The New Norm?

Please forgive me if I don’t want to make the President-Elect’s actions the new norm for our country or the world. Blatant lying and narcissistic exaggerations are offensive to me.  I will do my best to stay in that mode for the next four years until someone with more sanity occupies the highest office in this land.

2016-12-24_07-56-45.png“People who expect the past are going to be shocked that there’s a new way of doing things,” said Barry Bennett, a Republican strategist who served as an adviser to Trump during the general-election campaign. “This is a glimpse of where he’s headed, and in a way, it’s highly transparent, but just not the way Washington has done business for the past 40 or 50 years.”

But others warn that Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill could have a hard time reading Trump and discerning his true priorities if he continues to operate as he has during the transition.“

It’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff — what comes out that he really wants and what’s just said at the spur of the moment,” said Jim Manley, a former longtime aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). “In the past, a president-elect doing something like this would have been unfathomable.”

Source: The chaos theory of Donald Trump: Sowing confusion through tweets – The Washington Post

Yes, in the past these actions would have been unfathomable, but they are also unfathomable in the present and the future as far as I am concerned. Is our world  is going to be figuratively, but hopefully not literally,  turned upside down in the coming  few years?  Different cultures have different views of actions  and words and I pray that this very offensive behavior in our culture is not deadly in others.  The way Mr. Trump disses people on a daily basis would be a death sentence in the “Street” underworld. I wonder where else that might apply?

  • Will ISIS grow because his tweeting rhetoric is a massive recruitment tool  where many in that part of the world are literalists? I don’t know…
  • Will Israel come to believe that they can nuke Iran because of his reckless words?  I don’t know…
  • Will Russia increase their meddling in our democratic systems because of his complacency with their past attempts? I don’t know…

Let us pray that the rest of the world takes Mr. Trump in the same way that Barry Bennet does and disregard what he says and instead wait for an interpretation by his staff handlers.

God Save Our Country…..

Suppressing The Vote…

I see where the federal courts have struck down some State’s voting laws as unconstitutional in that they were really about suppressing the vote. To me that is a good thing. But in my mind our entire election process needs to be changed to allow everyone to vote when it is convenient for them.  Why are we stuck to one work day to cast our choices of who will do the people’s business?

One of the basic problems with America’s democracy is that we vote at a much lower level than almost any democracy in the world.  Too many of us, for whatever reason, just don’t bother to show up to do our duty at the polls.  I kind of like Australia’s solution to their similar problem.  They made it against the law not to vote!  Well not quite but they did impose a fine on those who don’t vote. There solution caused participation to leap to almost 100%.  Amazing… but that is probably not a viable solution for us. We are too ornery to use such a simple answer.

Politics-2.jpgAnother possible solution is to make it very easy for everyone to vote. Don’t just open the polls during working days or especially working hours. Give people more options. One of those current options that I recently took advantage of is early voting. That is going to my local courthouse and casting my ballot when it is convenient for me. But according to the graphic at the right only about half the States provide this option and it seems abundantly clear which States are denying the choice to their citizens.

It is widely recognized that southern States have a history of  doing everything possible to prevent minorities for voting. In the past they did with with poll taxes and tests. Now they do it by other means. In my opinion the federal government should regulate voting processes and take it out of the hands of States with their racial and gender biases.  Voting should be as easy as going to the grocery store for milk.

A Bad President Can Do An Enormous Amount Of Damage…

I’m sure I am not the only one to see this presidential election as the strangest of all the fourteen I have voted in. And I’m also sure that I am not the only one who is planning to vote for the least of two evils. The source article below proves that fact:

2016-09-04_15-14-49.pngI’m far more frightened about a Trump presidency than I am enthusiastic about a Clinton presidency. And why shouldn’t I be? The prospect of Donald Trump being the most powerful human being on Planet Earth is genuinely terrifying…. Among other things, Trump is impulsive, ignorant, vain, petty, bigoted, insecure, and possessed of an almost pathological narcissism. Every president faces crises during which the lives of large numbers of people, both in America and around the world, depend on that one individual’s judgment and calm. It’s little exaggeration to say that in the wrong circumstances, Trump’s copious personality defects could result in absolute cataclysm.

So when 80 percent of Trump supporters and 62 percent of Clinton supporters tell pollsters they’d be “scared” if the other candidate won, but only 29 percent of Trump supporters and 27 percent of Clinton supporters say they’d feel “excited” if their candidate won, we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, even a great president won’t turn America into Shangri-La in four or eight years, but a bad president can do an enormous amount of damage in the same time. And that’s more than a good enough basis on which to decide your vote.

Source: Why voting out of disgust is as American as apple pie

I have pretty much read about all the presidents in my life time. LBJ was pretty much a bully who liked to intimate those around him.  He got off on yielding power. He was one one of my least favorite presidents but he did get a lot of important things done. There was the Great Society, Civil Rights Acts, and Medicare. He was not a great person but he accomplished great things. And then there was the Vietnam war…

Even though Nixon was a very paranoid person he also accomplished quite a bit in office. That is until Watergate brought him down.  Reagan was a dichotomy of sorts. He ran on a balanced budget but in reality spent like a drunk sailor.  His extreme spending on military things is what caused the Soviet Union to collapse and that was temporarily a good thing.  George W. Bush ran as a compassionate conservative and on a business platform but the stock market was actually considerable lower and in much worse shape when he left office than when he started and he proved to be anything but compassionate.  I can’t really say that he accomplished anything that I thought worthwhile during his time. And then there were the two wars and resulting “off the book” spending that drove deficits ever higher.

Obama was the one that I pinned my hopes on to turn things around. He seemed like a compassionate guy but in reality he has been merciless in his deporting immigrants and seemingly indiscriminate killing with drones. And then there are the two continuous wars that seems impossible for him to get us out of…

What I have learned from my fourteen times voting for president is that you don’t have to like the person you are voting for but you do need to at least tolerate  what they stand for.  I can say there is not a single thing about Trump that makes me want to vote for him.

So here I am voting for the least of two evils again…. 63 days and counting until this madness ends…. Thank God….


It’s Hard To Be A Law Abiding Citizen..

I will say again but this time add a kicker, It’s Hard To Be A Law Abiding Citizen…When So Many Aren’t. It just seems human nature, the dark side that is, to not want to do what you are told. This is characteristic of our teenage years but goes way beyond that for too many of us.   We know there are concepts of the common good and the rule of law but somehow they don’t apply to us.

What brought this thought up was my recent uRV trip to southern Illinois. As usual I traveled almost exclusively state and county roads and quickly discovered that enforcement of traffic laws in that part of the country seems to be ZERO.  I never saw a police car during my total seven hundred miles of travel.

I want to make a blanket statement and that is at least 90% of the adult population in the U.S. break the law weekly if not daily. No, they might not rob banks or kill anyone (although with all the guns and taverns around I wonder why) but what they do is totally ignore our country’s traffic laws.  They run red lights on a regular basis and most often exceed the clearly posted maximum speeds by at least 10 to 20 mph. There are also the tailgaters, I seem to get the most upset about them!

I make it a rule while traveling the country in my tiny RV to never go faster than the posted limit but that is very difficult to do without a lot of stress. Here I am going 55 mph and many are passing me going 70 or more. Some dangerously so… They pass on curves with double yellow lines!   Even 18 wheelers were ripping by me and within a minute or two were gone from site they were going so fast..

2016-07-11_12-42-37.pngThe “rule of law” as far as traffic laws are concerned is just totally ignored in many parts of the country.  It seems law enforcement agencies have raised a white flag and handed over our streets to speeders and reckless drivers.

Just for the heck of it I looked up the statistics of the worst drivers by State.   It surprised me that Illinois is about in the middle of the pack.  Montana is the worst but as usual Texas isn’t far behind in any “worst” category.

2016-07-11_12-20-58.pngDon’t even get me started on the “distracted drivers” out there. It seems every other car had a driver with a phone welded to his ear and was more involved in conversation than with driving! I do like my road trip around the USA but I just wish people would drive more sensibly, at least while I am around.  🙂

Sadly I know there are too many people that have so little control over their lives that they think they have to constantly risk it on the road in order to get someplace a few seconds earlier. They just don’t think they have the time to obey traffic laws. The absence of law enforcement means lawlessness, especially on our roads.

Bill Clinton takes on protesters in coal country

I know it is quite chic to be a Hillary and Bill basher right now. Especially with the Basher-in-chief, read that as Trump, tweeting almost hourly  lies and conspiracy theories about them.  But I must admit that I do miss Bill Clinton sometimes.  My 401k especially misses him!

He might not have been able to keep his zipper up but he was the master of logic in his thinking. The rally in West Virginia shows that he hasn’t lost it. He says things that I would have said in the same circumstances.  He just has a way of putting things in very simple and real terms. Let’s look at some of his most recent quotes:

2016-07-07_09-30-45.png“I’m not like a lot of people. It doesn’t bother me to have protesters at rallies,” the former president began.

“I’m glad they come, because I think one of the biggest problems in America today is we seem to be less prejudiced about a lot of things, except we don’t want to be around anybody who disagrees with us. You notice that?”…

Hillary Clinton seemed to confirm that perception in March, at a town hall in Ohio, when she said that a transition to clean energy would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She later said she had made “a misstatement,” but the comment contributed to her loss Tuesday in West Virginia, a state whose Democratic primary she had won by a landslide in 2008.

“I think ‘Make America Great Again’ means that we’ll make it like it was in the 1960s, even if [we] have to put another wall up,” he said. “Well, if you think you can do it, have at it, but no place else in the world that mines coal has been able to do it.”

“Don’t tell me we can’t bring different kinds of jobs,” he admonished. “Don’t tell me you’re not smart enough to do it, and don’t tell me nobody over a certain age can learn this stuff.”

SOURCE:  Bill Clinton takes on protesters in coal country – The Washington Post

Bill Clinton is a debater. He loves facing off with those who might not think as he does. Now that he will no longer be seeking a political office  he doesn’t parse as many words as most politicians.  He is free to say what he thinks and often does just that to the embarrassment of his wife.

This post is  very much aligned with the one from yesterday about being replaced by robots. Let’s face it coal is quickly becoming yesterday’s energy resource and therefore needs to be replaced by other commodities. It is as simple as that. But the problem is that there are just too many in certain areas of the country who depend solely on coal as a means of income. There is little else available to bring income into the family.

We can’t go forwards by going backwards, it is that simple. Now I admit that it will be decades, if it even happens that rural Pennsylvania and especially much of West Virginia can replace coal jobs. The short term solution will probably be to simply move someplace else. But that is emotionally hard for some to do…

It really is this simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States

I have some pretty strong feeling about the Trump candidacy but no where close to the author of the source below. But I do share is simple conclusion,


Did I shout that loudly enough for you?

Since he clinched the nomination, Trump has managed the seemingly impossible by becoming even more erratic and even less presidential th2016-06-10_09-01-56.pngan he was during the primaries. The insults, the transparent lies, the racist taunting and bullying, the demagoguery, the narcissistic self-obsession, the incapacity to take a position and stick to it, the failure to raise funds and manage a campaign — the man has no business running anything of public consequence, let alone the government of the most powerful nation on the planet.It really is that simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States. If there is even a small chance of successfully deposing him at the convention — an act that, if it worked, would deprive him of the means to compete in the general election — it should be undertaken. The alternative is complicity in a politically reckless and blatantly irresponsible endeavor: the attempted election of a candidate who deserves to lose.

Source: It really is this simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States

I don’t think Mr Trump is an idiot but his actions certainly indicate that.  I have an idea that he really doesn’t want to be president so he is saying the most outrageous things to finally turn people away.  The problem with that is that the more outrageous he rants the more his “base” cheers!! I just can’t fathom what the thoughts are behind that group.

Are his supporters so pissed off about almost everything that they want to take down the U.S into flaming oblivion? They didn’t get their share so they are hoping that the next time around they will be luckier.  Or do they actually believe that he can “fix” anything? Either way that group scares me to tarnation.  We have had a good 240 year existence, is that about to end?  I don’t know but I kind of hope we can hold it together at least as long as I am walking this earth :).   I don’t expect I have more than a decade or so left, can we at least hold it together that long? I certainly would appreciate it…

Great Britain’s reign lasted about that length of time and so did the Roman empire.  Have we run our course? Is it time for another country/belief system to take over. I can see China is chomping at the bits to have their time at the throttle.  Would communism prove to be more long lasting than capitalism? Maybe we will soon have a chance to test that out.

Is Trump the beginning of the end for the USA and its form of democracy? Is this where the wings fall off our soaring aspirations of diversity? I don’t think I will be around when it happens but they say that everything on the Internet will always be around so maybe these words to serve as an “I told you so” after I am dead and buried.

I didn’t count them but this post probably has the most question marks of any I have written.  🙂

It’s Got To Change…

2016-06-07_08-02-26.pngI am definitely hoping, praying even, that the GOP is decisively rejected in the coming election. With Trump at the top of the ticket, and my faith in the sanity of most of us in the U.S. , I can see that very possibly happen.  If it happens it will finally turn the Supreme Court away from it radically conservative base and allow for fundamental change to happen.  The first thing that needs to change is not about gun control but instead about our elections process.

In 2012, Democratic candidates for Congress received more votes than Republican candidates. For the first time in 40 years, the party that received the most votes failed to take control of the House. The people did vote for candidates who believed in gun-control reforms. Obama had it backward: it’s the Republican mapmakers who gerrymandered our democracy so effectively after the GOP’s historic 2010 victory who have made it hard for the voters to affect elections. The strategy was dubbed REDMAP, for Redistricting Majority Project, and it was brilliant in its execution. With $30 million or less than the cost of some losing Senate races — smartly spent in the right districts in the right states — Republican strategists turned the House of Representatives red for a decade, and maybe longer.

SOURCE: The GOP screwed themselves: The brilliant gerrymander that gave Republicans the Congress — and created Donald Trump –

Computers are great things that have advanced our society in numerous ways but that power is also used by the dark side.  It is used for elected officials to chose their voters and that is definitely not what the framers of our country intended. In previous posts on this topic I have showed you the utter stupidity of how congressional maps are drawn. With enough computing power now available making sure that your guy gets elected is almost a sure thing.  Majority rule is no longer valid when it comes to electing  so many of our federal office holders.

It seems the only way that will happen is to take gerrymandering to the Supreme Court and declare it unconstitutional, which it surely is. We need to either take the ability to set up congressional districts away from State governments or strictly regulate how they are determined at least for federal elections.  If we put some sense back into this process the will of the people will once again be accomplished.

Yes, there are simply too many guns in the hands of too many unstable people in this country and that must  change but the more damaging practice of rigging elections strikes at the bedrock of our democracy. It has got to end and end soon…


Trump’s favorite foreign leader

2016-05-21_08-13-02.pngVladimir Putin is a thug. On this, I suspect, most people outside his country’s borders would agree. In recent years, Russia’s new czar has started a new Cold War, invaded and annexed Crimea, ignited a civil war in Ukraine, and propped up a genocidal dictator in Syria. At home, journalists and opposition leaders who’ve dared to criticize Putin have been beaten, jailed, shot, and poisoned. Now we’ve learned the lying dictator even rigged the Olympic Games in Sochi, turbocharging his athletes with steroids and substituting clean urine for their tainted samples. In a great irony, Putin has exploited the West’s tradition of free speech by funding a TV network, RT — formerly called Russia Today — here and in Europe, spewing out a steady stream of pro-Russian, anti-American propaganda. On RT, there’s just one American political leader who is routinely praised; his election, Putin’s stooges say, may lead to “improved relations between the U.S. and Russia.” Guess who?

The admiration goes both ways. Donald Trump has called Putin “a strong leader” and says it’s “an honor” to receive his praise.

SOURCE: Trump’s favorite foreign leader

The location for the above picture was not mentioned in the article but it does get your attention.  🙂 This post will be my weekly rant against the insanity of many of my fellow citizens.  I know well less than 10% of the eligible voters have voted for Mr. Trump but even that number greatly disappoints me. Yes, I agree that our government process and even our capitalist system is in need of a very serious shakeup but Trump is simply not the answer.  He is so uninformed about so much that he could seriously damage the U.S. and even the world as a whole if he ever managed to occupy the Oval Office.

Why can’t these Trump backers realize that?  I try not to look down on people as that is just not my nature but these folks are so ignorant of the world today that it leads me to be skeptical about humanity. They just don’t seem to understand the damage he could do.  They don’t seem to realize that our whole way of life could disappear in a very short period of time if grossly bad decisions are made.  When it comes to a Trump/Clinton election I admit that I  am not enthusiastic about either but I am scared of one of them.

I don’t know, maybe I am just listening to too many of the pundits who seem to be on a 24/7 concentration on Mr. Trump. Maybe I would be better off just turning off all those yahoos who seem to think that he even has a chance to rule the world? Maybe I need to have confidence that when the other 90% of us go to the polling place in November that very few of us will be pushing the Trump button.  Worrying about “woulda/shoulda/coulda” is just a waste of my precious time. But it is hard to ignore the constant drumbeat around this megalomaniac narcissist person.

I Am Sick Of People Saying “I’m Not Allowed To Say Merry Chritsmas”!!

2015-11-14_11-03-09The War on Christmas has been going on for a decade or so now, and though it may not rage with quite the fury it once did, it still serves everyone’s interests. The conservative Christians who gear up for the war every year get to feed their sense of persecution and the belief that their lives are a righteous struggle against the large and sinister forces working to destroy them. Conservative media get something to shake their fists at them for a couple of months. And the rest of us get to feel superior and mock them for being so ridiculous…

2015-11-14_11-07-18For most of this country’s history, Christianity was so dominant in American life that no one else’s culture needed to be considered in anything but an occasional way. If there were prayers in school, then of course they would be Christian prayers. If there were signs out for the holidays, of course they’d acknowledge only the Christian holiday.

But as the country grew more diverse in all kinds of ways, ignoring the growing minority of non-Christians no longer seemed like the neighborly thing to do. So among other things, department stores decided that to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone, they’d put up signs reading “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Source: The War on Christmas is back! Here’s why this sorry spectacle never goes away.

2015-11-14_10-42-59Now that it is officially the Christmas season I need to get this post off my chest. First off I will proclaim that I am an avid follower of Jesus Christ and I certainly celebrate his coming to earth. What I am going to write here may get some of my readers riled at me. But I’m sick of the thing that always goes around this time of year complaining about not being allowed to say “Merry Christmas”!

I have lived long enough to realize that until relatively recently “Merry Christmas” was the only symbol for the month of December. It was in every store and most all December advertisements.  How come things are changing?

Almost every culture throughout history have celebrated this time of year.  Here is a little about why from Wiki:

2015-11-14_10-34-03The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter. In Scandinavia, and some other parts of northern Europe, the Winter Solstice is known as Yule and is where we get Yule Logs from. In Eastern europe the mid-winter festival is called Koleda.

2015-11-14_10-36-36Part of my roots is native-American so I will site an example. Soyal is a traditional solstice celebration which is held by the Hopi Indians on the day and night of the winter solstice. Many cultures all over the world celebrate the solstice since the shortest day of the year carries a lot of symbolism for cultures which live by the cycles of the seasons. For the Hopi, the Soyal ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies of the year…

2015-11-14_10-44-51I did a study and found dozens of holidays in different cultures for this time of year. Since we are a nation of diversity more so than ever now it just makes sense to not focus exclusively on just one of them. Contrary to some of the ranters it is not illegal to say “Merry Christmas” but don’t get upset that other cultures among our American population celebrate other things too.  The term “Happy Holidays” includes them without degrading the usual Christmas cheer. We are quickly becoming a nation of minorities so just get used to sharing this holiday season with others. I know that some Christians are upset that they don’t have exclusive control of the holiday season anymore but all I can say about that is “Get Over it”.


Some Evangelicals Seem Oblivious To Their Church’s History…

2015-09-10_07-54-15Both Cruz and Huckabee have branded the action against Davis as “judicial tyranny,” tapping into a surge of public support for a figure presented as an outspoken Christian jailed for her beliefs. – ‘Not a leg to stand on’ – But their stance is a thorny one for Republican presidential candidates who, if elected, must swear to uphold the US constitution…..

“It [this story] poisons the brand, and I think we’re already seeing Republicans as a group starting to back away.”

Source: Martyr or lawbreaker? Kim Davis case roils Republicans – Yahoo News

This is old news now so I guess its time for me to step in.  I shutter when I think that once again stories like this are supposed to represent those who follow Jesus Christ.  Kim Davis is simply confused on so many levels. She took and oath to uphold the duties of her office and then blatantly refuses to do so.  By doing that she  seemingly wants to force her religious beliefs on others.

The early Christians took a completely different stand  when their jobs conflicted with their beliefs.  For the first several hundred years of Christianity, that is before King Constantine hijacked it, being a Christian meant you were to actively live out your faith. For instance if you were a Roman soldier and you wanted to become a Christian you were required to find a different job.  If you had other similar jobs that conflicted with the teachings of Jesus you had to leave them. It was as simple at that.

By refusing to do the sworn duties of her office Ms. Davis is  by de facto trying to force her view of God on others who don’t share them. This is not exclusively a Christian thing, it seems to be endemic of most religions today. Each so adamantly believe that they are the only ones who truly know God and his wishes therefore it is their duty to get others, by force if necessary, to believe of their brand of religion.  When we come to accept that none of the thousands of belief systems around today have a total lock on spiritual truth we will realize that each of these thousands have a right to believe what they want but they don’t have a right to force their beliefs on the rest of us.

Here is s snippet from Facebook that illustrates this problem.


Slippery slope indeed.  I can see the millions of variations of this theme.  Believe what you want, that is your right, but don’t try to “force” others to believe it too.

If Kim Davis had really wanted to be true to her Christian roots she would have said “My spiritual beliefs no longer allow me to fufill the duties of my office so I therefore resign.” But if she had done that she would not have had her fifteen  minutes of fame she seemed to so much seek…