Saturday, November 19, 2016

OK, I Get It!

OK, I get it!  Those of you who voted for Mrs. Clinton are upset, so you think the only way to express your disappointment is to protest, destroy property, extend the middle finger to buildings with the Trump name on them and call all Trump supporters racists, homophones, xenophobes and every filthy name you can find.

OK, I get it!  Those of you who voted for Mr. Trump are upset at those on the other side, so you think the only way to express your feelings is to act arrogant, look down your noses at liberals, produce memes and writings that are designed (but don't) to initiate humor, use filthy language to describe people of different persuasions and forward stories on Facebook, that have ‘shocking headlines’ that have absolutely nothing to do with the article which they are attached or out-and-out lies!

Oh, I agree you both have a first amendment right to say or write anything you choose, and I support that right; but do you think you are doing anything positive?  “oh yes, we are bringing attention to the problem” is the common response – which is nothing more than a mantra that says ‘if they don’t agree with me they’re wrong’, at which point you both begin calling the other side names.

Prior to the election, the Conservative side complained about the Electoral College, and ‘how fixed’ it was, and the Liberal side it was fine with it, because Mr. Trump might get the ‘popular’ vote but Mrs. Clinton would receive most the Electoral vote. (because that’s what the news media said)

Wait a minute!  So soon we forget?

In all honesty, I don’t know if the Electoral College is the correct way to choose a President.  It is, however, what has been in place for a very long time; and I can’t remember any riots in the past, when the popular vote result was different than the Electoral vote result.  I don’t have any suggestion for a replacement – but it isn’t the popular vote! (it seems odd to call it a popular vote, when those who voted were split by a small percentage and only a little over 57 percent of eligible voters voted).

   Frankly, I find those statistics shameful!  There are Countries who would give their lives to get a chance to vote; and those that have, see a much larger turnout – even when their lives are threatened.

Let’s change it!  OK, let’s change the way we choose a President: The United States Electoral College is established by Article Two of the United States Constitution to select the President of the United States and Vice President.

So, it’s in our Constitution; the only way to change it is via an Amendment.

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

It seems to me that the current election cycle has shifted power in the Congress in such a way that getting 2/3 majority to begin the change, probably isn’t practical.
How about a Constitutional Convention?  Well we have 50 States, which means at least 34 States must call for the Convention.  But that’s not all!  Should the Convention decide to propose an Amendment, ¾ of the States (38) are needed to approve the proposed Amendment and make it law.

You tell me; is it quicker to protest, burn, call names and hate each other until the law is changed, or to look across the divide and realize that there may be a majority (if you combine forces) to at least begin dialogue on the matter.

Webster says a bigot is: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.

Kind of puts a different slant on things, doesn’t it?


Sunday, October 9, 2016

To Vote or Not To Vote - That is The Question (Sorry Mr. Shakespeare)

To be truthful, I don’t know who to vote for in the upcoming election!  Actually the truth of the matter is - it is doubtful that I will vote for any of the 4 people trying to achieve the office of President of the United States.  I believe so strongly in the precious right, and privilege of the vote, which we are given by our Constitution, and am feeling quite guilty that I might waste the privilege by not exercising it.

I listen to the rhetoric back and forth – not just from the candidates, but from all the Facebook and other social ‘would be and fractional media’ posts, the misrepresentations and lies of the ‘talk show gurus’ and the very bad reporting of the so called ‘professional newscasters’ and I think “who in the world would want to be President?  Certainly no sane person!

President Harry Truman was a foul mouthed son-of-a-gun.  He had no concerns about his swearing and rough talk; but then he had a short lived presidency which had major impacts on the future of the world.  What was his strength?  Well it might be summed up in the following quote:
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ― Harry Truman

Mr. Truman was concerned for the country and the lives of the people who called themselves Americans. (by the way, they were people of all backgrounds and all racial colors and were fighting in a very widespread war) But what is Mr. Truman most noted for?  The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Why?  Because that’s what the news media wanted you to know about!

What was Mr. Eisenhower known for?  Playing golf for 8 years; Mr. Nixon?  Leaving the Office of the Presidency in shame; Mr. Kennedy?  His assassination.  Mr. Ford?  Stumbling and falling down; Mr. Carter?  Iran hostages.  And so it goes, on and on to the current President Mr. Obama.  (let’s not forget that Mr. Bush the second, who caused New York City to be attacked by terrorists and caused Hurricane Katrina)

Has no President done any good in America?  If they had, I can’t imagine it ever being reported in a good light.

What about our current candidates:  Mrs. Clinton seems to be known for her emails, Bengasi and the lack of trustworthiness.  Mr. Trump for his blurting out of senseless verbal lines of attack and now his treatment of women in the past. (don’t forget his taxes)  Mr. Johnson, well that’s easy, his smoking pot.  Ms. Stein, well, I’m not sure what she is known for but it can’t be anything good.
So there you have it.  According to one-side-or-another of the media, nobody has done anything good!

I can’t believe that either of the two major candidates are truly all bad.  I can’t believe that they have never done anything good in their lives.  But if we take our information from the media at large (that includes Facebook and other unfettered social media), we will never know the complete and true makeup of the candidates.

One other group of folks I’d like to chastise; the Moderators for the debates!  Are you kidding me?  Do you really think I believe that you are a moderator?

 (Moderator…. Mod-er-a-tor:  an arbitrator or mediator.  2. One who moderates) Wait a minute!  (Moderate…. Mod-er-ate: one who holds moderate views, especially in politics).  To use a political expression – BS.  (Truman would not have abbreviated) 

Attention Moderators and Candidates!  We are not interested in your personal views on each other and we are not interested in how much dirt you dredge up on each other.  What we are interested in is your plans to put this Country (The United States of America, not your personal lives, in case you were not listening) back on a path to peace and prosperity.  If you can’t give us what we want, the GET THE HELL OUT OF THE RACE, so we can find someone that will work on our behalf.

Monday, June 13, 2016

So You Think You Know How to Kill Someone?

 Guns, guns, guns…. just about every day in the news, someone has been shot by another person who thinks they know how to kill someone.  What we see, other than huge mass shootings with semi-automatic weapons such as San Bernardino and now Orlando, is that more people are wounded than are killed.  According to the Brady Project statistics, every day, 297 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention.  Of the 297 (again according to the Brady report) 89 of those people die – which means that a bit ove er 70% survive.

My theory is that of all the people carrying guns, including those of you who like to hide your gun in a concealed holster, most of you don’t know how to use your firearm properly!  If you did, the ‘kill rate’ would be much higher than 30%.  Oh, by the way, don’t tell me some of these folks were trying to wound rather than kill; this isn’t some B rated black and white cowboy show, it’s real life with real people who bleed and die.

Possessing a firearm of any sort is serious business.  It’s not macho, it doesn’t give you any special license to kill – like James Bond – and it doesn’t make you a member of a militia, military force, police department or special deputized vigilante group.  You are, unless a sworn officer of the law or an actual member of the Armed Forces, just a person with a gun! 

Then there is the matter of who should have a firearm in their possession (notice I said possession not control, because I don’t believe most of you are in control of your weapon); certainly one side says ‘nobody’ and another side says ‘everybody’; both of which, in my opinion, are wrong. The answer is somewhere in the middle of this argument and allows for protection of family, hunting for sport and other firearm safe sports.

Now another crazy person has while in possession of a firearm, destroyed the lives of, thus far, 50 innocent people.  And some other crazy people are trying to justify the act by saying “well maybe it is a judgment from God”, because Pulse was a Gay club.  What arrogance that causes these people to identify God’s judgement on anyone or group.  Obviously, the ‘self-appointed prophets’ haven’t read their own Holy Writings; if they did, they would find that God is the ultimate Judge and doesn’t need their help.  Oh yes, and there are those calling for ‘open season’ on all Muslims, even if they are citizens of the United States, because some identifying as Muslims have done some horrid things. 
I recently read some statistics that said over 3 million Muslims live in the United States; please tell me how many of them actually killed other citizens of the United States; another report shows over 80 million Christians in the United States.  Of the Christians, how many have fire bombed clinics and shot doctors who perform abortions.  The point here is not political; but do we judge all people of one religion because of what a few nut cases do?

So what’s my point?  Well I have a few:

1.    There are radicals in every religion, that doesn’t mean you have to be one.

2.    Nobody has the right to murder innocent people, regardless if they live or act different than you approve.

3.    If you don’t know how to use a gun, don’t buy one!  Guns are not designed to scare, wound or control someone else’s life … they are designed to kill, and they do kill, and when they kill, those people don’t regain their lives the next day – regardless of your experience in some video game.

I am not against firearms, but I do know that our Country is totally out of control with their use and we need to do something about it!  Calling each other names, politicizing the horrid acts of crazy people and condemning a race or religion of people, has not stopped the violence.  SO WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING IT?

Friday, March 25, 2016

“Distracted from distraction by distraction” ― T.S. Eliot

We, the residents of the United States, have entered a period in our life that will baffle the historians of the future.  Like lambs being led to slaughter, we have been led into a mêlée where the citizenry cannot win.  And leading the way, that we blindly travel, is not a charismatic leader, not the leadership of the Democrats or the Republicans and not the current candidates running for President; our ‘bell cow’ is the ‘media’.

We are experiencing the most pungent use of ‘yellow journalism’ than ever before in our history.  The honorable charge of a Journalist is to provide the general public with accurate and helpful information.  While I believe that there must have been some Journalists in our past who upheld this honorable position of trust, I am convinced that today most Journalists have lost their way…..and yet we follow them, regardless of the destination; and it matters not which brand of media you prefer, as they all – the Networks, Newspapers and Online presentations, are creating a product of dangerous and false information.

Why is the foregoing happening?  Because it has become more important to Journalism to produce ratings and advertisers, than the truth.  To do that, sensationalism must be embraced rather than objective journalism; and that seems to be what the public wants to hear and see – because that’s all we see and hear.  How strong of an example is this week’s worldwide coverage of a man sitting in a tree, in downtown Seattle!  There was no reason that the world needed to see such coverage, yet all of the Networks covered it and the Public, like sheep, were glued to their Televisions and Radios, asking “why is he up there”? 

The greatest contributor to the lack of objective journalism has to be the age of technology, where anyone – including me – can be a Journalist; or are we really Journalists if all we are doing is spouting our opinions?  Walter Cronkite said “Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine”! 

I admit, I am a blogger, not a Journalist.  My writings are developed, usually after I have become so disgusted with what I see on the internet and the national media.  I don’t use the backdrop of a crashed airplane, starving children or burning buildings, to get your attention.  I think; and I try to get you to think, even if in the end you don’t agree with me. 

I don’t care about ratings and I don’t sell advertising!  My copy is not embellished by pretty colored pictures, depicting the ‘good guys’ and black and white pictures depicting the ‘bad guys’, and I don’t use misleading headlines.

Recently on Facebook, there was a political cartoon showing a crowd of people pulling down the statue of the Thinker, a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin.  The irony was not wasted on me.  My opinion is that the crowd, in the cartoon, did not represent the general public, the ordinary citizen or our children.  The crowd represented the current state of the News Media!  Society is looking on, while the inspiration to think, is being pulled down before our very eyes by those who are supposed to provide us information that causes us to think. 

Because of our refusal to think for ourselves and allow the media to tell us what is or is not right, another quote begins to ring loud and long:  We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders….. Walter Cronkite.