Category Archives: Politics

Saying Goodbye To 41 And A Generation

It may be historically premature to judge the greatness of a whole generation, but indisputably, there are common traits that cannot be denied. It is a generation that, by and large, made no demands of homage from those who followed and prospered economically, politically, and culturally because of its sacrifices. It is a generation of towering achievement and modest demeanor, a legacy of their formative years when they were participants in and witness to sacrifices of the highest order. They know how many of the best of their generation didn’t make it to their early twenties, how many brilliant scientists, teachers, spiritual and business leaders, politicians and artists were lost in the ravages of the greatest war the world has seen.
Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation.

This is not about politics. History will determine the legacy of George H W Bush. The truth is, being President of this great country comes with the understanding that you will never please everyone. You will always have your critics. You will never walk away unscathed. There will be people who detest you for reasons they can’t possibly understand. You will make decisions that may infuriate half the country. You will be loved and fiercely hated.
The truth is, very few people know what it’s like to hold that office. The journalists, correspondents, senators, congressmen; none of them really know what it’s like. It’s a world with great power and even greater isolation.

But that’s the political side. You choose your color and walk the path your beliefs take you.

As I watched the things that were said about President Bush these last few days, I was struck by how different our landscape has changed in the last 25 years. Politics has always been a dirty game but the last 25 years has seen it taken to new levels. It has become more about “ME” than what’s best for our country, and it extends well beyond the last two years.

President Bush came from a different time. He’s the last President we had that didn’t require on the job training. His resume spoke for itself. But more than that, he came from a time when people did whatever they had to do for their country, and asked for nothing in return. He came from a time when integrity and loyalty mattered. Like all of us, he wasn’t perfect, but he gave us something we haven’t seen since he left office; a connection to our history and all the things that make this country great.

We’ve moved away from some of the qualities this office should possess.

The generation of President Bush, of my parents, of those who gave so much, is quickly coming an end. There was a time when integrity, loyalty, decency, sacrifice, patriotism, humility and kindness all meant something. We’ve lost that over the last 25 years and I’m afraid it won’t be seen again.

We buried much more than a former president today. We buried the best part of our past. A generation of selfless dignity that won’t be seen again.

 

Arrogance And Politicians

Instead of enjoying and celebrating our country’s independence in New Jersey this weekend, we were instead reminded of how arrogant, insensitive, uncaring, two-faced, and self-centered politicians can be. I have other words in mind but choose not to use them here.

It seems our governor decided to shut down the government this weekend because he hasn’t been able to get some revisions he wanted on a health bill. This is a typical Chris Christie move. He doesn’t get what he wants so he bullies people and tries to intimidate them. It’s what he’s done to teachers and other union members for the last eight years. If there’s anyone alive who had any doubt he was behind Bridgegate then you must be a member of his immediate family, though I’m not sure they have much use for him either.

Of course shutting down the government means that all state parks would be closed during this long holiday weekend. One of those state parks is Island Beach State Park where families go to enjoy the beach. Since it was closed, families had to find other, more expensive alternatives if they wanted to visit the beach.

But wait, not all families were inconvenienced. It seems the state provides the governor access to a home on Island Beach State Park. Of course the home comes with access to the park and beach. So guess who decided to bring their family to the beach this weekend, sit on the sand and smile at the cameras?

                       You guessed it. There’s our governor and his family in all his self-centered arrogance, sunning himself on an empty beach, while taxpayers were not allowed in.

When asked about it his response was, “That’s the way it goes. Run for governor and you can have the residence.”

I’m convinced the word scum was created for people like him.

Happy Fourth of July!!!

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.