There I was last night...dying. I told Ann, my wife, that I loved her and our family...especially our recent grandson, Jack. I told Ann that I wished that I had more time with her and family. We love world travel together. We love time with our family...especially our recent grandson, Jack. Ann cried and I cried...for awhile. However, Ann is organized and methodical. She faces life and then makes decisions. There I was with a few precious moments left to breathe the precious breath of life...and Ann says, "What do you need before you die in the next few minutes?" She is left brain...orderly and methodical.

Being right brain, I'm creative and think outside the box. There I was on my deathbed without much strength left in my weakened body, yet I was still able to think creatively. What do I need in these last few minutes? In a nanosecond, I wanted to go watch TV for the last watch Real Time with Bill Maher. I'll be losing time together with his program, which I also love. However, death tends to be final, and there I was dying and thinking about all the many losses in my life....

There I was watching, for the last time, Real Time. It seemed creatively ironic...I was watching for the last time...Real Time. Maher was into one of his diatribes...about politicians. This time, it was about Sarah Palin, a tea party loyalist. Here is a link to a longer version on youtube or the following shorter version:

It is difficult to hear clearly precisely what she said on this video, but these are the actual words: "He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."

After hearing that absurd rendering of revisionist history, I felt like Lazarus of biblical times. I got up, made myself some tea, and started writing about political candidate's bizarre statements about American history. I put my impending death on hold; at least, I warded off death until I least resolved this issue of revisionist history. There are more important things to do in this world than just to die. It is killing me more to listen to the tea party and the birthers than some cancer issue of mine. So Mr. Cancer, just hold your horses, I don't have time for you right now; there are more pressing issues that I must address.

Here is a list of some issues for Sarah to contemplate (that means to think about something-just in case you are a tea party or a birther):

First, take a history refresher class. While it would test my gut level if I had to be Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, et al, but I really love teaching. If I could awaken either of politicians or their followers, I would be hailed an equivalent of Socrates or ...

Here is Sarah's first lesson-students don't read history books generally, which accounts for their lacking even the very base knowledge. Therefore, Sarah and the political right need to read Longfellow's poem about Paul Revere's ride...

Paul Revere's Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,---
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,---
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

I know it is long, but so are textbooks...if you wish to learn the history of America. My question for Palin would be where was it written that Paul Revere want to warn the Brits that we weren't going to allow them to take away our weapons? Was there ringing of bells or shots affirming that we would be free? Methinks not. In addition, revisionist history from lack of knowledge is not an excellent means to acquire knowledge. This is what happened and most kids in sixth graders know for memory an exact quote of a part of this stanza:

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Second, Palin, Bachmann, and company need to address the mistaken notion of American exceptionalism. While they probably don't know what that term means, they use the notion all the time. They think that the term means that America stands at summit of knowledge, truth, and divine guidance. However, we aren't superior to all other nations of the world either now or in pervious times. We have missed the mark often.

We write history books one way, but history is morphed only in the writers' mind...not in the actual history. This morphing of reality affects us all. For example, we came to America for religious freedoms...when we got here we didn't allow religious freedoms. Ask Roger Williams or the witches of Salem. We say we are for equality of all...ask women and minorities. We finally are starting to catch up on healthcare reform; they are no Western or industrial nations in the world without universal healthcare. It should be noted that even with our recent reform, we are still without universal healthcare. We are decades behind the entire Western world and much of the rest of the world when it comes to universal national health.

Third, the Palins, Bachmanns, birthers, and the tea party followers need to come up with some positive thing which they have done as conservatives over our history as a nation. Were the conservatives active in the American Revolution, the Civil War and the entire civil rights movement, women's rights, Social Security, war on poverty, healthcare reform, and the list goes on and on? The conservatives were nothing more the status quo or the naysayers.

Fourth, the naysayers of the political right need to address the feminist issue. There is not a more feminist in America than me when it comes to males that support the feminist philosophy, and I rival 90% of the female population. It is a disgrace how few women are in the US Congress. Presently, there are 17% of the Senate and the House that are made up by women. Also, women with equal education, experience, etc. will make about 75-78% of what men make.

Fifth, Palin, instead of saying that she misspoke or had forgotten a detail, attempts to save her bungled history lesson by reasserting her version of history.

Apparently, Ms. Palin doesn't know basic American history, and of equal importance, she doesn't know the importance of honesty. Back in that time of Paul Revere, Sarah should recall the two stories about George Washington being dishonest about his cutting down a cherry tree that belonged to his father. First, Sarah doesn't recall the story about being honest after Washington cut down his father's cherry tree. Second, Sarah doesn't know that the story was actually a lie by the Anglican Pastor, Mason L. Weems, a biographer of Washington, wrote this story about honesty just after Washington died in "The Life of George Washington with Curious Anecdotes Equally Honorable to Himself and Exemplary to his Young Countrymen."

Now, as for my formally impending death, I was born on January 20, which is the same day...but a different year as George Burns. I have for most of my life lived with the desire to outlive him. This means that I have just over three more decades here on earth to live and thus win my personal bet with myself to live longer than George Burns. Therefore, I must live at least until March 9, 2043 to tie his longevity. My personal goal is looking good, because it will take me at least that long to wise-up some of the political right like Palin. I can't live with the despair of Paul Revere about the history that Palin is teaching...

Having said this, not everyone agrees with me:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Paul Revere's Famous Ride
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Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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