God receive you, Elijah

If one is as old as Elijah Cummings, one knows in their heart he was a warrior, a champion and good for his word through calamity, obfuscation and threat. The House will be less for his absence.

Regular readers know mariner is fond of short, meaningful poems. A poem by Parren Mitchell, a US Representative from Maryland in the 1970s and 80s has been in the news because Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recited it on his first day in the House. It was repeated in the news in light of Representative Cummings death on Thursday. It is a classic short poem with profound meaning. Just in case the reader missed it, here it is:

‘I only have a minute, 60 seconds in it. Forced upon me, I did not choose it, but I know that I must use it. Give account if I abuse it, suffer if I lose it. Only a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.’

Rest well, Congressman.

– – – –

Something mariner’s generation must turn over to the millennials and Zs is climate change. If an elderly person, especially an elected person, has savings and investments to live on, odds are there is oil stock in it somewhere; being realistic, one would not want to compromise one’s financial future unnecessarily. But it is necessary. What the old timers should do is pass the torch by electing millennials to government positions whenever possible. The nice, old, mannerly, gray-haired senator one knows and loves has become a detriment to the world’s population. Not because the senator is evil but, like all other new worldly situations, his generation doesn’t relate to the day-to-day future about which millennials are acutely aware and know it will affect them greatly.

One way to permanently fix the generation problem in government is to have term limits. Mariner would base them specifically on age; most, however, measure term limits by number of terms. Only one presidential candidate has specifically advocated term limits as a platform: Tom Steyer.

– – – –


There are two shadow governments worming in and around this Constitutional Federal Republic. The first is public knowledge: the corporate lobbyists. They are better organized and better funded and get much more done than Congress ever will. The second shadow government is Donald’s coterie of thieves, easily bought opportunists and antiestablishment troublemakers. Only in recent days has the public learned how much Donald has twisted foreign policy into a personal agenda uninfluenced by the Federal bureaucracy. Now, he has performed a blunder he cannot hide in his distracting roadshow: He has upset the Middle East in an irreparable manner. Nancy Pelosi is right: all roads lead to Putin (or existing Trump Hotels). It shouldn’t take many more revelations before Donald may be eligible for charges of treason.

Parren Mitchell’s poem holds true. That minute when one casts one’s vote is a minute that may be lost if abused and the nation will suffer – for eternity.

Ancient Mariner



3 thoughts on “God receive you, Elijah

  1. I was fortunate enough to be present at a union meeting some twenty tears ago where Elijah Cummings was a guest speaker. I’ve sat through a LOT of sermons and a fair amount of speeches, but I’ve never been so stirred by words spoken by another human being than I was that night. He captivated the crowd in a matter of seconds and held it tightly in his grip.
    The other event which so illustrated his humanity were his remarks to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer when he appeared before Cummings’ oversight committee. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly urge you to find it on Youtube.

  2. I cannot agree with AM about term limit based on age. Doing this will rob the government of experience gained over long lifetimes. I have seen the results of losing such experienced people, and it’s not pretty

  3. In response to your reply, Robert, which I accept as the inevitable reality, mariner inserts an email response to his daughter’s question, “What would mariner do if mariner were 35 years old?” He responded:
    My, that is a frightening question. Frankly, I don’t know what to do or even how to go about finding out what to do. My inability to integrate myself into the new culture is a sign of me being a product of an outdated culture; it is one reason I hesitate to continue the blog – I don’t have a ‘feel’ for today’s experiences. It is quite easy to say, “In my day . . .” which means “I have no idea why . . .”

    I represent the nice, white haired, familiar politicians who are hurting our future because they can’t relate to the existential experience of the present.

    With that caveat, my opinion is that on every front of life there is a battle with change. Change in culture today makes the invention of the automobile a small blip in history. Entering a new, relatively stable culture will not be like walking from one room to another. Rather, think of the earliest pioneers venturing into the unknown west – before trains, before electricity, before grocery stores, before law and order. The old way has been learned and lived in but there is a new way we don’t know about and we are forced to walk into it.

    So much for sociology. I am proud that you and your brother have established self-managed careers. I believe this will become a critical skill for a large number of people whose current careers are about to disappear. If I were 30, I would maintain a sensitivity to the big picture of career and personal solvency. Just as guaranteed good wages and benefits are disappearing along with unions, there will be little protection as culture rumbles about.
    When I started Decision Logic, an effort to provide specialized programming to hospitals and other businesses with complex scheduling, it was less than 2 years later that large software companies were able to leverage new technologies to produce a complete set of functions in one business-wide product – including scheduling. Fortunately, but not without adversity, I adapted my skills to help other companies convert to the new technology. It took me 4 jobs and 10 years.

    It is more important than ever to see where the tide of enterprise is going and to have a plan or two how to stay with the tide. These days even the tide can vanish.

    Being of another culture, I can’t understand the devastating impact on personal privacy and security or corporations and banks that have no obligation to society. Despite the disappearance of storefronts today, I believe there is a stabilizing role for thousands of Internet based, small business, self-managed careers that will retain sanity in our culture as it runs rapidly to and fro for the next 30 years.

    You and your brother are pioneers.

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