I don't know who came up with the idea back in ancient times, but this rule giving parents the sole responsibility of naming their children really needs to be re-evaluated. Don't you agree? If you were going to name yourself, would you have picked THAT name? I asked my dad once why he named me Rodney. He replied that there was a guy at church with that name. That's all he had to say about the matter. I eyed him suspiciously. Was there more to the story, I wondered as I stared at him through squinty eyes. Finally sensing that I needed to know more, he continued, "He seemed like a nice guy and I sort of liked the name." "You named me after some random dude who sat behind you at church because you kinda liked the name?" Naming your first born son should be way up there on your to-do list! Thankfully the man's name wasn't Captain Crunch or Mr. Clean. I'd really be stuck like Chuck! See, Chuck is an okay name. Most any name would beat my name, in my opinion. I think parents should only be allowed to name their children temporarily. When the child reaches a certain age, they should be able to name themselves. We'd have to set a limit on that or there would be lots of youngsters calling themselves Play-doh and Lego. I dunno, maybe by the age of fifteen they could make a sound decision on what they'd like to be called for eternity. Beibers and Mileys everywhere you turn. Even God had some issues with those dreaded names parents picked for their kids. He just couldn't deal with the name Abram, there was just something missing. Throw in an 'H' and add another 'A' and walla...Abraham became known as the father of Isreal. In foresight, the Lord was even known to instruct folks what to name their kids. Name him John the Baptist...not Rodney the Baptist, he said. My daddy, the most dedicated Christian man I ever knew, chose not to name me Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Not Abe or Moses or Noah but Rodney. Go figure! We all are entitled to a misstep now and then. An author like I claim to be tends to claim their novels as their children. Seriously. I have spent more time pondering what to name my next book than I ever did with my kids. Took after my dad, I guess. I picked easy to spell names for my offspring...three and four letter names just in case they turned out to be on the slow side. I named a dog 'Dog' once. Three letters...can't mess that up. But naming a book...wow! Endless sleepless nights. I gave the best book I ever wrote the wrong name. People told me not to name it that but did I listen? Did it sell? Noooo... It really is a great read. My mom and my ex-wife said so. They may be the only people who read it because names matter. Would you buy a book named 'Rodney?' Of course not. Neither would you buy a book named 'The Chimera Parables' because A) you have no clue what a Chimera is and don't even know how to pronounce it and B) "Parable" you mumble as you wrinkle up your nose and C) you just accidently followed the link to this post from Twitter and stopped reading this after 140 characters including spaces and punctuation. But can you really rename a book? You can't rename your kid after you've sobered up and realized what you've done. Amazon.com seems to have no problem with it and while they are certainly not God, they're pretty powerful when you're a writer. If Saul can become Paul, then 'The Chimera Parables' can become...are you ready for it? 'Imperceptible: The Parables of Steele' and it didn't just come to me and yes, maybe y'all won't buy the book anyway. But I spent nearly a year writing this novel and dammit, someone needs to read it. Permit me to cue up a random blurb: When his young son is kidnapped, Russell Steele sets out to find him, guided by nothing more than an obscure, twisted dream... This vision, this dream, this supernatural experience driven by an imperceptible force from deep within his very being had led him to this very place, to this very woman who stood before him. The power from within that had directed him to this exact moment in time, overwhelmed him. The revelation of its now confirmed existence made his knees weak. What he had failed to understand throughout his life was now crystal clear. Beyond the logic, the knowledge, the common sense…there was more. Supernatural? Perhaps so, yet much more…a force from beyond, somewhere where one cannot reach guided him to this precise location on a planet so vast... This suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat, novel is near impossible to categorize into one specific genre. A romance filled, action packed adventure, 'Imperceptible - The Parables of Steele' takes the reader on a spiritual journey full of twists and turns of one man who discovers if he is to find the most important person in his life, he must first find himself. For fans of inspirational romance and suspense. Now get this...not only do I have to choose names for all my books, I also have to name the characters in the books. That's no easy chore! Russell Steele? Let's call him Rusty. I think if I had been given the option to chose my own name, I'd have picked Rusty. Bet you never saw that coming!
'Imperceptible - The Parables of Steele' takes the reader on a spiritual journey full of twists and turns of one man who discovers if he is to find the most important person in his life, he must first find himself.
It's been a whole month since the Walmart shut its doors in my podunk little town. I wasn't sure how we'd all survive without a Walmart. As I assess how my life has changed in those thirty days, I realize that there is indeed life after Walmart! Over the years I have grown accustomed to using many of the Walmart brand items and found myself dreading the thought of trying new brands of items I deem necessary in my daily survival. I've used the Walmart brand Rogaine for years...no, it really doesn't work...or does it? There are those close to me who say I've wasted lots of money on it. I have found those little blue Walmart brand sleeping pills to be very effective and I rely on a Walmart brand pill to help with my acid reflux. And I could buy a couple hundred Walmart brand ibuprofen for four bucks back when we had a Walmart. And now there is no Walmart. There are four Walmarts up in the city, a forty minute drive from here. I must confess I have made the drive once since our Walmart dollar store closed, just to buy the necessities like that Walmart Rogaine. As I paid the sixty-five bucks for it and whatever else fit onto one tiny plastic bag, I pondered just how much I was probably saving by not shopping at a Walmart every week. As I ventured out of the enormous Super-Walmart onto a parking lot that spanned, I dunno, twenty acres, I came to the realization that our community was actually fortunate not to have a Walmart to take our hard earned money. Perhaps our quality of life might have improved over the past month. Perhaps no Walmart was a good thing, I decided as I meandered amongst hundreds of parked cars searching for my own. I am not alone. Yes, Walmart made the first move by leaving our community, but it has opened my eyes to other avenues. I found an off-brand hair growth product on Amazon.com that is probably the exact same stuff I've been using and I can buy three bottles for what I was paying for one. I have some acid reflux pills in route as we speak and again, at a substantial savings. They will arrive at my door in just days and I didn't have to drive forty miles to get them. I didn't have to walk over ten acres inside a humongous store in search for them and I didn't have to frantically search for my car in a parking lot bigger than Texas. And this, folks, is the future. Warren Buffett, according to Kiplinger (3 Reasons Warren Buffett Is Dumping Walmart Stock) dumped around twelve million shares of Walmart stock last year. We all know Mr. Buffett is a pretty shrewd businessman and I personally respect his insight into the economics of America. So why did he bail on Walmart? Buffett has made no secret of his admiration for Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos. "We haven't seen many businessmen like him,” Buffett says of Bezos. “Overwhelmingly, he's taken things you and I've been buying, and he's figured out a way to make us happier buying those products, either by fast delivery or prices or whatever it may be, and that's remarkable." Remarkable indeed! What Amazon has accomplished is beyond remarkable. I remember the early days of Amazon, their gaudy ads cluttering up numerous websites. I personally never thought they would make it this far...I admit it. I was wrong. Way wrong. Even after making themselves the ultimate American success story, I had doubts about their staying power. Then came Amazon Prime. A hundred bucks a year! Hells bells, Costco doesn't even charge such an exorbitant fee! No, I don't have a Costco membership and I let my Sam's card expire years ago. I confess I am not an Amazon Prime member...but deep down, I know there will come a day when I pony up that hundred dollar annual fee. Because I really like to shop at Amazon! Brick and mortar retailers are gasping for air. Ecomm retailers such as Amazon meanwhile have seen a 14.5% annual increase. Online purchasing is here to stay and I venture to predict that even with their frantic efforts to join the elite online club, retailers like Walmart will fall short. Those retail giants failed to concentrate on what's important. They grew their businesses on what they envisioned....enormous stores on gigantic parking lots. They thought they could dupe their customers into believing the fallacy of 'Everyday Low Prices' even to the point of actually willingly standing in extraordinarily long checkout lines. They expanded their businesses relentlessly, shutting down local mom and pop operations, gobbling up every dollar they could get their hands on...and literally destroying entire communities with their greed. That's what they wanted...to get rich. Stinking, filthy rich. We...just wanted to buy stuff. We didn't want to walk across hot, sweltering, crowded parking lots. We didn't want to trudge the length of Cowboy Stadium for a gallon of milk. We didn't want to haplessly wander up and down endless aisles searching for toothpicks. And we didn't want to stand in long lines like cattle at the slaughter house. We just wanted to buy our stuff. I can pick up my laptop and buy almost anything I want on Amazon.com. I can do it anytime I wish, wearing anything I wish, right from my recliner. I likely can buy it at a better price than anywhere else. Why would I not want this in my life? It's just that easy! I randomly searched through Amazon's site the other night and would you believe...you can buy goat feed, pecan trees, and even dentures if you're looking for that sort of thing. But there is something that Amazon lacks that Walmart has...real live people. It's true, I am the first to turn my head as scores of cute little housewives scurry past me in any given Walmart. I cannot deny I've noticed on occasion all those soccer moms in their tight yoga pants loitering on the detergent aisle on a Saturday afternoon, and then there's the infamous 'people of Walmart' you see on your Facebook page. As entertaining as all that is to a seasoned bachelor like me, those folks aren't who I speak of. Walmart and retailers like them have a secret weapon to fight back against the online giants like Amazon and those who will come next..people! Customer service, friendly employees, and lots of smiles. Amazon can't compete with that and never will. That, Walmart...and all the rest of you who wring your hands in desperation, is the answer you seek. It's just that easy...
"Um-hum, it's Arthur. He's always searching for some poor soul to torment." I winced as the country doctor raised my arm above my head. I shook my head in confusion. "Who is Arthur?" "Arthur Itis. He creeps up on folks your age. You say you were painting the trim on your house?" I nodded as he ran his fingers across my knuckles. "I'm not old enough to have arthritis," I protested. "Well, you're payin' for your sins and you aren't a young buck anymore. I can give you a shot of cortisone if you want. It'll hurt but that's the quickest fix." My eyes widened, "How long's the needle?" After a short discussion I opted for a prescription for some little green pills that the doctor assured me would relieve my pain but, he had cautioned, would likely 'set my belly afire if I forgot to eat something with them. He proved to be right on both counts. That's been over a decade ago and the arthritis has nagged me ever since. Motrin managed it fairly well at first and the arthritis only cropped up occasionally, generally right before a change in the weather. But in recent years the pesky pain and stiffness have persisted and I began to notice buttoning my shirt becoming more of a challenge. The knuckles on my hands became seemingly permanently knotted and I couldn't make a fist or open a bottle of Dr Pepper without pulling out the pliers. I started dodging the pastor at church for fear he'd shake my hand. I began having nightmares regularly...me in a faded pair of coveralls just like my daddy and all the other old men used to wear. Now I understood why. They couldn't button anything but they could handle a zipper. There were days in recent weeks that I had to lay down on the bed to button my blue jeans, like those chubby girls before heading out to the club. (Might have pissed someone off...sorry) I began to fret. Who would button my shirt in a year or two? Who would open all those cellophane wrappers for me? I had visions of myself in a nursing home, some smoking hot nurses aide holding my sippy cup for me as she stuck the straw in my mouth. Oh, woe is me, I despaired. I will be sitting around naked starving to death in just months! Something had to be done! Well no, I didn't go to the doctor. He'd just want to shoot me up with cortisone and give me those dreaded green pills. But I was almost that desperate, in fact so desperate that I reached for my phone the other day to make an appointment. But just seconds before making that fateful call... As I sit here writing this, a blue norther howls outside my window. For the first time in quite some time, it snuck up on me. My fingers are working just fine and I can even make a clenched fist. If I had a bottle of Dr Pepper, I'm pretty sure I could open it without the pliers. There is absolutely no pain or stiffness in my hands. So, pray tell? Would you like to know? Did I discover the cure for arthritis? I don't believe in taking any more medications than absolutely necessary and I don't particularly care to go to the doctor. I also firmly believe that the Good Lord put everything we need right here on this planet for us that we'll ever need. When I began researching arthritis remedies, I ran across an article describing how arthritis isn't so prevalent in southeast Asia due mainly to what researchers believe can be attributed to the customary diet of Asian dwellers. It was worth a try, I decided. No, I didn't cook Asian food...it comes in a neat little capsule! Tumeric, or more specifically, a chemical called curcumin that is found in the spice, has been used for centuries in southeast Asia to relieve inflammation. It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer's disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabetes, water retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, urinary bladder inflammation, and kidney problems. So, there you go...it fixes most everything! I can't vouch for its effectiveness in fighting leprosy or menstrual issues, but I can say...it has helped me tremendously with my arthritis. I feel like a new man and I no longer worry about not getting my britches zipped up when I step out of a restroom at the coffee shop. I beat Arthur! Now, there's a few other minor things I need to check on...like making those wrinkles disappear and um, maybe regrowing some of that hair on my head. If it's out there, I'll find it. I'll let you know!
Psst...you can get it on Amazon.com: Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine 1500mg. Highest Potency Available. Premium Pain Relief & Joint Support with 95% Standardized Curcuminoids.
I found the photo on an old phone I had tossed into the junk drawer in the kitchen. Just a bad picture taken in a dark bar with...well, I can't remember the girl's name. And it bothers me to no end. I remember the exact night and I remember we had lots of fun and I remember she thought she was in heaven dancing with me. When I invited her to sit at my table, she insisted some drunk cowboy who called himself 'Shorty' take the pic, which he did. I remember Shorty and I recall he was pretty short...and his hat was way too big...but I can't remember the girl's name. She was one of hundreds, maybe a thousand or more that I spun around the dance floor on so many Saturday nights. I recall some of their names. I can almost smell the sweetness of their perfumes as images of them in my arms beneath the lights of a dance floor flash through my mind. I'd always take one last smell of my shirt as I took it off in the wee hours of the morning before crawling into bed...alone, and allow the memories of the night to flood my mind as I lay down to dream of a time that was sure to come...someday, when I'd not be alone. But the girl whose name I can't recall, she was the last. It was after midnight on the night that photo was taken that I ventured across the parking lot toward my pickup. I picked up my phone and saw a missed call. Had I not missed that call, the photo with the girl whose name I can't remember would have never been taken, for the call I missed would have changed the course of the night. I had shirked my biggest responsibility and neglected to be there for the most important person in my life in their most dire moment of need. I hastily called the number, but there was no answer at such a late hour. I drove through the night toward my house with thoughts not of the girl I'd danced with, but of the responsibilities I had neglected. It was a sleepless night for I knew I'd never gotten the call had I not been needed. For the next six months, I would watch from a distance as a family slowly and painfully unraveled at the seams, always ready at a moments notice for a call I knew would someday come. I no longer spent my Saturday nights in the glow of neon lights. There were no more women's names to try to remember, and my shirts smelled only of fabric softener. My phone rang occasionally or a text would come from some female friend or another, "Come dance with me?" I'd make one excuse or another, dutifully remaining at my post for the call that was sure to come. And one night, it did...and I was there. Over three years have passed and I've not failed to be there for that one most important person in my life...not once. I am a proud single parent who takes his responsibilities very seriously. I cook and clean and do loads of laundry. Happy Hour now means half price sodas at the Sonic. Instead of ironing a shirt for a Saturday night, I iron blouses for Sunday church services. My stress is no longer from how many drinks will I have to buy for some blonde...it's how much will four years of college cost. My prayers are not 'Hope I make it home,' but 'Hope I don't fail.' I've not failed. All is well as this change in life nears its fourth year. I've not missed the glow of neon and I don't dwell on the dances I've missed. But this adventure nears the home stretch as my child nears the time when she will assume her rightful place in a society of young adults. I find myself wondering...'What's next?' As her social circles blossom, my responsibilities become less and less. I find time on my hands that I'm not accustomed to having, and I find myself struggling to find my rightful place in a society that seemingly has passed me by. I occasionally find myself depending on memories to entertain myself, while yearning to make more...just a few more memories to fall back on in years to come. I've come to accept a fear that gnaws at my very being...a fear that my most challenging time is yet to come. A time when I am no longer needed. A time when some young man will come along and relieve me of my responsibilities. What then? But with the time I have left, I vow to make the most of it. There are memories to be made. From the thrill of reliving prom night through the eyes of my daughter to the sure to be emotional graduation ceremony that comes in just a few short months, there are surely many, many memories to be made. I cherish the thought of every one of them! I will be there, proudly clinging to my responsibilities as a parent every step of the way! Every so often, one group of giggly teenaged girls or another, while tromping through my living room, will pause just long enough for me to share a story or two about those Saturday nights from another life. I'll tell them about Psycho Sherry, or the school teacher who forgot to mention she was married, or the blonde who forgot to mention she was a lesbian. If I can hold their attention long enough, I'll start remembering more women I've met throughout my adventures. They usually laugh and listen intently to my every word, for they haven't yet been where I came from...and I pray they never do. Their eyes widen as I tell the tale of 'The Black Widow' or the night a girl from the western store got in a fist fight with a woman from New Mexico...all because of me. I tell those tales fondly, but there's one story I've never told them...of the night I met the girl whose name I can't recall...
If the truth be told, I did not expect to still be writing these posts into 2017. It was probably last September that I had vowed I'd cease to publish my weekly ramblings if it all came to be as we were told it must. I was prepared to pull the plug...flip off the lights and shut 'er down and mosey on in search of another adventure. In all reality, I was physicked. The demise of the Rusty Goat, the passing of yet another failed author seemed to be in the hands of fate. I had said all I had to say with what could be said, and rather than continue with meaningless and hollow platitudes, I'd just quit. But as I write this, I find myself determined to forge onward for the winds have shifted direction. No longer is it taboo to speak of patriotism. No longer does one have to fear the label of insurgent for taking a stand for the morals and values of our country. No longer do we have to bite our tongues, clench our teeth in forced silence, and indeed, shirk into the shadows as the armies of a few batter us with their socially misguided banter. No longer do I feel the need to draw my curtains before I pray or cast a nervous glance as I walk across a church parking lot. The shifting winds carry me forward. An earthly wanderer for decades, my beliefs in a God Almighty suppressed somewhere deep inside me, I lived my life as I pleased, asking for help from no one, not even my Creator. In my mind we had an understanding...I'd live my life as I wished...and He'd let me. Then things happened, big things and I began to see the need for spiritual guidance. For I began to realize there was a whole other world that I'd been missing and somewhere around eight years ago, I ventured into that world. It was at that exact time that the forces of evil...yes, you read that right...began to rise throughout our great country. As these forces grew in power and in popularity, I found myself drawn even further into that other world. As 'morals' and 'values' became dirty words and patriots and Christians were declared to be renegades and agitators, I determinedly pressed onward in my quest to find the meaning of it all. And I shared it with anyone who would read of my revelations. But as time passed, there was talk...behind closed doors, fears nervously shared in church pews, whispers of persecution. Yes, in our land, persecution, and retaliation for our beliefs. Quite suddenly, as I remember, an ominous and sinister cloud fell across the land. Our fears were genuine. We feared for our children, for our neighbors, and for those who shared our beliefs. Perhaps we all handled it differently. Some brave souls plodded onward, some kept a low profile. Me...I quit writing about this new spiritual world I had recently reconnected with, deciding instead to pen meaningless and empty stories, space filler basically. And it grew tiresome and monotonous. I found no satisfaction and had reached a point of despair. I wished to bring it to an end. With an almost certainty that this assault on our morals and beliefs was destined to continue with an upcoming presidential election, I had vowed that my writing would come to a halt. But I'm here to proclaim to all that will listen that it is COOL TO BE A CHRISTIAN TODAY! The winds have shifted and the clouds have passed. Eyes have been opened and ears are hearing a strange new message. Think about it! There are children who are eight, ten, twelve years old who have never heard a president utter the name 'God' or mention prayer in their entire lives until just days ago, much less see one inside a church building. They've never heard of a vice-president marching in a 'Right to Life' parade. These kids may actually be given the opportunity to learn the Pledge of Allegiance and even...yes, say a prayer in class if they wish to do so. No, politicians did not bring about this change...we did. Beneath the suppression of our basic freedoms, a revolution was born. Silently and stealthily it formed and grew into an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Those who fell asleep at the helm lost their footing, floundered, and fell, crashing on the reefs. More will follow. Ponder this: The founder of your favorite social network no longer calls himself an atheist and in fact has set out to discover what drives Christians in their faith. Two iconic country music performers have veered from a familiar path and recently released gospel albums. Perhaps most amazing, probably the least likely person you'd ever imagine in our country has called upon God to help him direct our nation onto the road to becoming 'Great Again!' Are these all just fluke coincidences? I think not. Last Sunday as I sat in church, tears came to my eyes as I gazed around the crowded sanctuary wondering if I had ventured into the wrong church. People like me raised their voices in songs of praise. When the pastor delivered his message, 'Amen's' echoed through the room. I'd not heard many in recent times. As we filed out we hugged each other and exchanged hearty handshakes. The congregation meandered out into the sunlight filled with joy and peace, a refreshing wind of change greeting us. There are those of you who don't want to hear what I have to say. Just move along if you are one of them. My space and my dime here...I'll speak my mind as I please. It's been a long time coming!
What promises to be an edge-of-your-seat, anxious, and interesting four years kicked off last Friday with the Inauguration of our 45th president. I wasn't able to catch the event live but managed to flick the TV on briefly at noon Texas time, eager to see what I had missed. To my surprise, a mere forty-five minutes after the historic gathering, the news was broadcasting...no, not the gala events of the inauguration, but the now ex-president Obama speaking to...well, I do not know who, seeing how everyone was attending the inaugural party. So, I resorted to whatever I might find on my Facebook feed, picking up my iPhone and scrolling as I chomped down on a dripping peanut butter and jelly sandwich. To my dismay, I found more headlines about the ex-POTUS than I did about the swearing in of our new president. What few articles I did run across were, shall I say, extremely negative. This, boys and girls, is today's news media. From bashing our new First Lady's baby blue dress to unwarranted and meritless comments about the youngest Trump. the media is relentlessly digging deep to soil this historic moment. This type of news reporting is what we will be subjected to for at least the next four years. Sensationalized, slanted news. It's certainly nothing new and perhaps most of us have learned to take all those 'breaking news' stories with a grain of salt. That's sad, really. We've just accepted the fact that we will hear the news 'they' what to us to hear and we will hear it the way 'they' want to tell it. Unable to find any relevant reporting on the inauguration, I amused myself with a couple of videos caught during the address. I'm sure you saw them. They seem to be far more 'news worthy' than the induction of our next president. We've all seen George W Bush struggling with his poncho during the speech and I admit it was good for a hearty giggle. I always liked George W...and no, I don't want to hear your opinion. My favorite, though, was of ol' Bill Clinton and his wandering eye. I just love how he got busted by his wife! I can relate as I have been caught in the act myself from time to time when I had some wife or another to keep an eye on me. I used to always walk about two steps behind my wife whenever we strolled through the mall and in spite of my clever tactic, was often busted turning my head as some smoking hot chicklet passed. What married man hasn't been caught by his wife as his eyes ventured away to forbidden territory? I like Bill because he is who he is and makes no bones about it. A good man...I don't know. But we all know who he is. The same holds true to George W. We know him and we can count on him to always be who we expect him to be. I think the same will hold true with Donald Trump. I believe we've not seen the real Donald and perhaps never will. But there seems to be something beneath the facade of staunch, stoic facade of a billionaire businessman. It's there. You can see it in the way his kids interact with him. You can see it in his wife's eyes. Will our news media try to expose those hidden traits of our new president? Will they humanize him the way they exposed the human side of Mr. Obama? Will they paint the American people a picture of a new Camelot? I have my doubts. I fear the news media organizations will instead waste their time and talents on a smear campaign like we've never seen. There may little good news to read for the next four years as the media pounds their negativity into our brains, day after day after day. The more intelligent Americans will take their news stories with a grain of salt, but even then may find themselves doubting their own convictions and beliefs. Those who 'ain't all that smart' will devour everything the news reports and willingly trust it as fact. Bitterness and hatred will continue to spread throughout our land and yes, divisiveness will spread like an incurable disease. It is my opinion that the divisiveness of our country is a direct result of the news media organizations that poison our minds, the minds of our children, and the future of our country. As I scroll through my iPhone on this Saturday afternoon, my timeline is cluttered with stories about the Women's' March and celebrities standing up and speaking against our new president...and he's been our president for one day? Is this really the most pertinent news of the day or are the media outlets simply playing it up into something it's not? Personally, I want to hear about the tongue lashing Bill Clinton got when he got home after the inauguration. I want to know what happened to George W's poncho! Did Dick Cheney finally take it away from him? And I want to hear how Donald Trump's first day in office is going. Deep sigh. There is no greater force that plots the course of our country than that of the news media, be it the high road or the low, the right direction or the wrong. The press has an enormous responsibility to the American people and should never take this responsibility lightly. The power of the press should never be abused under any circumstances and those who do should suffer consequences. We are guaranteed a free press under the constitution, but just as with free speech, we must be willing to accept the consequences when we abuse that freedom. Continual abuse will ultimately lead to a freedom lost. We as Americans stood up in unity in November 2016 and said we wanted to change the way things were. Perhaps we now need to stand together and demand fair, consistent, and unbiased news. In today's society, constant trending news plays a huge part in our lives. To be bombarded 24/7 with content that spreads vile and negative images of our country is not healthy, not for us and not for our nation. The vast majority of us genuinely want our president to succeed. We really do want our country to be great. Most of us are willing to give it all a chance. And we want the news media to do the same. Give it a chance to work. If it doesn't...then we expect you to tell us about it. Tell it like it is...not how you want us to think it is. No, CBS News, I do not want to watch a 360-degree view of the thousands of women marching through Washington DC...is Bill Clinton there? Boy, he's gonna get it when he gets home!