About Those Polls

Polls used to be statistically scientific studies of trends and thoughts. Today not so much.  Due to technological changes and just plain laziness polls just don’t have the validity they once had.

2016-11-04_08-54-31.png1. Over time, the percentage of Americans who say they would participate in polls has declined significantly, from nearly one out of three in 1997 to one in 10 in 2016, according to Pew.

2. Half of American households don’t even have landlines. The younger you are, the less likely you are to have ever used a telephone with a cord attached to it.Again, pollsters try to correct for these skews by weighting and finding other ways to sample voters. But every interpolation creates additional room for error, quite apart from the survey’s statistical “margin of error.”

Source: Breaking news: The presidential race is stable

I recently discovered that many of the polls being viewed today come from internet sites which have  pointed political views. These type polls have little to do with a general population but are called “polls” so too many think they are true.

It will be interesting to see just how this election turns out on Tuesday.  Will any of the polls be accurate?  Will one side dominate or will it be a close race? I don’t put too much confidence in polls anymore but I do put confidence that most of us still cling to the idea of civility and decency so my poll says an extreme egomaniac narcissist will not be elected as leader of the free world three days from now.

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….

 

Labeling Ourselves… Limiting Ourselves…

2016-03-24_09-43-37.pngI am going to use a quote from one of my favorite blogggers again. Labels on cans are indispensable. They tell up how much salt, fat, carbs are in the product.  Without them grocery shopping would be nearly impossible for some of us.  But labels for people, are generally a stifling thing but even then they sometimes they are necessary.

Most of us don’t like to be defined by others, but we’re still very adept at assigning labels to ourselves. I see labels as limits, as hard core definitions that you carry like an awkward badge of honor. It’s supposed to help – this knowing what you are and aren’t.

SOURCE:  Every Truth has a Qualifier | The Green Study.

I understand Green Study‘s  approach to this subject but I think it is even more than that.  I know I do my share of labeling people. I sometimes call the typical GOP conservative a greedy selfish fear-centered and change averse. I don’t intend to label everyone who pulls a Republican lever at the polls by this label but there a fair number that very well describes them.

Labeling others is a quick way to put a group of people into small boxes that we can then manage. If we label those who think more about the public good than themselves communists or liberal then we can dismiss their words before they come out of their mouths. If we label all Muslims as terrorists then we can justify keeping them out of our country. Labeling others is often done with prejudice and fear.

The labels we put on others is damaging but perhaps the labels we put on ourselves is even more so. I know a number of people who just have such a low a level of self confidence that they label themselves as being unable to learn. They don’t think they are smart enough to advance themselves in life. This is probably one of the most damaging labels a person can put on themselves.

Labeling yourself is not in itself a destructive thing. I proudly wear the self-labels: Empath, passionate, progressive, pragmatist, Red Letter Christian, dreamer, creative. They help me to remember what I deem as important in life. They define who I am.

Labels.png
I would love to be able to read this guy’s real ingredients

Like everything else in life labels are shades of grey, there is good and bad in them. But then again wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see what a person is made up of by a label attached to them.  We could then quickly determine if their ingredients are what we desire. Maybe if we all had labels  to read before we got into a relationship with someone we could eventually get the divorce rate below 50%.  If our politicians came with labels maybe we could more successfully pick the right ones to do the job.

Looking Back to See a Path Forward…

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One thing I like about my lifetime study of American history is that as Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”. Almost everything happening today has some corollary in the past. The John Kennedy quotes from more than fifty years ago could have just as easily been made today. It is hard for me to imagine that Kennedy was born almost a century ago.  As standards go he was a very young president much like our current one. I, like so many of my generation, will always remember him as a young man cut down in his prime.  We can only imagine what he could have accomplished if he had not been killed by an assassin’s bullet.

The concept of linking the help for the poor to saving the rich is very enlightening. I simply can’t understand how the rich cannot understand that by suppressing wages and jobs they are actually eliminating customers for the products that fuel their wealth. A consumer society such as we are depends on people being able to buy the goods and services they themselves provide. This was perhaps first recognized by Henry Ford and that brought about the middle class property that we all now dream so much about. I think the very existence of the middle class that resulted in our economy thriving was a direct result of Mr. Ford’s actions and the middle class will not prosper until the next version of Henry comes along.

The second quote is very applicable to the fact that the GOP has voted more than fifty times to take away affordable healthcare to more than ten million of our citizens without anything to replace it. It is very obvious to most of us that one of our political  parties is known as the party of no alternatives, finding fault with everything, gloom, and wanting influence without responsibility.  When will they ever learn that these practices have no place in a compassionate democratic society.

Enough said…. Thanks John for teaching us even more than fifty years after your death…

 

 

America Died From a Delusion…

Will Rogers 6Here we go again! America is running true to form, fixing some other country’s business for ’em just as we always do. We mean well but will wind up in the wrong as usual.

When some nation wants us to help ’em out, they use the same old “gag” that we should exert our “Moral Leadership: and, like a yap, we believe it when as a matter of truth, no nations wants any other nation exerting “Moral Leadership” over ’em, even if they had one.

If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone: “America died from a delusion that she had Moral Leadership”  — Will Rogers June 22, 1931 —

I am ashamed to admit that it has been a while since I used one of my hero’s quotes here on RJ’s Corner. Shame on me, Will’s words are what helps keep me centered during today’s version of turmoil. It has been eighty-four years since Will said these words and they are as true today as they were then.

No country, or even individual for that matter, wants someone to give them moral leadership. To even insinuate  that you want it is to admit that you don’t have enough of your own and for us Americans that is an almost impossible thing to say. We Americans are a pompous and egotistical bunch so we fall for this logic too easily. We like to think that somehow when God passed out morality we got a double, no a triple, dose of it.

Can you imagine if for instance Britain came over here to provide us with some “Moral Leadership” in the area of providing universal healthcare to our citizens?  Or worse yet to show help us get our murder rate to the extremely low levels of their’s?  I will be one to admit that we certainly could use their “Moral Leadership” in these areas but I am absolutely certain that their offer would be quickly and adamantly rejected.

What “Moral Leadership” means today is that countries want us to give them some of our weapons to more easily kill their enemies. It means that they want us to pump trillions of bucks into their country to do something they don’t have the will to do on their own.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that we don’t do some good in the world but as Will said almost a hundred years ago we far too often just get it flat-out wrong.  We stick our noses in where it doesn’t belong…

Thanks again Will for keeping me focused….

I Love America, But…

I love America and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. But I’m sure there are those out there that have a very different opinion  of me. Some who accidentally come across my blog here have flatly told me so.  They think I must not love my country because I say critical things about it. Sadly I’m pretty sure that is the mentality that prompted Rudy Giuliani to recently say our president doesn’t love America or anyone in it.

2015-02-23_10-17-18I do not believe that the president loves America,” the former New York City mayor said Wednesday. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

SOURCE:Obama Derangement Syndrome –Vox.

Maybe those of us who say critical things about our country need to say more often “I love my country, but it is not perfect.”  We need to always strive to be better tomorrow than we are today. In fact those who seem to have a blindness to that belief are more dangerous to our future than I could ever be.

Charles Blow in a New York Times Op-Ed made the comment that “In fact, that (criticism) is a measure of love. Honest critique is a pillar of patriotism”.   One of the main differences between the U.S. and say Russia is that we are allowed, some would say encouraged, to criticize the actions of our leaders.  We are different from most of the rest of the world in that regard. In Egypt a blogger much like myself who made some mild criticism of that country was recently sentenced to receive one thousand lashes which is almost a death sentence because he blogged something they didn’t like. We are a great country because at least some of us in an attempt to make our country better speak out where we might fall short of our founding principles and morality.

When Rudy said the quote above he was quickly admonished by several in his party but not all.  But there were some of the presidential-wants-bes who are probably afraid of offending those in the base of their party by defending President Obama and didn’t have the courage to do so. I think those few (Rubio, Walker, and Jindal) have a distorted sense of their party’s base, or at least I hope they do.

Rudy needs to go back to his Catholic roots to learn not  to judge what is in others hearts, that is the business of God and He said as much.  I love this country but it is not perfect….

 

Intolerance…

2014-12-12_09-13-53“Now which is the narrowest, religious intolerance or political intolerance?” – Will Rogers, 20 April 1927

I have been pondering that question for some time now myself Will. We all know that so much of politics, particularly the GOP brand,  is primarily driven by fear. The politicians want people fearful of their opponents winning over them. They keep our military budgets at absurd levels by keeping us fearful that if we reduce that grotesque   spending on our war machine terrorists will flood our shores.

But then again isn’t religious intolerance the reason for the majority of the world’s wars? We religious people seem to allow our extremists to tell us who is our enemy. Right now some of those jihadists nuts say that anyone who is not a Muslim simply need to be eliminated. They threaten, and sometimes even carry out that threat to a minute degree.  It amazes me how the vast majority of any religion, but particularly the muslims, doesn’t reign in the rouges among them. They seem to let the extremists talk for them?

Yeah Will,it would go a long way toward world peace, and everyone just getting along if we had a little less of both religious and political intolerance. Which one is worse I just don’t know…. and I don’t think I will ever figure that one out…

The Less You Know….

2014-11-24_15-03-15“I am kind of like a politician. The less I know about anything, the more I can say about it.” – Will Rogers, 12 June 1928

I’m kind of like a politician myself Will. One of my favorite quotes is “You don’t have to know what you are saying as long as you say it with authority”. That should be the mantra for most of those politicians inside the beltway. Too many of those yahoos like to strut around like they are experts on everything but in reality they let the lobbyists with the biggest purse tell them what to say and believe.

Its time we started sending some “real” people to that totally fake city… 🙂