Thursday, September 29, 2016

Are There Any Political or Media Adults In The Room?

Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if there are any adults in politics and the media.  Now I know that's unfair because there are, though few and far between it would seem.

When the Director of the FBI, as compromised by politics as he is, is warning that within the next two to five years expect a Diaspora of ISIS and that we and the western nations need be prepared. Diaspora  means spreading out from their base which, as we all know, they're already doing.  This is serious stuff and needs to be heard and taken to heart.

So what are our Presidential candidates doing?  Name calling like a couple of 6 year olds.  My apologies to the six year olds.  Now it's an aggrieved ex-Miss Universe who Trump called (gasp) fat.  She in turn is taking on Trump's wife. Does any one really care?

Do we care that he hasn't released his tax records?  Is it worse than Hillary releasing a Classic Comics version of her health records?  She's crooked.  His followers are deplorable. She hasn't the stamina for the job.  He's a mysoginist. On and on it goes to the point I automatically mute the TV whenever either appears.

Then the media.  The stories that go untold or glossed over on the networks and the NBC cable outlets for fear of damaging Hillary become hyperbole on FOX.  

Interestingly it's the candidates themselves that advance this behavior. Why shouldn't their reporting be any less ludicrous than the candidates going after one another.  Policies?  Who's interested in that?

Well, I am.  Not the sweeping pronouncements from Trump nor the ignoring of them by Clinton, but real discussion of exactly what they are, and more importantly, how to implement them.  Especially with a hostile Congress that doesn't appear to be willing to assert themselves in any positive manner.  Allowing individuals to sue foreign governments for crimes against loved ones isn't the way to do it.  Just wait until a group of Iranians or some such decide to sue us for crimes against their people.  This may be the one and only time I agree with Obama.  Bad policy.  Maybe Hillary's lack of policy is better than bad ones.  Right.  

Well, time is getting short.  Every time I think there's hope for a nice dignified fencing match it turns into mud wrestling. Will the dirtiest fighter win? Who knows.  How will we tell the difference?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I did not listen to the debate last night.  I wasn't in the mood for blood sport.

We had a nice dinner then Hub went to do some shopping and I settled in the den and caught up on some back issues of the Financial Times.  I always enjoy their take on our politics but mostly I have a few favorite columns I read faithfully.

This morning, however, in reading the follow ups on the debate I gather whoever won depends on who you're talking with.  Trump won.  Hillary won.  Sounds like it was pretty much a draw.

I'd really like to see the debates run by some independent source who would choose a non-media personality for a moderator and allow all parties who are running be included.  I would not vote for either the Libertarians nor the Greens but they have some interesting ideas worth noting.

The grand exaggerations and tinged truth of the debates as they are now are just a continuation of the individual campaigns.  The only difference is they shout insults at one another at arms length rather than from rallies and campaign stops. Same-o, same-o.

I'd also like to see them more civil.  The entire process actually.  I know dirty politics is reputed to work but to my way of thinking it diminishes both candidates. If exaggeration and lies don't work than bloody the opposition.  And we complain that one or the other isn't presidential?  What's so presidential about shouting insults at one another?

At least this spectacle is in it's twilight.  We'll only really know who wins in November.  One thing I can say with some certainty, however, is it won't be us.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cop Killers, Killer Cops

I have a friend with whom I became a pen pal during the Iraq war.  He has experience in security work, was a military policeman and is black.  I spoke with him at length this morning regarding the Blue vs Black vs White mess we find ourselves in these days.

He gave me quite a bit to digest but it all goes back to what values you are taught within the family unit and the decisions you choose to make with or without that teaching. The values are there staring you in the face as you go through life. Where do the parents learn the proper values to pass on?  From their faith in the teachings of God.  He took me to ground zero of a different sort and it made a great deal of sense.

He took the issue from being neither black against blue or white but rather an issue of choice of behavior consciously made.  His feeling is that those who partake as agitators and the violent rowdiness that often ensues is done with full knowledge that it is wrong.  They know that because of the political climate they will most likely get a pass.  It matters not at all that they know they are in the wrong.

On the blue side of the equation we talked about the over kill of their actions. No pun intended. That one bullet should do the job.  Emptying the magazine into a person is most likely not necessary. Is it a lack of training or character? Perhaps a combination but no matter which it is a matter of choice on the part of the shooter.

Then there is the media's contribution.  More whites are killed by police than blacks. Yet we rarely hear those stories.  Why is that?  It's a matter of choice.  It's a whole different issue as to why so many, regardless of race, are killed in the first place.
So how do we fix all of it?  I would think some of the ministry in communities where such activity  runs rampant are trying to fill two roles.  That in teaching the value of faith in God and  surrogate parent to too many.  That shouldn't be their role but perhaps it's better than no parenting at all. It still boils down to choice.  Conscious choice.  Whether or not to even attend services.  Whether or not to parent. Whether or not to make the right choice.

There are always consequences.  You either live or you die.  You either love or you hate.  You either make the right choice or you sacrifice your freedom to make any choice at all sooner or later.

I guess what it all boils down to is that I had this conversation with a black man who isn't "black" to me.  He's a friend.  A good friend.  And a very wise one.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Judgement Day Approaches

What do we have left - somewhere around 60 days before our angst will be governed by a whole new set of circumstances. Right now it's will it be Clinton or Trump.  Then it will be what is the new President going to do.

I fear both of them but I think I fear Hillary the most.  I don't like her agenda - too far left for my comfort.  If in fact what she's saying is actually what she will do because she's known to lie. That doesn't add anything to my comfort zone.  Plus the fact her presidency will be all about fulfilling the Clinton's agenda first and foremost.  Being President will just make it easier for them because of the power they will wield.

Trump scares me for entirely different reasons.  The main reason is I'm not convinced he has any real self control nor do I think he takes kindly to advice.  I can understand being politically naive having never before been in politics but refusing to listen to those who have and are willing to help smooth rough edges is probably going to be his final down fall. He's been trying to be sure and is getting better but with him it's always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I do believe Trump is genuinely concerned about our country.  He has a sincerity about him once you get past the bombast.  But he reminds me of me if I were running.  I have a ton of opinions and darn little to back up most of them.  Especially if it meant running the country with all the special interests bombarding  me with their points of view and defenses thereof.  It would be a tremendous amount of information to sort through and make sense of.  I'm surprised and concerned that Trump seems pretty much in the same boat.  Lots of opinions but little to defend them.  The strength of his personality is no substitute for substance.

So this is where I am.  Still watching and waiting with little to add to the dialogue. When one reaches my age you don't tend to wish time away but I will sure be glad when this is over.  At least we'll be able to figure out what we ourselves need to do to carry on our lives.

After all is said and done though I think I'd rather have a President, as inept as Trump may seem, that cares about the country than one who lies with impunity and expects the country to be okay with it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Politics Of Fixed Income

Since I'm not quite divorced from politics I thought I'd share what I've been learning because we're on a fixed income.  No social security increase because there is no inflation is a crock.  Don't the economists ever buy food or gas or pay their utility bills?  Probably not.  They probably have "people" who do it for them.

Not so with us. We buy our own groceries and are always wondering how we can eat healthy when all we can afford is junk.  One remedy is to plant a garden.

The last gardening I remember was when as a youngster we had a victory garden during WWII.  Reminiscing about gardens from years past we decided to try our hand with peas and carrots, among other things.  Have you ever seen a carrot seed?  I have to wear my reading glasses to even see them whats more plant one to a hole.  Last year I harvested them in clumps.  This year was better; I used tweezers while planting.

We had better luck with peas.  Remember shelling them?  We did and decided to put a modern slant on the chore.  We fixed a plate of hors d'oeuvres, opened a bottle of wine and settled in on the front porch - ate, drank and shelled peas.  Actually it was a very pleasant evening.

The problem with gardening for two is there is always too much. Unless you're into canning and such. I'm not going that far. Now it's time for creative meals so nothing goes to waste.

I'm also learning a lot about trees.  We had what we thought was a crabapple blow over in a windstorm years ago.  It regrew and I've been wondering if it would produce fruit.  While mowing around it  recently I found an apple at its base.  Looking up into the tree sure enough there were several.  Odd since I never saw spring blossoms, but apples never the less. Golden Delicious I think.  Who knew?

Another tree which I thought was a Dogwood is bearing fruit this year and insanely long thorns.  After some research I find it's a Hawthorn. If I can figure out to make tea from the fruit it should help with my blood pressure issues or so my research into what kind of tree it is tells me.

Actually I'm learning a lot and having fun at it.  At least we're getting fresh fruit and vegetables.  It would be nice if we got a bit more social security so we could splurge now and then. Maybe during the next administration. HaHahahahahahaha!