ON MY SOAPBOX….Tomorrow…It Ain’t Just Another Day



Throughout our careers, we have all enjoyed long holiday weekends. Remember, we would say, “We will have a little R&R” meaning Rest and Relaxation?

Aren’t we lucky that holidays always fall on Monday so we can take advantage of that 3 day weekend stretch? Obviously, they were not always planned that way.

George Washington went through his entire life celebrating his birthday on February 22. People my age will remember when the calendars had George Washington’s Birthday printed on that little square. In the late 1960s congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. That changed George Washington’s birthday to the third Monday in February. They also changed the name of the holiday to President’s Day.

I am sure  congress will eventually get around to changing Jesus’ Birthday since they have no problems to solve, right? It will become Divinity Day celebrated on the third Monday in December. Our congressional Muslims will love to see the word CHRISTmas removed from our calendars. The Monday belonging to Memorial Day is peeking around the corner. Do you wonder how that day of celebration started? 

In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day. He declared it to be “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Where do you suppose that first Memorial Day took place?

The first national celebration of Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery. The national observance of Memorial Day still takes place there today, with the placing of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the decoration of each grave with a small American flag. The holiday has changed a bit since it first began, which some argue was even earlier than Logan’s dedication.

Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the end of the Civil War. In 1866, after the war, a women’s memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, put flowers on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers. This act of generosity inspired the poem by Francis Miles Finch, “The Blue and the Gray,” published in the Atlantic Monthly. Federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May and extended it to honor all those who died in American wars. People pay tribute not only with flowers but also with speeches and parades.

I revere Memorial Day. I hope everyone in Tolley’s Topics Readerland has safe celebrations on Memorial Day. Enjoy your old fashioned R&R. Will you do me a little favor?

Tomorrow….try a serving of another kind of R&R….Respect & Reflection….to honor our many Americans who…GAVE THEIR ALL… for us. 


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Simulation TNG50: A Galaxy Cluster Forms
Video Credit: IllustrisTNG Project; Visualization: Dylan Nelson (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics) et al.
Music: Symphony No. 5 (Ludwig van Beethoven), via YouTube Audio Library

Explanation: How do clusters of galaxies form? Since our universe moves too slowly to watch, faster-moving computer simulations are created to help find out. A recent effort is TNG50 from IllustrisTNG, an upgrade of the famous Illustris Simulation. The first part of the featured video tracks cosmic gas (mostly hydrogen) as it evolves into galaxies and galaxy clusters from the early universe to today, with brighter colors marking faster moving gas. As the universe matures, gas falls into gravitational wells, galaxies forms, galaxies spin, galaxies collide and merge, all while black holes form in galaxy centers and expel surrounding gas at high speeds. The second half of the video switches to tracking stars, showing a galaxy cluster coming together complete with tidal tails and stellar streams. The outflow from black holes in TNG50 is surprisingly complex and details are being compared with our real universe. Studying how gas coalesced in the early universe helps humanity better understand how our Earth, Sun, and Solar System originally formed.

Tomorrow’s picture: unexpectedly red rays

The Blue And The Gray

Hailed as a national classic from the moment of its publication in 1867, this poem by Francis Miles Finch, is perhaps the most touching and expressive of all the “reconciliation poems” written after the War’s end. It was inspired by the following brief news item, which appeared in the New York Tribune:

“The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.”


By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray.

These in the robings of glory,
  Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
  In the dusk of eternity meet:
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Under the laurel, the Blue,
        Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
  The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
  Alike for the friend and the foe:
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Under the roses, the Blue,
        Under the lilies, the Gray.

So, with an equal splendor,
  The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
  On the blossoms blooming for all:
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Broidered with gold, the Blue,
        Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when the summer calleth,
  On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
  The cooling drip of the rain:
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Wet with the rain, the Blue,
        Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
  The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
  No braver battle was won:
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Under the blossoms, the Blue,
        Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war cry sever,
  Or the winding rivers be red;
The banish our anger forever
  When they laurel the graves of our dead!
      Under the sod and the dew,
        Waiting the judgment-day,
      Love and tears for the Blue,
        Tears and love for the Gray.

Civil Flag Images – Browse 31,599 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock



Who propped a door open ? Why ?  This requires an explanation.  Don’t they have alarms ?  Something is not right in this shooting.



Let’s send Liz to CNN or MSNBC, where she will be comfortable.



Heroes are around.




Schools have become sex businesses.


How long does it take to find the leaker ?  Are Nancy and Schiff hiding the person like they did Vindman ?


The Democrats are excellent on gas and baby formula.



If I remember correctly Wisconsin is a sanctuary state that will let the teacher’s union chemically turn boys and girls into sexual freaks.


Nebraska Football ditches another tradition.



California is a sickening story.  Maybe when Pigleosi returns for good she and her nephew Newsom can FIUW.


Oklahoma is not OK with most abortions.


Kevin could get a job on CNN.


New Yorkers protect a slimy rat.


Tiny robots have been developed to insert into the brains of dems to see what is wrong.


Patricia should be released as a trustee to work in the Governor’s Mansion.


Anyone who supported Judge Jackson to the Supremes has no place in public office.



This could also be used for Presidential Burnout.




Biden asks, what inflation ?




The Casey Jones Editor:  What’s up with trains, LL ?

Toot Toot Cat:  We haven’t looked at trains for a while.  This is one of the first ones I linked.

The Trans-Canadian railroad trip or Orient Express would be fun.


Don’t get on a train with Richard Kimble.

Muddy Waters and more.




Unusual Pictures For Today





Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Al Goodwyn

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok