Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Not Your President? There’s the Door…

November 10, 2016




I read this morning that there was a lot of protesting being done over Trump’s victory. Apparently, the violence of the Trump supporters is now being revisited on us by those who, well, opposed that… you know, that same sort of violence.

Makes sense, I guess… somewhere…

Anyway, the most common phrase at these grudge-rallies was “He’s not my president.”

Now, I may not be a genius when it comes to Constitutional Law but I thought that was the point of the election: to name OUR president. It’s not like the portion of the country that voted for the other guy/gal gets to secede and by lorded over by the loser. The elected president is the president for the whole enchilada.

So, for Trump not to be “your” president, you either: 1- reside in a foreign country and your vote doesn’t make a bit of difference, or 2- you are presently deceased, in which case it shouldn’t matter one whit because you have others things weighing more heavily on your soul.

I understand people being upset by their side losing – hey! I’ve visited Civil War forums before – and the most common phrase bantered around is “You lost, Get Over It!” And that phrase seems to apply in this situation as well.

Many think it is a travesty that Hillary got more Popular Votes than Trump but it is not like that’s the first time that’s happened in our history. I believe it also happened as recently in 2000 when Gore had more of the popular vote.

We have had worse trials in our country than what most are fearing from Trump. We had Millard Fillmore for president… and survived. We had Teapot Dome Scandal… and we still survived. Heck, we even survived missing the Olympics in Moscow!

Do not break the system because you didn’t get what you wanted. That is childish; you can’t just take your toys and go home. This is America and the system put in place will still work even with a bad President (anyone remember Nixon?) or a horrible President.

And rest assured that four years from now you will have the opportunity to once again vote for the candidate of your choice.

Unless, of course, you’re a foreigner or deceased and Trump really isn’t your president anyway.



Let the Soul-Searching Begin

November 9, 2016




Well, the political follies of 2016 are over (finally!) and will probably go down in history as one of the strangest election cycles ever. I awoke this morning to check the results and almost fell down laughing.

The Republican party fielded a candidate that as recently as ten days ago, the party heads were pressuring the candidate to resign from the race. Many pundits have said the Republicans will have to do a lot of soul-searching to re-make themselves in the coming days… and that was before the results came in.

Meanwhile, the Democrats ignored the dismay felt by so many that Sanders was shafted and Hillary crowned without consent of the populace; she was the choice of the party machine. But now that Clinton has stumbled and apparently many of the party have voted for Trump in order to oust Hillary. Who knows? Either way, the party now has some soul-searching to do as well.

In both cases, we see political parties that have gotten completely out-of-touch with their membership. Both parties have tried to distance themselves from what their people wanted, preferring what their political machines wanted.

And in both cases it has turned out rather badly.

Now, it seems, both parties have got to reconfigure what they are really about. There seems a vast chasm between the people of the left and right and the party machines that hold sway over those antipodes.

Perhaps, in the future, the parties would listen to the electorate rather than trying to force some “correct” political model on the party faithful. Many are saying that if the Democrats had fielded Sanders, they would now be the ones celebrating… but who knows, really?

Still, ever the skeptic, I figure neither party will really learn much from the debacle and will simply regroup the next election cycle and try again with the same ol’ same ol’; status quo feels so much safer than going out for a radical change.

Which is what we have at the present.

It is going to be an interesting four years, to say the least.



A Trumpence For Your Thoughts?

November 7, 2016




Tomorrow’s the big day we have waited most of an eternity for: election day!!

Yes, we can finally put the excruciating anguish behind us int time to compose ourselves and have something, hopefully, to be thankful for as that holiday approaches. Most people seem to just want this painful extraction to be over with.

As an historian, I looked back through the years and – though there have been a few rather nasty campaigns in the past – this one is by far the most bizarre and bewildering event I have ever seen.

We have the outsider who acts as though he is in some reality popularity contest and then the ultimate insider who assumes to have the victory nailed down already… and judging from the treatment Bernie Sanders got, I think Hillary may be right about that. The fix may already be in.

One pundit I heard claimed that Hillary should not be elected for another term as she already ran the Presidency for two terms at the end of the last century – “who do you think ran the country while Bill was busy chasing skirts?” But that is just a minor technicality.

A friend in England – the “old” one across the pond, not the “new” one still nursing the grudge from Deflategate – asked me quite seriously, “Are you telling me that you have three-hundred-million people there and these two clowns are the best you can field?”

My reply, with a straight face, was, “Apparently so.”

The outcome would not be the travesty it certainly appears or the generalized CF it also appears to be were it not for one small, teensy little problem:

The candidate who will be elected will not be voted for.

Yes, you heard that right: the candidate who wins this election will not do so because the majority of the voters want him/her. They will only win because the vast majority of the electorate is voting against the other candidate.

A friend of mine said he was voting for Johnson, the Libertarian. Someone piped up immediately with “A vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump.” I overheard someone else claim “A vote for Johnson is a vote for Hillary.”

No one seems to get it: a vote for Johnson is a vote FOR Johnson. The same for those voting for Stein. The people with the “voting against” mentality cannot conceive of someone actually voting for a candidate because they are better. No, they would rather let evil win, even if it be the lesser of the two.

Yes, there are people who really, really support Hillary, and many who really, really support Trump, but the vast majority this year are voting against someone. When did the system get so broken?

And on Wednesday, two days from now, we can hear the people asking their friends: “So, who did you vote against?”

And that seems to be the only thing of importance this year: being against what you don’t want it the White House.

Imagine what might happen if everyone who really did not want either Hillary or Trump actually voted FOR someone?

Or would that make a little too much sense?



More Than a Little Confused… as Usual

October 12, 2016



I find it funny that the heads of the Republican Party are now trying to distance themselves from their candidate, Donald Trump. These guys claim the Donald is NOT representative of what Republicans stand for.

Somebody should break the news to these out-of-touch human beings: the majority of Republicans around the country are supporting Trump.

Maybe not so much the Party, but the Republicans certainly support him.

It makes me wonder WHICH Republican Party are these fellows talking about. ‘Cause it is obviously not the same party the people who are voting Republican think it is.

Maybe there is a Lame-o Republican Party who did not field a candidate this election cycle, or perhaps a Good Ol’ Boy Republican Party who didn’t get their guy on the ballot either.

All the Republicans I talk to are fully behind their candidate. That is, unlike the hierarchy of the supposed “Party” of those same people.



I agree with most political analysts about the Republican Party needing to do a little soul searching after this election.

Primarily, they have to figure out if they are going to represent the Republicans around the country or continue trying to represent their own interests and some fantasy populace they have dreamed-up.



The Last Angry Man

July 22, 2016



DATELINE 2201 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MC: Today I am talking to Jebadiah Horsepunt, a hundred-and-three year-old who is probably the last living supporter of Donald Trump. The election of 2016 was quite an experience according to the history books and we thought we would hear the impressions of someone who actually lived through those turbulent times. Mister Horsepunt:

JH: I know a lot of people have mentioned the anger that attended Trump and his campaign. The RNC leaders kept trying to get him to tone it down but he’d have none of it. He wanted the anger to flow, he wanted people to get mad enough that they’d get off their butts and do something about it.

What most people didn’t notice was that there were other angry people in America too, not just the middle-aged disenfranchised who supported Trump. There were plenty of young people angry as well and they all supported Sanders. Their anger was not as loud as Trump’s supporters nor as virulent but it was there. The angry people were tired of the same old government of usual that had been going on for years. They each approached the problem from different angles but they were both as angry.

When Sanders lost the nomination bid and bowed to Hillary, his supporters become further disenfranchised, disillusioned by party politics.

That’s why Cruz ran in 2020 with the slogan “Make the Republican Party Great Again”, echoing Trump’s slogan from the earlier election.

MC: So you are saying both parties were backed by angry people?

JH: Yep. The only people who were satisfied about the status quo were the Democrats supporting Hillary. But those people had been lulled to sleep by the rhetoric of the previous eight years when no change came to America, as Obama had promised.

Everybody else were awake enough to be mad at what they were seeing, mad at what this country was becoming, mad enough to do something. The vocal angry were for Trump, the quiet angry were for Sanders. And when you have seventy-percent of the electorate being mad about the way things are being run – or not being run, mind you – things are likely to go South.

MC: “Go South”?

JH: Yeah, get a little squirrely.

MC: Uh, and that means…?

JH: Let’s just say everything got a little bit messy for a time.

MC: Thank you, Mister Horsepunt. That has been a small view into the politics back in 2016. I’m not sure if it clears up much for any of you but that’s the take of the fellow that calls himself “the last angry man”. The views and opinions expressed on this show have been those of the speakers and not the views of this corporation, its subsidiaries, or its parent corporations.



Ban Them ALL!

August 4, 2013

I know there has been a lot of BAN talk going around lately and I have kept quiet about the issue but I think that time has ended.

It is time to stand up and be counted!

Many people claim they use them for sport, others for hunting, some people use them only for work, or getting to work.

Some people claim they only collect the antique ones for show, like they’re not going to harm anyone.

But enough of this pandering to special interests, corporate bigwigs, and several societies and support groups, lobbyists and so forth.

These things have been proven to kill, individually and in mass, regardless of the “mental health” checks and testing done.

And now, according to the experts, the damned things are killing even more. Yes, they are killing the planet.

So I would like to stand up and be counted as one of those opposed to the madness. Let’s end the suffering.

Let’s ban the automobile and stop the senseless killing.

The air will be fresher, the world will live longer, there will be no more road rage and acts of violence with these weapons.

Write your congressman and let them know you support the auto ban today.


France may Have the Best Cuisine on the Planet but…

March 5, 2013

croissant
Titan International, a tire manufacturing company in the U.S. was offered a great opportunity:

To take over a failing French tire plant!!

Hey, who wouldn’t want a presence in France, hey?

Well, apparently not Maurice Taylor, head of Titan. He wrote to the French government that he was not interested in “helping” with their little problem.

He wrote, “The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”

And then went on to say he was going to buy a plant in eastern Asia. He told the French they can keep their “so-called” workers.


Well, okay, so maybe the French are not known so much for their market economy, but just think of all the things they have to offer…

[ sound of crickets ]

Still they have the Left Bank, the Seine (or at least its polluted descendant), the Eifel Tower, and some lovely buttered croissants.

And somewhere back in the past they had some great vintages, several artists, and the original Napoleon.


So, who needs good workers when they can just rest on their laurels?


A Very Lame Argument

March 4, 2013

SCOTUS

The case against same-sex marriage is being heard before the Supreme Court and the opponents of the right that is legal in nine states is using an unusual argument: unwanted pregnancy.

This stems from the single opposing view of the Massachusetts Supreme Court when the law was passed.

Massachusetts Justice Robert Cordy explained in his dissent that the government does have a stake in defining marriage as only between men and women because unwanted pregnancies result in the couples marrying and creating a “stable family” which then becomes the bulwark of society. It was the government’s responsibility then to ensure the male of the couple is sent the strong message to wed and help in rearing the children.

What the heck was this guy smoking?!

The statistics on couples that got married “because they had to” are not good, usually ending in divorce, battered wives, and a number of other problems not conducive to Justice Cordy’s (or anyone else’s) idea of a stable society.

And since WHEN do people get married for the good of the society?

Last time I checked, people got married because they wanted to share a life together, not for any statistical chart over at Health and Human Services.

And his idea of “sending a strong message” to young men not ready or willing to become supportive partners and parents is not anywhere near working.

Again, I can only ask what the heck was this guy smoking?!

But, as completely stupid as this reasoning sound, his argument has been cited in practically every suit opposing gay marriage since 2003!!


Maybe these guys are smoking the same thing.

First off, we really need less government involvement in our daily lives and we sure as hell(!) need less church in our government.

Separation of church and state was mandated for a reason and this religious pressure was exactly that reason.

Enforce your religious views on yourselves and not on everyone else.

(says so in both the Holy Bible and the Constitution)

Another Martyr?

January 13, 2013

I read about a young man named Aaron Swartz who was so upset about his upcoming trial and pending jail time that he committed suicide.

Sure, it is always sad when young people (he was only 26) take their own lives when faced with really difficult situations. It is hard on the family and the friends as well as, in this case, people who were followers of the young man.

You see, he was a leader in the cause of free and open internet access. He did not believe things should be kept FROM people if it was data that should be freely accessible. And rather than make some new version of the FOIA, he created a manifesto and started a digital revolution.

Several articles say he was a martyr for the cause…

They claim he was a suicide…

Both claims are just wrong. Having been suicidal – in my younger days, so you don’t have to worry… they canceled that “suicide watch” some forty years ago – I have a pretty good understanding of what that entails. I have done volunteer work as a suicide watcher for cases of very depressed people and I don’t believe the very depressed kill themselves.

Why? Suicide is self-murder. Murder is a crime of passion and self-hatred is usually beyond the framework of the clinically depressed. They are usually so apathetic that though they may think of suicide, it is more a case of “what’s the use?” and though some may take too many pills or some such, a hangman’s noose is a little too active for those depressed. (I am, of course, not an “expert” in this field and I am sure I will get complaints from professionals in the area who will say I am dead wrong. Or something.)

The young man did not let on to anyone that he was A) despondent, B) depressed, or C) suicidal. There was no note, nor any clue as to the why of his action. And as his lawyers were fairly certain he was going to walk for his supposed crimes, what was his rationale for ending it all?


As for the man being a martyr… It is a subject I have studied in some depth (see my forthcoming volume How to Be a Martyr (or Die Trying) for more details) and I cannot see how an intelligent person would have chosen this method for martyrdom.

There should have been some statement about the reasons behind his death, whether a suicide note, a rant about his cause(s), or something.

Yet the press is calling it a suicide and a martyrdom when it seems to be nothing more than a simple murder. Conspiracy theorists are probably going to be all over this one but I cannot see that a conspiracy is required for someone to have had a motive.


Whether or not the police ever investigate the case further, there is another death recently that comes to mind. In July, a Chicago man, Urooj Khan, won the lottery and then dropped dead. It was reported as a simple “death by natural causes”.

Several members of his family fought to have more done on the case as they suspected foul play. It took four months before they re-examined the evidence and found cyanide. It has now been declared a homicide.

I can see something like this happening in Swartz’ case. Suicide and martyrdom make absolutely no sense. Revolutionaries and visionaries are not in the habit of bailing out when the going gets tough.

At least, none that I have ever seen.


Time’s Person of the Year 2012

December 20, 2012

Well, they have made the announcement.

I was betting on Malala. You know, that Pakistani teenager who spoke out against the Taliban about women’s education and got shot in the head for her troubles? She survived to continue the fight. And I was hoping it would have gotten mention in such a way.

But it was not to be. The editors over at Time took the “safe” bet and named Barack Obama. Well, congratulations are in order for POTUS.

Perhaps the editors actually saw the great strides Obama had made this year in… well, in the area of… er, maybe it was… Hang on! Give me a minute!

Oh, yeah, I got it! He is the first African-American to win RE-election as President!

Yes, that sounds a little lame, doesn’t it?

Or maybe because he was able to make a tough stand against the Taliban… Oh, wait, that was Malala.

Or it was his stand against the oppressive Muslim regimes… Oops! I guess that was Malala as well.

How about his stand on promoting education for women, especially in the areas of technology and… well, maybe… except that that too seems to be Malala.

But then we must not forget what Obama did for all the older, wealthy guys – like the editors over at Time magazine, huh? – and that is a heck of a lot more than Malala ever did for them!

Or it might boil down to the same reason as Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize before he had been President a week. You know, right about when he was talking about sending more troops to the Mid-East to fight a more expanded war…

And that reason is POLITICS.

Let’s face it, Time is nothing more than another political rag. You know, the stuff made for lining garbage pails and the bottoms of bird cages.


Congratulations are in order to Malala for even getting a mention by the fat cats over at Time.