Sunday, September 03, 2017

Media ~ A Chance To Get It Right

During this time of crisis the media almost got it right even if at times their fevered pitch showed a terrible grasp of fact.

That being said, I think their over all handling of Harvey was a B+ to A-.  The over kill on Melania's heels and the lack of compassion nonsense keeps it from reaching the top.

Now they have a new challenge.  The flood waters are receding, pets are being rescued, the death toll is stabilizing and the boats are heading back to more friendly waters.

What happens now?  The reporters go back to their headquarters to get new assignments.  Meanwhile the rebuilding of lives, homes and businesses is just beginning.  There have been promises of aid from the administration.  The hiccup will come if Congress decides to get political and the President doesn't crack his whip.

Let's look at Congress.  They've pretty much sat this out.  But just wait to hear the howls from Florida if Irma descends on them!  Never-the-less, action will be needed on an aid bill asap.  Will they try to attach a lot of unpopular or controversial legislation to it therefore delaying it?  Time will tell but the more of that kind of thing they try the more they will push people to Trump's side.

The next question is whether or not the media will cover it if it's in Trump's favor. Past history indicates they will try their best to blame negatives on Trump no matter who is to blame.  One thing that ought be remembered is that Trump is politician by default and follows his own thoughts rather than those of either party.  For both good and sometimes not so good but still true.

It's time for Congress to try to get a handle on how his head works for the sake of the country.  It would be good for them to let loose of some of their ideology anyway.  It is, as with Trump's, neither all bad nor good.

So lets see if the media will hold Congressional feet to the fire if they play obstructionist no matter the party.  It's a chance to grow from a fine job with Harvey.  It's also a chance for them to retreat to the partisan stronghold from which they came.  It's their choice.

Any bets?

Friday, September 01, 2017

Hey Media - The NW Is Having A Natural Disaster Too!

Hey media types, there's stuff going on elsewhere you know!

I mean this in no way to diminish the destruction of hurricane Harvey and the human suffering it has wrought but I'm a little tired of seeing it 24/7 when other areas of the country are suffering their own natural disasters.

We are in a severe drought in my neck of the woods.  We've had no rain since late June and everything is parched beyond belief.  And burning.  It has been going on for months.  Not days or weeks - months! The air quality is horrible - often dangerous.  Your throat and eyes burn, everything smells of smoke.  The sun and moon are blood red in the haze.  When you can see them.

Occasionally a dry thunder storm blows through and it's lightening starts up a whole new batch of fires.  Fronts come through with their breezes and spread them. The map to the upper left shows the active fires as of today in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and beyond.  There is no relief in sight for at least the next week and temperatures are hovering in the 90s and higher in many places. Imagine fighting those blazes with the required gear and clothing.  One must have a tolerance for heat, that's for sure. And yes, those responders are every bit the heros as those on the Gulf Coast.

Yes.  People are losing their homes, towns are being evacuated, livestock and wild life are burning to death. Our forests and farmslands are being decimated. What assets that are available all go to fighting the fires which won't be totally out until snow flies - if it flies.

Now understand, out here in the west this is an annual occurrence.  Every summer we burn yet we see little in the national media about it.  I see no celebrities nor sports stars contributing big bucks nor organizing fund raisers for those afflicted.  It affects the people in these areas no less than the flooding in Texas.

Maybe Congress would increase the fire fighting budget if they did.  It's totally depleted.  There are no more fire crews.  The fire season is no where near being over.

So how 'bout it media guys?  Give our plight some attention too.  You'll find the people no less thankful, the hospitality just as gracious and even the countryside, what's left of it, quite beautiful.

We could use the exposure too.  We aren't east coast centric so it's more difficult to get the word out. So, in that spirit - HELP!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Land That I Love Revisited

Well, well, well. My beloved country does still exist.  I found it in Texas and Louisiana environs this past and ongoing week.

Having lived in Houston for some time, my heart was broken watching the damage accumulate. I'm sure our former home in Missouri City was flooded.  Fortunately friends still there are okay.

America.  Our flag is red, white and blue. I'm hoping that raises it above racial, sexual or religious criticism.  And it speaks freely for what it stands for.  No brown nor black nor white nor yellow.  Just the basics.  And the basic American is what is making the recovery effort in Texas work.  It doesn't matter what color you are, if you speak with an accent, live in an area less desirable than another, you're all one with America.

The politicians most visible are the ones whose responsibility is for blocks of people - town mayors, the governor, the police chief. All doing their jobs.

The President has made an appearance and is due for another.  Mike Pence, VP, is down there with sleeves rolled up helping out.  Cabinet members have made themselves available to local officials to help ease burdens. This is America at it's best.

What's missing?  I may be wrong in this but I've seen but one politician interview.  Ted Cruz making the appropriate platitudes in nice clean trousers and shirt without a smidge of mud.  C'mon guys.  Dig in!

On second thought, don't.  The people are doing just fine without you getting under foot. The media could ease up on some of their in your face reporting too but so far it has been satisfactory if not too ongoing for those of us who live elsewhere and are fighting our own demons.  Wildfires here.  Drought.  But we don't generate ratings this year.  It's the year of the flood!

That's okay.  Should we need the help of Texans at some point they will be here.  Bet on it. Too bad it has taken a natural disaster to remind us of who we are.  No.  I have that wrong.  We well know who we are.  It's Congress who needs reminded and I haven't heard a whimper other than rumblings they're going to fight disaster relief.

I dare them. If they actually do it will be time for a whole new cast.  We can applaud or we can boo.  I'd rather applaud but I'm keeping my voice in shape just in case.

God Bless America, Land That I Love.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The D.C. Bubble is Larger Than I Thought

For years, especially during political campaigns, the media laments the "Bubble" that is Washington.  What they don't do is include themselves as part of it.

It is, I suppose, because they are of the same ilk as the "left".  How that came about I'm not sure but I'm guessing it comes from the powers that employ them.  Toe the line or you're gone.  Just like the Robert Lee episode at ESPN.  My goodness, a man named Robert Lee, an Asian American (Chinese), was pulled from calling a University of Virginia game for fear of offending...who?  Please!

Even Mr. Lee was complicit by agreeing without protest because of the of ridicule on social media. Really?

Where did all this political correctness, as it's called, come from?  And fear to defy it?  Which generation spawned it? I'd like to think it was not mine.  I think perhaps it's the one following ours,  the Boomers. I have to ask if it has permeated all of society or just those with nothing better to do with their time? Regardless, it has gone way too far.

When a Catholic school in Anselmo, CA removes or covers it's statuary of Jesus, Mary and others to appear more inclusive it has gone nuts. "Appear" is the key word here.  In fact it won't change the stance of the Catholic church's beliefs one iota.

Today I read that some are criticizing the shoes Melania Trump is wearing in Texas. What's she supposed to wear, waders?  To show support for the rescue crews?  Come on.

I also read Congress is digging in it's heels on relief funding.  This has to be coming from the leadership since Congress as a whole is still on vacation.

Fortunately there are those who are paying little attention to all this non-sense unless they are directly affected.  Where I live we're dealing with a severe drought and fire season. My acquaintances who write blogs are concentrating a lot on their own issues - a lot about health of either themselves or loved ones.  They are surprisingly educational and inspiring and in no way convey self pity. I can't say the same for some of the younger generations.

As the days pass the news cycles remain stalled in mostly childish political drivel.  The pols are trying to position themselves for another run for office.  The media hoaxsters are busy trying to keep the waters roiled and doing a good job of it.  Our man/child President is proving himself the perfect oxymoron.

I'd like to think they are all hurting no one other those that keep company in that unbreakable bubble. I guess we'll find out when a new crop of challengers make themselves known.  We need them to be armed with pins to burst that bubble. Maybe enforce they could succeed.  Actually now would be a good time.  They could be washed away with the other devastation that will wash to sea with the Texas flood waters.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Land That I Love - What Happened To It?

Okay.  I'm old.  I'm also tired and angry.  And frustrated because I don't know what to do about it.

I cannot escape the news. Unless I plug my ears and wear blinders so I can't read.  But then what would I do while drinking my morning coffee if not read the paper?

I know all the problems just as you do.  The question is what can we do about them?  The "misbehavers" are getting all the press so if there is a voice of reason out there it's getting drowned out.  Our President is no help. He has his foot in his mouth more often than not.

How such a man was able to create the cabinet he has is beyond me.  It is one of the strogest in years.  Not perfect but strong. I'd like to think they are quietly doing their job even though they are understaffed because of another Presidential misguided notion about the size of gevernment.  Too big?  Yes. But these people do need qualified staff to work with and they're not getting it.

Those misguided notions are a large part of why things are continuing to run amok. No one is all knowing and especially this President.  As a result those who would disrupt, no matter how flawed their reasoning, feel free to do so at will.

I don't understand the hate.  Is it the fault of our universities as some say?  In part.  But before young people ever reach university age, what are they being taught and who is doing the teaching?  Are teachers at fault?  Are parents at fault? It would seem everyone owns a piece of the pie.

As we of a certain age know it has gotten out of control.  How does it get fixed?  Candlelight vigils don't fix things.  Violent demonstrations don't fix things.  We seniors writing about it doesn't.  Who listens to us?

Maybe it's time we seniors quit stewing and get politically active as a block and vet candidates who will do something other than preen for the cameras.  We have a few but no where near enough. Power in numbers and organization.  That's what all the squeaky wheels have.

I don't know.  Anyone game?  Anyone have any ideas?  Can we elders fix it? We at least know our history and respect it.