Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Train Is On Schedule (#BOTB Results)

       The thing about gloomy days is that they eventually clear up.   Sunshine and blue skies return and happy days do come back again.  The train keeps a-rolling until it finally reaches its destination.  As for me, though the ride sometimes gets tedious, mostly I enjoy my journey and I'm not ready for it to end anytime soon.

English: The Lincoln Memorial is a national me...
The Lincoln Memorial is a national memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The memorial was designed by architect Henry Bacon and dedicated in 1923. The statue of Lincoln was carved of white marble by Daniel Chester French and completed in 1922. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the Good Times

        Last week I was feeling kind of down in a stagnated sort of way.  The cool and rainy weather here in Los Angeles didn't help my mood much.   Likewise, writing my posts for my President Trump Acclimation Series contributed to a more somber contemplative mood.   I've had some serious topics and the readership drastically declined on my post Does Trump's Muslim Ban Make Sense?which might have been due to nature of the topic (maybe too scary or sensitive to some?) or maybe it was an overall decline in readership across the blogosphere.        

     I do know that I had quite a number of hits, but not the normal ratio of actual comments. As is often said, never discuss politics or religion and this topic really broke those rules. The subject of Islam is very important, yet most people seem to want to avoid this discussion. I think that's why we have the problems about this in the world that we have. You're still free to go back to comment on that post, but today I want to move a little further on down the track.

       Thursday morning I was particularly feeling down, but then when afternoon came there was something that really lifted me up. I happened to tune into the Make America Great Inaugural Concert, an event that I had no idea was scheduled until I flipped on the television at lunchtime to see that this event would be starting soon. I kept the television on and I'm so glad I did.

        The assortment of military bands was rousing and stirred a sense of patriotism within me. When Sam Moore (he of the great soul duo Sam and Dave, now 82 years old) lit into his version of "America the Beautiful" with a choir backing him, my eyes watered and something inside of me swelled with pride for my country. Great acts followed including the Frontmen of Country, Lee Greenwood, 3 Doors Down, the Piano Guys, and a rocking performance by Toby Keith. After that concert any thoughts of gloom were behind me.

        Later that night I watched a documentary about the band Chicago who was one of my featured groups in the Battle of the Bands that I'll be announcing the winner of shortly. Somehow I thought that I'd stopped keeping track of Chicago after their second album and then watching the documentary I realized how much great music they'd put out over the years and that actually I do have some of their other albums on cassette tape. Seeing their story in this documentary shed new light on this great band which eventually found its earned place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

      Throughout Friday I was on a high with the Presidential Inauguration and all of the accompanying events. It was raining like crazy throughout the day where I live so it made it ideal for just sitting on the couch all day covered in blankets and watching television. Donald J Trump is now officially President of the United States and I and plenty of other people are happy about that. Others are not and I'll have a few more things to say about that in upcoming posts.

       Over the past weeks of posting I've lost 22 followers I guess and I would probably have lost more if more of those "following" the blog actually were reading my posts. And you know what--I don't particularly care. People who stop following you on a blog, or Facebook, or Twitter, or wherever are insincere intolerant people who are not worth having as followers. The people I like to call friends are those who accept me even if we don't agree and who are willing to have civil exchanges without being rude.

     Tell other people the truth about what you think and you can find out a lot about the integrity of those people in how they respond.
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Battle of the Bands Results


     My Battle featuring versions of "Take the A Train" by the Delta Rhythm Boys and Chicago was almost unfair in my view.  I'd have rather just called my vote a tie because I liked both of them equally. Actually I was hoping the final tally would have been such that I could have cast my vote to make the outcome a tie, but alas this did not happen.  But it came close, so I'll cast a vote for Chicago to make it closer to a tie.

Final Vote Tally

Delta Rhythm Boys        14

Chicago                           12

Next Battle on Wednesday February 1st

       I'll have some more posts before the next Battle--and there are going to be a few more posts concerning some issues about the election.  I have so much to discuss and I want to say it even if some folks don't want to hear it.   But I guess it's about as good as talking about anything else.  I suppose...

        My next Battle of the Bands is one that is partially shaded by elements of what I've been talking about in some recent posts and what has been on my mind not just recently, but for a long long time.   Hope you'll at least check out that Battle to come which is among many things that are or might be coming soon.   And that's my hint for the next song.

         Did you happen to see the Inauguration Concert on Thursday or any of the events on Friday?   Did anyone reading this participate in the protests on Saturday?   Were you among those who visited my previous post on Islam and did not comment and if so, why?




38 comments:

  1. Seeing that photo of the Linoln Memorial Building brought back some happy memories. I have my photo take outside there.Wonderful post Lee as always and this latest BOTB was a close result.
    Look forward to the next one.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I enjoyed seeing all of those DC views last week and likewise remembering my visits there. It really is a spectacular city especially when seen in some of those panoramic wide view shots.

      Lee

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  2. Lee,

    Sometimes the weather, especially gray skies weigh heavily on my mood. I find current circumstances in my life play into my funky mood, as well as wacky hormones. Perhaps in your case drabby weather conditions coupled with the fallout you've experience brought you down. I know right after the election I had to pull myself away from sharing political tweets unless it was something positive. The bad stuff Liberals you feel convicted to education others on but honestly sometimes rolling out their garbage for the greater good can get ya down.

    We did not take a day trip on Friday as hoped. The forecast called for rain but that was okay because it allowed us to take in Inauguration Day events. It was wonderful to see the completion of getting Trump into office. I loved every moment, other than MSM adding their downer remarks, and felt the same soar of patriotism and pride. I loved Trump's speech! He didn't sound like a politician but like an ordinary guy talking. He made the day about the American people and not about him which is perhaps a first for any politician. I believe if Trump manages to do a 10th of the things he promised (and he's off to a good start) campaigning then the country will better.

    WOW, didn't Melania looked fabulous? It's wonderful to see grace and elegance again in our First Lady. Everything about the inauguration lifted us and we watched all that we could on broadcast TV, then later in the evening we caught some of the live streaming coverage of the three primary Balls attended by the President & Vice-President and their families. I thought everyone looked super sharp and classy! I kept thinking, WOW, what a nice looking bunch of people! It was a magical day for them and for us!
    You know, Lee I think people don't like talking about things that make them uncomfortable or maybe they don't feel educated enough on the subject to say anything or perhaps it's the whole negative vibes most get out certain topics. I try to share my views the best I can even when I'm a little bit of all these things while respecting the other person. We all can't be the same on every issue. It would be nice if we because then there would be no hatred or wars. Of course, love and respect for one another would eliminate these things, too.
    My comment is getting rather long, so I'll end it here by saying I voted for the winner in your BoTB and gracious was it ever close unlike my battle. lol Have a good day, my friend and here's to happier days again!

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    1. Cathy, love long comments especially when they are nice ones!

      Agree with everything you said here. The Trump family and all those associated with them looked wonderful and it was sad to hear the critical tone of the leftist media when I listened to their blabbing. Most of the proceedings I tried to watch on CSpan where there was no commentary or commercials. They were doing good with the ball coverage until it was almost time for the military ball and then for some inexplicable reason they started running footage from protest speeches from earlier in the day. What a spirit killer! That's when I had to turn to Fox and CNN for the rest of the coverage.

      They were some great days and I hope for more great days to come. If only the wacky liberal media would shut up or at least tone done the negativism.

      Lee

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    2. Lee, MSM will find fault where there is none. They just want to stir trouble. I just ignore them and go about living life happily. The good thing is we can see through the left's rhetoric. So, we can just roll our eyes and move on because we don't buy into their lies or half-truths. :)

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    3. Cathy, let's face it, MSM is in the business of blabbing and if they didn't have negative things to say it would all have to be good news. If there's one thing the left hates it's good positive news that includes values. I usually just turn the radio or TV off or change the channel when they start getting too crazy--which is most of the time.

      Lee

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  3. I read the last one - and carefully, too - but sort of thought I'd contributed my thoughts about President Trump in the earlier threads.

    He said a lot of things in the campaign, and those things were sometimes not entirely consistent (the "Muslim ban" would sometimes become "extreme vetting," for instance, and his Attorney general nominee said he wouldn't approve of different treatment of Muslims at all).

    So by last week, I sort of felt like I couldn't consider rhetoric anymore. I can and will wait and judge the new Administration's by its actions. I hope I stick by that, anyway.

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    1. Nasreen, I greatly appreciated your contribution of your thoughts in the earlier posts, but I did hope for some reaction from the Muslim perspective on the views I expressed in my previous post. I realize it's a tough issue, but I think it is essential for the world to start addressing some of the issues head on in order to understand where this is all going. And you're right about the conflicting messages coming from the new administration which is all the more reason to understand all of the issues.

      I do think you show wisdom in waiting to judge things as they come and not out of unfounded fears as we've been hearing from the left. The rational approach always makes the most sense, otherwise we'll all just be bickering and never make any progress.

      Thank you so much for your comment today, Nasreen, as I always appreciate your well-measured response to controversies that I raise in some of my blog posts. Please don't ever lose that sensible approach to life.

      Lee

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  4. I'll have to go read your blog on Muslims. I know at least one (a cousin of my mother-in-law) who is the sweetest lady. She never forgets to call my husband on his birthday.

    I saw a little of the inauguration and the music. The music was great. Still a little nervous on what's going to happen with our new leader.

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    1. Tamara, there are always those who are nervous about new administrations. I was the same way when Obama came in and my concerns were proven right, while others saw Obama in a far different light and liked what he did.

      My blog posts on Islam were probably considered harsh and maybe even irrational by some readers which is maybe why they didn't want to comment. However, I believe I was consistently fair and respectful to the individual adherents of the belief system as people and expressing my concern toward the belief system itself which I feel is very flawed. It's always important to separate individuals for who they are and how they treat others.

      Lee

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  5. That is very true, tell people what you think in a civil manner and if they can't do likewise, not worth having around.

    And some may just not want to talk about such things, which is their right as well.

    I mean I still think Trump's a bit of an egotistical arse, not sure he has a clue how to run a country either, which only way we'll know is to see, but you make valid points and a lot of the stuff people try to slam him with are fabricated or overblown. Or they listen to celebrity of the week idiot, who are just as bad as he is in most cases.

    People tend not to want to be reasonable these days when it comes to having a conversation, if they ever did.

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    1. Pat, I think one of the primary qualifications of being a noted politician or a celebrity is to be an egotistical arse otherwise they don't get noticed. The biggest difference between Trump and others is that Trump is so bluntly honest and open about things and the press hates that and many people and most politicians don't understand it. I believe--or at least hope--that he will surprise all the doubters about his ability to run a country. How many past leaders have done all that great of a job at doing so? The greatest leaders don't run countries on their own, but they know how to delegate the jobs of running things to the most capable people--that is truly effective leadership.

      Lee

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  6. Surprised Chicago lost.
    Trump did start an out plan for individuals and companies concerning Obamacare, which was a smart move. Can't just shut it down cold.

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    1. Alex, I too was kind of surprised by the outcome of this match up, but I think the ending of the Chicago version got a little too wild for some voters.

      I don't think the Trump administration has any intent on shutting down the current healthcare outright, but transitioning. Anything else wouldn't make sense.

      Lee

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  7. We've had a solid week of grey, rainy weather and it's dragging me down, too. Glad to know your spirits have been lifted somewhat, Lee. I missed your last post, but have cut back on internet activities in general at the moment. I did watch some of the coverage Friday and Sat. What you said here echoes my own thoughts: "The people I like to call friends are those who accept me even if we don't agree and who are willing to have civil exchanges without being rude."

    That was a good, close battle! Nice to be on the winning side for a change.

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    1. Debbie D, we just had a huge downpour with thunder which is very uncommon here in L.A. Now the sun is coming out. Maybe the rain will end for a while, but I hope we keep getting some at night. I like rainy nights when I'm sleeping and we still need the water out here.

      Yeah, it's nice when people can just get along and still talk about controversial topics without attacking each other.

      I'm glad this turned out close like it did as I figured that Chicago's more modern take might run away with all the votes.

      Lee

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  8. I voted for Chicago who lost but at least the vote was close. Everyone has the right to express their opinion and it is better for those who disagree to leave than hang around just to have nasty discourse. A quick question Arlee. What is all this silliness about Sean Spicer and the inauguration crowd? Who cares if Obama or Trump had the larger crowd. This is politics not a battle of crowd control. I was so mad when I saw articles online by crowd scientists? For real now?

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    1. Sheena-kay, I was beginning to be sure that Chicago would win when votes first started coming in and then it all took a turn which I was happy to see that the outcome would be fairly close.

      From what I've discerned not only from Kellyanne Conway's and Sean Spicer's explanations, but also from my own extrapolations from statements made, the "press conference" about the crowd size was primarily an exercise in frustration with continued negatively biased reporting from media as well as some incorrectly reported data given to President Trump and Sean Spicer about various aspects of the attendance. I think to a great extent Spicer's "press conference" was a symbolic gesture to make a "statement" to media reps in attendance and to set the stage for future press conferences. This came to greater illumination in the actual press conference that occurred today--a very good press exchange in my opinion. Much of the media is wacky from what I've seen and that escapade on Saturday was like a cat toying with a mouse he's captured. "Crowd science" sounds kind of absurd to me. The media often manipulates facts and cites so-called experts who I would tend to question. Just look at the polling data that came out pre-election and how wrong that all was.

      Lee

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  9. I haven't been around much due to the lack of time, not your posts. You know I don't agree with the Trump ideas you have, but that's what freedom is all about. I think a lot of people are tired of all the political rhetoric. But I loved all the women protests around the world. 'Don't you mess with me' if a gathering call for women. Kudos to all those who participated - men and women.

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    1. DG, considering you haven't been posting I figured you must be busy with other things which is what I should be doing too. But I feel compelled to respond to all of the nonsense and anti-Trump rhetoric which so often has been shown to be false.

      I was glad that the protests on Saturday were peaceful from all that I heard. But there is an irony to those protests which I want to explore eventually unless I find more important things to drag me away.

      Lee

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  10. I think you're brave and honest for daring to speak about topics others don't want to touch. One of the problems with discourse in America and the world is that people won't even listen to other's opinions. And they act like every opinion different than theirs is a personal attack.

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    1. Susan GK, I wouldn't necessarily say brave, but I've tried to be honest--or at least true to my personal convictions--in responding to a lot of the utter nonsense and the uncalled for vitriol against Trump, his administration, and his supporters. How do these detractors ever hope to see this country get better after going downhill for so many years. Too many people have become overly sensitive about their opinions rather than willing to engage in rational discourse. That's why the country has become so divided.

      Lee

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  11. I also watched the inauguration and all that surrounded it. Felt a deep surge of appreciation and hope well up within. The Piano Guys amazed me. ALL the musicians were picked for their talent, and there was a whole lot of that. Sam Moore--goosebumps and tears here.

    The detractors will be what they always are. What ever that is, I am not sure.

    Keep writing and expressing deep thoughts, Lee. Lord knows, there is precious little of that going around.

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    1. Susan K, I thought that closing song by the Piano Guys was a choice of pure genius.

      Thank you for your encouragement, especially today as I've been hit on a number of sides outside this blog for things I've been saying here. It's a shame that the divide in our country is on the increase and so many people are afraid to express their thoughts from the conservative and Christian side. Some of us have to keep speaking out or we will eventually be silenced completely if we're not careful.

      Lee

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  12. I remember a group of kids wanting to talk race to me in a chemistry class. I told them I didn't talk politics or religion. I still remember their faces when they realized racial issues were political issues. I think race is a moral issue too. I just did not want to engage in the discussion and lose my job because of some interpretation of what I said.
    I've been taking a vacation from the election and all the talk. I've had my fill.
    Most people I know that are white are Trumpers in Georgia. I know several black people that are equally big Trumpers. I've been inundated with his message.
    But people are plain wrong when they can't listen to someone they disagree with. My daddy called it having float.

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    1. Ann, school or any workplace can be dangerous places to speak ones mind and that is understandable in many respects. However a blog or the like should be a forum for all opinions and beliefs according to what the bloggers want to discuss. Exchanges of opinion and telling others about the facts we know or at least believe in is another form of education and enlightenment.

      You're in a different situation in Georgia I guess as in California as well as in the media we mostly get the anti-Trump, anti-conservative, and anti-Christian message and hearing it constantly becomes burdensome to me.

      WE all would do well to listen to each other with respect.

      Lee

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  13. Hey, I haven't been around in forever. I have my own reasons for leaving the blogging hemisphere. I think you are entitled to your opinions, whatever they may be. I think it is also fair to acknowledge the deep hurt your president has caused so many, especially those in minority groups. People are taking him personally because they feel he has personally attacked them. I would have to agree with that. I too felt the attacks were personal. Though I am not American, my son is. He was born there and we have many other strong ties to your country. We care about the health and well being of America for many reasons. I wish you and your country all the very best.

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    1. Tabitha, hello and good to see you. Much of my reason for staying on the Trump issue is because of what you just expressed. I did not feel that Trump caused any hurt, but the ill will was stirred up by the media and those against Trump who distorted his words and spread misconceptions and lies which continue to this day. The "attacks" existed in the minds of those who either did not listen closely to what was said or accepted what others said that he said even though it was untrue. Sure, it was politics at work, but in the case of Trump the antagonism has been greater than we've ever seen before. He overturned the apple cart with a radical approach, but unfortunate the anti side have been grabbing all the spilled apples and throwing them every which way blindly and without much rational thought. If the attacks seemed personal then maybe it was a wake up call for some. Unfortunately when we tucked comfortably asleep we sometimes hate the idea of waking up.

      Hope you come back to visit and engage me if you disagree. I always try my best to be nice and avoid any harsh conflict in lieu of hopefully intelligent discourse.

      And I'll probably be changing the subject soon even though I'll always be tossing something out there for thinking minds to ponder.

      Lee

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  14. Hi Lee, I'm doing a catch up - we've been away for a long time, recently returned. I didn't check your more recent BOTB or your post about Does Donald Trump's Muslim Ban make sense ...I'll check it out. But it reminds me of my son who is a musician and puts up FB posts occasionally about white privilege of which he is a 'member'. You cannot believe the haters he gets .. but he opens the conversations and always digs deep. His central message is about walking in another's shoes .. mostly people from all spectrums gets what he's saying and admire him for that ... my philosophical musical son - his majors at university. Don't worry about the haters ... enjoy the rain, even dance in it. I watched the inauguration, it was impressive. May all go well in the US.

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    1. Susan S, maybe I need to dance in the rain so I can warm up. But maybe dancing inside out of the rain would be better for that. Dancing with a blanket wrapped around me might work.

      I'm not overly concerned about the haters. I'm probably more concerned about the avoiders. So much of the time there are people who insist on hearing their point of view, but they have no interest in hearing the other side. "I've already heard it," they might say, but I still wonder how close did they listen and did they actually give it a fair chance at thought and consideration.

      Lee

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  15. I missed the band vote--I think. Things over in my end of the world are still upside down. I've missed a lot.

    You know I'll never come here again and not see dead salmon, right? Though is really is a healthy live salmon! (And thanks Arlee, I need a laugh this morning. [This refers to the salmon comment, not the dropper-offers]).

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    1. HR, your post reminded me of that "dead salmon" comment that I received years ago. I wonder if that guy who said that is even still blogging. That comment was the only one I ever got from him and I don't know what possessed him to make that particular comment.

      I miss a lot everyday and get farther and farther behind. At least I don't miss my meals most of the time and get a fairly good night's sleep regularly.

      Lee

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  16. I really enjoyed the Delta Rhythm Boys and am glad to see they won this one. Although I'm a huge Chicago fan. I just delighted in the DRB version. And I LOVED the video. I went back and watched it a few times.
    Thanks for turning me on to them and showcasing them in the video that you choose.
    Great battle. Great close outcome!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I enjoyed that video as well. They just don't make videos like that anymore, but they don't make those kinds of songs either.

      Lee

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  17. I enjoy your posts, Lee. But then, I like reading stuff that makes me think. At the moment, I'm avoiding social media and reading more: The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo is as amazing in its observations about the worlds of today and tomorrow as Future Shock was back in its day.

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    1. Patricia, more Americans need to be thinking more so that we have a better grasp on issues rather than just reacting irrationally based on how we feel about things. I really need to get to reading more of the books I have on hand and get away from the social media more, but I'm so hooked on so many aspects of online activity.

      Lee

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  18. I'm avoiding as much of the politics as possible, but so far I am unimpressed with him. I'm trying to keep an open mind but all I can see is a nasty, rising dictator who only cares about rich white men. He isn't at all nice to his wife, from all the clips and stories I've seen. I didn't watch the inauguration and I didn't like the musicians chosen to play. Not my bag. I didn't take part in the protests but a lot of my friends did.

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    1. JoJo, seems like you have a lot of negativity going on--at least in regard to the administration. I had great distaste for the Obama administration and usually turned TV off if I saw his or Michelle's arrogant faces. So glad to see them gone and I feel a great sense in relief that I don't have to see Hillary and Bill on any regular basis. Hope Trump starts doing things to change your view of him--I think he truly does have the interests in the country and all of its citizens in mind.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee