Saturday, November 21, 2015

Note:  I will be going off the internet around the 24th of this month.  I believe it is temporary, but am not sure.  I'll let you know if I renew this blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Politics, Racism and Racists

Isn't it strange how we can see racism in others, but be unaware of it in ourselves?  Of course, I take some guff for my brass in pointing out to African Americans that they are racists, too.  Bernie Sanders was calling Trump an old-time racist the other night.  I guess, by default, I am lumped in with Trump because I have pointed out that Trump is more right about Hispanic crime than liberal Democrats and Independents want him to be.

Frasier Glenn Cross, a dyed-in-the wool bigot, was just sentenced to death tonight for setting out to kill Jewish people at two Jewish facilities in Kansas.  (He killed, instead, three Christians, whose lack of bigotry, had taken them to the grounds of these facilities).  Yet, how many of the Jewish people shouting about his anti-Semitic views would recognize their own bigotry when going into a "tiz" over a family member deciding to marry outside of their race and faith?

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of the students of the University of Missouri at Columbia this week.  They used a totally non-violent sit-in to topple administrators and open the way for real change to occur.  There was no cheapness -- no looting, no burning, no destruction of property.  It was a class act all the way.  National organizers could well take note and learn from them.

In earlier articles, I've suggested that celebrities get involved in calming the racial tensions.  Where are they when we need them?  Well, at the risk of having Gayle King say, "Oh, oh, you're not going to get a car", I'm going to guess that Oprah and her colleagues are out finding more movie themes inclined to fan the flames of racist feelings.  That's okay, Gayle, I can't afford the taxes on a gas guzzling SUV anyway.  Did I say, the racism being rehashed and misinterpreted in these movies just keeps the scabs picked off the wounds until the infection spreads and causes more and more problems?

We have the masses exposed to brief sound bites on hosted shows  --  with celebrities attempting to educate us about points they barely understand themselves.  Then the poorly taught listener acts out in the grocery or wherever, on his/her interpretation of a celebrity's poorly defined concept.

I can hardly go shopping these days without some incident.  Saturday I was at Aldis  --  again.  The incident happened there  --  again.  The young man entered the store right behind me.  I didn't see him in the store at all until the checkout lane.

My daughter had shared my basket.  She put her items on the checkout counter first.  I was totally intent on getting my groceries from the cart to the counter.  I was vaguely aware of someone crowding in on my turf, but didn't "surface" from my task.  All of a sudden the guy was right in front of me, touching even, grabbing for a divider.  I still didn't abandon my task, but I was getting a little tuned to the space invasion.  Then he began frantically saying he was sorry and moved back to the end of the counter.  I made some kind of a downward motion with my hands, meant to quiet him.  Then I reached for a divider and handed it over.  I said something like, I think this may be what you need.

As I finished my task, I turned and looked at the woman with him  --  probably his mother, judging from the age difference.  I thought there was mirth in her eyes, but I guess I was wrong.  When I moved forward, I heard her say, "Now that was racial profiling."  No, lady, that had nothing to do with race at all.

Had you been a white woman and it was a white woman's son that did that  --  and I had been the African American it happened to  --  I might have said to your son, "Yo Mama didn't teach you any manners?"  Instead, I used a gesture I might have used with a day care full of kids.  It was a gesture meant to calm and diffuse, and it did.  But you were hell bent, as are many African Americans these days, in turning nothing into a racial incident.

I clearly see Whoopi Goldberg sitting in one of her game show squares, a black person on either side, declaring, "Now, this is racial profiling."  Well, actually Whoopi, that wasn't racial profiling either, but it was closer.

Racial profiling is targeting a certain race or group of people, usually with the intent of harassing them in some manner, such as in police matters.

The problem with celebrities teaching their vague concepts of behaviors from the silver screen or the television is not only that they sometimes don't get the definition themselves, but they inflame the anger and retaliation of masses of individuals who are not nearly so smart as they are.

A little discretion would go a long way.  Or, if racial strife is what floats your boat, proceed as usual.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

You Don't Say!

Really, Mr. Vice President, if it walks like an enemy, talks like an enemy and acts like an enemy, it must surely be an enemy.  After the way Republicans have been treating former Secretary of State Clinton for around a decade, as well as her husband before her, I cannot believe you would say Republicans are not her enemies.

Perhaps you classify all the attacks they have made as simple politics.  If so, they have made them with great relish.  And they have lied and misrepresented facts in volume and circulated the trash to their gullible constituents who eagerly embrace it all.  We have the richest of rich sewing trash to their blue collar base and the base acting as though it is Biblical truth.

I'm sure politics has always been an ugly business, but beginning around the time of the Watergate break in, the Republican Party started on the fast track to a new moral low.  I know, I know!  The Democrats are not squeaky clean either, but they haven't quite stooped to the Republican level of disgusting behavior.

Would that both sides would "clean up their act", "straighten up and fly right" . . . behave in a Christian manner toward each other.  It isn't necessary to attack each other to win.  Just develop the best platform you can that shows both compassion toward the poor at the same time it cuts waste from necessary programs.  Remember the $100 hammers?

And you, the Republicans, wasted over four million dollars more on an eighth investigation into the same tragedy?  Don't you ever listen to the news reports?  A military leader assigned to the area at the time of the attack said there was not time for a military intervention.  It would have taken four days of preparation to get there.

But you guys have the nerve, after this kind of waste, to threaten more cuts to Social Security and Medicare?  You don't say!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Least Justifiable Tax

Perhaps the least understandable as well as least justifiable tax is the estate tax.  This is sometimes referred to as the death tax.

First, the company or corporation must pay taxes.  Then, if I understand correctly, the owner(s) must pay taxes on their personal income.  As if that isn't enough of a double whammy, that greedy gut vacuum called Congress just must get it's mitts on a death tax.  Holy smokes, folks, is there no end to this?  This morning on This Week, Bernie Sanders was spouting off about more estate taxes.

Let me refresh your memory.  I am not a wealthy individual.  Neurotic fantasies aside and the occasional Powerball ticket-- I have no real expectations of having to pay a death tax or to leave enough so my children or grandchildren would happen to have such an obligation.  This is pure, vindictive taxation.  It's like saying, how dare these individuals accumulate so much and not expect us to take one more swipe at it.  One could almost hear the anger in Sander's voice as he referred to the rich passing the wealth to their heirs.  I suggest you might want to watch a recording of the show on NBC's web site.

I am all for the rich paying their fair share of taxes with no access to loopholes.  But, really folks, the operative words are fair share and no loopholes.  It isn't any more moral to gouge the rich than to gouge the wage earners or consumers.

One of the things Sanders wants to do with the "extra" money is to provide free public college for all.  Laudable an idea as this is, the timing is piss poor, as the crude expression goes.  Such luxuries should definitely wait until our budget is balanced; our debts are paid.  Have Democrats totally lost their minds?  This is as unreasonable in one direction as the Tea Party extremes in the other direction.

 The good Lord forbid that I might actually vote for more Republicans next election.  I would like to see a little reality orienting among the candidates of my own party.

We need realistic taxes, realistic expenditures and cutting  --  not increasing  --  of waste in programs.  We don't have enough income from taxation to support the social programs we already have, much less for adding new ones.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How Dare You?

I've heard a couple of people recently say that people who want the amendment that gives us the right to bear arms upheld are the same people who don't trust the United States government.  One of these had very high status.  How dare the two of you or anyone else devalue what we believe by likening us to the militant lunatic fringe of this or any other country.  So, we don't believe like you?   What kind of lunatic fringe are you?  If we are casting aspersions at people who disagree with us, we can do it too.

Are you saying that all members of the IRA, the main organization upholding this constitutional right, are distrustful of the government?  Are you stating that all conservative Republicans don't like the government?  Even the ones in Congress?  The Democrats that own guns as well?  How about the hunters?  So we don't believe like you?  The constitution only applies to the likes of you?  The whole government and the country belong to you only?  And don't give me the crap that the people who negotiated the Bill of Rights and the Constitution meant that only the military should bear the arms.  I've done enough research on the topic and published an article that disputes that claim.  You should read it sometime.  In fact, maybe you should read all my blogs. 

Yes, I'm angry.  I ought to be.  Just a curiosity if you will bear with me.  I know, you like to quote your experts.  But do you know that you can get a team of experts to quote you stats that support about any stance on any subject?  I know that because I've been trained in research, and for that matter I even had a course in advertising.  Did you choose a smattering of experts from all sides of the opinions, or did you just find the ones that support your side?

I shall reiterate that we do not have a gun issue in this country.  We have a mental health issue.  We need to begin intervention with preschoolers and end it with the grave, because the insurance programs, the school districts, the military, and just about every other institution we have prefers to stick their heads in the sand and hide from the pure plain truth.  They don't want to support mental health issues financially.  Being mentally fit will cost plenty.

How dare you blame people who want to keep the right to protect themselves, when so much of the trauma in our country is caused by criminals and the mentally ill!  Get yourself out of denial.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Give Us A Break

My paternal grandmother once told me that she had always been a good money manager, but she couldn't hold a candle to my mother.  My Dad apparently felt my mother was good at stretching a buck, too.  One time he teased her by saying she could take a yard of fabric and get three dresses out of it.  She was not amused, but you get the idea of what kind of models I have had.

I learned as a teenager to sock away money to save for clothing and an occasional luxury.  We girls back then could not work before age sixteen, but boys could get paper routes at an early age (twelve, I think.)  One of the most lovely, generous things that has ever happened to me was my brother counting his money from collecting for his route, separating the paper cost from his tips and walking across the hall and giving me a dollar or two.  I saved these for future treats most of the time.

When I became old enough, I worked sixteen to eighteen hours a weekend in a local drugstore  --  for $1.00 an hour.  The summer before I went to college, the hours changed to five week nights and all day Sunday.  The dollars mounted up so I was able to buy a wool suit and a winter coat to start my college wardrobe.  And, it was from one of the best dress shops in town.  My Mom made some clothes and my grandmother, the good manager, usually bought me a nice dress for birthdays and Christmas.  These, and other ways, I've always managed to scrape by financially.  I paid most of my college housing costs by working part time and summer jobs.

After my husband got his doctorate, we bought our first house.  At some point I had promised I would be a stay-at-home Mom during the children's early years.  I kept my promise until he wanted a third child.  I agreed to the child, but went back to school after he was born.  I got an M. A. in Educational Research and Psychology one or two courses at a time while running a household and taking care of a husband and three kids.  Then, I completed most of a doctoral program before my marriage ended.

During the years of no work, I missed having a few dollars of my own.  I asked for, and received, twenty-five dollars a month for which I didn't have to account.  I saved all winter for a big splurge.  In the spring I bought enough bush honeysuckle to cover one entire side of the house, as well as two or three bushes each of forsythia and Japanese flowering quince.

Over the years, my husband, and then the children, got used to my rat hole of funds.  First the adult dude would say he had an emergency and needed to "borrow" some of my stash.  One time, I exhausted the fund I was saving to buy a studio loom because the dude got expenses paid to present a paper at a convention in Hawaii.  Wives were welcome to go as long as the couple paid the cost for her plane ticket and the extra for her staying in the hotel room.  By the time the trip came around I had saved spending money, too.

Once I was a single parent, the stash became a savings account upon which the children became dependent for emergencies.  It was as though they had read Mama's Bank Account and had quit before the end of the book.  They aren't the only ones who grew to count on me.  I had done so also.  A number of times I worked a "good" job days and a minimum wage or similar one nights so I could maintain a sense of security.  But, now I am a senior citizen, totally dependent on my Social Security, partly because some crooks squandered a retirement program I had earned; and also because the individuals for whom I have worked paid on the "cheap" where possible.  The government being reluctant to tax the rich who were even more reluctant to pay a living wage, at least to women, did not want to look into a crystal ball toward the future.  If they had seen, they would have realized that the minimum wage also dictated the hourly wage for the better positions.  What was earned dictated how much the employee and employer had to pay into the Social Security fund.  And how much we paid into the fund determined how much we would receive as retirees.  Or maybe they did "see" and just didn't care.  It never occurred to them it would come back to bite them in the rear later when Social Security was threatened and they had to support a significant number of senior citizens with medical care, food stamps and heat costs.

So, shortsighted, if not uncaring, government officials have borrowed and borrowed from our Social Security funds which they replaced with paper to call in at a future date.  In order to pay back for the "paper" now, the U. S. government, which has also squandered all our other funds, with wars and pork spending as well as unrealistic taxation and tax loopholes, has to borrow from China.  It is already borrowing from China to pay the interest on all our other debts.

After years of hearing that Congress was trying to chain our CPI so we got even less Social Security than the amount we can't live on now, I began receiving duns for money to be used to convince Congress to increase our Social Security base by $800 per recipient.  Like the dudes who want to chain the CPI would fall for that!  But, what do you know?  It seems to have been recommended by Senator John McCain, himself.

I've told you all before that I have $25.51 left in my savings account.  Many years, the rise in costs that immediately follow the annual announcement about Social Security increases, exceeds the expected raise.  Thus, seniors are left to face the coming year's inflation with less cash for expenses than they had the previous year.

I have to tell you, folks, unless you were paid like a man, or amassed a retirement fortune, it isn't pretty out here.  No matter how good you are at managing, survival depends on something to manage.  Give us a break!  And, please, quit bitching at us for needing it.  Sometimes it feels as if you would prefer that we just die so we wouldn't need it.  I hope the members of Congress haven't become that dysfunctional.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's The Hubbub About the Keystone XL Pipline?

Sometime in the past year, I heard a reporter interview an upper management employee of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  During that program, the interviewer specifically asked the man from Keystone if it would bring many jobs to the United States.  He truthfully, but reluctantly, answered that no, it wouldn't mean more than around fifty permanent jobs.

The purpose of the pipeline, per articles I have read is so Canadian oil can be shipped to U. S. ports to be sent overseas.  This lays to rest a common belief that it would mean more oil for us.  If these reports are true, we would get fifty jobs and zero oil.  So what is this never-ending fuss about? 

Why exactly do the Republicans and their constituency want to risk the environment and ecology of any portion of our country for that?

Perhaps the press could take a rest from policing political correctness and find out what all this hubbub is about if we get no benefit from messing up our own ecology for Canada.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

There Is No Accountability

The political correctness police have been all over the election cycle just as they are all over everyone and everything these days.  Some members of the press called Donald Trump a bigot the other day for his remarks about illegal immigrants.  They cast aspersions on Jeb Bush for referring to "anchor babies."  This is a term used to describe children whose families see that they are born in the United States, which allows many members of their families to move here legally.

So, could there possibly be anything incorrect about political correctness?  You bet.  There is no accountability for the people about whom we are supposed to be politically correct.  Say what?  You heard me.  Political correctness takes away the need for individuals to be held accountable for their behaviors. If anybody has the "brass ones" to say anything about a misbehavior of a minority person, an illegal immigrant, an anchor baby, the speaker, not the misbehaver, gets the blame.

Ferguson, Missouri, remains a crucial reminder of such an incident.  Videotapes clearly show Michael Brown manhandling the clerk of the convenience store where he was accused of stealing around $48 worth of cigars.  He sticks out his huge arm and sweeps aside the much smaller clerk like he was wiping dust off a countertop.  But who at this point holds Brown accountable for anything?  Certainly not his black friends.  Not Al Sharpton.  His Mom was said to refuse to view the tapes because they were just trying to make Michael look bad.  No, Mam.  Michael made Michael look bad and the country saw it happen.

When the police told Michael to leave the road and use the sidewalk, he confronts the officer and wrestles him for his gun.  Who has held Michael accountable for that misbehavior?  Not his Mother, Step-father, friends, or the political correctness police, that's for sure.  Yes, Michael is dead.  And the life of a police officer and his family is changed forever as well.

Oprah Winfrey caused an international incident yelling racism because a clerk told her the price of the purse didn't matter because she couldn't afford it.  Who, in his/her right mind could afford a $49,000 purse, even if they did have the money?  Paying that for costuming would be insane. 
But who has held Oprah accountable for stirring up a hornets nest by playing the race card over a casual remark?  Not the political correctness police for sure.  That poor clerk in that store in a foreign country  --  that is not even known for racist issues  -  knows which adult was rude . . . which adult was racist . . . which adult showed her ass in front of the whole world.  The country's government had to apologize, for Pete's sake.  Oh, but weren't they "politically correct" for doing so?  And who has held Oprah accountable for throwing a temper tantrum in a foreign country and embarrassing the United States?  Nobody.

A white boy went into a black church and killed several black church members.  Our President called it a racist act.  A black man killed some white people and our President said it was one more example that we need more gun control.  Who is holding our President accountable for his one-sided view?  Once more, nobody.

Al Sharpton moves from incident to incident stirring up the masses.  Then he walks away and ignores the rioting and pillaging in his wake.  But, he invokes the name of the Reverend Martin Luther King, so that means Sharpton wants "peaceful" resistance does it not?  Uh, uh.  Reverend King wanted peaceful resolution.  Where is the accountability for Al Sharpton?

Celebrities, white and black demonstrated for the Civil Rights movement from the beginning.  Where are black celebrities when we need them to demonstrate for peace now?  Who is telling them they should do the right thing?  Not the political correctness police, that's for sure!

All you political correctness buffs out there have all those demonstrators so stirred up that they travel hundreds of miles to pillage and burn these days.  Ask the Ferguson police how many arrests they had to make of people from other parts of the country this summer.

Let me tell you about racism and bigotry folks!  Take, for instance, the bigoted "eedgit" that drove across half of Missouri to "kill him some Jews".  The jury just sentenced Frasier Glenn Cross to death for killing three white Christians who happened to be in front of Jewish institutions.  That man is a bigot.

The black man who shot a cop in the back of the head for standing at a gas pump  --  that man is a bigot. 

Anyone who takes out his wrath on an innocent bystander, whether black or white, Asian or Hispanic, is a bigot.  He/she is striking out at everyone in sight for wrongs (real or imagined) that he perceives have happened to him.  That's bigotry.

But where are the political correctness police when the white folk need them?  Well, they are out blindly protecting the color of one skin or another against this "evil" white world in which we live.

And who is holding the dark skinned perpetrators accountable?  In fact, who is holding the political correctness police accountable?

Not a soul it seems.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Honesty Or Brashness?

Truthful, sincere and frank, or hasty, rash, impudent and tactless  --  that is the question!  If Donald Trump's words are demonstrating a deep-seated integrity such as we have not seen from many politicians, we would be lucky to have him as president.  But if his words are the result of impulsivity and striking out at others, then electing him would be great folly.

A tornado enters a community, takes over everyone's attention briefly and leaves rubble and disaster in it's wake.  Recently, pictures circulating on Facebook have shown some mighty lovely scenes with a tornado as the focal point.  While eyeing the breathtaking beauty of the pictures, it is possible to forget momentarily the menace that the scene portrays.

Such are the words of Donald Trump.  They strike beauty at first glance.  They promise action.  They portray a man who will get things done.  They imply that a man who is a success in business is a success in all things.  Yet, he is not a success in some of the most important skills needed in a president.

Everybody who speaks of President Jimmy Carter in his time of illness, speaks of his grace in this as in all things.  Where is Donald Trump's grace?

Trump says if someone attacks him, then it gives his permission to attack back and makes it okay to call his victims fat, bimbo and possibly suffering from PMS (implied by his blood comments).  He says he whine's until he gets what he wants.  Already he is whining that reporters and anchors aren't being fair with their questions.  They want him to answer the what, when, where, why and how when all he speaks is the who.

First meeting with President Obama, Israel's Netanyahu insulted him.  How would the Donald have responded to this?  In his point of view that would give him leave to insult the Israeli leader.  Then what would happen? Well, we would probably lose one of our oldest and dearest allies.

After Iran signed the recent agreement, the Iranian leader made it clear that it didn't make us friends.  Would the Donald have responded with name calling or a schoolyard brawl?

Trump assures us he will build a wall that will keep illegals out and make Mexico pay for it.  That's almost laughable on the heels of the Mexican cartel tunneling under prison walls so their leader, Guzman, could escape.  And he'll make Mexico pay for it?  How?  We need specifics.  What leverage does he have?  Can he do it or is it just braggadocio?

When asked how he would lead the military concerning Afghanistan and Syria, he said the military had advisors to make suggestions to him.  Is he the leader or the follower?  As President Harry Truman used to say, "The buck stops here"  --  at the President's desk.

Some of us get the impression that Mr. Trump thinks that being brash is cute.  In our anger with congress, illegal immigration, low wages and a long-term sense of helplessness, we flirt with the relief of having someone finally saying he will get in the ring and fight our battles to the finish.  Yet, is the man speaking substance or just facade?

How much does he actually know about war?  Is he experienced in governing or making laws?  Does he have political experience with leaders of other countries?  We already know his response to verbal attacks could end up as vicious as those of a junkyard dog.

This country needs a leader who understands diplomacy and tact.  We need someone who thinks before he retaliates.  Fun and likeable though the man can be as a showman, I fear he is just not the leader we need.

All you other hopefuls out there, hear the message from the nerve he has struck.  Figure out exactly what this need he is promising to fill must be.  Then give us your best solutions to the problems; not just words but plans.  We really need you to hear what his popularity is telling us.  We just must have a saner and more self-controlled individual to provide it for us.  Or maybe the Donald can learn to chill and back up verbiage with substance.  The world might not survive a tornado of this size and speed.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Primer For Congress

Arbitrary--using or abusing power.

Discussion--considering by argument or debate
Debate--to deliberate, discuss or argue
Negotiate--to bring about by discussion and settlement of terms
Mediate--to act between parties as an intermediary
Compromise--a settlement of differences by mutual concessions

Represent--to stand or act in place of, as an agent or congressman does for people
Immoral--not conforming to standards of conduct usually seen as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics
Unethical--not in accordance with principles of morality; about right and wrong
Slacker--a person who evades his duty; shirker
Shirker--a person who evades work, duty, responsibility

Representative--a person who represents a constituency in a legislative body
Responsibility--a burden or obligation upon a person who is responsible
Official--a person charged with certain duties such as in government
Produce--to bring into existence
Producer--a person who produces
Productive--producing readily and abundantly

Selfish--concerned only with one's own interests
Self knowledge--understanding of one's own characteristics
Self-renunciation--renunciation of one's own will or interests

Hero--someone known for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities
Sacrifice--the surrender of something prized for something of a higher or more pressing claim
Generous--free from meanness or smallness of mind or character

Victor--a person who has overcome or defeated an adversary.
Victory--the decisive superiority in any battle or contest.
Nemesis--an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best

Conscience--the ethical and moral principles that inhibit our actions

Congress--a body of individuals who have been elected to represent all of us, but has lost the moral, ethical path.

Spirit guide--needed to keep said individuals on the straight and narrow
Constituent--a person who authorizes another to act for him as a voter.  Or, one who is easily duped.

Vote--a congressman's only spirit guide.  Let's start thinking and use this wisely

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Second Child Syndrome

When I'm in a joking mood, I sometimes refer to the Midas Touch as a part of second child syndrome.  Do I have any serious research information to support my observation?  Of course not.  It just seems that in my sheltered little world, the people with the proverbial Midas Touch are second children.  And even there they are rare.  I wonder, does the need to compete for attention with a first-born child create the necessary competitiveness for winning at piling up dollars?  Or are the first-born children so busy with their caretaking and assistant parent roles that they learn to serve  --  not to win?

So why is this an article in "Trickle Down Politics"?  I'll tell you why.  Because we need to understand that an ability to earn money is just that.  It does not make one a gifted orator . . . a keen political mind . . . a leader of others . . . a tactful negotiator . . . a people person (though many Midas people have excellent skills at interacting with people) . . . a person knowledgeable about the Constitution or history . . . or someone who has any basic skills for being President of the United States.

Donald Trump, with his gruff and explosive speech patterns, his impulsivity, his women's issues (which he has displayed for decades by running pageants that focus on superficial beauty) and his obvious biases against much of America, knows how to do one thing extremely well.  He knows how to earn stacks and stacks of dollars. He knows how to lose them extremely well, also, but that's a story for another day.  He might use those skills to help the country file for Chapter whatever it would be.

What all his foot in mouth disease is accomplishing is hogging the spotlight and taking away sound bites from better qualified, if less colorful, candidates for the Republican nomination for President.  And he says if his party won't nominate him, he'll run for another party.  The Democratic Party can only hope and pray that he does get the nomination, or even better, runs as an Independent and splits the party vote.

I'd like to side with the pundits who keep saying that in the end the American people will do the right thing and elect a qualified President.  Yet, We The People, have let us down a number of times in recent years.

What Trump's current popularity shows would be areas that possible candidates from all parties need to address and tell us what they would propose and support if elected.  How would you slow immigration, as well as overcrowding, especially the influx of illegals to our country?  Plan it and tell it.  It is a topic close to the hearts of many Americans.  Some Republicans have good ideas and are already stating them.  And, no it's not all right to say, "let's help them come for a better life".  We will all lose the better life if saner heads do not prevail.  Some of us already have lost the good life over such poor political decisions.

The Russian immigrants have blessed us with the Russian Mafia  --  which is affecting New Yorkers more than the heartland.  The Mexican influx has brought the cartel and ever more drugs.  The Guatemalans I've met have coughs reminiscent of days of tuberculosis.  And who was there to test them when they came sneaking across illegally?  Canadians have, for decades, entered legally (or illegally) and usurped the most plum of our media jobs.  So have the Brits.  Now, folks that is a threat to all of you up there, not to the little people whose roofing and foundation repair jobs that Hispanic "companies" are taking here.  Most of my people wouldn't consider leaving the heartland to take your jobs.  People from other countries think nothing of doing it.

The Women's Issues never end.  We think we have everything fixed but paychecks and glass ceilings and then the Republican Conservative front keeps attacking the conservative Supreme Court for "writing legislation" instead of interpreting the Constitutionality of our laws.  Well, it surely gets the unthinking masses stirred up.  These are the same people who are all too willing to believe Super Pac lies about our candidates.  Republicans count on our supposed ignorance.  Let's show them we are smarter than they think.  And let's hear rational thinking from our candidates.

We need to readdress the issues pertaining to federal, state and personal rights.  The Republican party, the very party that says they are against big and federal government interfering into state's rights, are the exact same party that thinks it is okay to make our personal choices for us.  It is not okay to tell us what size light bulb we can use, when a person with cataracts needs as much light as possible to see.  It is not all right to decide what birth control methods we should use or not use at all.  It is not okay to control our choices for marriage.  That is simply an overreach of control freaks.

And where do the candidates stand on the Right to Vote Act at it's fiftieth anniversary?  I think we have had recent evidence that Republicans even want to overturn or control that.  I stood in line behind a young, black male, obviously born in our country, who was being harassed about presenting a birth certificate.  No question he was legal.  He was just black and poor.  Probably he was too poor to afford the expense and trouble of getting said birth certificate.  And the same man that figured in this voting fraud debacle in my state farmed his unethical, sorry self out to other states, as well.  Tell us exactly where you stand on Voting Rights.  We need to know this when we cast our votes.  Remind all voters that the "no fraud voting fraud" excuse is a way to fix the vote more toward Republicans.  Democrats certainly aren't going to make it harder for blacks and Latinos to vote for them.

We need to know where you stand on the separation of church and state in this country.  We have an overwhelming number of Catholics and even Baptists who serve in Congress at both the Federal and State levels.  Both of these huge groups have the ulterior motive of forcing Christian beliefs down the throats of everyone but Jews.  Oh, they love and protect the Jews.  They would ignore the separations of the Constitution and force everyone to post the Ten Commandments at every building . . . to fly the Christian flag at every function . . . to have Christian prayer in every school, but not allow Buddhist or Muslim prayer.  So, are we a Christian nation, or a country that welcomes all the troubled masses from every race and creed?  If we are Christian to exclusion of other religions, we need to close our borders completely to those of other religions.  Why would we welcome others with political asylum if we don't plan to permit them to pray to the God's they bring with them?  And who are these people of other religions to bitch and gripe all the time because we, originally a Christian nation, openly practice our beliefs?  Are we encouraging others to commit terrorist attacks here where we have embraced them, simply because we let them in here? 

We need our political leaders to use the brains God gave them to clarify their own minds, to get their brains and hearts in harmony, and to be honest with us about where they stand.  We should have a right to cast our votes based on truth and honesty, which seems ever illusive in our political world.

America needs candidates who say this is who I am.  This is what I stand for on the knowledge I have at this time.  They should say they plan to protect our rights as a citizen to make our own decisions.  Or they should say they consider themselves, their religion, their party infinitely superior to us and ours, and that they plan to pass or veto legislation based on their beliefs, not ours.  And, they should say here are my honest, truthful beliefs as I perceive them today.  Canned sound bites and platitudes may get you elected, but ultimately they may cost you your souls.  And while you are laughing your asses off at my remarks, remember that you are the ones who say you have the moral high ground and imply that the rest of us are on the yellow brick road to hell.

We have to have your well thought out plans, policies, beliefs, and positions up front, so we can vote our own consciences and so we can determine majority preference based on truth, not political lies.

Having a Midas Touch is definitely an admiral trait.  The majority of Americans could prosper better if more people had it.  It just isn't enough on it's own to bring success to the presidency.  Neither is shouting about the expense and discomfort caused by illegal immigration, abhorrent as that may be.

We need educated, articulate, leaders for the Presidential election, not rabble rousers or hind sight complainers.  Some of you running out there have the right qualifications.  State your resume, your beliefs, your plans and leave the lies and platitudes at home.  And quit the attacks on other individuals.  If you are really qualified to do the job, your resume and presentation should do the trick. 

And you media experts, I know some of you are trying to give equal time to all.  I know it's hard to succeed, with the showman stealing all the scenes.  But, keep trying until you make it.  The showman speaks a lot of truth, it's just not all the truth we need.  Let the candidates tell us who they are by speaking their most well-rounded thoughts.  Second child syndrome will not be enough in the end.  Neither will bragging to us that you have brass ones like the men.

And, Mr. Trump, if you believe you are as well qualified in foreign policy, supervising the military, changing your disrespectful treatment of women, interacting with the head honchos of other countries, friend or foe, as you are at making money and whooping up the malcontents, bring it on as soon as possible.  Lay out your plans like I'm asking of everyone else.  I love to be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Republican Forum of August 3, 2015

What an impressive group of individuals we heard tonight.  We can only hope and pray that each individual is as well prepared for answering all the questions as they were in covering the ones they caught tonight.

Here are other strengths of the crowd in addition to their general knowledge of the issues covered and their level of preparation to answer them.

They are aware of their strengths and lead with them.

The ones who presented their views and their plans, instead of attacking the current administration and other candidates, made the best impression on me.  I want to know what they will do, not what they think someone else did wrong.  Everyone "has 20-20 vision with hindsight," even the people who made whatever errors were made.  And, I'm sure the country runs close to 50-50 about what were errors.

Those who saw war and boots on the ground as a last resort showed more maturity, in my estimation, than those who want to go in with preconceived numbers in mind.  The winds may be blowing differently by the time the election is over.

Some have really good ideas for handling the ever burgeoning immigration problem.  I'd like to see Republicans get sincere about really doing something about it.

A couple of the young ones seemed more mature than a couple of the older ones.  Wasn't I the one who said some were too young?

The flat tax idea has been suggested in the past by several, including Jerry Brown and Steve Forbes.  Not a bad idea if everyone above the abject poverty level pays the exact same tax rate and if there are absolutely no loopholes or exemptions  --  including first and second mortgages on homes!

Anything else would leave us with the status quo.  One might want to consider a slightly inflated tax rate until we reach a balanced budget and then a lower rate.  And how, exactly, did the Clinton Administration achieve this balance?  A limited term five cent per gallon gasoline tax?  With our record level debt, perhaps ten cents would help.

Senator Graham wants the well off to give up their Social Security for a chance to save the fund.  A laudable idea, but will the Social Security of the one per cent make a dent in the problem?  Now if we added that to a gas tax and if the Congress would give up their special retirement and go on Social Security, etc., then we might get somewhere.

And one final overall strength of the group was their apparent ability to learn from each other.

All of you Democrats need to get your platform planned.  You need to have thought through all the issues and know what you intend to do.  Quit letting the Republicans get under your skin and, if you want to be President, give us good answers to our questions.  The "pat" answers of the past aren't going to cut it now.  These people are prepared.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't Make Judgments Hastily

I heard a young man tell his parents that there were black people and then there were n___________.  He made a case for his position that they rejected as they told him never to say that word in their home again.  His parting remark was that the parents had known only the best blacks.  He said they had never had to go to school with them.

On the scene is Donald Trump claiming that Mexico is sending us their criminals including rapists.  At the same time, a friend from California keeps sending messages via Facebook about the advantages of having immigrant neighbors.

I don't really know whether Donald Trump or my friend have either had Hispanic or other immigrant neighbors.  Truth be told, if Trump did, it was probably some chick that had entered his Ms. World or Universe project  --  or some wealthy gentleman Trump considered a friendly acquaintance.

More likely my California friend has or has had immigrant neighbors.  Yet, I suspect even she would not be living where large groups of Hispanics  --  many illegals  -- are prone to collect.  She and her husband wouldn't be Trump rich, but they probably reside in a middle class neighborhood somewhere.

One problem with Trump's speeches is he doesn't make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.  We have policies in place for welcoming people from other countries through our front door.  Using these policies, it is possible to know a little about new arrivals and where they will go.  We used to even use the process for separating the ill from the well and the good people from the bad.  To some degree, they control the numbers.  With masses of individuals constantly sneaking through the back door, there are no controls.

We also need to address the issue that Trump said as a casual addendum that there are probably good immigrants.  And yet we need to keep in mind that entering the United States illegally is a criminal act in and of itself.  How can we know if this is the only criminal act they will perform?  Will they help other illegals enter, compounding their criminal activity?  Or will they settle down as perfect citizens never to commit crimes again?  Will they order and receive illegal papers and Social Security cards?  Will they drive without valid driver's licenses?  When the going gets tough will they raid their neighbor's mailboxes and steal bicycle frames from their neighbor's yards, or will they get second jobs using their illegal papers?

We have the trouble makers who kill beautiful girls with stolen guns . . . who beat up U. S. citizens for the fun of it . . . who participate in drive-byes . . . who let their children become gang members . . . who, themselves, sell illegal drugs  ...  and the most mystifying of all, behave in a hateful and resentful attitude toward the Born in the USA citizens.  Why did they come here if they hate us so?  Life is hard enough without having to deal with attitude from people who came here to steal our country.  (Yes, I believe that is the goal of MANY of the illegals).

Then there are Trump's least favorite criminals, the rapists.  I wonder if he has ever known anyone personally who was raped by an illegal immigrant.  Well, I have.  She was a friend of one of my children.  The man was a handsome guy and probably would have been allowed "Friends With Benefits" status, had he been patient and waited.  But, he did not.  He took her on a date, raped her and dropped her back near her home, leaving her feeling dirty and used.  It was no surprise to me when months later his picture was flashed on the news as a person of interest in another rape.

Two immigrants, one possibly illegal, were wanted as persons of interest in sex crimes against children.  I have met all three of these men. 

Trump, of course, is a sensationalist.  That's how he approaches everything he does, so his acting out and showing off should come as no surprise.  That's what makes him so entertaining.  I don't see the man as a serious contender for the Republican nomination regardless of current polls.  But he has more support than most of us would have expected.

America always needs a president with good people skills and a lot of tact.  Trump was definitely hiding out when those were dispensed.  But I would like the people of the United States, especially the upwardly mobile media and political set, to know that there is really a lot of truth behind the man's blustering remarks.  You guys don't see enough of the truth from your ivory towers through your rose-tinted windows.

There is a lot of crime being committed out here by the immigrant population and not just by the Hispanic community.  The fact that Trump is a little more correct than you are does not mean he should be President of the United States.  I don't know why he would want to be anyway.  I'd think it would be a lot more fun earning stacks and stacks of money.  Wish I had that gift.

I guess I'm jus' sayin', there are immigrants and then there are criminal immigrants, and I'm more likely to know the latter than you because I have to live in the same neighborhood with some of them.  Apparently a lot of other people know this, too, or Trump wouldn't be doing so well.  We aren't rubbing shoulders or doing coffee hours with Herb Alpert, Jennifer Lopez, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio down here folks.  You need to remember that when you start going, "Oh, let's help them come here for a better life."

And to borrow a Trump method, let me state as an addendum that I know some good immigrants, too, some really good ones.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Issue Is Not The Guns -- It Is The Mental Health

A very beautiful young lady was shot and killed by a known illegal immigrant who had been deported five times.  He stole the gun from a federal officer.  Nine beautiful people were killed by a lone white gunman they had welcomed into church.  He had purchased the gun, apparently legally, with birthday money.  Another young man had killed his mother and used her legally purchased guns to kill school children.  How in the heck could better gun controls have staved off these tragedies?  Police officers in several states shoot and kill people  --  most of them black, but some of them white.  Some deserved it; some did not.  Guns, if not common sense, come with their jobs.  But some don't bother with guns, they use choke holds.

It has been a hard spring and summer and we've "only just begun."  Of course, our more liberal politicos have shouted for better gun control over and over.  But they are wrong and their response is basically ineffectual.  And just how can this liberal Democrat be suggesting such a thing?  I'll try not to state the obvious cliché, that guns don't kill people, people kill people, true though it is.

Our medical providers spend an awfully lot of time talking about preventive medicine, but you don't hear very many of them  --  or Congressmen  --  talking about preventive mental health provisions.  In fact, our insurance programs do not address much in the way of long-term medical care for the mentally ill.  And why might that be?  Because it would cost a lot of money which Congress would rather spend on guns to kill ISIS (or for Israelis to kill Palestinians) than to do serious work on our dysfunctional United States of America.  And what a model that is setting for our young.  You can't be allowed to use weapons to settle your problems, but look at how big our weapons are.

In the early eighties, at my grandmother's visitation, mothers of some of my high school classmates were in attendance.  We all played catch up about their children and compared life notes.  One particular mother asked question after question.  Her daughter was divorced, as was I.  We had left the home state.  We had gone away to school, etc.  At some point she zeroed in  -  well, did I do anything besides being a divorced mother?  I laughed and responded that I was a school psychologist at the time.  In words my mother might have used to describe her response  --  that flew all over her.  Her daughter had not succeeded any more highly than I had, I guess.  It wasn't the first time I had been on the receiving end of that family's excessive competitiveness, and I felt the collective sting.  It brings to mind the "cheerleader mother" who had her daughter's competition killed.  This is definitely not healthy competition.  This teaches hate and subterfuge and spite, not a healthy way to strive for success. 

Some mothers are such "Tiger Moms" that they cheat their children out of the joy of their youth by programing every living, breathing, waking second of their children's lives with lessons, practices and even my least favorite, sports.  (And aren't sports a source of unhealthy competition and poor role models with all the cheating and drug use?)

These mothers  --  and a good share of father's --  want to live vicariously through these poor kids and they play a more academic version of the game "mine is longer than yours."  Even the parents that succeeded themselves, just must have bragging rights.  Once again, not a healthy approach to competition, much less a precursor to a healthy lifestyle.

But the quiet, withdrawn kids don't have that much easier a life.  A friend of mine, a college student, called her nephew's school last year and asked for his teacher's help because he was failing science and math.  The teacher's response?  Why he just sits there quietly and never says a word.  She couldn't tell from his test scores that he was drowning?  What did he have to do to get the ding dong's attention?  Carry a gun to school?  Oh, that's right.  We parents are supposed to do the teaching at home while commuting from work, picking up kids at three schools, getting one to soccer and another to play practice.  Then, we continue the teaching while we cook dinner and prepare the clothes for the next day.  Like we are all gifted mathematicians ourselves and understand the homework!!!!

Bully behavior has recently received  a lot of noise because victims of bullying have returned to school to exact revenge on kids who abused them and teaching staff that did little or nothing to stop it.  I recall an interview with one teacher who seemed to encourage the bullying and maybe even participated in it.

When my children, even I, entered school, teachers knew that they needed to teach us socialization skills.  We were graded on progress in these steps just the same as we were in reading and math skills.

Once upon a time we grew up in small towns and cities.  There might have been a handful of wealthy individuals, but they seemed to cluster in the same areas of town and go to the same schools.  A good teacher could detect the needs of individual students, look for signs of abuse and neglect, encourage the timid, and just plain foster individual growth and development.

Now we are victims of overcrowding.  Many of our families are dysfunctional due to alcohol or drugs.  Some parents waste their resources on gambling and infidelities.  Some children are battered, and some parents know how to make sure the clothes hide the marks of abuse.

We come from all kinds of families, religions, creeds, races, and are placed in little bitty rooms and told to "get along" while our parents are out at home and work complaining about prayer at school, pledging our flag, which white dude offended us, which police officer is a good cop and which wears his badge like a permit to bully others  --  even people of their own race.

Yes, there are such officers!  A neighbor was stopped over a defective tail light in a small town to our north.  Their grocery store advertises in our weekly grocery supplement.  The officer asked her what she was doing up in his city anyway and suggested she shop at home next time. I wonder how the businessmen would like that one.

Another individual had been to yet another small city, where he had grown up.  While walking back to his new home in a larger city, a police officer offered him a ride.  When he got to the drop off point, he told the young man not to return to his city, even though he had done nothing wrong while there.

We are crammed together like sardines.  We are placed together whether we have a thing in common, sometimes including language.  We are told to get along with each other.  We are largely ignored unless we make a ruckus in the classroom or are future valedictorians.  Our parents expect us to succeed at everything from soup to nuts, whether we have the aptitude for it or not.  The ones of us who take it seriously, try our level best.  And then some of the parents look at a B + and say that should be an A.  Get it up next time.

I had a very disgusting classmate in college.  She became a basket case before every single test.  She was just sure she was going to fail every time.  And yet, I don't think she ever made less than an A.  It was years later that I realized she may not have been just whining.  Her fears were probably quite genuine, yet she never failed, but never understood she was a success.

We are probably never going to completely eliminate bullying at home . . . or at school . . . or in our communities.  We are probably never going to completely eliminate violence. But, rest assured, if this country doesn't invest a lot more money in researching mental health issues and providing both preventive and remedial interventions to foster good mental health, we are going to see more and more violence even if we eliminate every gun in the world.  There are fists.  There are knives.  There are bombs.  There are vehicles.  There are sticks.  There are stones.  There are hurtful and harmful words from our mouths.

Violence like we have seen in abundance for several years is a mental health issue not a gun issue.  If the government got the ten best shrinks and an equal number of great psychologists together (and I do not mean Dr. Phil's) and put them in a think tank, they would be hard pressed to develop a comprehensive plan to foster good mental health from cradle to grave.  But, if they don't, this dysfunction of ours is going to get worse and worse.  The gun controls we have in place now are not effective.  But gun control is not the answer because guns are not the problem.

Let me repeat.  All this violence is a mental health issue not a gun issue.  The guns are simply one small symptom of a major disease.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Say What? All Means Everybody?

I'm reminded today of the trek with Dorothy down the yellow brick road, looking for one body organ or another.  Today's trek should require all men (which today includes blacks, women, legal Hispanics, legal Asians, gays, etc., etc., etc.) to be in search of real hearts and real brains.

Say what?  All men are created equal?  Not those people  --  those women, those blacks, those gays and lesbians.  Can you hear this in your Conservative Christian response to the Supreme Court decision this past week?  Well, that's what you are doing.  You are acting as though the Declaration of Independence should apply only to white men.  I thought we'd come a long way baby.  I guess not.  It should not apply to women?  They were just property of the white male when the Declaration was written.  It shouldn't apply to blacks?  Most of them were slaves when it was written.  It shouldn't apply to gays and lesbians because they are different from us?  I think they make us afraid of ourselves.

". . .We hold these truths to the self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. . ."

Yes, folks, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United
states, as implemented in this day and age, do protect the rights of all Americans regardless of sex, age, race, creed, or sexual orientation.  And boy do we all have to fight the pompous and self-righteous for every right.

The Supreme Court of the United States did the job it was created to do by our founding fathers.  It interpreted our laws in reference to the Constitution to see if it were, indeed, "constitutional".  And the members of the panel demonstrated that they can think (have working brains) and they have hearts.  They were capable of exercising a compassion which would have made Jesus proud.  You remember Him?  "Judge not lest ye be not judged."  Or, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  Or even, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God, the things that are God's."

Yes, folks, all means everybody now.  Everybody has a right to the pursuit of happiness not just the people who do it your way.  In the end, we will all have to let God be the judge, the rightful judge of us all.  Until then, not a one of us knows exactly where He stands on any topic.  I'm reminded of George Burns acting as God and saying that the pastor had run out of God's words a long time ago.  We can only hope to understand a small portion of God's methods, much less his beliefs and thoughts. 

You see, I'm not a really learned Bible scholar, but I can't see exactly where God spoke the word marriage . . . or defined the word marriage . . . or gave us his example of a "true" marriage ceremony.  Marriage rules and regulations evolved from mores which man created.  They varied from country to country, people to people and clan to clan.  It was not written in stone.  The rules He wanted us to follow were written in stone with the finger of God and carried down the mountain.

I think there are an awful lot of us that need to get over ourselves. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Not Our Grandsons

In Loving Memory of My Grandson
Scott Joseph Romano
November 21, 1986 to June 23, 2010
To All the American Men and Women Who Lost Their Lives in Afghanistan and Iraq
and especially to
The 22 Veterans per day who take their own lives because they were sent to war and back
without adequate psychological preparation.

In a recent television interview, a correspondent asked an Iraqi soldier what he wanted to see happen in the war with ISIS (ISIL).  His immediate response was that he wanted the United States to fight the war.  Well, how generous of him to want my grandsons to risk their lives for his country.  He is such a noble hero.

So, what is a hero?  According to various and sundry U. S. military officers  -- and John Wayne  --  a hero is someone who is afraid, but fights anyway.  Well where the h e double hockey sticks are the Iraqi heroes? 

We saw a similar attitude during the Arab spring.  Representatives of various countries were jumping off proverbial cliffs and whining for the United States to come and save them. 

The United States government, the United States military and the United States grandsons are not the saviors of the universe.  However many times I write this and however many times my words fall on the deaf ears of Republican Congressmen and our military leaders, the facts remain the same.

We are wasting our resources and, most especially, our grandson's lives on people so barbaric that they cannot even comprehend the wonderful gifts of freedom and democracy that we have offered them.  We no longer have the funding.  We no longer have the responsibility.  We do not have the political atmosphere.  You may not throw away the lives of our children or our children's children on any more lost causes. 

If Iraqis lack the will to stand up for themselves and to fight their own battles, how dare you expect our children to do it for them?

And may the soldier who said he will kill both ISIS and U. S. soldiers meet his personal demise the next time he raises his gun. 

If my own country won't protect the lives of our sons from such situations as this, you are not nearly done hearing from me.

How about putting a real face on this?

Lisa Romano Barnett's photo.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Election Cycle Has The Blahs

For some months now, it seems nobody can get very excited about the next presidential election.  There are a lot of Republican "also rans" as well as some "ran too soons".  There are a couple of stronger candidates who have not gotten their rhythm yet.  But no one Republican quite stands out in the crowd.

I suggested a few weeks back that Hillary Clinton go ahead and throw her hat in the ring.  (Like she pays any attention to me).  I thought that might whoop up the excitement a bit.  But, it was such an anticlimax that it hardly made a hitch in the cycle.  Her new competition will at least give her someone to practice her debates with and may "give her a run for her money."

The latest development  --  The Donald is in the race  --  may actually turn up the interest level.  Never let it be said that Donald Trump doesn't offer entertainment value.  And who knows?  We elected a movie star once upon a time.  There are those who think he made a fairly decent President.

We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Why, indeed, God?

As a recording of the Reverend Martin Luther King plays to end the CBS Evening News tonight, June 18, 2015, the camera pans groups of people praying, demonstrating, grieving.  Alone facing the cameras with her back to a group of people collected in grief, a young woman holds a sign.  It's message?  A simple WHY?

Rev. King's words were recorded after the death of four little girls at church.  Their repetition was after the death of nine women and men in our latest shooting, also at church.

I know there is much that we will leave this life without understanding, but I sure could use an answer from the Almighty as to why violence is allowed to take the lives of people who are worshiping Him and the pastors and missionaries who are serving Him.  One would think that these individuals would have the best security He could offer.

Yes.  Why, God, why?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why Ask A Military Man?

Now, I'm not casting aspersions on the men in our armed forces.  I'm just sayin' --  why ask a general, past or present, if he thinks we should be engaged in hand to hand combat anywhere?  That's like asking him if he needs to breathe.

Most little boys (and some girls) had a handful of toy soldiers at some point in their lives.  But career military men study strategy  . . .  probably have maps of various terrains  . . .  probably move little helmeted men all over the surface . . .  possibly even play Battleship.  Well, maybe some of the less concrete don't need the props, but you can bet they almost salivate at the prospect of really going to war and getting a chance to implement their ideas and plans.  And the best, biggest dreamers are sure success is just around the corner, especially if everyone will let them do it their way.

Now, everybody, including reporters, know that warriors war, and that any one of them can whoop up excuses or justifications for doing so.  Thank you Lord for the saner heads that put on the brakes and even lock them in place. 

What exactly does everyone think the United States will do for money and equipment if China or North Korea or Germany or Japan ever attack our shores as happened in World War II?  After we've pissed it all away fighting Muslims who don't value human life, including their own, where will we get the cash to rearm ourselves?

Then there is the fact that Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., don't really ever have to fight their own wars because other countries are so hell bent on fighting them for them.  Why is it people forget good parenting skills and techniques when dealing with international affairs?  If doing everything for them makes children too dependent, why on earth do we want to make other countries dependent on us.  Sometimes it's better to teach the skills and walk away and let them work it out.  We absolutely should not go back if they are too scared to risk their own lives to save their own people.

Do you dudes really think that China is going to loan us money to fight a war against them?  Duh!

Mr.. McCain, Mr. Graham, etc., etc., etc., quit sparring for war.  Quit threatening boots on the ground over "fraidey" cats who won't fight their own wars.  Start storing up resources and paying off loans so we can fight off a big one on our own turf should we ever have to do so.  And don't forget to protect us from terror at home, or possible aliens from another world.

Think, think, think, what you propose.  These areas are a threat to our security?  Not nearly so much as the warmongers in the military and Congress are.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Flushing America Down The Drain

Spend, spend, spend.  Flush, flush, flush.  How many times since the start of this blog have you seen the suggestion that the United States of America quit passing out our money (and also our war supplies) by the fistfuls, at least long enough for us to stabilize our own economy?  How many times have you read that we are helping people who do not like us and do not want our form of democracy or democracy at all?  Do you remember Karzai, who took our money with one fist and then turned to accept the money of our enemies with the other?  People will take money from various sources, but money does not buy commitment.  Money does not buy democracy abroad  --  especially for individuals who do not want our lifestyle.

It is tempting these days to tell hawks  --  especially John McCain types who want to interfere everywhere  --  to shut their pie holes.  Why can they not understand that we should not fight another country's battles for them, especially when their own military men are prone to throw down their weapons and run away at the slightest threat?  Yes, they did it again in a recent ISIS or ISIL surge.  We are flushing "good money after bad", even attempting to teach them to fight, if they are going to react with cowardice right and left. 

It seems that never in American history have so many congressmen been harping on spending less while they simultaneously chomp at the bit to get boots on the ground in many areas.

Under the current administration, our country has shown some wisdom about the American role in foreign wars.  And, God forbid, we actually have been delegating some responsibility. 

Middle Eastern cultures are used to war.  They might not even have an inkling how to live in peace.  If we remove their dictators, do we ever ask, "what then," anymore?  Learned people predicted many years ago that it might be unwise to remove certain dictators.  They thought the culture of the countries might just fall apart.  Were they right?  Well, it seems possible.

There are those, of course, who think that by funding these wars we are protecting our own freedom.  That's a real stretch in some cases.

The bottom line on these wars is they drain our resources and it seems for naught.  We need to stop supporting everyone's causes at least long enough to get our own economy in order.  It isn't improving infrastructure we need to stop  --  or helping our own poor  --  or educating our own children.  It is constantly pissing away our money on forcing our own goals on others and financing everyone's economies but our own that must cease.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Who Is Actually At Fault?

Time, April 20, 2015, features fourteen individuals, apparent ages from 12-68, who have been shot by police officers or neighborhood watch volunteers since the beginning of 2012.  As all these victims were people of color, a universal cry of racism is heard nationwide.  (Perhaps we should see stats about whites and other races killed in similar situations).  But who is really at fault?  The officer, racist or not, who engages in the violence?  The suspect who engages in a scuffle?  Or the national system that offers only vague guidelines as to when to chase and when to engage in violence?  Is all of the above too cliché an answer?

Certainly, walking home from a convenience store, carrying a bottle of tea, a cell phone and candy is not probable cause for anything.  Certainly, the volunteer neighborhood watch individual who disregarded a dispatcher's orders to stand down and let the police take over, wasn't without guilt.  But, then, the system that permits anyone  --  volunteer or paid officer  --  to unleash his weapon and shoot to kill for little or no cause, is a serious, serious problem.  And, a similar problem exists in terms of police chases, as well.

The first order of business that nationwide law enforcement should address is when to pursue  --  on foot or in a vehicle.  A foot chase after a suspect fleeing the scene of a crime, offers little danger to bystanders as long as weapons are not drawn.  That is probably the best and quickest way to apprehend them, too.  But once the pursuit is engaged, officers need some guidelines.  Do we pursue and just surround?  Do we chase and tackle?  Do we run with weapons drawn?  So, you need to know the nature of the crime.  A purse snatch?  Weapons not needed unless the suspect is armed.  Rape?  Homicide?  With appropriate attention to bystanders, weapons are not only permissible but needed.

Now, a car chase is a disaster waiting to happen.  It is my belief that car chases should be forbidden for anything less than rape, abduction, homicide and terrorism.  The risk to the innocent is just too huge to warrant or permit them for anything else.  Period!  No arguments considered!  The end!  Not for stolen cars.  Not for robbery.  Not for B & E.  Nothing that is not a threat to the body and/or of death.  Car chases cause more vehicular damage and threat to life than homicides in any one given area.

By the same token, purse snatching, unpaid parking tickets, B & E's, unpaid child support, fist fights, selling illegal cigarettes, etc., walking home from a convenience store, playing with toy guns, walking in streets, unarmed theft or robbery, do not warrant guns drawn or any other form of violence.  Guns in most instances are overkill.  Give these officers national guidelines, not catch phrases they can us as excuses for losing their self control, much less for racist behaviors.  And neighborhood watch individuals should never be armed on duty even if they have a license to carry.

The Right To Know Everything

Americans of all colors and creeds have a right to know everything about American unclassified issues.  By the same token, reporters of print, radio, television  --  and now even the internet  --  have the responsibility to show the entire story, no matter how they feel about an issue.  Bias in reporting has long been a no-no that is now largely ignored. 

I experienced a certain level of rage watching the video of Walter Scott (a black man) being shot in the back by Officer Michael Slager (a white man) when the video surfaced recently.  The officer was claiming Scott had fought him for his Taser, but the video I saw showed no such struggle.  To all intents and purposes all the man did was get out of the car and flee the scene.  And the "yes, but" was that he had warrants out for failure to pay child support.  Well, duh, he won't be paying any child support now, will he?

Then, Time magazine, April 20, 2015, shows several still shots from the video including one that shows Scott struggling with the officer as he reached for his Taser or gun.  Folks, it does give one pause in the righteous indignation.  Scott did resist arrest by fleeing  --  and he did get into a physical scuffle with the arresting officer.

And for what?  Over back child support?  The issue was not worth a violent encounter at all.  Yes, it was regrettable that Scott is classified in the vernacular as a dead-beat dad, but the violent end defeated the purpose of the warrants.

What was presented in the video I saw shows a man totally innocent of anything save fleeing the scene and a police officer shooting him repeatedly in the back.  Now why is it important to see the struggle over the weapon?  I repeat remarks I made in earlier blogs.  When you resist arrest and struggle with officers, in the very least, you get their defensive system activated.  Until tested, even the officer, much less you, has no idea the limits of his self-control.  His fear is very real.  He goes into fight or flight mode to save himself.  If he flees, he risks being seen as a coward.  If he chooses to stay and fight, can he control his response?  I repeat, even he doesn't know until tested.  And if an officer really is a racist, resisting arrest just gives him an excuse.  If he says to the ground, drop.  Hands on the head?  Put them on the head.  Hands on the car?  Do it.  Give no man or woman a reason or an excuse to take you out.

And to you working in the media  --  never buy a doctored video.  Never, ever, edit one to show a particular view.  Show the entire interaction that is available or get another topic.  In the days between the video and the Time article showing a struggle, angry citizens could have pillaged Rome and the producers of the television segment could have been held responsible for a lot of death and destruction.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ted Cruz And Company

Well, I guess Ted Cruz is going to be the next president.  He is, after all, the only one running.  Sounds like the board for our coop  --  three vacancies needed filling  --  three people accepted their nominations.  I hope nobody bothered to go vote.  The results were a "no brainer".

The heir apparent to the Democratic nomination just can't quite make up her mind.  To be a grandmother, or to be a president?  To dote on children, or to take a job?  Most of us can do both, but then she is called American Royalty these days.  Don't Royals have all kinds of people to wait on them hand and foot?

Don't get me wrong!  I think it's way past time for a woman president  --  generations past.  I also think she's the most qualified woman at this time.  She's highly educated, experienced in international affairs, and just plain smart.  She's even experienced dealing with Republican character assassination.  I wish she'd declare and get on with it before she gets on my last nerve.  So what's with this prima donna thing?  Well, who would want to climb into the ring with all those snorting, stamping bulls  --  or bull s'ers?

She's waited so long now, that the unknowns (to most of us) are beginning to think they have a chance.  And Vice President Biden is flirting with the idea, but he stands politely in the wings waiting for the cue to be or not to be.

In the meantime, Cruz is cruising around collecting up all the donor dollars.  This Latino white boy, born in Canada, is just sure he's the one.  He even starred in the remake of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.  Wasn't that sweet when he took time out to read a bedtime story to his kids?  If the heir apparent runs and wins, maybe Chelsea can call on him to babysit sometimes. 

Our media experts can't wait for the show to begin.  George Stephanopoulis of This Week exudes an excitement over the race that energizes members of all parties.  Then, on election night as the results come in, Scott Pelly of CBS is always at his best. 

It's a "great time" of the season and its time has come.  Let's get those hats in the ring now and get those cards and letters (with donor dollars) coming in . . . and let the games begin.  I need more fodder for my blogs.  I'm running out of metaphors I can mix and clichés to use for fillers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What America Needs

We Americans have a saying we use when we are attempting to describe the most corrupt individuals around  -- "He's the kind who would steal from his own mother."  Yep, we have some of those around.  They are in all walks of life and all races, creeds and levels of society.  They are rich, poor, tall, short, male, female, whatever.

They are prevalent at the car repair level.  I reach a state of despair over them even finding supposedly diagnosable things wrong that the diagnostic tests do not uncover.  I realize they may not be quite the most amoral individuals around.  They are certainly near the top.  The American politician, though, may be just a little worse than even the mechanics and the home repair individuals.

We've had cheating, thieving liars among politicians for so long that movies portray country, porky, cigar smokin', small-town southern hicks as a typical front runner in elections or even as managers of small towns.  We've been trained to think they are funny and to view them with an "aw shucks, aren't they cute?" attitude.  They are not limited to a small-town mayor or sheriff level.  Such individuals are rife at the federal level as well. But they are in disguise, wearing three-piece suits and acting all sophisticated and respectable.  "The better to take advantage of you that way, my dears."

What America needs is to recognize liars, cheats and a mother's bad sons for what they really are  --  liars, cheats and bad sons (or daughters).  In fact, it is imperative that the American public learn what these people are to the core of themselves.  They are the bad apples that spoil the whole bunch and we need to throw out the bad ones so we can save whatever goodness of our country still exists.  That good is becoming sparse.

Will the media please do this for the good of everybody before America becomes completely reprehensible?  Will you please sideline all partisan politics?  Will you start pointing out all of our liars , cheats and thieves, instead of presenting our news in a he said/she said bipartisan manner.  Please show us what they say and compare it with what they do.  There are dishonest politicians (and dishonest people who put them into office) on both sides of the aisle and in all the branches of government.  Please expose them all to our voting public before our next election.  If you don't do this soon, we have only our country to lose.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Twenty-one Christians

There is a posting going around Facebook which lists the twenty-one people of the mass group killed by ISIS or ISIL terrorists.  The names are given for twenty of them (one is listed as worker), so that we can pray for them by name.  I have done this, though I'm sure I mangled their names.  But nice thing about it, God, as the trinity, will recognize them anyway.

I would like to add an extra element to that prayer which I hope Christian after Christian will add to their petitions to the Almighty. 

I pray that each of the individual twenty-one people who participated in the deaths of these Christians be caught and brought to justice for this.  May any individual who kills Christians anywhere be brought to this same kind of justice.

Father, I thank you in advance for your help in this matter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Myopic Byopics

(And Black Racist Directors)

I thought I had exhausted what needed to be written about racism now being more from the African American community than the white community.  This week, several things came together that taught me more needs to be addressed.  For instance, a friend in a nursing home was talking of dealing with aides who sat around doing as little as possible to earn their paychecks, but having energy to demonstrate racist attitudes.

Then, the director of the recently released movie, Selma, a biopic about Martin Luther King, was interviewed by the press.  She told them that she had not expected an Oscar nomination for her part in the movie so was not disappointed.  When asked about the furor that she caused by portraying President Lyndon Johnson as a racist akin to Governor George Wallace of Alabama, she expressed denial that he had had any part in the success of the Civil Rights movement.  She angrily expressed that they hadn't had any white savior to help them with their cause  --  in fact, they didn't need any knight on a white horse.  She said they could do this all by themselves.

Sorry President Johnson, I guess you and the Kennedy clan and Congress were irrelevant to the passing of the Civil Rights Bill that changed the lives of blacks in this country forever.  Those black folk just did the whole thing themselves.

Well Ms. Ava DuVernay, lend me your attention, because you are about to get the education you should have gotten before you were ever allowed to direct a movie about history.  To direct a movie about history, or write one, or produce one, you have to first know history.  You don't.  I've never been a fan of President Lyndon B. Johnson, but I'm not so ignorant that I don't know that he was the key factor in the passing of that Civil Rights Bill.  The Kennedy family, especially President John F. Kennedy, had worked throughout the years he was in office to get the bill passed, but they didn't have sufficient knowledge about how to work the two houses of the branch to get it done.  In fact, other presidents had failed at getting changes made for your cause.  Then Vice-President Johnson is said to have notified President Kennedy that he should hold back on introducing the Civil Rights Bill until after the rest of his agenda had been passed because the Rights Bill would hang everything up.  Well that President ignored the advice and, lo and behold, everything in his agenda was hung up because of the civil rights issues.

When President Johnson was sworn in after the assassination of President Kennedy, he made the decision to see that the Kennedy agenda made it through Congress.  President Johnson had spent years learning the ins and outs of that branch of government and knew how to make things happen.  If he had not put his shoulder behind the Civil Rights Bill, there is a good chance it would never have come into being.  You would not have the advantages you have today if it were not for the sympathetic support of these two presidents, a handful of Congressmen, key entertainers and regular people you and your kind are treating so badly today.

You see, as you seem to have forgotten, there were no black presidents and few black congressmen back then.  With no black majority in Congress, the Civil Rights Bill would not have been just difficult to get passed, it would have been dead in the water.  So no, lady, you could not do it yourselves.  You had to have help.

Yes, key people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were effective in calling attention to injustices, but those same injustices would still be prevalent were it not for Caucasian Americans who cared.  So get your nose out of the air before you drown in your own self love. 

I know that arrogance is said to come from a poor self concept, but that doesn't make your inflated opinion correct or even easier to deal with in the here and now.  If  you plan to direct any more historical biopics, you need to read up on the history of the time  --  all of the history  --  not just the part that tends to reinforce your overinflated egotistical opinions about the matter.  In fact, to learn more about President Johnson, you might behoove yourself to read The Passage of Power by Robert Caro.  That book was an eye opener for a lot of people.

I haven't seen your film yet, so I can't say for sure, but your lack of knowledge and denial of the truth may just be the reason you failed to get the Best Director Oscar nomination.  I'm sure you'll probably nurse more racist grudges and tell yourself that you didn't get it because you are black and a woman to boot.  But take the blinders off lady. 

There are a lot of us still alive that actually lived through those days.  I actually stood outside a restaurant on the outskirts of Selma, Alabama, in 1965. I saw the three outhouses labeled His, Hers and Theirs.  Have you in your short life actually had to use a separate restroom?  In 1956 I actually sat in a front seat of a bus next to a young black male riding from the north right into the south.  That man risked a lot by doing so, but so did I when I chose to sit next to him.  Do you still have to sit at the back of the bus?  During those years when the Reverend Martin Luther King was walking those streets with blacks, whites, rich, poor, commoner and celebrity alike, I was sitting and playing gin rummy over lunch with people of both races.  Do you not mix with whites all the time now?  Well, maybe with your bad attitude, you are not welcome to do so.

You see, a definition of the word myopic is lacking knowledge, tolerance and foresight.  Your lack of true knowledge shows in your work and your press interviews.  Your lack of tolerance is apparent in your arrogant attitude.  And your lack of foresight concerning your work no doubt cost you your nomination. 

The African American cause may not have reached the level you would hold dear, but it sure as heck has come a long way thanks to the white community, especially President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

These very naïve and racist myopic biopics that are being produced these days are fueling more hard feelings than they are good.  The furor building at the grass roots is threatening to set race relations back, not forward.  You are flirting with a backlash.  Just keep whooping up the anger, the hate, the riots, and you will find yourself facing a ton of trouble.  And above all, if you are going to tell history, you need to actually know and understand history.  You don't have a clue!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Cut-Throat Perspective

Deflate-gate, physically hurting our competitors, using steroids and other drugs  --  all in the name of winning  --  is downright disgusting!  "Well, others are doing it, so I will, too."  Well, others didn't get caught.  You did.

The human soul is becoming totally corrupt.  Everywhere we turn, sociopaths prevail.  Is it in our DNA now?  Has it always been?  Or, has people's abuse of alcohol and other drugs spun a mutation of sorts, an error in the human genome?

Whatever the cause, the spin is out of control beginning with what we value and what we respect.  However in this world did we get to the point that athletics and sports became centermost in our lives?  They override Broadway, movies, television, family, church and home.  Today, as "ninety-nine and forty-four one hundredths percent" of American citizens stop to view the big game, we find the sociopathic efforts to win hanging a veil of shame over the activities.

It is said that more than half the footballs used by the playoff winners were deflated, which gave them an advantage.  Was it an accident?  Odds are it was not, considering the number in question.  Will we ever know who did it?  The why is easy.  To win.  The how  --  yes, how in this world could someone carry out such a thing after the balls were inspected?  And why don't the teams use the same balls anyway?

In this never ending age of the "media pounce", it is insane to think such a thing would go unnoticed and unspoken.

Now, the team that won the playoffs will never know for sure that they really earned the right to go to the Super Bowl.  Neither will the fans.  Odds are they would have won without cheating, but nobody will ever know conclusively.  Likewise, if they win the Super Bowl, nobody will ever know if they should have.

But the most basic question of all is, in this day of injuring our opponents to get them out of the game, what has happened to our basic value system that athletics, sports, or anything else should have become so worshipped that we would risk our very moral fiber just to win?

An underlying theme the first Rocky movie portrayed (long past forgotten), second best can sometimes feel very good.  So, let's forget this everlasting cut-throat perspective and return sports to their proper place in this world.  They are but a source of entertainment.  It is not a basic need of mankind to win, win, win.  Tainting athletics is not going to put food and water on the table or a roof over the head.  It is just going to bring shame to all.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Basic Human Rights Revisited

According to "Encore in Iowa" by Mike Sherer, Time Magazine, January 26, 2015, Mike Huckabee is running for President again.  Per Sherer, he recently compared Americans with the Nazis  --  the ones who abort their babies with the ones who caused the Holocaust.  He stated that fifty-five million babies have been murdered in their mother's own wombs.

First, I've not had a lot of exposure to Mr. Huckabee, but up until this time, I've always been rather fond of him.

Second, I've no idea whether his figures are correct and don't intend to research it.  Fifty-five million? 

Third, find a new platform!  I just read and heard today that Republican women are taking a stand against the Republican position on abortion.  I don't know why Americans persist in telling each other what to do. It is an invasion of privacy, none of your business and extremely archaic.  It's almost as radical as Muslim extremists who stone each other for adultery.

Let me go on record once more!  I have never had an unwanted pregnancy.  I have never had an abortion.  I don't believe that any woman in my family has ever had one.  I know for a fact that we would welcome any children that God gifted to us and be grateful for them.  I am not a proponent of abortion, per se.  I am a proponent of a woman's  -  a couple's  --  right to choose!

You do not have the right to decide whether the Catholic couple next door to you has to keep the tenth or twelfth baby just because the rhythm method failed them.  You do not have the right to tell the Baptist couple next door that they have to feed an extra mouth when they already work four jobs between them and still have to use food stamps.

The federal government has no right to tell our citizens how they should behave concerning such personal and private matters.  As long as what one citizen chooses is not going to negatively impact the lives of her neighbors, nobody has a right to make his/her decisions for her.

Women do not plan on going back to the forties and fifties where unwanted pregnancies were aborted in back allies with dirty coat hangers.  They will not go back to an age where parents forced their daughters to give up their children to adoption.  You have no right to tell a woman she has to see a pregnancy to the end so that someone else can rear the child.  She should not have the health risks, the shortened energy, the financial and physical expense because of a mistake or failed birth control.  Most especially, no man on earth has a right to tell a woman she has to have a baby she does not want.  And no baby should have to enter this world to a parent who does not want it.  When men start carrying the kids, then they can decide.

Over and over, power hungry individuals reach out their tentacles in an attempt to control everything and everyone within their vision.  Greed for power over others is their main sin.  How dare they accuse another of sin before they cast the sin from their own lives.

And no man who likens a U. S. citizen to the Nazis of World War II should ever have the right to hold the highest office in this land.  Whatever are you thinking?  It certainly cost you any chance you ever had at getting my vote.

This issue is not just an abortion issue.  It is about who gets to be in charge of our lives and our choices.  Get it yet?  Duh!!!