BAD


While Biden, Buttegeig and Sanders verbally slap each other around on policy in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren remains the adult in the room, focusing on replacing the orange elephant in the room. It gave me pause as to our latest round of presidential nonsense.

And if you are of the type who is upset that the speaker ripped up her copy of the State of the Union, think back to when various speakers wouldn’t even stand up to greet President Obama and members of the gallery had no compunction about yelling “You lie!” So, people like Matt Gaetz should shut up with their hallow outrage about the current speaker’s behavior. She ripped up her copy (we think, the Vice President isn’t done taping it back together). I mean it’s not like she started a fraud university or ripped off her own children’s charity.

So it turns out that a racist, bully, slightly to the right of Attila the Hun blowhard can spend decades browbeating, harassing, obfuscating for anything that isn’t conservative, xenophobic white male and he can get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Probably drops the value for previous award winners who generally got them for not being unlanced boils on the buttocks of humanity.

It’s bad enough that we are numb enough that everybody kept a straight face as Susan Collins says she thinks he learned his lesson from impeachment. I mean nobody guffawed or sniggered “Bullshit? (well, except maybe the President, and he even admitted that was not the case.) Senator, just go cash the check from his reelection campaign and enjoy the safety from any real opposition.

I’m not surprised that acquittal was the result of the hearings in the Senate as the game was rigged from the get go with no witnesses, no evidence, and an allegiance to party over people. The oaths they signed was largely a moot point with many too cowardly to vote anything along what they heard out of fear of retribution or lack of financial contribution. I mean Lindsey Graham was a house manager in Clinton’s impeachment that was over an extramarital fling. As far as flip flops go, that’s downright impressive.

Kudos to Mitt Romney for following his own lead. I don’t know how much he was actually risking but I appreciate him going his own way, an actual republican as opposed to whatever the current GOP pretends to be now. Don Jr decided to deride Romney for having a conscience with some “manly” name calling on Twitter, keeping it classy. I’m a little upset that I actually know who Jr. is when there clearly is no reason to as it is up there with actual media reports of the “master showman” at work. Journalism shouldn’t be about stagecraft when such critical substance is getting swept under the rug.

It’s interesting that the President had to deride Romney’s faith at a Prayer Breakfast, which he promptly turned into a pep rally (since he just can’t give a speech). I’m a firm believer in whatever works for you, whatever gets you through the day, just keep it to yourself. Mitt actually did that, only alluding to his faith as part of his decision making process and the pettiness of the President and his crime family decided to pick on that first.

I guess my central issue what kind of aphrodisiac is power? That you are willing to subsume your beliefs to stay close to it? That you are willing to contradict yourself to keep it? That you turn your back on the people who voted for you to spite those who didn’t, that you are fine with one branch of government stripped of all checks and balances, the american people (remember us, the folks you are supposed to represent) lose, none of us are represented from dirty water to nexus cards for New Yorkers to our social security being taken, the school lunch programs to actual fair legitimate elections and the list is pretty lengthy. What is it?

The people who have it don’t know better. And they don’t care. It’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

It’s bad.

You’ve just won the Iowa Caucus!


“I’m going to Disneyworld…” but more realistically somewhere in New Hampshire

Now that Iowa has shown us that there really isn’t an app for everything, it did make me wonder about this whole process. A live look at their app.

https _cdn.cnn.com_cnnnext_dam_assets_180822105148-commodore64Too many “delegates” appeared on TV sounding and looking they had survived a really intense Fantasy Football Draft. Given the over emphasis Iowa has, you would think the Democratic National Committee would have had them better organized than a high tech version of a Marx Brothers movie. “Hey Diddle Diddle, let’s vote up the middle.”

While the Electoral College is the subject of numerous aimless discussions on social media and a lot of appointed government officials are making jerks of themselves on Twitter, an idea popped into my addled little brain.

Do all the damn primaries, caucuses and what not on one day, a national primary day, do it in May or June. Let the six months of campaigning that we have just witnessed fold into the actual year. We are all so fatigued already and the actual voting is just getting started. People may have forgotten already that the President does have a challenger in his own party.

I know what you are thinking. But, we’d all have to do our own home work. Let that town in New Hampshire start us off at midnight eastern if you need a quaint story,

I watched a little of the coverage and it was an incoherent mess with not a whole lot to say, but it didn’t stop people from trying to speak. With so much focus on Iowa and by the time I publish this, New Hampshire, I can’t help but wonder if the emphasis, the money, the media can help but skew voters, not unlike making projections on East Coast voting returns at five after 9 when West Coast voters are still trying to get out of work.

“With 3% percent reporting it looks like Harvey Lipschitz will win!”

“Didja hear that, hon, Lipschitz won Delaware…no point in us heading out.” “Nope, make yourself a drink.”

Ooh, that Lipschitz.

The whole slew of debates didn’t further causes on the Democratic side. We achieved nothing by having monthly debates over the past six months other than cover such ground breaking subjects like:

“Is she/he likeable enough to get elected?” – Who cares? I’m not going to invite the winner for a beer. I want them to have the savvy to protect social security, make the water cleaner, to serve the republic and all that.

“What’s your skin care regimen?” – A question that probably doesn’t dog Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.

I mean any polling has steered money without any real lifting of the debate, just eliminating some promising candidates who couldn’t crack the bluster.

Maybe this is all hooey, but when information is critical and gossip not much, we seem to be drowning in the latter and getting more ignorant of the former.

But perhaps, there should be a step back.

lever_voting_machine

This may have done the trick. No chads, no ethernet, no central data processing. On Election Nights when I was in college, I was a “stringer” and went around and made a little cash by going from district to district and watched as folks took the sheet off the back of these and counted them up.

If ever there is a thing to have facts over scuttlebutt, it’s our elections.

That should matter. Let’s get somebody who can handle the tallying. Maybe him…DzhyYE8d_400x400

These Eyes


Waiting rooms and unsavory chores are great ways to contemplate what all is transpiring in the elements that surround us all.

I was sitting in an exam room last week waiting for my dad to get taken care of and the in-room television was tuned to TLC. What was the Learning Channel was giving us an onslaught of Dr. Pimple Popper. It was aptly named but seemed like an odd freak show vignette for a hospital waiting room.

I don’t know when exactly we got so afraid of ideas to the point where people act on half truths or comforting gossip, instead of doing a little research.

I mean why go off half cocked when you can breath, maybe read a little and go in full.

A guy locally paraded in the march of privileged, pistol-packing cosplayers who were upset with Virginia’s attempts to bring a little sanity to the idea of gun control. Said local knucklehead was proudly showing off a variety of armaments that no sports man needs, but no government official is coming for. The law asked for background checks and limits as to how many new purchases you can make to add to your gun collection. How much stocking up does one need to be doing? I thought I missed the part where Virginia was coming for their guns. Turns out I didn’t, as Virginia is not, but let’s invest lots of time into fear mongering that seems to be all anybody will pay heed. Said local doofus should enlist, but I think a push up is asking a lot.

Did you notice the clean water act is getting rolled back? Check it out: https://www.newsweek.com/trump-admin-reckless-capricious-rollback-clean-water-rule-drinking-water-environmentalists-1483711

Did you notice that a nutritious school lunch program has been axed?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/01/17/usda-proposes-changing-school-menus-allow-more-fries-pizza-fewer-vegetables-fruits-reversing-michelle-obama-effort

Did you notice you the quote from the President about cutting social security after the election? https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-01-23/trump-social-security

That’s our money that we’ve been paying into all of our working lives. It’s only ever been in danger from Congress and the President as they yell entitlement long enough, you can’t talk about it without some yahoo on Twitter pointing out that “it is an entitlement program,” like the semantics matter. It’s not gift money, it is money I’ve earned, thank you very much.

The president noted that the GOP wants to “do a number” on social security. This is the GOP who talks about “the American people” a lot. They don’t seem to have much regard for the actual people who live here.

Ted Cruz ( a guy who supports the President more than he supports his own wife and dad) thinks it was absolutely right to investigate the Bidens. The GOP has had a majority since 2014 in the Senate. Why now, Eddie, er, Ted?

Given that, you’d think the endeavors of the Democratic candidates would be pretty linear, very straightforward, but instead they continue to fight among themselves and it is accomplishing little.

I didn’t expect the impeachment to change anything. It is just disheartening to the see the volume of people who ignored their oaths and obligations to ensure that was the case. At one point, it was reported that 24 Republican senators were out of the room. McConnell, Graham and others signs oaths swearing dutiful jurorhood, but that is pretty laughable given their respective lap dog status. Curious how Graham got to be out of the room when 20 year video of him actually saying “there doesn’t need to be a crime to impeach.” Interesting giving the same person could be swung so opposite of what was conviction. Darned power, there it goes, corrupting again. It does make me wonder what goes on in those states that such jamokes are never fading from site. Wish it was a fair fight, that each side called witnesses and actually played it out. If I’m in the administration and I’m guiltless, it is practically a victory lap.

When your world loses somebody like Terry Jones or Kobe Bryant, that is sad, for some epically so. The downside of social media is that gifted people are no longer with us. If you don’t mourn the same, that’s fine, but so many are in such a rush to point out flaws or past imperfections or other matters. I don’t know what that benefit is, other than moral superiority from behind a keyboard. Jones meant a lot to the comedy of my youth. In the case of Bryant, aside from everything else, dying and unable to prevent your child from meeting that same fate. I feel for him, his daughter, their family and all the poor souls on that helicopter and their families.

Apparently, it’s okay to be ignorant and take it out on NPR reporters. There appears to be large amount of okay when the Secretary of State decided to bluster and berate a well informed reporter from NPR on matters Ukraine. Commenters on some sites are just fine with that behavior, just not with having an NPR. Guess the second amendment is the only amendment with swagger.

I was reading this morning about the head start Wegmans Food Markets are getting on the New York State plastic bag ban. His attempt at a parting shot was to say “well, Tops just gained a loyal customer,” conveniently forgetting that Tops will be following the law as well, just closer to when the time comes. But the shit we are choosing to care about just astounds me, the shit getting a pass? That’s a stunner too.

The zippy one liners needs facts too, folks.

These eyes are definitely not smiling.

“Money, it’s a crime”


So, the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t think the ballooning deficit isn’t a republican problem and to make up revenue lost by the unasked for tax cuts for the 1% of the 1%, he wants to cut social security and medicare among others, since those are “entitlements.”

yfY0KyP

He’s a schmuck.

Both parties have screwed that up. The errors along the way have all hands on them. I say that avoid recapping who did what when. I’d like to get past “Whataboutism” and deal with the present issue, solving the catastrophe in front of me as it were.

Not only is it incredibly corrupt of the Majority Leader to want to do cut benefits to accommodate that ill-conceived tax plan, it’s such a bad lie that gutting earned benefits won’t solve the deficit issue as they are two different sets of money. I will give him credit for saying that with a straight face, but there is nothing honorable about it. But he is guilty of theft with this. I don’t care about the errors that proceeded that or examples of this guy did that or whatever as the important thing is now. This shouldn’t happen. If the fleecing of working people (yet again) isn’t enough to get you to vote, I don’t know what will. It’s a caustic example of the people in power giving absolutely not a rat’s ass of about the actual electorate, just the wealthy donors who put them there. It’s not the first time Social Security has come under attack by politicians who can’t control their own spending habits.

150611105148-social-security-retirement-780x439

It’s only an entitlement as too many of our representatives have felt “entitled” to borrow from social security to pay for politically motivated tax cuts and wars that we didn’t have the credit line to cover. It shows you how little the Majority Leader thinks of the people he claims to represent by making like Steve Miller and taking the money and running.

15977688_1390164267743290_7114318593115981812_n

To quote the buddha of my youth, that noted philosopher, George Carlin:

“It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the impression you’ve got freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice.

You have owners. They OWN you. They own EVERYTHING… They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for:
-The Senate
-The Congress
-The State Houses
-The City Halls
They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all of the big media companies so they control just about all the information you get to hear. They got you by the BA**S. They spend billions of dollars every year LOBBYING to get what they want.

Well we KNOW what they want. They want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population capable of critical thinking…

They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f’ed by a system that threw ’em overboard 30 f’in years ago…

…You know what they want? Obedient workers. People who are JUST smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shi**ier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that dissappears the minute you go to collect it.

And now they’re coming for your Social Security money.

They want your f’in retirement money. They want it “back”. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later. ‘Cause they OWN this f’in place.

It’s a Big Club… and YOU ain’t in it!”

It feels like he is right. The current president and majority leader aren’t the first guys to abuse the system, but the abusesThey want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. are coming at such a clip, the result has been an ongoing induction of ADHD from all the headlines. And we aren’t paying close enough attention to how we are getting hosed.

Tom Toles in the Washington Post captured it perfectly:

It would be good if the Leader and his followers would adhere to the gospel of the Rolling Stones and realize that they can’t always get what they want.

Nobody should. The sooner that is a universal conclusion, we all stand a better chance of getting what need. And that, that would be pretty great.

Democratic candidates got an issue for the election. They can and should run on this and nothing else.

Clampdown


Whataboutism is a plague that is infesting us.

Instead of addressing given problem at the moment, the first instinct is to not address that, but scream “what about…” This blind, unquestioning faith in one point of view is a pretty dangerous thing. While I look around for my grocery ID, I can’t help but wonder how we got to this point, where it’s about seeing the people who don’t share your views suffer, where nobody is improving anything just how hard to defeat the other guys’ views, that since they don’t line up with mine, they must be bad.  We are fully in an era of power politics, where gossip seems to spread unabated and to quote the former Mayor of New York “Truth isn’t truth.” To think, he’s somebody’s lawyer.

Nobody is ever absolutely right or ever absolutely wrong. Of that, I’m certain.  No party should get everything they seek. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in watching all of our government officials totally bollix a series of issues from the ongoing immigration kerflfuffle to taxes to the courts and beyon. The we’re right, they have to be wrong since you know they don’t agree with me mentality seems to be the tone of the day, of the facebook feed, of everyplace. The parties are less about doing good and more about seeing the other burn. The reality is that they need each other.

I mean, every President has to do things we don’t want to know about, blood on his hands, and doesn’t do every thing a given voter would like. But at the very least, you hope they are seeing the whole board and not just for the mcnuggets.

People write of a divided America or making America….you know….

I think we have always had that division. It’s just louder than it ever has been. I thinking politically it can be traced back to Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.  The Brett Kavanaugh hearings illustrated power politics to me. Of course, given this president, the nominee presented was going to be a conservative jurist. When they are qualified, advise and consent says you give them their day as in the case of Neil Gorsuch and you confirm them. You might not like it, but that is the job. You don’t do like what the Senate Majority leader did to Merrick Garland and block em because of who nominated them. You don’t audition for Attorney General like Lindsay Graham did, threatening the opposing party’s future nominees. You don’t do these things if you are truly a representative of the people, the folks who voted for you. But McConnell and Graham (and Grassley and the supposed undecideds) aren’t caring about that. What we saw was power politics, party ahead of everything else including things that should concern those who represent the people.

Mr. Che is on to something. That said, I believe her. Senator McConnell screamed for effect that “this is the United States of America, for goodness sakes.” He dared to whine on Kavanaugh’s behalf, conveniently forgetting about blocking Merrick Garland For my money, both parties screwed up. The President doesn’t seemed to concerned as long as he can demonize both Democrats and the media. I guess because he is president, we are supposed to lap up everything being said. It’s power politics, this is what we want and we are going to force it on the masses because we decide.

During all this hysteria, the house voted another tax decrease for the one percent crowd. In the meantime, everybody was looking for people to blame. McConnell, Hatch, Graham showed contempt for citizens who wanted to be a part of the process and have their voices heard, that pesky 1st amendment freedom of speech thingy.

If there is money to be as a paid protestor, sign me up. Dolt that I am, sometimes, I’ve protested because it was thing to to. If there is cash to be had, send me that Craig’s link.

So for them a refresher. This is a peaceful protest where citizens are exercising their free speech.

And this would be your mob.

Like George Carlin said, it’s a big club, but they don’t want us in it. Even though the newest justice didn’t vote on it, voting rights already took a hit. Rand Paul thinks somebody can die because of the current political climate. He forgets folks have.

Just to be sure, one more reminder:

These things blow over? No, Mitch, they don’t. Neither party has much to be proud, but bloviating and threatening the other side isn’t a good look. The media didn’t do its best work during the Kavanaugh hearings, but neither did anybody with Senator in their title. Everybody just wanted to get their way. Not a good look. From the sycophantic nonsense from Ted Cruz, the histrionic audition of Lindsay Graham, to the pointless walk outs by democrats, it was sham, but they were all equal participants. Senators were not under attack like Mitch McConnell whines. They were having to hear from the people they supposedly represent.

And kudos for John Dickerson on CBS for calling out the majority leader on his version of Supreme Court history.

I don’t think we have the heart’s desire, but Mr. Mencken appears to be spot on in the last part. The plain folks are getting rogered even if they don’t care to see it. Another tax cut passed the house while the Senate was misrepresenting us. Everybody’s playing the victim. I think that is calculated. It is a sort of “look at what they are doing” to avoid prying eyes on what you are up to when you say that.

I watch the arguments that mostly take place on Facebook and other channels mostly from the sidelines. No one wants to see the bigger picture, and everybody is falling for the demonization of anything that represents disagreement with their chosen point of view. It’s funny to me that people complain that a given musician or tv show is too political, when those entities have always been so. We should be cool with a little dissent, with a little disagreement. Differing opinions yield a better end product and the voices of our better angels don’t have to be shout. Those who are not really don’t any interests at heart other than their own.

Not the best quality to have in a public servant.

Yeah, vote

Things We Choose to Care About…


Been a lot of news to digest lately, almost to the point of “Breaking News” exhaustion, so my apologies for seemingly being behind the curve.

Alton Brown found a really good wing joint in East Aurora. I think that is okay and certainly not worth getting in a dander about. While an attempted take down of him on one of the local stations was funny, I can’t help but wonder: Why do we care? Misery is tangible and real, we don’t need contrived things to bitch about. I wish our griping carried some gravitas.

I care more that Marco Rubio realizes all the sudden that the recent tax bill isn’t benefiting the masses, admitting that the most companies are stuffing the funds back into their pockets instead of any worker relief. If only somebody would have told him about that part. Oh, wait…

The sole pet peeve I have about the White House Correspondents Dinner is that supposedly high level national reporters want an apology to the White House Press Secretary for insults and body shaming. The body shaming didn’t happen, the insults did, but it’s a roast and most troubling is why these reporters are so protective of a press secretary who treats the press to fabrications and contempt. Michelle Wolf did what she was hired to do and was pretty funny. I guess the reporters griping on twitter are worried about losing their access to the daily dumpster fire. Perhaps a remembering of purpose over parties would be a good reminder. There is a lot of news out there after all.

Former Health and Human Service Sec. Price admitted that repealing the individual mandate will raise health coverage costs. It’s clearer than ever the GOP’s closed-door dealings had nothing to do with protecting families and everything to do with carving out giveaways to special interests and donors.

Anybody else troubled that a 71 year old man uses “haters” and “losers” so much? I mean, I know what my daughters are talking about when they say something is “Lit” but I’m smart enough to know how stupid that would sound coming out of my 54 year old mouth.

I watched an interesting two hours of TV that I recommend. I’ve always enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s programs. Who wouldn’t want to have that gig? His show on West Virginia was really well done. It was an honest assessment of people trying to do their best, with folks of varying color living and working together despite lies from the Trump Campaign in 2016, flat out contempt from the Clinton campaign in the same year. It’s worth checking out to broaden your own perspective as the intolerance everywhere is just disheartened. It’s a very unlikely place to see some hope.

W.Kamau Bell’s show on the Mexican border issue that followed was riveting too. I firmly believe the President couldn’t have a worse view of the border. His wall is something we cannot afford, it won’t work and about the only thing it will inspire will be new confidence in the ladder and boating industries. But guess what, the last six presidents (both sides) had issues too. Wish the current one would explain what his issue is instead of nonsense rally platitudes.

Oliver North thinks the National Rifle Association is a victim now. Um, no. Your congressmen are still bought. The President is back to being afraid of your dollars. It doesn’t sound like much of anything has changed.

Another mass shooting, another round of politicos pretending to care for the duration of the news cycle, another round of sniping at each other pointlessly on social media. Here’s a simple thing. Instead of calling for of all things, “Door Control.” Do this: Register every gun. Conduct a background check on every gun purchase. Hold gun manufacturers liable if their gun is used in a crime. Hold parents criminally liable if their child steals their gun and uses it in a crime. Digitize the ATF’s gun records. Realize horrible will happen given the amount of nothing we’ve done thus far. Realize criminals are going to do criminal things, else we need to call them something else, but I don’t think Gun free zone signs matter to them at all. I don’t want your gun, Mr. and Mrs. Responsible Gun Owner, I’d just like to see it be a little more of an achievement to get one.

We have seriously become Short Attention Span Theater when it comes to any issue and the crime families in Washington know this.  I get a kick out of people blaming a given media for the decline in debate. As the waffling Trump supporter in West Virginia mentioned to Anthony Bourdain correctly noted, “we need to talk with each other not at each other.”

Everybody is podcasting, but nobody is podlistening.

 

Drive – mental mcnuggets from a lengthy commute


When you have a lengthy commute to work as I do, it gives one plenty of time to sort out a myriad of issues that might creep into the cerebral cortex and not leave…

I notice Amazon isn’t taking the bait from the President. I think he is attacking the company because the owner also owns the Washington Post.  The Post covers news. The President is frequently is in same. He doesn’t appear to like that. Maybe he shouldn’t have run. Pretty sure that when a public figure runs down a public traded company that it is a form of securities fraud.

Different towns in Western New York have decidedly different approaches to snow removal. When you cross through a variety of townships, the care and patterns do shift a bit. I guess that is a good thing, keeps me alert during the drive.

Everytime one of our weatherforecasters has said a storm is “nothing we can’t handle,” I see multiple evidence the next morning that we apparently cannot. From spinouts to rollovers, this winter has seen them all.

Is there a right way to protest? That seems to take over debates than the actual matter being debated. A tv show host busts a student advocate about getting rejected from colleges instead being at all concerned that he got shot at. He’s too wrapped up in her and is losing site of his original cause, noble as it was. I say was because it sure looks like nothing is really going to change, except for Stoneman Douglas will take a few elements of high school that are already prominent in many urban schools already.

What should change? Hey, glad you asked. Make all gun transactions the same. Make background checks universal. Let ATF databanks be electronic so they digitally track potential trouble spots so it can be a little more difficult for a whackdoo to be an armed whackdoo. That’s a pretty decent objective, no? The fact that we might never completely eradicate doesn’t mean we need to necessarily not try anything. Responsible gun owners lives don’t change at all. And, oh yeah, let the appropriate agencies full enforce what is already there on the books. That would be good. See, simple, let’s move on.

Good of the guy in graphics to be on top of what we truly need to know.

Last guy to perpetuate such a relentless and pointless press attack was Nixon. That worked out well.

We have become so touchy about issues, especially ones involve political figures or ideology that we don’t necessarily agree with. When Roger Waters and U2 played shows in the region, people groused on Facebook about those acts “turning political.” It makes me wonder what they’ve been listening to as both artists have always had a concern in the political arena.

The restart of “Roseanne” has people talking about politics and of all people, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar has it right. Check out his article on what is really playing out: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-dont-be-fooled-roseanne-is-tvs-anti-trump-show-1099170?utm_source=twitter

If you are taking your cues from a sitcom character, that might be an issue. That’s never been good, be it Roseanne or Archie Bunker. Can they spark debate and thought? Sure, and we can certainly use more of that.

I wonder if more folks are going to the final home Buffalo Sabres’ game for the Dominik Hasek bobblehead than the actual game. They are and always will be my team, but my team is broken.

The Cuban flag dates back into the 1800’s and is not symbolic of Castro and Communism. It needed to be said.

I really liked the NBC production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It had a few flaws but as a whole was pretty great. I enjoyed Alice Cooper as King Herod, but a friend of mine posited how cool it would have been to see what David Bowie could have done with that assignment. That would have been something to see.

This was pretty good, however.

So a local congressman is afraid to meet with students out of fear they might not agree with him? What a world. That’s how you win over voters, by showing up. That’s how a grownup behaves, or do those kids not matter until they are donors?

Social Security and Medicare? We’ve been paying into them all our working lives. Left to their own devices, the programs are self-maintaining. Don’t be fooled when they are talked of as entitlements. It’s a misleading word. These are programs that literally have been funded by taxpayers, our money that is getting mismanaged and is under assault by those who don’t represent us.

I wish the Sabres weren’t so terrible.

Time for a walk.

 

Shenanigans


Can’t swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting some.

-The President Elect didn’t save jobs from Carrier. The state bribed them with tax breaks to not take them all. This is a strategy that worked out really well for Carrier in New York State where the only thing still functioning with the name Carrier on it is the dome.

-Saying you are “Draining the swamp” doesn’t preclude from the fact that you might just fool around and refill it.

-Coal jobs aren’t coming back. With wind and solar getting to be cheaper, it’s one of those industries that won’t dominate as it once did and for somebody to magically promise, without substantiation that the jobs are coming back is both exploitive and sad. But then again, so is believing that somebody.

-Did anybody ever take a more pained dinnertime photo than Mitt Romney? Whoever lit that table was editorializing in their own way. You can almost watch his soul leave.

-New York Times contributor Paul Krugman noted on Twitter that “Another metric: Trump would have to do one Carrier-sized deal a week for 30 years to save as many jobs as Obama’s auto bailout.”

-So the NFL decided to bust the Bills’ Offensive Lineman Seantrel Henderson for using medical marijuana…to treat Crohn’s Disease. First, just legalize it already. Look at the revenue that Colorado is reaping. Second, NFL? Really? Seriously? It’s not a performance enhancing drug, it’s a medical regimen. Good thing he isn’t beating anybody up. Oh, wait, you’re cool with that.

-The Affordable Care Act is a noble idea, but a flawed law. I think Congress wasted all those votes on repeal because they didn’t have to actually deal with the consequences of “what’s next?” Well, guess what, time to shine, obstructionists!

-Cutting Social Security and Medicaid, this confuses me a little, as they are things that we pay into, why would payouts need reduced? Oh yeah, because that pot of money keeps getting borrowed for other things.

-I’m not certain that Bernie Sanders would have won, but I’m glad the grumpy old man isn’t going gently into the good night.

-The recount efforts won’t change anything, but there is no harm in letting the process play out. I mean, unless you think it might not go your way, then panic on twitter.

-Nobody, and I mean, nobody ever gets everything they want or promise done once they get into office. That said, despite not being the most natural campaigner, Secretary Clinton was a pretty capable Senator.

-It would be good for our current President to take some action on Standing Rock, any action. And place his nominee on the court as a recess appointment. The court would be fully stocked for a year, while the obstructionists in congress publicly obfuscate, squirm and talking point their way around a nominee who actually meets their criteria.

-Steven Colbert was right, we are overpoliticked with the election. One of the worst mediums ever is the public comment sections of newspaper and tv websites. Laden with digital ninjas whose sole human contact is their moms yelling from upstairs to come up for breakfast, that style of uninformed, meme-posting, if you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron discourse is all over social media. I suppose this essay falls into that category, but it’s okay to disagree with me and I don’t live with mom.

-That said, everybody’s history has some poison in it. Every race, creed, color has a list of do-overs and we haven’t always come to grips with that. The naysayers who have issues with Black Lives Matter miss the point. All lives do matter and should matter, but the central point to me is that some lives haven’t mattered as much and correcting that takes time, time and recognition that a lengthy history of abuses, misconceptions and prejudice affects all involved and doesn’t magically go away. So, standing up for that is a good thing and that reminder very good.

So, another transition.

-The Buffalo Bills have me concerned. They had trouble with the 2-8 Jaguars at home and are going to play the Raiders, in Oakland, and the Raiders are pretty good again.

-It’s great that Jack is back, but should one guy….

It’s that time of the year where we act, mostly, like we should all year long. Let’s strive for less idiocy and realize that differing views don’t make the opposing parties morons. We can learn beyond facebook bickering.

 

 

“Long Walk Home”


“I believe in hope, not fear.” “I’m a leader, not a politician.” “It’s time for an American leader.” “America’s earned a change.” “I before ‘E’ except after ‘C’!” It’s the fortune-cookie candidacy! These are important thinkers, and understanding them can be very useful and it’s not ever going to happen at a four-hour seminar. When the President’s got an embassy surrounded in Haiti, or a keyhole photograph of a heavy water reactor, or any of the fifty life-and-death matters that walk across his desk every day, I don’t know if he’s thinking about Immanuel Kant or not. I doubt it, but if he does, I am comforted at least in my certainty that he is doing his best to reach for all of it and not just the McNuggets. Is it possible we would be willing to require any less of the person sitting in that chair? The low road? I don’t think it is..” — The West Wing

I was a little hooked on that program, but first step to recovery is admitting you have an issue, but that quote keeps coming back to me.

So, you found your candidate. Congrats! Not for nothing, now hush. Go read. I’ve been avoiding the bulk of the “discussions” on Facebook as they pretty much all are really stupid. People are forgetting everything but the most current zinger. Reading social media about the presidential election is a dizzying and nauseating idea. Everybody seems to be in the spirit of crapping all over the ideas they don’t immediately agree with, it’s like the whole campaign has come down to clever memes and easily forgotten double standards. It gave me pause reading through some of this stuff as my oldest friend and I probably don’t agree on much of this, but he’s still the best drinking bud I’m ever going to have. He’s never derided me nor I him. It’s a crazy notion, I know, respecting principles and all. Hell, having principles is tough enough. I say this because he is a smart fellow and informed and doesn’t browbeat anybody for their choices. I try to return the favor.

Everybody seems to be out to scare and frighten, paranoid of ideas that aren’t in lockstep with their own, clinging to words that barely make a meme as a position, intolerant of any facts, you know, those pesky things we studied before facebook status updates. I started writing this some time ago, and I was worried about focus. And then came the “no fact checking” headlines for the presidential debate and the quote about appeared in my head. We’re arguing over stupid things and not paying attention to what truly matters. “You can’t trust her” some wag posts on facebook. “He’s gone backrupt 4 times” posts another. “Her husband’s fooled around” “He’s on his third marriage.” Hey, guess what?

None of it or other non issues matter. Congressional leaders came out in 2008 and stated that their number one priority was to make sure the Obama administration failed. There have been email server issues since there has been email. There were 8 different Benghazi like incidents during the Bush administration and nary an investigation or question for that matter. One candidate has insulted gold star families, actual war heroes, handicapped reporters, advocated violence, shortchanging social security, wants to change freedom of speech so he can sue the media that doesn’t agree with him. He lost a billion dollars one year and got twenty years off from tax payments. That last part is legal, so I’m a little concerned about the losing a billion dollars in a year. That sounds like something out of Brewster’s Millions. She made Obamacare look good in the early 90s, promised New York state 200,000 jobs that never materialized, screwed up on NAFTA and was less the reverent with classified material. I mean now that Johnson and Johnson has said their insulin pumps are prey to hackers, perhaps we should let that go, but in light of all the mansplaining that has been going on, I miss Tim Russert. He wouldn’t take any guff from either side. The debates aren’t changing anything for anybody unless you are a meme-designer

Fact of the matter is that I’m with her if for no other reason that I prefer public service, to self service. There is nobility in the failure. The futility is in not trying. I’m under no illusion. Neither candidate gives a rat’s behind about my fortunes. That I spend part of 2015 unemployed isn’t an issue either candidate is going to address for me. You don’t get to profit from a system and complain it was rigged at the same time. That level of hypocrisy doesn’t work for me. You can’t have it both ways.  George Carlin was right. It’s a big club, but they don’t want us in it. You do have to play the cards dealt to you. I know I’m working through lunch on the day of my funeral, but I want a grown up at the wheel, not somebody prone to twitter rants at 4am. I  am making my choice based on the candidate who will reach for the whole thing and not just “Settle for the McNuggets.”

You don’t a President to bring us together. Officeholders don’t embue you with your humanity. If you post hateful things online or in newspaper columns, that’s on you. My folks put a premium on just being informed, knowing what is actually going on. That can be sometimes tough as every outlet seemingly has an angle and the supposed tough questions aren’t always getting asked, but I’m glad to see my kids are reading and digesting information from multiple sources. because these are complex times. It’s a strange thing where a white billionaire can say “America isn’t great” and have masses blindly cheer, and a black millionaire athlete can say the same thing and get a decidedly different reaction. We seem to be for freedom of speech until somebody actually uses it. It’s like we are looking to complain. While the candidates continue to bicker, I continue to hope they, like anybody running, would focus on what they would do on the job. Until that happens, debates are meaningless and skits like the Saturday Night Live debate parody contribute more to the conversation and raise the “Level of Debate”

In the meantime, the country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Lawyers, Guns and Money


I started working on a blog post about the facebook-ization of everything. That is to say status updates being actual information, something to take seriously instead of the digital hieroglyphics that they actually are. Because we all have that digital soapbox, we are instantly experts at everything, from how to run a zoo, a campaign, policy race relations and the harsh reality is that nobody knows anything, but like a dinner of hyperactive kids trying to catch their folks attention, everybody is talking, and nobody is listening.
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A horrible event like what happened in Orlando has everybody spouting and nobody reading or looking a little deeper. All the horror is deeply complex, more so than self-congratulatory tweets from Vulgar Talking Yam candidates to every moronic meme that is populating most folks facebook news feeds.

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I didn’t set out to weigh into this particular subject area as it is one with more grey areas than we care to think about. About the only real conclusion that can be reached is that the system is definitely, flat out broken, and there doesn’t seem to be any get up and go make changes. Banning certain kinds of guns does slow down revenue for gun sellers, but I’m not certain that won’t keep things for finding their way. A lot of barstool philosophy has gone into this, but again no real action. I am of the mind that there should be some regulations on what someone can just show up and buy, as there doesn’t seem to be a logical use for certain weapons other that to injure as as much as rapidly as possible. For me that’s a problem. Ethical hunters wouldn’t stand by that.
But the broken system failed us. I don’t know if it is AR based weapons or another make of gun as there is a source saying that. I don’t think either are necessary for self defense or deer season, but you might disagree. A friend of mine who I have much respect for might be onto something that folks favoring AR or other gun bans are making the wrong case to support their point, not that a ban will save lives, but it would be morally incorrect to allow such things for civilian use.
If somebody wants to inflict harm, they will find methods of accomplishing that, but I agree with a few folks who posted that it shouldn’t be so easy for someone to get the guns they wish, especially when they have had documented domestic issues and caught the attention of the FBI.
Another poster mentions that “Terrorist used planes, not guns on 9/11.” We learned a little from that and made it harder for that to happen again (a work in progress, I grant you). Planes weren’t banned, it was made harder to use them as a potential weapon.

I found this article and will forward here to the three of you following my spiel: https://medium.com/@stinson/an-open-letter-to-liberal-friends-on-gun-control-c41d7a44d88b#.eexd0eglk

It’s a good read that spells things out a little more evening that a facebook post typically does.  And I didn’t know if you noticed, I’m not coming for your guns, nobody is. I mean they can have mine, but it’s up to them to refill it with water now and again.

I’m not so certain we’ve got the whole story, but we have gotten snippets that have all sides losing their minds, from ad-hoc conspiracy blusters to people who should never have a microphone placed in their faces again. And it doesn’t stop digital activists who activism stops at their enter keys.

Samantha Bee hit the nail on the head pretty good.

I’m not Orlando. I’m just a middle aged white guy who reads too much, but unlike other middle aged white straight guys, I’m not preaching about how others should feel. Nobody is in the position to do that and can you imagine how that much feel to the preachees?

But the system is fucked. I don’t know why the Vulgar Talking Yam (stolen from Esquire with respect) candidate wants the president to label the crime as that doesn’t accomplish anything other than rousing underinformed rabble. I know that if harm came to my kids in any fashion let alone the horrors of the folks in that nightclub, I couldn’t care less about the terminology being used as nothing would solve that hurt, no slogan will fix what happened. I wonder if the way to get the NRA to the table is for a bunch of folks to join and actually shift the agenda from within. Crazy, right.

I don’t blame the gun. He never should have had it.

The system is fucked. Let’s fix it.