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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Road Apples, #173

Friday's Travel...spilled into Saturday, technically speaking.  The final toll was as follows:  One completely canceled flight (Dallas to Philadelphia), two flight delays, two re-bookings, and a two-hour drive home from Harrisburg, arriving at 1:30 am.  My luggage, by the way, didn't make it to Scranton until about 3 pm on Saturday.  In the midst of the insanity, there were rays of light...the Avis counter person (Michelle) in Harrisburg, who found me a one-way rental, at 11:30 pm...the gate agent in Amarillo who got me re-routed, even if I ended up having to revise things further...the baggage staff in Harrisburg, who made sure my luggage got to me, even if it was a day late.  As I've noted here from time to time, there is nothing glamorous about business travel.

Lawyering, Scranton Style...I've been reading the verbal grousing between a certain local lawyer, the Scranton Times, and a Scranton City councilman.  Here's how I see it:  Whenever you have $400,000 that is paid out to a person(s) or firm(s) without bidding OR detailed records to document the work performed OF COURSE there will be flags raised.  There should be flags raised, by the way.  The fact the lawyer/law firm in question also significantly contributed to Mayor Courtright's campaigns over the years only makes it smell worse.  This is old-school Scranton back-room dealing at its finest.  In the end, it's entirely possible that the legal expenses in question were justified, but this is public money at play, so there needs to be more...not less...transparency.  Blaming the Scranton Times for continuing to raise this as an issue is SILLY (at best); what's the alternative?  Simply take Mayor Courtright's word for it?

Confederate Monuments...Apparently, there is all the rage over monuments to Confederate generals being moved and removed in places across the south.  My blunt assessment?  Why do we even have monuments to traitors in the first place?

The National Political News Blackout...continues on my end.  I'm simply not interested in the latest Tweets or scandals...real or imaginary...that are in the national news.  None of what's happening should be a surprise to anyone.

(the Catholic Church) It's Almost Official...There are practically two versions of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States today, at least as evidenced by competing books that deal with the LGBT community within the Church.  There's a very good article that touches on that point HERE.  As someone who does listen to militant right-wing Catholic radio (EWTN, Ave Maria Radio), it's pretty clear that the Church is suffering from an ideological split that fairly well mirrors the political split within the United States.  In fact, just listening to discussions about secular issues on militant right-wing Catholic radio will make you think that you're listening to a stereotypical ring-wing talk-radio host.  Just add a few references to the Magisterium and Mary and you've got the whole programming for militant right-wing Catholic radio fairly well locked down.

**The blog author now pauses and regains his composure, as he is getting somewhat cranky**

Blogs, #1...A former co-worker of mine writes a terrific blog that you can find HERE.  Her latest posting, The Retiree, touched on a few raw nerves for me, which I so noted in a rather lengthy comment (sorry about the length Michele).  I debated responding to the posting, but in the end, I am glad I did contribute my thoughts.  I do get anxious whenever I post something that's critical, by the way, even given my tendency towards restraint.  The fact is this though:  We are all called to always be decent humans, first and foremost.  We all fail at that from time to time (me too...well, especially me), but that failure is compounded when that it seems to be institutionalized, somehow a human failure of a planned sort.  My final word on this:  Always treat people the way you would like to be treated, be it in business or in your personal life.  Period.

By the way, I actually interviewed the author the blog in April 2014.  You can read that posting HERE.  

Blogs, #2...Andy Palumbo recently commented in a blog posting about how disappointing it is that people don't stay with blogs they start (my words; his words can be found HERE).  I concur with his sentiment, but with a qualifier, namely that I think sometimes blogs have a hidden purpose, and that purpose gets fulfilled in a time-frame that is all its own.  There have been times when I wonder why I write this, but then I remember the purpose of NCFE, which is basically a way for me to help explore things, to help me make sense of the world (the world that mostly exists in my head).  That need is not likely to go away anytime soon.  


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