Category Archives: Politics

A Language Apart

We want to be loved; failing that, admired; failing that, feared;
failing that, hated and despised. We want to stir up some sort
of feelings in others. Our soul abhors a vacuum. At all costs
it longs for contact.
 Hjalmar Soderberg, Doctor Glas, 1905

I read these words six months ago at the beginning of a book titled, One Of Us, by Asne Seierstad. It relates the true story of a man, whose name I won’t mention, who killed seventy-seven people in Norway on July 22, 2011. Eight people were killed by a bomb outside of the Prime Minister’s office in Oslo and sixty-nine more were killed by guns at a youth camp on the wooded island of Utoya. Most of those killed on the island were teenager members of the country’s governing Labour Party.

It was, in the same breath, one of the best and most compelling books I’ve ever read, and one of the most disturbing.

I write these words because every time there is another act of terrorism or violence anywhere in the world, I feel as we all do; angry and helpless. There are no words that can explain the acts committed or the mindset behind them.

Terrorism has its own language; one no rational human being can begin to understand.

The only thing we can do is offer our thoughts and prayers for the loss of so many. For the loss of so much promise and potential; for the lives that have changed; for those taken and those that remain.

Hatred is an irrational and powerful enemy and not exclusive to specific parts of the world. It lives where you live.

Believing otherwise is foolish.

Enough Already

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
The American President

I’ve always loved those words in the movie, The American President. Unfortunately, we forget them sometimes.

I was glad the election was over and hoped to move forward regardless of who won, but in the word of Pacino in Godfather 3, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

The only reason I’m writing this is that I’m starting to get annoyed and this is my place to come and vent so if you want to bail on this post, I completely understand. For those who stay, I’ll try to be brief.

If you’ve read my blog at all in the last few months, you know I haven’t commented much on the election and that I’m not a fan of either party or candidate. It was an ugly campaign conducted by two people who are low on the character scale and in my opinion, neither one was/is worthy of holding this office.

But someone had to be elected and the process played itself out. Fine. The winners celebrate and the losers cry for a couple of days. That’s the way all games are played and this one, played out with a couple of demagogues, was no different.

But if you listen to the media, who refuses to let this go, you’d think Mother Teresa lost to Idi Amin. Come on now. Let’s be honest.

Is Trump capable of leading this country and is he as bad as he’s portrayed or was he just telling people what they wanted to hear in order to get votes? I don’t know, but we’re going to find out in short order. His supporters may ultimately be disappointed in who they elected because at the end of the day, Trump is a pretty good businessman/dealmaker, and any good dealmaker knows that if you have any chance of surviving in the world you choose to live, compromise is critical. He’s already backing off a bit. We’ll see where that goes.

As for Hillary, you’d think she was as pure as the driven snow. Really? Even those who backed her have to admit that it was her own sins that came back to bite her and ultimately cost her the election. There are so many reasons why she lost and quite frankly, Trump is the least of them. If you can’t beat Trump in a Presidential election with the kind of money, experience and pedigree you have stuck in your back pocket, what does that tell you about her? The democrats chose the only person in America who couldn’t beat Trump and that’s their fault. The deal they made with her was cut a long time ago and everyone knows it. Except no one knew or anticipated how badly she would mess up. And even when it all came out, they arrogantly continued to dismiss it and believed people would forget about it. They had no idea that the American public was going to take a page out of the movie, Network, throw open their windows and yell, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Some people want you to believe there are other underlying reasons why this election went the way it did. Those are the people who are math majors with a concentration on Division. For the most part, I believe this country is better than that.

So the game should be over for now. We have a process that’s fair, though heavily influenced by huge sums of money. It’s time to move on. There have been many times when the person I wanted to win, lost. It bothered me. But when it was over, I wanted that person to succeed,  because there is no other choice. If he doesn’t succeed, everyone loses. The betterment of this country should be more important than our individual differences.
We all have a right to protest within the boundaries of the law. We all have a right to speak our minds and call out and reject our elected officials when we feel they don’t have our best interests at heart.

And that’s exactly what happened here.

Let’s move on.

A Little Political Fun

Here is a short but interesting little quiz that’s apparently been taken over 45 million times. It asks a few questions about where you stand on the most important issues in the upcoming election and then matches your answers to the candidate whose views you most closely associate with.

I know some people who were very surprised at the results after taking the quiz. Maybe your results will be in line with whom you’ve chosen to vote for, or maybe it’ll make you smile or even laugh once your results are shown.

If you have a few minutes, it might be fun. Unless of course, you don’t want to know….:)

Happy Voting!

http://www.isidewith.com/

My Choice In November

So this is what it’s come down to and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way.

The question is, what do I do about it?

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I have voted in every Presidential election since 1972. It’s a privilege and right we all have in this country and I never took it lightly.

Now many people say that two things one should never discuss are politics and religion. There’s some truth to that in certain settings. But this is my blog and one of the reasons I started doing this is because it gave me an opportunity to write and an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings about certain things and have honest and respectful exchanges of ideas. If I can’t do that here, then what’s the point of having a blog? I know I’m not concerned about losing sponsors because there aren’t any sponsors to be concerned about, and even if there were, I’m sure their contributions would not alter my lifestyle. I should be concerned about losing followers? I don’t think so. Real followers on here are like friends; if you can’t discuss or express your thoughts with friends then whats the point?

So I believe in God and I’m an independent.

I’ve never understood the idea of belonging to one party or another. I’ve always voted for the most qualified person; someone who I thought had some integrity and would try to what’s best for this country. That’s been more difficult to do in recent years and impossible to find during this recent embarrassment.
There have been years when the choices were not very clear and I had to really struggle to find something; some glimmer of hope or character.

But not this year. This election is void of hope or character.

I have thought about walking into that voting booth so many times and pulling the lever for either candidate and quite honestly the thought makes me sick to my stomach. They are both despicable liars. We can spin their lies in any positive way we like based on who we may support but at the end of the day, neither one is worthy of this office.

I haven’t watched news coverage of this election in months. I see recent headlines that attack each of these candidates as if the news that was uncovered is some new-found revelation of real journalism. But nothing that has been reported in the last few weeks/months should come as a surprise to anyone. These two poor excuses for used car salesmen are who they have been for decades. Why should anyone be surprised at what they read today? Revelations? I don’t think so.

The way I see it, I have a constitutional right to vote. Or not.

I choose not to vote for President of the United States in this election.

I will still vote for any questions that may appear on the ballot and any candidates I choose to support for state and local office, but I can’t in good conscience vote for either of these two human political abominations.

People have suggested I vote for the lesser of two evils. But to me there isn’t a lesser or greater degree of evil. Evil is evil.
People have also suggested that this isn’t an election where we vote for someone but against someone. Sorry, that just doesn’t make sense to me and it’s not the way I vote.

I know people will disagree and complain that no vote is a vote against someone. So be it. They will also say it’s my duty to vote. No, it isn’t. It’s my right. I just choose not to exercise that right in this election and I’m comfortable with my decision.

I don’t know how we got to this point. Three hundred million people in the greatest country in the world and this is what we’re left with; these are our insufferable choices. What an example for our children and the rest of the world.

We should be ashamed of these two grains of sand who are running for office but we should also be ashamed of ourselves for staying silent for so long and allowing politicians and our current political system to dictate to us as they/it has.

Sorry, but I choose not to be electrocuted. I will pray we get through the next four years, that someone presents themselves as an alternative next time around and that as a country we come to our senses.

Imagine if they held an election and no one decided to vote.

Imagine.

 

Style Or Substance?

I try hard not to overanalyze things, though sometimes I fail.  What can I say, I enjoy not being perfect. Life is much easier that way. So when an important or difficult decision presents itself, I try to look at it in a simplistic way and ask myself what’s most important in making the decision.
As an example, if you were to hire someone for a job, you would review their resume or application, look for the type of experience that fits the position you’re trying to fill and ask specific questions about their accomplishments. After that, you may ask for references or check with their previous employers to see if what they said they did matches up with what they actually accomplished. When that was done, you might even run a background check on them, check their Facebook page, see if they have a twitter account or check their Linkedin profile. In short, you would do your due diligence to make sure you were hiring the best candidate based on their experience, actual accomplishments and ethics.

Pretty simple, right? I think most of us would agree on those points.

So now lets throw a presidential election into the mix. This country must decide who they want leading their company for a specific period of time or elected term of office. While I understand the power of this position has limits based on a variety  of factors, it’s still significant in terms of power, perception, attitude and company morale. So I would think, simplistically speaking, we would, at the very least, adopt the same kind of hiring process that I mentioned earlier.

 

But here’s where things get fuzzy. We have a tendency to become distracted or misdirected by the way things are presented to us rather than by the truth of what’s presented. We have individual agendas, things that are in our own individual best interests rather than the well-being of the company. We become infatuated by style, wealth, promises, rhetoric and really good comedic lines at rallies and debates. We forget about the simple questions like, what have you accomplished or what real experience do you have for this position? Instead of looking into  the truth of what’s being said or promised, we just accept it as gospel because someone was smart enough to strike a nerve that resonates. If they say they can do it, even though they have no experience or track record on getting something like this done, that seems to be good enough.

We seem to elect and gravitate toward showmen these days, snake oil salesmen who will promise you truth in a bottle of vinegar. And we drink it down with a smile on our faces. Style without an ounce of substance to back up their claims. Make no mistake, both parties have these salesmen/saleswomen and we, as voters, are equal opportunity offenders of this hiring process.

So we’ll go through this ridiculously long and incredibly expensive process only to ignore those few qualified candidates who have real accomplishments on their resumes and have played the game with as much honesty and integrity as is possible. Unfortunately, celebrities or last names will eventually win out and once again we will be left with a house filled with lots of style but not an ounce of substance.

Makes you wonder how long it will take before the continued shortcomings in our hiring process will eventually force our company out of business.

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Style or substance? Which will you support?