The Last Day of April 2022

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Last night, on the last day of April, 2022, I sat contemplating the current events of the day, these calamities affecting our country and our world.  These are events that are probably even more threatening and dangerous than the events that preceded World War II in the 1920’s and 1930’s and perhaps even more unsettling than the most harrowing incidences that occurred during the cold war.  We pretend they cannot be what they most assuredly are because it is too unbelievable to us that it could be happening all over again. 

In those days there had been a clear, unmistakable understanding of good and evil; the dividing line between Real Freedom vs. Oppression, Americanism vs. Nazism, Capitalism vs. Communism.  You could be easily defined as American or Un-American based upon that reliable unit of measure.  But the differences today are now more confused, ambiguous and blurred.  Propaganda has replaced facts and facts have become alternative. 

It’s a time where liberty and justice and the rule of law is less important than making something “great again.” It is a time where any despicable republic damaging means available to make it “great” is accepted without a blink of the eye or a critical thought to evaluate just how destructive it will be to a system of government built on a promise to keep government free of corruption with a focus on truthIt’s a time where many lack any consideration of just how great American had always been.  It’s a time where there is a failure to understand that we have a founding document that contains an implied guarantee to all people of any race, creed or cultural heritage that they have access to that freedom, to those unalienable rights and regardless of how painfully long it took for that guarantee to be fully realized.

It’s a time where Jim Crow laws have been reintroduced based upon the insecurities of a totalitarian infected American political organization.  It is a time where a political party fearful that it will lose power takes drastic un-American measures to remain in power and despite its once more honorable past where it had been an American Party dedicated to freeing the slaves, the very ancestors of the citizens it is now attempting to disenfranchise.  It is a time where the honesty of the first Republican has been abandoned for dishonesty, dishonor and a lack of integrity that knows no bounds.  It. Is a time where abuse of power for petty vindictiveness is now an honored attribute.  It is a time where a perfectly corrupt phone call is hailed as a perfectly fine phone call.

It is a time where the freedom to have irresponsible reckless disregard for others is more important than somebody else’s freedom to live without the threat of dying in an overcrowded hospital from a deadly disease. It’s a time when imaginary bone spurs used as an excuse to avoid service to their country is more honorable than real bone spurs earned in a war with real sacrifice. It is a time when half the country has abandoned the ideas of our Founding Fathers by mocking their efforts to create a nation of laws rather than men. It’s a time where conservatives wrapped in corrupted garments of red, white and blue vote for unsuitable stewards of our system of government.  It is a time where idolizing disgraceful purveyors of disinformation and lies is the accepted norm.

It is a time where some Christians support the most un-Christian leader this country ever has known, justifying their betrayal to their otherwise noble beliefs by citing that all politicians lie without regard to the fact that no employer would select the most dishonest, disgraceful, untrustworthy candidate as their hire for employment even if they did believe all the people being interviewed have lied at some time in their life. It is a time where totalitarian ideas are embraced by insurrectionists and Fox News hosts with the errant belief that it somehow makes them American Patriots.  It is a time where up is down and foreign, Anti-American Ideas are somehow accepted as being wholly American.

There is nothing American about Totalitarian Authoritarians who think a Free Press is the enemy of the People.  There is nothing American about supporting the head of a brutal totalitarian regime invading another sovereign country where unacceptable death, destruction and genocide against a civilian population are documented for all the world to see.  There is nothing American about glorifying and defending an insidious, unjustified and internationally illegal assault against a smaller nation that has committed itself to freedom and democracy.

There is nothing American about siding with an undemocratic country that is attempting to deny a smaller democratic country it’s right to self-determination. There is nothing American about supporting a candidate who sought to overthrow a free, secure and fair election.  There is nothing American about accepting a lie as the truth.

All these actions are un-American.  They are anti-American.  The criminal monster that is Putin is the model that the top leader of the Republican Party aspires to be.  It should be a wake-up call to all conservatives who believe in honor, decency and, most of all, respect for the rule of law as described by our traditional understanding of American democracy and our republican form of government.  But it doesn’t seem the wakeup call is being heard.  Why?  What excuse could they possibly have? This is what I contemplate, on this first day of May, 2022.

Ubiquitous Sycophants for Sale

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House Representative Troy Nehls from Texas had this to say right after the Capital Insurrection: “I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors.  What I’m witnessing is a disgrace.  We’re better than this.  Violence is NEVER the answer.  Law and Order!”

Nehls shared these thoughts right after the January 6th insurrection.  Now standing “shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police” is out of fashion with him after realizing that pledging allegiance to the criminal mastermind, his “Dear Leader,” who incited the riot in the first place is better for his own personal political career.  Nehls picked the “Dear Leader” over our nation’s flag.

Rather than protect our nation’s principles, the Rule of Law, Law and Order and basic common decency, Nehls decides it is better to incite more violence by promoting the abhorrently absurd and insane idea that the Capitol police officer protecting him and his fellow congressional members on January 6, 2021 is a “murderer.”  Nehls stated this on Monday, October 25, 2021 in an interview: “The video was quite clear; it was murder” in reference to the officer who had shot his gun in defense of the congressional members and against the insurrectionists attempting to violently break into the Capital building.

But, really, the only thing this latest news interview with Nehls shows is something else that is “quite clear.” Nehls is absent any honor these days.  No longer guided by traditional American principals where our Constitution and our laws are more important than any single man, Nehls’ absurd claim helps to further divide and damage our country all for the sake of his own personal political benefit. Now that is a “disgrace.”

My sincere hope is that the peddlers of the Big Lie all end up destroying their political careers along with their fascist embracing political party too.  That needs to happen for the sake of our country’s system of government and for the restoration of the ideas that truly made this country great: common decency, respect for the rule of law and respect for the ideals of our Founding Fathers regarding what is just and equitable.  We need that “City on a Hill” to shine again.

And this is what we don’t need:  we don’t need congressional members promoting insidiously inaccurate claims that have no merit.  We don’t need tawdry efforts to protect insurrectionist inciting individuals from prosecution.  We don’t need dishonest politicians diverting attention away from the sins of an autocratic con artist and onto the sights of a law enforcement officer where wild accusations unjustly and inaccurately exist to malign that officer’s reputation.  Mostly, we certainly don’t need any more prostrating ring kissing sycophants devoted to a disgraced, law-breaking former office holder lacking in all manner of character but abundantly prosperous in excuses made up of bone spurs.

So, we need to move this congressional overstocked product now:  Ubiquitous Sycophants for Sale.

Foreign Power Presidential Validation

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Chicken and a Wall

Only half the country sees the obvious and disturbing irony that Trump is receiving validation from Putin regarding his assessment of the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.”

Another portion of the country is blissfully unaware that they are co-conspirators in a plot to ensure that the chicken is fully plucked.

Yet another portion is totally oblivious to the irony because they are too busy posting their food pictures to Facebook or liking the jumping moon cat video to care.

But the remaining portion, along with the pleasing approval of adversarial foreign powers, won’t rest until every feather is theirs and we are left with a country absent of a democracy and absent a republic.

Pink Sourcing for the Masses

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Consider Kristen Bell’s, Pink Sourcing video:

Pinksourcing With Kristen Bell | Celebs Have Issues Ep. 1

Funny, right?  Well, not so fast; not according to this article:

Another Celebrity Wrong On The Wage Gap” by Karin Agness

What I think is just as funny as Kristen’s video are some of the responses to Kristen’s video and, specifically, this one.  Instead of taking Bell’s comedy satire for what it is, the author of this article is a little bent-out of shape that Kristen would make such a “misleading” parody.  Sure, the writer for this Forbes piece has a point that the general Census Bureau statistic may not consider other factors like comparing similar jobs, that there may be less women in the workforce than men, that there is no consideration of the job choices women make vs. the job choices men make, etc.  There also seems to be a lot of disaffected men out there giving their nod towards this Forbes article who are unhappy that they get paid the same or less than women do in comparable jobs while Kristen has the gall to make fun of a statistic that they are quite certain is false.

But, so what?  It’s Kristen Bell!  Lighten-up.  She is really funny.  In addition, the video is not just about men vs. women but also, women vs. women, subtly and, cleverly, highlighting other disparities that exist in the workforce with humor as well.  My advice to this columnist and to all the other people who agree with her: “chill-out” and quit making such a big deal over this.

There really is nothing wrong with the point of view being promoted by the video.  You cannot escape the fact that there is a real disparity in household incomes between men and women.  In the long run, it really doesn’t matter why there are differences if you are truly concerned about a progressive improvement for women in the job market.  So, in my humble opinion, regardless of whether you are a conservative or a liberal businessperson, you now have one other real option to consider whenever you get that itching need to exploit somebody: pick up that phone and call Pink Sourcing.  Trust me; all your troubles will be solved.

The Business of the United States of America is not to be a Business

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Had our forefathers intended our form of government to be run like a business, they would have set it up like a business.  But, that is not the purpose of our form of government.  A business is not so concerned about protecting liberty, justice and freedom as much as it is concerned about the bottom line. Big Businesses, if left unchecked, more often than not, like totalitarian governments, tend to exploit people, limit their options; they tend to foster an idea that the business is more important than its people.  When was the last time Microsoft was concerned about your right to practice a different operating system?

There is always room for efficiency in government and we absolutely need Big Business to progress as any meaningful modern society.  The improvements to our lives that can only happen if Big Business exists are apparent.  Laws favorable to Big Business should be encouraged but must be applied in the context that they don’t infringe on the rights, freedom and liberty of other American citizens.  Only a government independent of thinking like a business can do that.

So, it is absurd to me when people base their reason for selecting a particular candidate on the claim that the candidate will run our government like a business.  Our government should not run like a business nor should we trust people who think that it should.  If a person believes that government should run like a business, it indicates to me that they have absolutely no understanding of what they are talking about, no understanding of our current form of government or why our forefathers would have thought such a notion to be an absolutely bad idea.  Our government is not set up like a business on purpose because our government’s primary directive is to be subservient to its citizens, protector of our liberties and freedom not the other way around. Totalitarianism in any form is a bad idea.

Bob Shieffer: the Last Great American Reporter?

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Bob Schieffer’s last day as moderator of “Face the Nation” on CBS is today. I just want to mention that there are not many newscasters left that provide as much integrity as he does. Always respectful and fair in his questioning of both Republicans and Democrats, you never really knew if Schieffer was for his interviewee or against them. But, that’s exactly what all really good reporters are supposed to do: severely limit any personal bias they might have.

Tough questions the audience deserves to know can be asked without asking questions that are irrelevant and unnecessary for the audience to know (regardless of how sensational, ratings increasing that these other questions might allegedly be or how many other reporters seem to be asking them). Finally, good reporters should let the audience decide what they think on their own without telling the audience what they should think. Schieffer did all that and more.

Schieffer belongs to the same class of reporters that Walter Cronkite belonged to. This is a class of reporters that is quickly disappearing. In fact, it is my opinion that Schieffer might be the last one. Can Schieffer’s replacement truly bring the same type of integrity and quality to moderating that Schieffer brought to “Face the Nation?” My answer is, maybe, but Dickerson will have a very tough job in trying to match what Schieffer brought to the show. I have my doubts it can be done.

Curing the Condescending Mindset

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In this day and age, there is a lot of negative, unpoliced energy floating around in the social ether. Critically acclaimed movies with hopeful Oscar potential portray dysfunctional family members sarcastically hurling cruel and harsh insults at one another. For example, in one scene in “The Descendants” Shailene Woodly’s character brutally and unceremoniously puts down her younger sister in a way that seems overly harsh and unnecessary. And while I don’t really expect that Shailene would ever treat her sibling in real life that way, it does show a pervasive attitude in today’s society that it is perfectly OK to disparage people without a thought or concern to what that is really doing to the other person or to what that is really doing to relationships in general.

Treating a person with that much distain and disrespect is simply wrong. Now you might say that I am overreacting because it’s to be expected that siblings will treat each other poorly at that age. That is possibly true but that is just one example.

The point is that the language and the ferocity that is used against another person cause relationships to unravel and break apart. It adds to the dysfunctional condition that might already be present and it is likely a good candidate for the dysfunctional condition in the first place. We only have to look to Congress to see how the lack of respect Republican and Democratic members have for each other to see what I am talking about.

No dialog can be started to get any deal hammered out because each is too busy hurling insults at the other. And that only increases the contempt each has for the other. How likely are you going to want to start a dialog with somebody if they are hurling absurd and unnecessary insults at you? Probably, not very likely. Thus, the reason for the “do nothing Congress” we have today.

To cure this condition that has inflicted our social conscious and to get society moving in positive directions again requires us to start with some basic rules of civility. There was a time period, not too long ago, where people referred to each other formally as Mr., Miss or Mrs. After a period of time, when you were allowed to know the person a little better, you might be “on a first-name basis.”

Now, I am not advocating that we need to go back to using formal salutations, although, I would not discourage it either. I am advocating that showing respect for another person is absolutely required if we want a society that is less crippled by the dysfunctional phenomenon that seems to be so pervasive in today’s culture. There is a lot to be said about the old adage: “Don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” Showing respect for another human being whose appearance, social upbringing, habits or opinion might be different from your own is the only way we can cure the Condescending Mindset. And Curing the Condescending Mindset is absolutely necessary and the only way we can begin to cure the problems with congress and the rest of the dysfunction that plagues today’s American Society.