Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why I Cannot Be A Republican In Idaho

If you ever sit and wonder why the likes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the type of candidates we end up nominating for the presidency, perhaps I've found a reason.

For clarification's sake let me say that I am and long have been registered as an independent.  When I was younger I thought myself pragmatic.  That's when I believed both parties wanted what was best for the country but had differing ways of reaching those goals.

No more. Politics has become too much of a haven for those wanting to feed at the public trough for life.  That's why so many special interests have the grip that they do.

Since I've been here in Idaho I've watched politics on both the local and statewide level with a sense of foreboding.  Even at these levels we are not choosing the best; mainly because the really good people don't run.  That by the way is a generality.  We have some superb candidates from time to time. But only time to time. Today I'm going to address the Republicans who are running a bit amok.

The process runs into trouble when local level workers hijack the party for their own interests. They have their own agenda. This would appear to be the case here.  The Republican leaders are due to have a conference to discuss the party platform before the next session of the Legislature kicks off.

Understand that local committeemen and women are in place to help Republicans win elections, not dictate what they should and should not believe. So why is it they want said candidates to be required to support the party platform in it's entirety or be pinpointed as "unfaithful" to the GOP.  Isn't that something the voters should decide? What candidate worth his or her salt agrees with everything in a party platform?  If they do they might as well be robots.  That may be preferable but then I'd be afraid of whoever was programming them.  It all comes back to the people in charge and how they got there.  I want to hear debate.  Not boilerplate.

While the platform contains the usual Republican diet of fiscal responsibility and lower taxes it then veers sharply to the right by urging the purchase of gold and silver, eliminating the election of Senators and going back to the appointment of same, and the ability to nullify any federal law deemed to "violate state sovereignty".  It seems to me what people should invest in is their business, not something that should be dictated (urged)  by a political party? And who would appoint those Senators?  The legislature.  No thanks.

So much for the "big tent".  Shouldn't candidates have a right to disagree with components of a platform and defend their reasoning without fear of being politically blackmailed?  Most party platforms usually are but guidelines anyway and are rarely, if ever, strictly adhered to.  Who does all this "deeming" and scheming anyway?

The claim is the loyalty oath requirement was dumped shortly after it was installed but I'm thinking they just blurred the edges a bit.  The very idea of loyalty oaths, or whatever name they're assigned,b makes my skin crawl.

It's time to wrap it up for now and the year. We go into a new year with an uncertain future at best. Neither party is showing it's strength at this point and 2018 is going to be another year of political transition.  It will be interesting to see what the voting public chooses.

Friday, December 01, 2017

The Silence Is Deafening!

What goes around comes around.  Yesterday there was a headline on Drudge that said Bette Midler was demanding an apology from Geraldo Rivera.  I was waiting for someone to bring the focus to him because I remember back when he rather enjoyed bragging about his conquests.

FOX's own.  Don't you love it?  It was Bill O'Reilly who got this sexual harassment era started when FOX let hm go.  Now it has gone full cycle.  Yet I have not heard word one on FOX about any of this.  Maybe it stings a little too much since they've so enjoyed wallowing in other peoples miseries.

Maybe, too, as far as news cycles go this one has run its course.  One can only hope.

There have been womanizers for as long as I can remember.  No one should be pointing fingers - neither Republicans, nor Democrats nor broadcast networks nor film studios.  Everyone has a piece of this pie.  A lot of people have escaped the worst.  Clinton and Kennedy if you want to start at the highest levels.  Don't forget David Letterman.  Then there are the invisible others that hound and harass that are never heard about because they have no level of  power or celebrity.  But it does go on.

It seems we tend to address our problems with a high degree of overkill.  Just read the headlines about our President.  Those who think he is so mentally unstable he should be institutionalized just cannot give it a rest.  Morning Joe is perhaps the most ludicrous and without realizing it makes himself look as unbalanced as he claims Trump to be.  Overkill.

I don't think it will put the President in an institution but perhaps it can bring to a halt the bad behavior by men who indulge in it because they think their power or celebrity either gives them a pass or immunizes them from consequences.  Wrong.

Sure they're embarrassed.  Dirty laundry is never attractive.  Ashamed?  I have my doubts on that one. Repentant because its the proper thing to say. Too bad they didn't equate proper with their behavior.

Cheers to the women who have had to courage to say enough is enough and call these men out.  Hopefully their recollections are the accurate ones and they haven't come forward with the hope of making a few bucks, or worse, exacting revenge for some slight.  The men sure are remembering things differently.  Somewhere in between you'll probably find the truth.

It's a new month now.  The holiday season is in full swing.  Too many people will be having a less than pleasant one because of the questionable behavior of a whole passel of people, mostly on the political front.  It may not be sexual harassment but it is harassment never-the-less and will leave those accused but innocent with scars that are just as deep.

To paraphrase Dickens ~ it is the best of seasons, it is the worst of times.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Jenny Sanford Rule

While discussing the misbehavior epidemic that is currently dominating our headlines, a man asked me, "How do these guys explain this to their wife and kids?"  Who was the man?  My husband.  He is as dumbfounded as I am about the whole sordid trend. I know that and I trust that. I wonder if the wives of the accused had that same faith in their spouses only to have it shattered in the glare of the media.

Most of the men named to this point are old enough to have grown children; at the very least old enough to understand.  I can't help but wonder where Dad was when teaching the kids proper behavior was taking place.  Working late no doubt.  Wink, wink.

There are victims other than those who lodged the complaints.  There are those wives and children.  What must they think?  How many will clench their teeth and stand by their men like Eliot Spitzer's or David Vitter's?  I'll never forget the look on their faces as they tried to  put up a brave front for the TV cameras.  And these guys were only involved in prostitution rings.  There, at least, the women were willing.

Personally, I most admire Jenny Sanford, the former wife of Congressman Mark Sanford. Sanford  disappeared from a hiking trip only to turn up in Argentina with his soul mate.  Mrs. Sanford said, in essence, "Okay, I'm outta here."

Why do wives stay?  Is it because on their own they wouldn't be able to maintain their lifestyle?  Do they really love the guy so unequivocally that he, in their eyes, can be forgiven anything? Wow.

I think if it were me back in the day I'd have taken the Jenny Sanford route. Even if my lifestyle changed, I think I could have made a decent living and could have lived with myself knowing I hadn't condoned something horribly out of step with honesty, decency and trust.

How do the kids react?  That I cannot answer.  I should think such a revelation would have put a wedge in their relationship with their Dads.  At least it should.

Yes, there are victims all around. Since I'm not particularly prone to victimhood in my own circumstances and I have the freedom to self-identify  these days I think I'll identify as decent with a strong moral compass. I hope the victims of this mass lunacy will find it within themselves to do the same.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Why Is A Slush Fund Even Needed?

It's a well know fact that money buys power but it sure doesn't buy honesty nor decency.

No sooner had misconduct allegations became public regarding our elected officials, Paul Ryan began touting sensitivity training for all members of Congress.

Are you kidding me? You're telling me our elected officials, those we trust to govern us, need to be told what is and what is not acceptable behavior? Pardon me if I feel a little sick to my stomach.

Then to find out that there is a "secret" slush fund set up for appeasement payments to anyone threatening to "out" the offender. With tax payer money no less.  Plus we don't even get to know who is paying out or why! My, their parents must be so proud. As for those parents, where were they when they had the responsibility to teach their children right from wrong? Who knows, maybe they are proud.

I feel like I'm sitting in front of a bubble machine with so many areas of our society floating around within one.  The media, entertainment moguls among others, politicians, academics and those they are supposed to be educating.  Who's left?

All the rest of us.  There are thousands upon thousands of us who don't shop on Black Friday, don't bully our associates nor allow our children to do so, don't think shop lifting in China is no big deal, and don't play the hapless victim card every time someone looks cross eyed at us.  Thank heavens.

We really are the silent majority you know.  Occasionally, very occasionally, someone will get a few seconds on the news for having done a good deed.  If the anchors don't blow the time being cute as is so often the case around here.

I'm not particularly fond of the way our President behaves.  I still feel he is a man/child with no self-discipline nor desire to develop any, but I do understand why people voted for him.  He speaks like ordinary people do in the privacy of their own homes.  He criticizes, berates, makes fun of all manner of people.  He probably always has.  I'm sure he always will.

The one refreshing thing about it, he isn't buying our allegiance with our own money. He's speaking to it with our own words.

True, money speaks.  It just isn't speaking my language.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The American Way ~ Brawling

Well, happy Black Friday.  The headlines this morning were exactly as I expected.  Brawls and worse everywhere.

What is it about these people?  That they so much want a "deal", often for themselves and not as a gift, that they are reduced to the most base behavior within themselves?

It seems so out of place after having just finished a meal with friends and loved ones giving thanks for all they have. Maybe they don't sit down with loved ones.  We know for sure some don't because they're living in a tent in line at the store they most want to destroy the moment the clock reaches the witching hour.

Now I read this behavior is spreading across the globe. What drives this insatiable want?  Is it the thrill of blood sport that makes them transform what should be simple shopping?  I don't understand it and never have.  I have never felt the slightest desire to participate.  There is nothing I want so much I'd reduce myself to such a level.  What's more put myself in harms way.

I've often wondered how much merchandise is damaged or ruined during these brawls. How much during the chaos is actually shop lifted.  Never paid for.  When the final post event inventory is taken and compared to receipts, how much of a shortcoming is there?

Ah, it's been such a long time since we've been a truly civilized society.  The current trend of allegations of rude and crude male behavior and the self righteous piety of academia that manifests itself in denial of rights should come as any surprise.  Black Friday modus operandi  has been going on for years and is certainly a contributing factor to the back turning of those who could have and should have condemned all such unacceptable behavior.

It's sad that there are not enough of us who deplore such behavior to be heard or make a difference.  One place it could begin is with the retailers.  They could just put an end to Black Friday sales events. But then there is the driving factor on both sides.  Greed.

Maybe it's just that so many of them are losing ground to online retailing.  It does spare merchants from having to pay huge amounts of overtime on top of the loss from drastic price cuts and it saves the shopping public from black eyes, bloody noses and stuff that will be broken or obsolete by the time the packages are even opened.

When will the next brawl be?  Probably at some venue that has the audacity to celebrate Christmas by saying "Merry Christmas".