On The Day of Thanks 

By Harry M. Covert
November 23, 2017

Vittles  in all forms are the stars today. There are so many variations on this treasured Thanksgiving that the troubles and trials can likely be set aside for joys of families large and small.How to count the ways of all to give thanks for the bounties.

This is an exciting list, and so much to offer gratitude.

Not to be preachy, but every single soul has much in which to offer for living this life.

Tradition has many reasons for Thanksgiving Day. Magnificent! Family meals and time together. Awesome.

Why don’t all the church bells peal? Certainly would be appropriate for community reveling. A gong here and a gong there and smiles erupt. It’s fun to laugh and smile and just enjoy.

Sure there is an awful lot of worldwide turmoil. However, a day of thanksgiving is in order and welcome. The day after has become a celebratory time of shopping. They call it Black Friday. Shoppers race to stores in preparation for  the sacred Christmas holidays.

It’s okay now to say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. It matters not what naysayers promote, the Christmas season is wonderful and joyful, and a time of re-charging lives in every way.

I can’t help it but, as Thanksgiving arrives, the tune that bubbles for me is “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.”

My Grandmother Libby was wonderful, awesome in every way. I loved going to her house from the time I was walking to many years later. And I visited her many days at supper times as if it were today. I’m not alone in this feeling.

Using journalistic license, my grandmother was a saint. Likewise my grandfather was, too; a gentle soul who set the example for family man par excellence.

Others undoubtedly have similar feelings for their families, but I’m saying it first. I merely trust I can uphold the role with my children and grandchildren. And. yes, great grandchildren. Where have the years gone? I can count the days and hope for more.

On this day of remembrance, this is a marvelous time to take inventory of all our circumstances. I hope all family tables are overflowing and the chatter is warm and fuzzy.

Let the gridiron festivities, et al, be and enjoy the meals and desserts. I have my own list. They’re all my favorites.


Is Shoplifting Still a Crime?

By Harry M. Covert
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 

The right of free speech is, in all probability, the most cherished privilege in American society. Every person can say almost anything without fear at any time, no matter how silly, foolish, erudite, meaningful or profane.

Every thought turned into talk is okay. The public merely accepts the words. This is treasured. Often, in these days of tearing down barriers, social customs are being put to the test.

For example, three freshmen basketball players, all on expensive scholarships, have been caught up in scandal in China. They were arrested and charged with shoplifting in several upscale stores in Hangzhou. Their collegiate companions from UCLA were competing in a tournament. Big time basketball.

It just so happens the king of tweeting, President Donald Trump, was on tour in Asia at the same time. The Chinese criminal system was at work and jailed the young cagers, using old sportswriters’ lingo. Panic, of course, raced through the sporting and political worlds. Fortunately the doer in the White House jumped into action. He got the boys released by the Chinese president with whom Mr. T was enjoying convivial times.

It was the right thing to do. No. It was the great thing to do. A three-year to 10-year jail term for stealing in China is no lark. Evidence is rather strong that thieves, other law breakers and criminals in general, are not treated well.

Once the players returned home safely, they thanked Mr. Trump for their release. It looked as though their comments were pre-written by UCLA officials. That was helpful and sounded good and helped them to make a good impression.

One of the charged players was LiAngelo Ball. His father, LaVar Ball, didn’t waste his free speech and said the president didn’t get the boys released. Well, that’s rather ungrateful, plus the elder Ball said it was no big deal, shoplifting is no big deal. What? There are lots of people who are considered criminals for stealing. The situation is – indeed – terrible and the players have been suspended by the university. They could lose their scholarships and probably should.

It matters not that Father Ball obviously dislikes the president. At the least he should be appreciative of the quick action to intervene in the damaging situation. Diplomacy is not always fast.

Mr. Trump, the nation’s Tweeter-in-Chief, didn’t take the churlishness lightly. He said, “I should have left them in jail!” Maybe the parents of the young should grow up and pay attention to the power of the Oval Office. Perhaps presidential critics should listen, too. President Trump wouldn’t have done that.

The right to criticize government is cherished. The foolishness of some parents is incredible.

A Maryland newspaper reported quotes from a mother who said that there was no reason for her son to be shot while he was robbing a store with a hand gun. Glory be!

Remember the death of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student, who died after his release from a North Korean prison. He had been charged with stealing a sign in a hotel and given 15 years and constantly abused.

So, what has free speech to do with the tragedy involving sports in China? LaVar Ball had the right to disrespect the president. He did so after his son was back on U.S. soil and safe. Has the son learned anything? That’s a wait-n-see question.

The man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has the same right to react. It’s rather refreshing that he does fight back. Too many people have forgotten some presidential history. Mr. Truman, “give ‘em Hell Harry,” took exception to a criticism of his daughter’s singing recital and, get this, threatened to sock the newspaper critic in the head.

Besides free speech, how great is freedom of the press?Let’s count the ways.


The Big Story Fiasco 

By Harry M. Covert
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Far be it here to condone in any way, shape, or form the sexual misconduct so loudly and broadly on public display these days.

The latest, of course, comes from Alabama’s race for the U.S. Senate  seat, where a twice removed state Supreme Court judge and West Point graduate Roy Moore is fighting for his public and private persona. It’s not a pretty picture in another chapter of American society.

Certainly readers here are familiar with the recent Washington Post expose. Two women in their forties allege they were sexually assaulted, or harassed, Judge Moore some 40 years ago.

Apparently it’s their word against his. Evidence seems missing except for recollections.

Who can deny it’s quite a story? Judge Moore has had a career of standing on his religious convictions and is rather popular across Alabama.  But, there’s more (pun intended).

His friends and acquaintances are trying desperately to still back him. Sure seems like a losing battle. Since the story broke the other media outlets have had a heyday scrambling to get other facts and quotes.

Pastors and church people have had an embarrassing time. They want to believe Moore’s denials. At the same time, it’s quite difficult to not believe the accusers. Girls and boys under the age of consent never forget sexual attempts they endure as they grow into maturity.

While as adults, Moore’s accusers have had some troubled lives. But, that can’t override the situations of their prepubescence.

It is not rare that abused children are fearful to report such incidents.

Of late, in an effort to calm the situation, defenders bring up similar matters involving other celebrated personages. Not unusual. Foolhardy.

It may be doubtful the Alabama accusers were paid for their stories. That is not the normal practices of newspapers.

Regardless, the story is a major one. The political establishment of both major parties are covering their posteriors and suddenly attempting to be holier that the Senate hopeful.

In all probability Judge Moore won’t ever sit in the U.S. Senate. He’ll undoubtedly fight to the end of the campaign. If he pulls out a win, he’ll be expelled from the Senate. His never-to-be colleagues will leave him hanging.

There’s no reason to talk about previous Senate and House miscreants here. The list is legendary. Just because they got away with sexual misconduct is no reason to excuse present and future lawmakers.

Time has come when the nation must reconsider its morality and conduct. Who’s going to lead the way? The battle is raging. The Roy Moore fiasco is another lesson. It’s unpleasant to follow. If he’s innocent or not, the situation is dire. The nation suffers.


Belittling the Believers

By Harry M. Covert
November 9, 2017

Tragedies in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and a week before in New York City are further evidence Divine intervention is a must to straighten out the creeping cancer of evil befalling the blessed nation named USA.

We can throw in the rest of the universe, too, where America is committed to keeping peace and hoping for prosperity.

The killings and maimings in that small Baptist Church are reprehensible and the result of a hateful apostate, who was proud to describe himself an atheist.

The driver, who killed bicyclists and pedestrians in Manhattan, survived his misdeeds. He was a fundamentalist, but not a right wing Christian, but hate filled Muslim.

Americans of all standings have been offering prayers and deep thoughts for the victims. The shock has been the critics and non-believers, who have broadly belittled men and women of faith for their urgent pleas.

Many personages have suggested prayers were not effective. If prayers were real there would not have been vicious murders and shootings, they like to say.

Such ugly comments merely prove what Scripture says: they are fools.

Evidence continually grows that undermining society as we know it is determined to destroy Christianity in the nation. Too many believers appear like sheep going to the slaughter.

Further, politicians keep yapping for more gun control. How come all the alleged smart people refuse to talk about changing the vile hearts? Certainly killings at random, and otherwise, come from despicable humans. Society is changing quicker than the blink of an eye. Good people must not stand mute.

A late president’s son is “an unabashed atheist” and says he’s “not afraid of burning in Hell.” That’s certainly his right.

Numerous others on the national landscape have taken great delight in trying to humiliate Christian believers.

Because the “heathens” promote their position doesn’t make them correct.

Church people at large understand that “prayer is not a transfer of information, but rather an act of humility.”

It is important to ask that “God bless America” and the leaders of the county. According to practicing believers “prayer leads to peace, patience and perseverance.” Why not?

What a sad report that not only do our public streets need security, church pews require heavenly and earthly protection.