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These 2018 Midterms Are Tests Because They Will Be Hard

2018 midterms, Senate, House of Representatives, primaries, Democrats, Republicans
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is a Democratic hoping to unseat a Republican Senator this year. Specifically, he’s running against Sen. Ted Cruz in the general election. Here, O’Rourke can be seen at an event held for the 2016 President’s Leadership Council hosted by Inter-American Dialogue. Image via Flickr by Inter-American Dialogue. Some Rights Reserved.

The 2018 midterm elections are already underway, so I’d thought I’d keep a record of what has happened so far. I’d been thinking about doing something like this before, but my schedule was out of whack and I already passed up a chance to do something similar for 2016. Anyhoo, let’s take a look at the midterms from state to state and see how things are shaping up.

Note: I will need some time to catch up, but there have only been primaries in 10 states held so far. This post will be updated.

Continue reading “These 2018 Midterms Are Tests Because They Will Be Hard”

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Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?

Russia probe, Donald Trump, James Comey
Did this guy somehow collude with Russia? I don’t know, but something’s off …

On April 24, I started a two-post series in which I discussed my overall view of the Russia probe that is currently dominating headlines in the United States. While I said I felt that the probe was a distraction (in terms of its focus), I felt there needed to be an investigation in order to finish vetting Donald Trump and some of his cohorts.

Now, while I might disagree with this probe’s focus, it has turned up some interesting events I could not ignore or refrain from sharing. Also, there have been some recent developments in regards to how this entire probe and suspicions are being reported.

That said, let’s discuss what this probe is about and how I plan to cover it.

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Famous Sayings #154 — ‘Don’t Let Your Mouth Write a Check …’

June 23, 2019

Don’t let your mouth write a check your behind can’t cash.

dont let your mouth write a check, your behind cant cash, famous sayings, Flip Wilson, Black Americans, warning
Flip Wilson’s Geraldine Jones may have made the phrase “Don’t let your mouth write a check your @$$ can’t cash famous.” Image from NBC Television. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When I first heard this saying, I was a kid and it was the uncensored version. I can’t quite remember if I first heard it on television if someone told me this directly, or my mother told me of the phrase, but I found it kind of funny because of the mental picture it created.

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Famous Sayings #153 — ‘Father Time’

June 16, 2019

As they like to say in sports, Father Time is undefeated.

Father Time might carry an hourglass or other instrument that measures time. Image cropped. Original by annca from Pixabay

Like I did for Mother’s Day, I decided to go with a phrase that has “Father” in it for Father’s Day, although it might not be directly related to the holiday.


Who Is Father Time?

Father Time is the personification of time itself. In general, Father Time is depicted as a bearded old man. He is usually shown in a white robe and carrying a scythe and/or hourglass or other instrument that keeps time (Dictionary.com).

Father Time may be considered the husband of Mother Earth, so these two allegories are related.

In some people’s minds, Father time also serves as another version of the Grim Reaper, albeit much friendlier (Urban Dictionary). Like the Reaper represents the inevitability of death, Father Time represents that, too, but alludes more to the inevitability of aging, which usually precedes death.

In many cartoons, Father Time is often shown next to or holding Baby New Year to represent the yearly passage of time.


How Did Father Time Come to Be?

The origin of this allegory isn’t quite clear, although Merriam-Webster cites 1559 as the year that “Father Time” was first used in the way I used it above. Other sources connect Father Time with Chronos, the Greek god of time (“Chronos”). Some people, including the Greeks, have confused Chronos with Cronus, the youngest of the 12 original Titans, and thus confuse Cronos with Father Time (“Cronus”).


Who First Said, ‘Father Time Remains Undefeated’?

This is a term I first heard from sports analysts, so it is no surprise that the earliest known usage of the term came from a sports analyst and former NFL wide receiver. During a September 2005 edition of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Michael Irvin, and former WR for the Dallas Cowboys, said, “Father Time remains undefeated” when referring to then-Green Packers quarterback Brett Favre (Popik). Here’s the quote, taken from a Google Group:

[Steve] Young said Favre’s passing skills had not diminished, but his “Sunday NFL Countdown” colleague Michael Irvin thinks time has caught up with the Packers’ quarterback.

“Father Time is undefeated,” Irvin said. “A lot of these tight spots, I have watched him squeeze the ball in there a lot of times. He no longer has that arm to squeeze the ball in.”

Favre would play in the league until 2009.


Happy Father’s Day!

Although this post is a bit late, I hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day, whether you are a father, or you spent some quality time with yours. As a treat, I thought I’d include a clip from Charlotte’s Web, the animated adaptation of E.B. White’s book:


Works Cited

“Chronos.” GreekMythology.com. Last Updated 15 June 2019. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Primordial/Chronos/chronos.html>.

“Cronus.” GreekMythology.com. Last Updated 14 June 2019. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.greekmythology.com/Titans/Cronus/cronus.html>.

“Father time | Definition of Father time at Dictionary.com.” Dictionary.com. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/father-time>.

“Father Time | Definition of Father Time by Merriam-Webster.” Merriam-Webster. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Father%20Time>.

Irina Sergeeva. “Mother Earth and Father Time.” YouTube. Published 19 Dec 2015. Video. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqXJ6ssJxPc>.

Popik, Barry. “‘Father Time is undefeated’ (sports adage).” The Big Apple. 1 Nov 2014. Online Dictionary. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/father_time_is_undefeated>.

Various Authors. “Father Time.” Urban Dictionary. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Father%20Time>.

Various Authors. “Father Time.” Wikipedia. Last Updated 24 May 2019. Web. Retrieved 15 June 2019. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Time>.

Famous Sayings #152 — ‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent …’

June 9, 2019

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law …

Image by dpstylesTM via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 will mark the 53rd anniversary of a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court. The decision in question gave rise to the use of the words above, and much more.

What was the case about? It was about the rights of suspects in police custody, but the related rules, laws, and principles are quite complicated.


What Are These Rights Called?

The rights in question are called Miranda Rights and the rights are read in what is called the Miranda Warning. These rights are supposed to be read to a person while they are being placed under arrest. The rights are meant to protect a suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights that protect them from self-incrimination (MirandaRights.org).

Police who read Miranda Warnings are required to tell suspects in custody the following four things before interrogating them:

  1. The suspect has the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything the suspect says can and will be used against them in a court of law.
  3. The suspect has a right to an attorney.
  4. If the suspect cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them.

The officer must then make sure that the suspect understands the rights that have been read to them and the officer may ask if the suspect wishes to waive those rights. The suspect must have a clear and definitive answer when the arresting officer asks if the suspect understands their Miranda Rights. Silence does not indicate that the suspect has waived his rights and the warning should be translated to different languages if the suspect doesn’t understand English. Translated warnings are generally recorded.

The Miranda Warning generally goes like this:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights I have just read to you (or as I have read them to you)? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

The wording of these rights may differ from state to state. Also, in states like Indiana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Alaska, police departments add the following sentence to their Miranda Warnings: “We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court” (“What Are”).


Why Are Police Required to Say, ‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent …’?

It’s important that police officers do this because, in many cases, testimony and any physical evidence the police find because of this testimony can be deemed inadmissible in court (“What Happens”).

Police departments developed Miranda Warnings as a result of the Miranda v. Arizona case, which was argued in front of the Supreme Court on February 28, March 1, and March 2, 1966 and decided on June 13, 1966. The case was brought to the Court after Ernesto Miranda was convicted of robbing, kidnapping, and raping an 18-year old in March 1963. Miranda was questioned by police for two-and-a-half hours after the victim failed to identify her attacker in a lineup that Miranda was in. He even signed a statement that said that he understood his rights.

Miranda was initially sentenced to 20-30 years in prison and the Arizona Supreme Court uphold that conviction. The American Civil Liberties Union took up his case after it was established that Miranda’s confession had been coerced; he had not been made aware of his rights.

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Warren outlined the rights and procedures police officers should read/use when arresting the suspects that they wanted to interrogate.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Miranda v. Arizona case didn’t just affect the case against Ernesto Miranda in Arizona, but three other cases: Vignera v. New York, Westover v. United States, and California v. Stewart. In each case, the suspects were questioned by law enforcement without being made aware of their Fifth Amendment rights. (Only California v. Stewart was overturned before it reached the Supreme Court, which affirmed the decision made by the Supreme Court of California (“Facts and Case Summary”).


When Are Police Supposed to Read Suspects Their Miranda Rights?

There are two conditions that must be met for police to mirandize suspects:

  1. The person must be in police custody, i.e. under arrest.
  2. The police are attempting to interrogate the arrestee.

Police officers can question anyone at any time, but if they don’t mirandize the people they’re questioning, the officers should inform the people that they are free to go at any time.


How Can Suspects Exercise These Rights?

There are generally four things an arrestee can do to exercise their rights immediately:

  1. The arrestee can remain silent before going to court and obtaining an attorney.
  2. The suspect can invoke the right to remain silent at any time before or during an interrogation. This can halt an interrogation.
  3. The suspect can request for an attorney, which can halt an interrogation.
  4. If the suspect has been read their rights and waives them, they could later “plead the Fifth” and halt an interrogation.

However, there are some exceptions here. One is if the suspect cooperated with the police before being arrested. This was established by the Raffel vs. U.S. Supreme Court Case, which largely undermines Miranda Rights. While many suspects have the right to remain silent after being arrested, anyone who cooperates with the police before being arrested essentially waives those rights and must continue cooperating with the police (“Right to Remain Silent”).


What Happened to Ernesto Miranda?

After the Supreme Court’s decision was made, Miranda was retried in an Arizona court, but without his confession. Although there was little evidence against Miranda, prosecutors used testimony from his ex-girlfriend, Twila Hoffman, who said that Miranda had confessed to his crimes to her while he was in prison. Miranda was convicted in October 1967 and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison (History.com).

Miranda was later paroled in December 1975. He died in January 1976 after being stabbed in a bar bathroom following a poker game. His attacker was never charged (“The Miranda rights”).


Works Cited

“Facts and Case Summary – Miranda v. Arizona.” United States Courts. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-miranda-v-arizona>.

“Fifth Amendment Miranda Rights.” FindLaw. Thompson Reuters. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/miranda-rights-and-the-fifth-amendment.html>.

History.com Editors. “Miranda Rights.” History.com. 9 Nov 2009. Last Updated 21 Aug 2018. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.history.com/topics/united-states-constitution/miranda-rights>.

History.com Editors. “The Miranda rights are established.” History.com. 24 Nov 2009. Last Updated 21 Feb 2019. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-miranda-rights-are-established>.

“Miranda Rights.” MirandaRights.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandarights.org/>.

“Miranda Rights: What Happens If the Police Don’t Read You Your Rights.” Nolo. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/police-questioning-miranda-warnings-29930.html>.

“Right to Remain Silent.” MirandaRights.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandarights.org/righttoremainsilent.html>.

“What Are Your Miranda Rights?” MirandaWarning.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandawarning.org/whatareyourmirandarights.html>.

Famous Sayings #151 — ‘Never Let Them See You Sweat’

June 7, 2019

What I’d tell you before? Never let them see you sweat. That way, you’ll never be embarrassed again.

Comedians have to deal with a lot of pressure. Not only do they have to perform in front of large crowds of people, but they must be funny and manage each crowd. Part of it is remaining calm, so a rule for comedy is “Never let them see you sweat.” Image by Rob Slaven from Pixabay.

As a little treat, I thought I’d include a special Famous Sayings post this week. This slogan goes back a few decades and it was part of a famous ad campaign. In fact, June 7, 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of that campaign.

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Famous Sayings #150 — ‘Face the Music’

June 3, 2019

Well, you’ve been caught cheating on your test. I guess it’s time to face the music.

face the music, orchestra, famous sayings
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

My apologies for not making another post before this week (or posting this on Sunday), but this should be a fun idiom to look at. I might have first heard this phrase on an old Nickelodeon show (Hey Dude for those who might remember it), but I have always understood its meaning. (It’s just that I never had to define it until now).

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Famous Sayings #149 — ‘Stolen Valor’

May 25, 2019

An instance of stolen valor might be punishable if someone profits from it.

This weekend, I’m going to try to get two of these posts done in order to do some catching up. Since Memorial Day is around the corner, this post is dedicated to a term associated with the U.S. military — and frauds.

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Famous Sayings #148 — ‘Quiet as a Mouse’

May 19, 2019

As they sneaked into the kitchen, Billy and Molly each made sure to be as quiet as a mouse as not to wake up the others in the house.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Today’s Famous Sayings posts should be a quick one. (I needed a quick post considering all the research and work I’m doing at the moment.) So, let’s get to it.

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Famous Sayings #147 — ‘Mother Nature’

May 12, 2019

Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

Mother Nature, Earth, nature, famous sayings
Mother Nature might refer to the Earth, its natural beauty, or the personification of nature (in the form of a woman). Image credit: Sufyan785 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It’s still Mother’s Day where I am, so I chose a famous term that has something to do with life: Mother Nature.


Why Do People Refer to ‘Mother Nature’?

Generally speaking, when people refer to Mother Nature, they are alluding to the personification of the Earth or nature itself, especially as it pertains to ecosystems. This has an overall positive connotation because the Earth, and nature by extension, are seen as life-giving and spiritual entities. To be one with nature means to attain the greatest spiritual and physical connection with the Earth and to attain health.

In the United States, the term Mother Nature is often used to describe the weather and catastrophic events like hurricanes, if not the force of nature that controls all living things, especially human beings. There is a decidedly negative connotation here, even in the latter sense.

For example, Mother Nature has been seen as an adversary in Tampax commercials, given how women generally feel about menstruation.

In 1977, Chiffon produced a commercial in which Mother Nature was portrayed as wrathful and capricious — particularly at the thought of not being able to tell the difference between margarine and butter.

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Famous Sayings #146 — ‘Good Egg/Bad Egg’

April 21, 2019

When you told assigned Brandon to this team, I didn’t know what to expect, but he was all that you said he was and more. I’ve never been on a more productive team and it’s all thanks to Brandon’s input. He really is a good egg.

Johnny, the school yard bully, is a bad egg.

Since April 21, 2019 is Easter Sunday, I figured I would look at a term that dealt with a theme of this holy day: eggs. Based on the title, this looks like a two-fer, but it’s really a three-for-one. There’s another type of “egg” that I’ll mention in the post, but it’s not a common phrase in the United States.

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Famous Sayings #145 — ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’

April 14, 2019

I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer will you be mine
Hey, I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind …

A year ago, I received an email from Quartz Obsession that looked at the phrase “I heard it through the grapevine,” which, as you know, is a title of a song sang by Marvin Gaye and many other artists. Since this is a very famous phrase, I immediately saw it as a future Famous Sayings post. However, I didn’t know how much I add to the research already done by the writers and researchers at Quartz. As it turns out, there was a lot more research to be done since the Quartz Obsession post (which can be read online) mainly looked at the history behind the song.

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