January 25, 2019
Suffering through the cold of the past couple days, I have been thinking of being in a warmer place--Florida.

The Shops of Jupiter,
Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 2019
I was just there during late January and even though I complained that it was too cool, I dearly would love to have awakened there this morning with the temperature outside my door touching on 16 degrees!

Despite the bright sky, it is too cold. Much too cold. Yes, I know that it is February, but still, I enjoyed the taste of Spring last week and fervently wish that it would return. I know that Spring is officially 38 days away, but I have grown weary of winter: the cold, the rain, and the "wintery mix."

While I was in Florida a few weeks ago I was able to play three rounds of golf despite not being able to spend much time on the beach. I would not even think of touching my clubs right now here in Maryland. Well, I did consider it on Friday, but I was too busy at work.

Look at it this way--a cold day in Florida is a lot warmer than a cold day in Maryland. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Virginia is for Messes


The government of Virginia is in a mess.


The allegations become uglier with each passing day. 

It is an ethically and morally charged issue that dates back decades--and there is the fundamental problem. 

I think society is getting too sensitive about things that happened 40 years ago!


Is it possible that we are losing perspective and taking actions out of context? Are we engaging in what is called: revisionist history?

Do not misunderstand me--I am not condoning the activities of the leaders in question, I am just urging that actions be viewed in context with the norms of society at the time. Society changes over time and what is acceptable, likewise, changes. 

As an example of changing societal context, think about the Bugs Bunny cartoons or the Three Stooges. When I was young, Bugs Bunny was a very violent cartoon. They were funny but were filled with violence and biting, insulting comments which were, at the time, acceptable. Since then, the cartoons have edited for the current generation to remove the violence and the now unacceptable comments. This is an example of how what is societally acceptable changes over time. What was acceptable is not now accepted. It is the same with the Three Stooges--their humor was funny then, but now it is not accepted. In fact, I do not find the Three Stooges funny anymore and do not watch their antics.

I have to believe we are forgetting that what is acceptable to society changes over time and as we become enlightened we forget that applying the mores of today to the past confuses the issues. We need to ask ourselves, are the actions by someone in the past outside of the norms for the period of time? 

Put another way, for the time and the place, was the action egregious? 

Just a thought. Ultimately, it is for each of us to decide.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 8, 2019

Mixing it Up


With the arrival of Friday, the weather will begin a transition form unseasonably warm and enjoyable to seasonable cold. There seems to be little consensus as to whether there will be rain, snow, or both as Monday arrives.

I received an enjoyable email yesterday. It was from a local golf course advertising that today, Friday, was going to be beautiful and recommending that I play hooky from work and hit the links. 

Haha. Maybe, had the situation been different, I would take them up on the offer, but I have been away from my desk for three days attending a course on managing conflict AND I have developed a really nasty case of plantar fasciitis--I am totally hobbled. 

Chris talked me out of playing racquetball yesterday morning and suggested that I go for a walk with her during the afternoon, just to see if I could. It was great for the first mile. After that is was very painful as I forced myself to walk, limp, crawl (OK, not really crawl) the last half-mile home.

I hope the weekend finds the heel better! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Brush with Spring


It happened on Tuesday. We had a brush with Spring as the temperatures in the region touched 70 degrees! It was awesome. By the time I got home, the temperature had fallen to 66 degrees, but Chris and I enjoyed Happy Hour on the back deck savoring the warm, dry weather in advance of another cold, wet front.

It was great to be outside and not get freeze or get wet!

Spring is coming. 

Also on Tuesday, we received and interesting gift in the mail from a company we are doing business with. It was cute. Last week they sent us a lottery ticket and on Tuesday the Smore package. 

It was cute and thoughtful. 

February is going to be a great month! I can tell.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

So Here We Are


It was surreal watching the State of the Union (SOTU) address last evening. 

The divided nature of our government was obvious. 

The Speaker of the House was clearly more interested in making a statement of her own rather than listening to the President.

CNN has published a piece titled 
5 key takeaways from Donald Trump's State of the Union speech. 

I have to admit that at the beginning of the speech, I was encouraged by the bipartisan call, but by the end of the speech it was clear that any bipartisan action would have to be made on the President's terms.


The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or Democrat agenda, it is the agenda of the American people. Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises, to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers, to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, to reduce the price of health care and prescription drugs, to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure, and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.

It was interesting to read the Fact Checker of the President's address. He takes credit for many things that began before he took office. The good note is that the good trends have continued, the bad is that he is taking whole credit for them and not recognizing that efforts of Presidents who preceded him.

State of the Union fact check: What's true and false in Trump's address - NBC News

One continual Trump claim that the NBC article focuses on is border security. I extracted the beginning of the item here:

CLAIM: TRUMP SAYS THE STATE OF THE SOUTHERN BORDER IS 'LAWLESS,' THREATENING THE SECURITY OF ALL AMERICANS

America's immigration system is broken — that's something experts, advocates and politicians across the spectrum can agree on — but there's little evidence the southern border is experiencing a new state of emergency. Violence isn't spilling over the border, and terrorists aren't being caught in droves trying to cross it. Illegal drugs largely come through legal ports of entry, not unguarded parts of the border, according to border authorities.
In the Democratic response to the SOTU, Stacy Abrams made a statement that really struck a chord with me:

My father has battled prostate cancer for years. To help cover the costs, I found myself sinking deeper into debt -- because while you can defer some payments, you can’t defer cancer treatment. In this great nation, Americans are skipping blood pressure pills, forced to choose between buying medicine or paying rent. Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth. And in 14 states, including my home state where a majority want it, our leaders refuse to expand Medicaid, which could save rural hospitals, economies, and lives.

I have read about people dying because they have been forced to choose between insulin injections and eating. This is wrong. This is not my vision for the America that I have served for my entire adult life. 

It was an interesting, if not scary evening as the gulf between the parties was on display. 

As a country and a society we need to do better. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

It has been a Week


Jupiter Lighthouse
January 28, 2019
It is hard to comprehend that it has been a week since I returned from South Florida. The weather here has ranged from bitter cold to unseasonably warm. I hope that we are on a warming trend, but I am a realist and know that it is only early February and Winter is just half over.


Chris and Finn on the Beach
January 28, 2019
I am reflecting fondly on the 10 days away from the cold. Although the weather in Florida was not idyllic, it was a very enjoyable trip nonetheless. Chris and I are looking forward to a return trip during the first days of Springtime. And, there should be many more visits to Florida in our future. 

I am, however, amazed at how quickly a week has passed since we departed Florida. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 4, 2019

Monday Musings - February 4, 2019



1. It is the first Monday in February, the second month of the year. Where did January go?


2. The Super Bowl wasn't really super. It was a hard fought defensive struggle. As expected the Patriots won. The score was a lot lower than I predicted and set the record for the lowest scoring Super Bowl. People who had 3's and 0's in the office pools did really well!

3. It hit 50 degrees yesterday. Maybe it was an early Spring thaw?

4. Spring is closer with each passing day!

5. Isn't it amazing how myopic we become as a nation when the Super Bowl is being played. Who knows what happened around the world?

6. It was nice to be home this weekend. I was able to go to my favorite store, Lowe's, and get supplies for a small home improvement project, which I was also able to complete. However, that project started another painting project! No good deed goes unpunished!

7. I was amazed at how many drones authorities confiscated during the run-up to the Super Bowl. Drone flyers have got to get smarter and not do dumb things in order to protect our access to the skies. 

8. With the Super Bowl complete it is almost time for baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report for some teams in seven days! Play ball!

9. Pool opening day is tentatively scheduled for May 4, 2019. that is 89 days away!

10. Today in History. On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by two black men and a white woman, all three of whom are armed. Her fiance, Stephen Weed, was beaten and tied up along with a neighbor who tried to help. Witnesses reported seeing a struggling Hearst being carried away blindfolded, and she was put in the trunk of a car. Neighbors who came out into the street were forced to take cover after the kidnappers fired their guns to cover their escape.



Headlines

How Boring Was the Super Bowl? The Punts Got Exciting - The New York Times

How a ‘Monster’ Texas Oil Field Made the U.S. a Star in the World Market - The New York Times


Trump embraces a new nuclear arms race - The Washington Post





Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week



“Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream — to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you’re the only one in a sea of doubters. Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put on this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.”

-- Bob Doan Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Sunday


I had hoped that the snow would melt with the warmer temperatures yesterday, but sadly that did not happen.

The snow remains covering much of the ground.

But at least we are in the midst of a heat wave! It was 21 degrees this morning as I awoke with the promise of possibly seeing 46 degrees!

Today is the special Sunday that arrives but once per year. Of the 52 Sundays that comprise a year, this day has been designated as Super Sunday because of the Super Bowl! It is the crowning of the NFL Champion after a grueling season the 32 teams have been whittled down to 2 contenders to be crowned Champions! 

Many other American professional sports, for instance basketball, hockey, baseball; play a best of seven series to determine the league champion and so there is not the hype and drama that is associated with football's one game winner-take-all format. We do not have to wait out a grueling series to determine the eventual champion. Tonight the Lombardi Trophy signifying the NFL champion will be awarded to the final survivor.

So, here is my prediction for the big game: Patriots 35 to Rams 31.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Warming Up - Groundhog Day


Driveway
February 2, 2019
Happy Groundhog Day!

Amazingly, it is going to get up to 40 degrees today. 

I am thinking that I will get outside and cut some more wood for the fireplace. We still have a lot of wood laying on the ground to cut up and burn but the wet weather which preceded the cold weather has pretty much kept me from getting it prepared for burning.

Finnegan on the Beach
January 21, 2019
I believe 40 degrees will feel very warm! Hard to believe but after such frigid weather warming up over 30 degrees will be a welcome relief. 

It will not be as warm as it was in Florida two weeks ago, but it will feel much better than the 12 degrees that greeted me as I went to work yesterday. 

AND THIS JUST IN

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and predicted an early Spring! 

Spring cannot arrive soon enough!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 1, 2019

State of the Union



The State of the Union address, mandated by the Constitution, is finally scheduled for next Tuesday. The address will take place during what is apparently going to be a brief reopening of the government.

The Congress and the President are still at odds and there is no forward movement on keeping the government open.

What is the state of our union?

Here's Bob's opinion.

Divided! I have never seen the country so polarized and divided. The invectives being used daily by both parties are divisive and not conducive to a progressive government devoted to protecting civil liberties and providing for the common defense.

The "Wall" is a red herring. Almost everyone wants border security. It is just that the "Wall" has become a rallying cry.

I was encouraged yesterday when Customs and Border Security displayed the biggest drug bust in history. Did it come over where the wall would have been? No! It was at a known border crossing. 

My take? We need to tone down the rhetoric, infighting, and invectives and get to work restoring our country as the shining beacon for the world.  

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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