Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request RIP Steve Goodman

In all of the hoopla following the Cubs World Series victory you could hear half of North America singing Go Cubs Go in celebration. It's a great song that Cub fans have howled since 1984, taking honest pleasure in a single victory. After all, to actually win the the World Series was beyond our wildest dreams. That's something that only happens for Cardinal Fans. But, I wonder how many Cub fans know the history of the song: Go Cubs Go.

The song was written by Singer/Songwriter, Steve Goodman. Steve wrote the hit songs The City of New Orleans and You Don't Have to Call Me Darlin'. He was a funny guy who stood on stage by himself and sang songs and told jokes. I first saw him when he opened up for Steve Martin's King Tut Tour when I was in college in Terre Haute. Steve talked about the pain and suffering of the Die Hard Cubs Fan and sang A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request. It could be the best baseball song ever written. It was funny, but in a nutshell, it described the love/hate/love relationship the die hards had with their Cubbies.

Before the 1984 season WGN asked Steve to write a new theme song for their radio broadcasts. Hence, Go Cubs Go was born. That was also the year the Cubs looked like they might go all the way. But as the Cubs stated to close in on the National League East title, Steve's health started to fail. He had been diagnosed with leukemia several years earlier, but never let it keep him from doing what he loved. Writing songs and going to Wrigley Field.

A Cub fan understands the harsh reality of disappointment, but in Steve's case, it goes beyond cruel. Steve Goodman died at the age of 36, eleven days before the Cubs played their first post season game in his lifetime. He was scheduled to sing the the National Anthem in Wrigley Field for game one. Appropriately, the Cubs, lost the series after a two game lead when a routine ground ball went though the legs of Leon Durham. Leon Durham was acquired in the trade that sent Hall of Famer, Bruce Sutter, to who else...the St. Louis Cardinals.

Three years after Steve Goodman's death, his brother bribed a grounds keeper with a twenty dollar bill stuck inside of a Playboy Magazine to sneak into Wrigley Field. He spread Steve Goodman's ashes in left field.

So when you celebrate and sing Go Cubs Go, take time to think about the origin of the song and all of the die hard Cub Fans who never lived to see this.


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Rick Kelsheimer  

A Call from Heaven

Someday is Here

Friday, October 7, 2016

Photos of the Dark Side of the Moon from The Deep Space Climate Observatory

These photos were taken from NOAA's  DSCOVR satellite which remains in a stationary position one million miles away from Earth. The view is truly Heavenly.

These are actually time lapsed photos; not a computer simulation.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Space Geeks Unite: Blue Origin Crew Capsule Escape Test Goes Flawlessly

I have to admit to the fact that I am a space geek. I suppose it goes back to the days of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I was ten years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and can remember every liftoff back to Alan Shepherd. They were the hero's of my youth. The quest to reach the moon before 1970 was the fodder for my imagination. Unfortunately, people lost interest in space exploration, and NASA has been reduced to a second rate program who cant get a man to the International Space Station without hitching a ride with the Russians. But who are we kidding. The government can't efficiently deliver the mail or administrate our healthcare. Our success in Space has come in spite of NASA's archaic bureaucracy.

Enter Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon. His Blue Origin Program is making Space Exploration for the masses a reality. Not only did the testing of the capsule escape system but the rocket itself was able to safely land for the fifth time. It shouldn't surprise us. As far as I can tell, Amazon is arguably the best run company in the world. I trust our future in Space will grow under visionaries like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk at much faster rate than NASA, an agency controlled by the Congress of the United States.

I watch these  new test videos with the same curiosity and awe that I did as a boy. I cant wait to see what happens next.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Upcoming Book Signings For Rick Kelsheimer

September 30, 2016   Robinson, Illinois Heath Harvest Festival
October 1-2 2016 Palestine Illinois   Wabash Wine and Art Festival
October 7-15 2016 Veedersburg, Indiana Covered Bridge Festival

Copies of Paradise Lanes and Rick's other 5 books will be available.

Call 618-553-6046 for details

Friday, August 26, 2016

Paradise Lanes to be released on September 15

Around the lanes Sam Yeager was known as Mr. 300. He was a cocky, selfish, womanizer and the best bowler ever to toss a ball down the lane in Vincennes, Indiana. He was living the dream until his lifestyle placed him directly in front of a jealous boyfriend’s speeding pickup truck.
As a result Sam finds himself trapped in time, at the split-second between life and death. Instead of going to Heaven or Hell, he is sent to Paradise Lanes, a celestial bowling alley that was created for people whose lives are tragically cut short.
For some, Paradise Lanes lives up to it’s name, but for others it can seems more like Purgatory Bowl. Why? Because sometimes the pins don’t always fall like they should.
In the end, it’s just another day in Paradise.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Finishing Touches on Paradise Lanes

I want to apologize for neglecting the blog for the last few weeks. I am spending all writing time on last pages of Paradise Lanes. The plan as of now, is to release the book at the Flat Rock Homecoming on  Aug 13. This has been the most difficult book I've written. It is unlike all of my others. In the end, I am now happy with the results. Be patient, it's almost here.

Until then...

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Rick Kelsheimer

Still My Hero

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bugs Bunny is still my favorite comedian

For the final installment, I give a few minutes with the greatest comedian of all time... Bugs Bunny

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Rick Kelsheimer

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Day 6 of Tour. I loved the comedy sketches on the Carol Burnett Show Absolutely nobody was funnier than Tim Conway. Watch these out takes and see how the actors loose it with Conway's dead pan approach.
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Rick Kelsheimer

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Day 5 Archie Bunker and Sammy Davis Junior

Archie Discusses The subject of Slavery with Sammy Davis Junior.
Day Five of Comedy Clips

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Rick Kelsheimer

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lucy at the Chocolate Factory

This is Lucy At her best. (Day 4 of Comedy Clips)

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Rick Kelsheimer

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Abbott and Costello play ball. "Who's on First"

Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First" never gets old. Day 3 of Comedy Enjoy.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ed Ames Teaches Johnny Carson How to Throw a Tomahawk

No Politics this week. Seven Comedy Clips in Seven Days. One of the funniest moments on the Johnny Carson Show was when Ed Ames, who played Mingo on the Daniel Boone show tried to teach Johnny how to throe a tomahawk. What happened made the show a classic and was played every year on the best of Carson. Enjoy

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Rick Kelsheimer

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jonathan Winters at his Best

I think that Jonathan Winters was the funniest man that ever walked the face of the Earth. If you ever need to laugh, go to you tube and watch one of his old videos. This one is one of my favorites.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Greatest play ever made by Cub Outfielder 40 years ago today

On April 26. 1976 two protesters ran into the outfield with a gasoline drenched American Flag and attempted to light it on fire. Cub outfielder, Rick Monday, who spent 6 years as a Marine Reserve rushed in and took the flag before they could burn it, making it the greatest play in Cub History.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Friday, April 22, 2016

1937 Movie about Robinson Illinois

What a time capsule!.This movie was put together as a form of advertising for the local businesses to be played in the area theaters. I remember some of the buildings around town when I was a kid but most of these landmarks were gone in the 1960's. I know this is my hometown, but it is almost like watching some mythical place in a black and white movie. We have gained so much with technology over the years, but after watching this, I realize we have also lost much. Take a look at Robinson, Illinois as it was 80 years ago. It is worth the watch.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Proud Mary: Credence Clearwater Revival or Tina Turner (Which one is better?)

A question for the ages
Since I am having problems stomaching this year presidential election, I decided to look at a question that needs to be decided once and for all. Which is the better version of "Proud Mary" The original by Credence Clearwater Revival or the Cover by Ike and Tina Turner. Rarely is a sequel as good as the original, let a lone better, but this may be the exception. Watch both and decide.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Zen of Archie Bunker

When I try to pass on my wisdom taught to me by the school of hard knocks to the younger members of my clan; they tend to look at me like I'm Archie Bunker. After watching these videos, I realize that maybe they are right.

We need more political satire today without calling everybody racists, haters and intolerant. Sugar coat everything as much as you want, people and ethnic groups are different and always will be, Embrace our differences and have a sense of  humor.

I doubt that All in the Family could even get on the air today. It was produced in a time when there was a lot of real turmoil, unrest and injustice in the country.  Norman Lear dealt with the issue with comedy through Archie Bunker. It got people talking and we laughed.  People would be screaming for CBS to take the show off the air and the network president's resignation if it aired today. Everyone takes themselves so serious today, comedians won't play colleges anymore. Lighten up young ones and PCers. Life is too short consider yourself a victim. Laugh at your faults and foibles. We are who we are. If you cant laugh at yourself...laugh at others. That's what we Bruce/Catlyn Jenner for.

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Rick Kelsheimer (An opinionated God-fearing redneck cracker square head kraut dirt track racing fan from Flat Rock.)

PS: And yet it still seems acceptable to make fun of Christians and Conservatives. Me thinks some out there speak with a forked tongue.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hutsonville Power Plant Goes Away Forever

Another Crawford County Landmark is gone forever. The Ameren CIPs which has been in operation for my entire lifetime has now dispersed. Not efficient, Dirty Coal and other EPA bureaucratically mumbo-jumbo has been given as the reason. 

Coal burning plants are leaving the country side daily with no replacement plants being built. It will only be a matter of time before the Newton Power Plant falls victim to EPA regulations. As much as the tree-huggers want to save the environment, they haven't come up with a practical alternative energy source. Wind mills and solar panels might be the future, but at the present time, they couldn't come close to meeting our needs. In the mean time...electricity prices will continue to soar and rural America will suffer for it. It may seem like a good idea to get rid of these old power plants.But let's look at what has gone on here.  There used to be a railroad tracks that delivered coal from Danville Illinois to Power the turbines. Hauling the coal by train was very efficient, but then it seemed like a good idea to pull out the rails and track beds during a downturn in the economy. The same tracks that went by the power plant came through  Robinson. Over the years the line was known as the Big Four,
New York Central, Penn Central and Conrail. Conrail was the last effort where the US Government got involved in the management with of course, doomed it forever.
 Power Plant Today
When the gas prices were low, the powers that be felt it was cheaper to haul coal from Indiana by truck. That was fine until gas prices went shy high and the EPA declared Indiana Coal to dirty to burn. Coal had to be shipped in from the Western United States. But wait... there aren't any train tracks leading to the Hutsonville Plant anymore. The Newton Power plant has remained viable for now because coal can be shipped by rail.( How much extra C O2 goes into the atmosphere from locomotives coming halfway across the country?) Probably more than if we would burn the local coal that we have in spades. But I digress.

Know for a fact that coal is being phased out of our country as it should. In fifty or a hundred years when we have the technology to replace it!!!

Political agendas are killing small towns; Especially in Southern Illinois. Think how many good jobs we have lost over the years. Power Plant Jobs, Railroad Jobs, Coal mining and all of the support businesses.

Technology had improved enough to keep the plant viable if Far minded leaders used common sense! Don't kill the horse if you don't have another one to take its place.

For you millennials,.. that means don't get rid of a good inexpensive source of energy to take its place.  I'll eat my hat when I see a nuclear power plant on the Wabash River.

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Rick Kelsheimer

More Good Ideas at the Time
Tear them down and all we have are old pictures

Enough Said

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pulitzer Prize Winner David Hanners Sings about Betsey Reed

I interviewed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Hanners a few years for a radio program and we discussed his fascination with Betsey Reed.  Originally from Casey, he said he reads all the local history he can get his hands on and then writes songs about a era long gone. David spends his off time performing in small venues where he plays the guitar and sings what could be call part folk songs and part story telling. Here is a song he wrote about the Hanging of Betsey Reed.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Could John Wayne Live in our World Today? I doubt it.

This interview with the Duke took place three years before his death in 1979. He is consistent with his patriotic views of America as he had been thought the years, but is obvious that he realized the country was changing. He looked at the good things America stood for and gazed at her faults through rose colored glasses. Many people today would rip him apart for his hatred for political correctness. Whether you like John Wayne's views or not, you have to have to admit; he was no hypocrite. But really. Would you rather have your views line up with 1970's version of John Wayne or someone like Jane Fonda? I side with the Duke every time.

PS. The short piece gives us a glimpse of John Wayne as a father. It's interesting how close his on screen persona seemed to mirror the real man.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Unsung Patriot

Grave of  Private Nathan Berry Farmer
I hear people talking about being a patriot. (And I put myself into this category) Yet, when it comes down to where the rubber hits the road; it’s all talk. The desire is there, but rarely do we have an opportunity to prove it. So we talk the talk, but few of us walk the walk. When we actually accomplish something worthy…are we humble? Sometimes…Sometimes not.
The presidential election is filled with rhetoric from the candidates declaring to be the greatest, bestest and All-Americanest man or woman since Sam Adams dressed up like an Indian and threw a tea party in Boston. Are the candidates humble?  Never.
The freedom that some of us are trying to hang onto, was purchased by our ancestors. Some paid more than others, but in the end, the outcome was our free republic. I want to honor a humble patriot, whom I never met, but am busting with pride to have a small measure of his blood flowing through my veins. His name was Nathan Berry Farmer.
Nathan Berry Farmer was my Great Great Great Grandfather. He was a blacksmith in Tamaroa, Illinois. He was in his late thirties, had a loving wife and a flock of children. And yet when Abraham Lincoln asked for volunteers to save The Union; he volunteered without hesitation despite being old enough to have been excused from serving. He enlisted because he felt it was the right thing to do. He marched away from his family and the safety of his farm to fight for the collective good of others. He fought so that all Americans could be free.
He was a simple average soldier. One of millions who answered the call. He committed no heroic feats that we know of and only served in the Illinois 49th Infantry for a total of 97 days.
Exactly a hundred and fifty-four years ago from last Wednesday, Nathan Berry Farmer along with the rest of Company I, camped near a small chapel in Southern Tennessee, named Shiloh on a bluff above the Tennessee River. Little did he know that an army of 30,000 Confederate Troops were sleeping less than a mile away. General William Tecumseh Sherman was so confident the Rebels wouldn’t attack that he decided not to send out scouts. When the Confederate troops attacked in the morning, his Company was over run. They fought bravely, but in reality, they didn’t have a chance. Because they did stay and fight, they delayed the enemy’s advances long enough for relief troops to arrive and hold the ground. The Union Army won the Battle of Shiloh on the next day. It was the bloodiest day of the war to that point. However, Nathan Berry Farmer didn’t get to celebrate the victory. He was killed during the first day of the battle. The reason he was able to be identified was because he had carried his inscribed Bible in his uniform jacket.
Shiloh Church
No parades to When Johnny Comes Marching Home or The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Nathan Berry Farmer never returned home. His name is on a tombstone in Tamaroa, Illinois next to his beloved wife, but the grave is empty. For giving his life for the good of the country, Nathan Berry Farmer was given a small plot of land, that in all honesty, is the best piece of real estate in the Shiloh National Cemetery.  From his gravesite on a bluff, you have a wonderful view of Pittsburgh Landing and the Tennessee River. Still, it’s not much of a reward for making the ultimate sacrifice.

In our country’s history, there are millions of stories about the ancestors and the price they paid so we could have what we have. Maybe we can’t all be patriots…but we can at least be grateful.

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Rick Kelsheimer  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Times have changed.

Elvis and Marilyn Monroe were considered outrageous and bad influences at the time this picture was taken. Even though they were loved by millions, many considered them to be too provocative for prime time television. Now they are considered wholesome and by today's standard, tame.  Many kids call them lame or boring. So have we come a long way, Baby. Methinksnot! But then on the other hand...I might be getting old. If I catch my self complaining about the music kids play or the lack of work ethic shown by today's youth or the way kids don't...  Never  mind. I'm starting to look in the mirror and see my father.

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Rick  Kelsheimer

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Frog Jumping Contest At Flat Rock

I found this clip and thought some would find this interesting. Back in my day, we didn't have a frog jumping contest, but I did win the Flat Rock Cub Scout Turtle Race in 1971. I didn't mean that I won it; it was my turtle, named myrtle that actually ran in the race. The word run might be misleading. It was more like a frightened crawl, But I kept the blue ribbon anyways. I also won the Pinewood Derby of 1972. Actually, my Dad built the the car and wouldn't let me touch the knife, but I took the glory and once again kept the blue ribbon.

Enjoy the video:

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Rick Kelsheimer

Monday, April 4, 2016

This IS A Big Deal! Private Rocket Blasts off, Goes into Space and Lands at Same Site for the Third Time.

This is big news. Since the US Government doesn't have the ability to put a man in space any more and has to rely on the Russians to taxi us to the International Space Station, the burden of catching up in outer space has fallen to the private sector. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon has a space company called Blur Origin. On Saturday Blue Origin quietly sent the very same rocket into space for the third time. The capsule came down within a few hundred yards of the launch pad and the rocket itself landed upright on the launch pad. This is the third time with the exact same rocket. This is a big flippin deal! It won' be long and Americans will be back where they belong. Shooting the red white and blue back into the vacuum of space. The news media should be all over this story, but they would rather give us Donald Trump insulting a tree huger of Hillary in a leather pants suit pandering to a Bruce Jenner wannabe. I want my Alan Shepherd, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin back and Kim, Kanye and rest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan kicked back to the curb where they belong. I really believe that people like Bezos and Richard Branson will open up space to the masses. Who are you going to trust? The government who gave us Obama Care or the guy who can put a copy of Stephen King's latest novel on your doorstep in less than 24 hours? It wont be long before there's going to be American-Style Capitalism on Mars. It could be the last bastion in the Solar System.
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Rick Kelsheimer             

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Baseball Tribute to the Cubs: Lee Elia's Rant

Baseball Season Starts Today!!! If the Cubs finally win this year as predicted, Will they still be the Cubbies?: The lovable  losers or will they be just another team?  I( hope not. As a baseball tribute to opening day. Here is Cub manager Lee Elia's rant about the lack of support from Cub fans after a 5-14 start. Unfortunately for Elia, he didn't realize that WLS reporter Les Grobsteins reconder was rolling. Cub Baseball as it was on April 29, 1983.

Warning: Strong Langusge:

Here is a bonus clip on how Hitler(Who is a Cardinal fan) feels about the Cubs off season moves.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Even Hitler Tries to Attack Donald Trump

The Presidential Election Continues to Take Strange Turns...

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Rick Kelsheimer

Thursday, March 31, 2016

George Wallace would fit right in with the rest of the Peanut Gallery competing in 2016 Presidential Election

Outrageous behavior from unlikely candidates is nothing new in presidential politics. He may seem outrageous, but George Wallace actually won four states in the 1968 General election as an independent candidate. They were all southern states that were motivated by anger and fear. How many voters are motivated for those very same reasons today.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Gipper Shows How to Engage an opponent with Civility

No matter which presidential candidate you support, all have fallen short when it comes to slinging muck at their opponents. Watch these two videos to see how Ronald Reagan killed em with  kindness. Whether you like his politics or not, you have to admit, the man was a gentleman. All candidates should watch his videos daily to remind themselves how grown-ups act

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Rick Kelsheimer

We have become a society of politically correct wimps

Americans used to be rugged and tough. If somebody challenged you, you took care of business. You fought for what was right and fair. But watching this presidential election has me wondering what in the name of Ronnie Reagan has happened to us. I am by no means a Donald Trump apologist, but he is under attack from every direction. The latest chapter of lunacy comes from Trump's Florida campaign manager being charged with assault for pulling a reporter away from the candidate. Never mind the fact that she pushed her way past the secret service protection, and shouldn't have been that close to Trump in the first place, Pulling her away by the arm is not assault. It was not vicious. It was a manager removing a reporter from a protected area. Under Florida law, it can be Assault for simply touching someone, so technically he can be charged.  The jails would be full if this law was enforced to this degree. The point I want to make is what does a reporter who is covering a volatile campaign think is going to happen when she steps into the a security area after a 45 minute press conference. I give her some credit for being bold and trying to get the story, but don't whine like a child when the inevitable happens. Now that this issue has blown up, other candidates can't condemn Trump quick enough. The real world is rough out there and people need to toughen up. There are much bigger issues than this out there. This is nothing but pettiness, And I hate pettiness.

This is not assault

This is what assault looks like in a political arena

Monday, March 28, 2016

John Wayne Fortells the Future

Where is The Duke when you need him? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A note from Rick Kelsheimer

I don't want to go out of my way looking for a fight, but there seems to be a lot of loudmouths out there looking for one. As I've grown older, I find myself wanting to be left alone. I don't want to pick up the banner for any causes or push an agenda. But...and there is always a but, I think I have a pretty good idea of what's right and what is wrong. It seems to me there are a lot of people, most of them younger, accusing me of being philosophically somewhere between Archie Bunker and Genghis Khan. To stand up for my Judaeo Christian beliefs have resulted in me being called intolerant and a hater. So far, I have kept my mouth shut and simply smiled when confronted. But I have to admit... I find myself, deep inside, getting stirred up a bit. I don't want to be a bomb thrower, so I will not put my views on Facebook. However, since people have to come looking for this blog site, I will voice my opinion here.

I understand there are a lot of problems in our country, but viciously attacking people who see the world differently is childish. Disagree with me if you want, but to call me profane names will eventually get  an old fart like me... fired up. I want to enjoy life and not get involved in the political arena, but if you keep poking a caged tiger with a stick, eventually, the tiger will growl and possibly enjoy the stick poker as an afternoon snack.

I am feeling a little poked at right now. Better take a pill and go for a walk.

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Rick Kelsheimer   

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

John Wayne Makes No Apoligies for Being a Patriotic American

How many politicians would have the guts to do this interview without making excuses.At the And he is getting the hell kicked out of him by the media.