23 November 2012


by Andy Weddington
Friday, 23 November 2012

"Christmas is not a time nor season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States)

After an enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner and visit with a Marine friend and his family yesterday, a long overdue good night's sleep, and one more than my usual cups of coffee this morning, I sat to prepare a comment for later today (ready to go) and then something else caught my eye - "RAMPAGE! DRUDGE REPORT" and a list of story teasers...

"Gang fight at Black Friday sale..."

"Man Punched in Face Pulls Gun On Line-Cutting Shopper..."

"Customers run over in parking lot..."

"Woman busted after throwing merchandise..."

"Thousands storm VICTORIA'S SECRET..."

"Video. Insane battle over phones..."

"Mayhem at Nebraska mall where 9 murdered in 2007..."

"Shoplifter tries to mace security guards..."

"Men steal Boy's shopping Bag Outside BED, BATH & BEYOND..."

"Heckler calls them zombies..."


"Woman Arrested After Stabbing Dinner Guest with Serving Fork..."

"Clown dies in front of MACY's parade viewers..."

"PROF: Thanksgiving 'White Supremacist Holiday;' Founders 'Nazis..."

Then, in contrast,

"NOONAN: Family, Friends, Health and Freedom..."

"Charlie Brown special outdraws 'X-FACTOR' -- again..."

I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or ignore and just continue celebrating.

Instead, I thought. And so offer what first came to mind.

So, where's America's new civility (and unity) - from more than four years ago as called for, and promised, by then candidate now President Barack Obama?

For relevancy, through the microscope for perspective, I remember a Reporting Senior (CO to whom reported) telling me during a fitness report counseling/review session that my unit clearly reflected my personality - and the remark was followed by some flattering observations. All was good, the unit's spirit was good, and it showed in my Marines. There was, however, wise thoughts for improvement. Of course, graciously accepted and thereafter enacted with interpretation and personal style. My unit got better still.

Whether President Obama knows it or not, and he surely does, the president plays an enormous role in setting the tone, the spirit, of our country. It just so happens that now we're officially into the Christmas season, but the spirit, reflected in heathenish behavior, headlining the news is in dire need of civility.

Mr. President, your countrymen are watching, waiting, and some advising - enough drudgery, do something brilliant. Do something truly presidential. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to you in 2009 - behave and act according to its ideals. Now's the time, if ever there was one, to set the 'Christmas spirit state of mind' - for the season and years ahead for our country that's been losing its way. Or is what's happening - with Drudge Report stories merely some among much more nonsense, and worse, what we have to accept and look forward to?

If, Mr. President, you think and believe America will tolerate such, you are mistaken. You are dead wrong.

Frankly, Mr. President, were you a U. S. Marine Corps unit commanding officer, you'd have already been duly counseled several times and unceremoniously relieved long ago - for cause. Or as it's called, 'A no band change of command.' Worse perhaps, facing court-martial. By no stretch of the imagination would you be enjoying higher command and cozy quarters. Only in America. Second chances are rare in your chosen profession. The second chance extended to you unprecedented - an early Christmas gift. And what a gift it is!    

"Mr. President" is your gift - your title - from America. But leadership is not a title. Are you paying attention, are you listening, Mr. President? To be blunt and clear, so far, America has not gotten any better. Many believe worse, and empirical signs support their case. The Drudge Report stories making news today rather petty indicators among far more worrisome troubles - on the homefront and aboard. You have thinking and work to do. Turn to. Lead.

So goes my direct, but civil, manner for tending to business - I was taught by superb Marines; officer and enlisted. And some Sailors, too. So ends this unscheduled, but official, counseling session. Carry on.
Merry Christmas! 

Post Script

Christmas gift recommendation: For all (especially the president) 'Guidebook for Marines' - a superb primer on leadership. And more. 

Camouflage gift wrapping paper is available. Scarlet paper with a gold bow works, too. Mark gift tag, "From: Santa,USMC!" 

Author's Endnote

Murder update...

At this posting, there has yet to be an arrest in the murder of my wife's stepmother on Thursday, 15 November - 8 days ago.

Link provided with kind request that all continue to pass the word with intent and hope of someone assisting the New Jersey State Police finding the killer(s).

Someone knows something and perhaps, through the magic of the chaotic connecting power of the Internet, that someone will be touched. And they will act. Thank you!

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