Monday, January 30, 2017

The Choice of Abortion

Abortion means to Carry out or undergo an abortion.  Halt, stop, end or ax.  Call off, cut short, discontinue, terminate or arrest, cancel or scrub.  Bring to a premature end because of a problem or fault.  “The pilot aborted his landing”.  The word abortion is a derivative of the word abort.  Latin abortus, past participle of aboriri to miscarry, from ab- + oriri to rise, be born.

I hope we can all agree on the definition?

Even more fundamental is the act itself and the changes to our sensibilities.  In the past abortion was used primarily to assuage the desperate conditions a woman found herself after either a welcome or unwelcome encounter.  With little or no options these women found themselves as outcasts, especially those that suffered the indignity of being raped and forced to have sex.

Being pregnant and unmarried has never been a welcoming predicament, at least not in the past and the prospects for these women was very seldom positive.  It is perhaps these sensibilities that have changed.  There is a difference today in how women view the choice of abortion as opposed to the past. There is less stigma associated with the act of abortion and less negative societal impact on those women who choose to have an abortion.   

I hope we can all agree on this?

The science of pregnancy has always had some issues that were tempered by the religious or superstitious.  In the past science played a much smaller role in determining the truthful outcomes of any pregnancy, with most superstitious or religious influences driving most of the societies norms at the time.  Since science did not understand the nature of pregnancy the religious and superstitious filled in the gaps of their innate lack of understanding.  This disparity did very little to advance the current nature of our understanding leaving only the religious or superstitious any temporal understanding of the process of life.

Do we agree?

Science today has made leaps and bounds of progress in understanding more fully the process and the events that lead to birth.  Also, abortions are better understood, with the benefits of lowered risk of intervention and trauma to the mother.  These advances have created a plethora of information that all can access to some degree.  

There are, however, millions who have some difficulty accessing current, non-biased information regarding pregnancy and abortion, leaving these women reliant on the overly religious or the superstitious.  Every industrialized nation in this world shares in the current informational age, but care must be taken to inform and instruct those who do not have access, moving these women out of the dark ages of science and the overly-religious and enslaved to those antiquated ideas and philosophies into the modern age and it’s current level of enlightenment.

So far so good?

With access to the most current information and advances it is crucially important to update our own superstitions and our beliefs in order to balance our individual needs with the science and understanding available.

For example, it is important to understand the fetal development prior to deciding if an abortion is appropriate, safe and viable.  The unmistakable science indicates a clear development of a human fetus well within the 6-7th week with the brain, the lungs and the nervous system are developing.  Not totally developed but the process is well under way.  This information is important to understand in order for those who are considering an abortion to have a full knowledge of the life within.

Pseudoscience would have you believe that the early stages of gestation are nothing more than a group of cells, but according to brain waves can be detected as early as six weeks after conception.  The embryo has brainwaves by 6 weeks, 2 days!  From 6 to 6½ weeks, the cerebral vesicles will double in size.1 Individualized brain waves recorded via electroencephalogram (e-lek’tro-en-sef’a-lo-gram), or EEG, have been reported as early as 6 weeks, 2 days.”

There are differing opinions about when brain activity begins but the science indicates that brain activity is present at an early stage of development leading us to more fully understand that the development required of the fetus is much more complicated and advanced than previously thought.  

Determining life of a fetus is perhaps a question that falls within the metaphysical realm, either our science has not yet been able to answer or the answers are unavailable at this time.  I think we can all agree that science does not have all the answers.  Leaving us with the responsibility of self-determination, especially when it relates to when life starts for the fetus.  

Many believe that life starts at conception and that in order to sustain life within the womb, life must exist.  There are many others who believe that life only exists because of the supporting life of the mother and extend this belief until the time of birth.  Science does not know the answer to this and for that reason, our responsibility is to err on the side of the fetus.  

I know this is an area of great controversy and I know I do not have total agreement in relation to when life begins or in relation to our responsibility but these are essential questions that must be answered at some time in order to more fully understand our role in the lives that have been given to us to protect and nourish.  

I also understand the rights of women and the desire to protect those rights.  Nothing is more important than the right to chose, and nothing is more germane than the right to chose to have a child.  I have six girls, all at different stages of development and each has made choices to carve out their individuality.  Those choices all have consequences, some are more important than others but the right to choose is paramount to their individuality.  

Every choice we make, every single one, no matter how insignificant has consequences, good and bad and every variable in between.  We will never know the extent of how the choices we make affect our lives or those around us, but like the brush of butterflies wings, those effects can be monumental.

Choosing to abort a child is or should be a serious choice, a choice with life changing consequences.  I am not suggesting that we take that choice away, far be it for me to overstep the basic and most fundamental aspect of humanity but there is a better way, at least I think there is.

Our ability to chose is essential to life itself but when we make our choices is the determination of our humanity as opposed to innate animalistic tendencies ever a consideration?  The question that needs to be answered, are there choices that can be made prior to pregnancy or sex, and is it possible to support those options rather than the singular choice of an abortion after the fact?

Choices after the fact are by definition singular and limited, while those made prior to an event are open-ended and progressive.   The example of standing on a cliff, deciding to jump or not is a singular choice, a radical choice but singular nonetheless.  If we allow ourselves to reach the cliff and have to decide to jump or not we have forsaken the multiple choices of previous options for that singular option of life or death.

Abortion is exactly the same, albeit a more difficult choice but the choices prior to the events of pregnancy were all ignored, leaving the woman with that singular choice of abortion or not.  I propose that we, collectively consider those limitless choices prior to sex that will retain and even expand our choices in life rather than the limited and singular choice that comes as a result of forsaking the options and opportunities of prior thought and consideration.

I know this is not what many women want to hear, especially from some aging, white male who in their mind can have little understanding of the true nature of freedom when it comes to women's issues, but please consider the realm of options and how those options affect your freedoms, your rights to chose and your number of choices in relation to choices in the future.  

My six daughters are women and will be faced with the same challenges that all women have.  I respect their choices, their ability to chose and their ability to expand their choices and I want them to understand that the right choices in life are expansive and open-ended while the incorrect choices limit future opportunities and narrow their views and their future options in life.

Sex is never without consequences, nor should it be.  Women and men who are responsible, thoughtful and conscientious look at life as an opportunity to expand, progress and thrive, but the mindset of many has been toward limiting their progress and distorting their perspective of freedoms while saddling them with guilt by rationing their choices and their opportunities in life.  

We may not agree on what to do about abortion, but I think we can all agree that life is meant to be lived.  The more opportunities we have depends on the number of choices available.  Let’s all agree to expand our choices and our opportunities.  Chose for yourself but take care in what you chose….

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Know Thyself, if you can spare the time.

Image result for know thyself  cartoon
The perspective we allow ourselves is often a very closed and select view of events that we can easily accept and process.  Our ability, however, to perceive the realities of the events that transpire around us has been proven not to be reliable.  Discovering who we are is a process of searching our internal motivations and our desires to portray what we truly want out of life and has also proven not to be a reliable view of what we really are.

How often do men and women inculcate themselves with patterns of behavior that fail to support the inner beauty within?  Perhaps it's due to some latent discord brought on by some traumatic event or series of events; the reasons that take us away from ourselves never really support that true nature or that internal and eternal greatness within all of us.

For many, those external sources of identity can have a disastrous effect on the growth and progress of the individual.  We all know one or two persons who have sold their soul to the external gods of sports or fashion or any other avenue of escape that promises the world but delivers nothing.  When I was young it was volleyball, I was very good and played against the 1980 and 84 Olympic teams when they practiced in the old Federal Building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.  

I spent an inordinate amount of time pursuing my lust with volleyball without understanding the effects of that pursuit on those around me and on me personally.  Not unlike those who watch sports on TV, they spend hours rooting and cheering, screaming and yelling for one team or another, glued to the media that controls their lives.   It was an injury that brought me out of my stupor.

This is not about sports or even the process of watching sports but in the choices we make and how we determine what is important and where we are willing to spend our time.  We truly are what we spend our time doing.  If we are obsessed then that obsession tells others what we have become and not the voiced desires that freely leave our lips but the time-honored measurement based on time.  

There is no difference between males and females when it comes to how we spend our time and to what degree we decide what is important, measured by the amount of time spent doing whatever it is we think we like.  The problem is in how we choose to spend our time and by choosing, fail to see the effects of those lost hours defending ourselves from the gaping mouth of the monsters that suck us in, make us believe, and drive our true selves into oblivion.

Do we need to ask ourselves, who is it that I really am?  How do I determine the truth beyond those influences that drive a wedge between our true selves and the outer monsters that deceive us?  This is not an easy question to answer.  For some, the process may take years to understand with a significant process of self-discovery.  That discovery is often hampered due to the years of selfishness and a willingness to let others determine our self-worth through those external habits promoted by our media, lack of self-respect and a desire to become famous, important or simply known.

We have lost sight of the nature of our own self-worth.  We are all important but that understanding has been drowned and overshadowed by hate, discord of one kind or another creating a convolution of morality.   That reality that used to be us is now a distant dream, replaced by the insecure hope that we can still reach the unreachable, still become great, still have a better life, but now many are embittered by the current reality of how difficult it is to accept the reality of that impossibility.

Externally we are at odds with the pressures of what others say we can become, expect us to do or demand that we experience.  Let’s take Trump as an example.  He has lived his life as two people, one as the person others expect him to be and one, the person he probably protects from the rest of the world.  He is a devout family man, grandfather, and father to children who love him and adore him.  These two personas are often at odds with each other but it seems to me that he is comfortable with who he really is and takes great pride is protecting his true self.

The issue with Donald Trump is within the external influences that most of us see and the diametrically opposed persona that the media would want us to believe.  Let’s consider the following:  President Trump has been in the public eye for years but has not amassed any significant negative press since his decision to run for president.  There was a lot said about him, not all good but know one cared, his celebrity status protected him.  

It’s important to note the challenges and the consequences of those challenges.  When Trump decided to run for president his first concern was winning the Republican nomination.  This process was monumental at best and his eventual victory caused a great rift between the other candidates, the Republican Party, and Trump.  No one in power wanted Trump to win. That should be a defining moment of clarity for most. If those in power fight against the candidate who is fighting against them, then perhaps there is something to be learned from those battles and the process needed for victory.

Next came the general election and this time he was not only facing Hillary but the hostile Republicans and a hateful press and media.  He was the first candidate (in my mind) to have to face off between two political parties and the national press and media outlets, all vying for his ignominious defeat.  When he won those hatreds did not vanish or go away they were inflamed and red-hot with the unbelievable angst and disbelief over his victory.  

The Republicans have mostly settled into the new administration knowing that they have to deal with Trump, he is the President, but the Democrats have not accepted their stunning and humbling defeat, nor has the media.   Both have lost power, influence and the ability to sway public opinion and they are swinging away in a desperate measure to bring this nightmare, for them, to a close.  

The result is astoundingly obvious and desperate as every measure that can be instituted is now in play.  The crowds have been inflamed and the protest started, his visage is burned in effigy, his name trampled in the mud from inflamed stories, some are truer than others but none reflective of who he really is. The only way to really tell who Donald Trump is is to look at the policies he introduces and to listen to the reasoning behind those policies.  

So far Trump is an American, who loves America and wants her to be strong, viable and able.  He may be a bit of a protectionist but that is his way of bridging the gap of years of abuse and neglect.  He understands that if America is not great it is second rate and no one that is an American should accept that standard as “Good Enough”.

I support Trump based on his desire to return America back to its glory and plan to help the working Americans keep the security and standard of life they all deserve. I support Trump for his ability to stand up to those who criticize and attempt to forestall his plans. He may be a bit rough around the edges but if that's what it takes to quite the ever-present voices of discord, so be it.  If you don’t agree let me know, I will be polite and gracious as long as you mind your manners.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Political Dad: Drain the swamp

The Political Dad: Drain the swamp: When we transition from one president to another, year after year, with little or no significant change in the overall processes of governm...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Drain the swamp

Image result for bureaucracy cartoonWhen we transition from one president to another, year after year, with little or no significant change in the overall processes of government one has to conclude that the issues of that government are so entrenched and substantial that no change will be forthcoming.  As it is with most governments, the ability to effect change is primarily in the hands of those that fight against change and progress, making any moves toward reform virtually impossible without a clear understanding of the bureaucracy that controls the inner workings of government.

“Bureaucracy was borrowed from the French bureaucratie, which itself was formed by combining bureau (“desk”) and -cratie (a suffix denoting a kind of government). The English word can refer to an entire body of unelected government officials or to the problematic system that may result from administration by bureaucrats. From its earliest appearances, bureaucracy has carried a distinctly negative connotation. An 1815 London Times Article, for example, declares: “. . . it is in this bureaucracy, Gentlemen, that you will find the invisible and mischievous power which thwarts the most noble views, and prevents or weakens the effect of all the salutary reforms which France is incessantly calling for.”  Webster's online dictionary.

Our government is embedded and entrenched with personnel committed to nothing but their own employment longevity.  These bureaucrats may have a substantial political agenda but even more important is their inability to act judiciously and for the good of those they serve.  One good example is the growth of supporting the government and the effects that growth has had on the surrounding counties, elevating those counties to some of the most affluent in the country.

As in almost every case and in almost every government the areas of power are more affluent than the rest of the country suggesting that those who are in power take some advantage of that power for self-indulgent behavior and profit, forsaking their fiduciary responsibilities for their own personal gain and influence.  Even with this level of corruption, the real cost to governments is not with those elected nor their profiteering but with the thousands and thousands of employees that manipulate the system for their own benefit.  

Each government employee, however, mindful of their position and responsibility has the potential of creating a long-term debt for those who pay their salaries.  The redundancy of government is astounding and that duplication of effort is perhaps the culprit for the massive debt shouldered by the unsuspecting citizens of that government.

We all know that we need people to do the work required by a government, just like we all know we need to be taxed to some extent to support the basic needs that governments promise to provide.  To the more liberal, a government is the answer to all things and a more centralized system brings them a sense of security.  They, however, fail to see the long-term effects of those decisions and the overall effect of the higher taxes required to sustain their employment.  

Through increased regulation, enhanced oversight, more paperwork bureaucracy is “A system of administration distinguished by its (1) clear hierarchy of authority, (2) rigid division of labor, (3) written and inflexible rules, regulations, and procedures, and (4) impersonal relationships. Once instituted, bureaucracies are difficult to dislodge or change.”

The larger a government gets the more bureaucracy is implanted.  Those that are elected have forsaken the value of work in general, moving instead toward the process of hiring others to do what they could easily do, increasing the level of bureaucracy and their dependence on those that work for them.  The problem with not working and having others do what should be done contributes to the level of convolution in regards to those who want to keep their jobs long after any elected leader is long gone.  Bureaucracy is, in essence, the process undertaken to create those policies and rules that only serve those who are not elected, for the express purpose of job security.  

When Trump says to “drain the swamp” he is in part referring to the cesspool that is entrenched and ever present around the halls of our government.  I have to think that he understands the need to limit the bureaucratic influences, including the lobbyist, influence peddlers and other like-minded persuaders bent on swaying others toward their way of thinking, usually motivated by monetary gain.  

Curbing bureaucratic influences and lobbying efforts (as presently constituted and allowed) will take an enormous amount of effort and cooperation with those who have bought into the illicit and damaging process of bureaucracy.  The transition away from a bureaucratic process will be a monumental task that will not only require patients but a resolve bordering on the fanatical in order to overcome the deep entrenchment that is always the case with established and non-elected personnel.  

Trump may want to drain the swamp but when you do the resulting smell and stench will revolt the majority and motivate them toward refilling the area with the same brackish water with no progress, no benefits and no way to resolve the ongoing issues.  If Trump fails or fails to try so goes his presidency and any hope of THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE ...for it SHALL …. PERISH FROM THE EARTH.  Abraham Lincoln

Monday, January 16, 2017

Take your ball and go home.

Image result for take the ball home cartoonI don’t remember how old, or in this case how young I was but I know I was in grade school, probably 4th or 5th grade.  It was summer and a group of us were playing football on my front lawn. Full exclosure here ….I grew up wealthy...far from it now,  my front lawn covered about a ¼ acre, plenty of room to play a football scrimmage between good friends with plenty of room for the hail mary passes that we enjoyed but very seldom caught.

The game had gone on for an hour or so when there was a disagreement over whether or not I had moved behind the line of scrimmage.  I had not but the perception of my friend on the opposing side was sure I had and he wanted the penalty.  No one really knew what the penalty should have been nor how to count our 5 yards or even 15 yards for the most egregious of mistakes but there we were 8 small boys arguing over the finer points of professional football, without a clue what the rules were or how to enforce the rules we thought we understood.

In total frustration and emotional stress my friend picked up his football and screamed at the rest of us that he was taking “his” ball home and leaving.  The game was over, or so he thought.  He stormed away and went home.  I am sure in his mind he thought that he could disrupt our fun and the game by leaving and taking his ball with him.  

It took us a few minutes of deliberation but in the end, we went back to playing, as young boys are prone to do.  We no longer played at football but we all found that hide and seek amidst the bamboo clumps and avocado trees more than sufficient for our childlike minds.  None of us thought negatively about the incident nor about our friend.  We were all around 10 or so and any long term issues were forgotten faster than they were created.

Trump's election and subsequent inauguration have in some sense created a similar problem with others screaming that they will not attend, they are boycotting the festivities and hoping that others will follow suit.  It’s understood that the election was hard fought and the aftermath created a bitter taste for those that lost but to refuse to attend and actively recruit others not to attend brings to mind the immaturity of my 10-year-old football group.  

Since the very beginning of our electoral process, there has been an unspoken rule, whoever wins the losers follow.  There are parameters to this rule but for the most part, the losers respected the office of the President and allowed some sort of grace period before the full brunt of any offense was started.  Politics seems to always be in play and regardless of the politics of an individual or group the fight used to be for what was considered right and truth not just for the political party victory.  

The level of discord today far exceeds the angst of simply losing.  Also, the level of activism against one party or another has breached the unforgivable in terms of their desire to upset the election within a system that has worked well for over 200 years.  It is this attitude of taking your ball and going home that disturbs me the most.  How can we continue to lead the world when we can’t even keep our house in order?  What gives those terrorists the right to disrupt that which was legally obtained?  I use the word terrorist because the tactics they use go far beyond their freedom of expression and have crossed the line of decorum and have fallen squarely into the category of fear mongering and hate, deciding to act beyond the legal parameters for the sole purpose of exploitation and propaganda.  

If the tables were turned and Hillary had won the outcome would have been disappointing, to say the least, but most republicans and conservatives would have been gracious enough to accept the results and let her have her time to succeed or fail of her own accord.  Politics is the fight between opposing party ideas and beliefs, but it is also the ability to accept the final vote, knowing that for whatever reason your message did not meet the hearts of the voters.  It’s now time to rethink and plan, to prepare for the next battle, the next election and hopes you can garner the support for your team to win.

If the participants refuse to play or during a game take their ball and go home, then it can be assumed that they simply cannot play by the established rules or they are immature to such an extent that only their self-interests matter, rules to them do not apply, only winning, by whatever means necessary.

As I have seen, rules only apply to those who respect the rules.  Criminals care little for the laws and rules and purposely live their lives outside the law whenever it suits their selfish needs.  Terrorist also forsakes the rule of law, wanting only to disrupt the society for their own aggrandizement.   The tragedy of this political season is the revelation that the democrats, not all but a growing number, fail to support the rule of law and purposely disrupt, criticize and openly oppose the rules because they have found it in their best interest not to do so.   The Black Lives Matter movement is a prime example of crossing over the line of decorum and into the realm of terrorism.  They have killed and maimed and generally caused a level of fear, all the while forsaking the rule of law.  

When a portion of society fails to live within the laws then those laws become less important.  The more of those who support this lawlessness the more fractured society, in general, becomes and the more fractured the rule of law becomes with the only avenue toward balance being a civil war.  When my beliefs are threatened by those who have no belief I am forced to fight for my continued rights to believe as I desire.  

Like our fight with the incursions of Sharia Law, we need to collectively agree that certain aspects of Sharia speak directly to the overflow of our constitutional rule, even when instituted limitedly, leaving us with no choice but to actively fight against those who would want to destroy what we have.  The question I have is why do the Democrats feel it’s OK to act in such a lawless and unconventional manner?  Ooh wait, I know this one….because they're democrats….

Friday, January 13, 2017

Leadership skills....

Image result for a great leader  ants cartoonRegardless how I might feel about what the democrats are attempting to do to Donald Trump it is my opinion that they have every right to act as poorly as they seem to desire.  The oneness of this presidency and the last election is squarely on the shoulders of those who won and any suggestion that the other parties need to capitulate are incorrect and irresponsible.

Despite the hard one battle, winning requires a continued process of leadership in order to sustain the past victory.  Just because the Republicans won the election does not give them the privilege of owning the hearts and minds of those they defeated, that process takes a different kind of battle, a different kind of strategy in order to garner the support of all the voters.

Trump it seems has made moves toward inclusion but the hateful and spiteful rhetoric of the losing side makes any simple acts of contrition an almost impossible scenario.  The hate that exists and the associated discord that separates the republicans and the democrats is palatable.  The energy spent over advancing the opinions of one side or the other is far beyond the norm of any past elections cycle.  But the rights of those who do not agree are still viable and important to acknowledge.  

Perhaps it would be helpful if both sides agreed to a certain level of decorum to allow the new guy to at least get his feet wet and have the time to adjust to the new environment but that would have to be an agreement between the parties of the two opposing sides.  It has been that way but it is not that way any longer, making the leadership of everyone that much harder to accomplish but not impossible.

Donald Trump can either decide to govern only those who wished him well like Obama did, or he can lead the entire country.  Making this statement is only that, a statement of what might be but it can never determine the process of the events that will be needed to establish his leadership for those who do not like him, that will require serious leadership skills and the ability to negotiate without compromising his base of support.  Obama had the same opportunity toward total reconciliation but failed to lead in such a manner that those who did not like his policies wanted to accept him as their leader.

Because of his separation from politics, Donald Trump may, in fact, be the best guy for the job.  His unique position, being the only person to be elected president without having held a political office, makes him eminently qualified to step into the shoes that so many desperately want in an effective leader.  He is in the right place at the right time but will he be able to lead in such a manner as to change the minds of those who despise and constantly vilify him?

In order for Donald Trump to accomplish the extraordinary, he will most likely have to create a “public need” when recognized will demonstrate to the people the need for some unification.  Similar to 9/11 Bush was able to bridge the massive gap of political discord against the obvious threat to America.  For a short time the country was unified and for a short time, Americans worked together.

Change has to come, whether from without or from within. Trump, if he is concerned with the unity of America will have to develop those feelings through marketing, accomplishments or rely upon the outside influences like 9/11 with the understanding that whatever he does will be short lived and risky.  There is a societal benefit to a country when they have to collectively face a threat.  But as we have seen those benefits are often too short and volatile to count on as a means of unification.  

This country needs a new voice and purpose, it needs an identity that will encompass the inner desires of its citizens, words that we speak in common and actions that cement those actions into a national pride, feelings and devotions so deep that all can follow, all can understand.  This country needs this healing.  

As we are, we are fractured and ripe for destruction.  Like all societies there comes a time of discord that emanates deep within and slowly but inexorably destroys that society, tearing apart the very fabric and moral fiber that before was the cement that kept it together.  We have reached that point of discord and we can either face the inevitable challenges and decide to work together to mend our issues for the purpose of establishing a new paradigm of cooperation or we can continue to fight each other and die in the process.  The issue, however, is who is willing to give that the whole can survive?

I can see the day when this country has no choice but to engage in a civil war for the purpose of resetting the moral standards that we will all have to live by, my hope, beyond not having a civil war is that the clear and wise thinkers prevail of which I am one, at least I think I am.

The intolerable nature of a civil war is the result of two parties so disagreeable that all attempts at reconciliation have failed and have failed to such a degree that both parties have no alternative but that of war.  If left unchecked are political relations will bring us to war.  Our societal gaps have already caused some to fight back and our moral issues have made the morality of some inconsequential and meaningless.  How far will you go to rectify your own moral standards?  Civil War?

These current events may not cause a war anytime soon but the markers are there and the course we’re on makes war an inevitability unless something changes we are on that path.  That change, at least for now is Donald Trump and at least for those who support him.  For the other side, I can see their position as well.  Donald Trump to them is nothing more than the anti-Christ, even for those who have no stated beliefs, Donald Trump is their antithesis, their monster and their reason to fight.

My dilemma:  

My morals are unsaleable, my practices of those morals need some help but the foundational principles of what I believe is good and wholesome and I am benefited by living by those moral principles.

The morals of others seem to be ever changing and fluid, letting them do as they please when they please and for how long they please creating a vacuum of morality.  Either they have to change or I do and I can say that I will never change my morality, I have morality.  

Milton Freeman outlined the three basic functions of government:

“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.”  

If we consider the constitution our foundational principles of government than perhaps we should rely on its words to solve the issues of discord that currently infest this country.  The constitution is our morality and our freedom and we should stand with those written words as we attempt to salvage what we had and could have again.  In the meantime, the fight will get bloody and our friends may die but the end result is our continued freedom and right to choose….That is worth fighting for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Believe what you read

Related imageTruthful political reporting may never be a reality within our lifetime. We have grown accustomed to a vial level of disparagement within politics and those instances have been around since the very first candidates vied for favor and support.  The problem now is not in the lie but in how many accept those lies as reality.

When Meryl Streep (Gummer) spoke out against Trump she made an impassioned plea toward, what looked like to her, an obvious attack of a reporter’s disability.  The problem was that she only looked and saw what she wanted to see or more likely what others wanted her to see.

Our country has been an active participant in negative campaigning from the very onset of the campaign process.  Jefferson and Adams  (two of our illustrious founders) swapped barbs so filled with vitriolic venom that in comparison to Trump and Hillary our current politics would be considered tame and timid, nothing more than kindergarten insults. But even that’s not true. You may want to read your history, just be careful what you read.

The problem is not in the exchanges but in the overall acceptance of these untruths and the level of depravity that promulgates these obvious lies and half-truths.  Within modern news media, the ability to swarm and inundate has become an art form relegated to the political purposes of vesting control away from any semblance of truth toward the total annihilation of that truth, regardless of the consequences or effects their efforts have on another.

News used to be considered the fourth branch of government, with the honorable duty to sift through piles of steaming excrement for the express purpose of finding that shiny, golden nugget of truth.  But that reality has never really existed.  The press portrays themselves as these bastions of righteous purveyors of right and wrong, with the ignoble sentiment of non-profit motivation toward weeding out the truth from the evils of society.

For many, the media is simply the conduit of expression and whatever they say is well within the rights of free speech, not unlike the printing and supporting of outlandish political views espoused by one candidate’s supporters over another.   When did the public begin to believe that the press and the media were unassailable and indisputable?  When, if ever has the media ever been simply a reporting arm of the truth?

The news cycle is nothing more than a means toward ratings and profits and please don’t take this the wrong way, I believe in commerce and in the positive aspects of making a profit for a job well done, what I do not like is the constant barrage of inaccurate information that streams constantly to all of our senses in an endless loop of disparagement and discord.  Profit it seems trumps the truth with only the desire for sensationalism guiding the motivations of these scandalmongers.

Any instance that can be manipulated, excoriated and castigated is sought out and set as the news of the day with only influence and profit as its inspiration.  I understand the pressures of competition and the need to expand and improve but when the means of that expansion is the denigration and vilification of rumor or the manipulation of anecdotal excoriations of another than perhaps it’s not entirely the fault of the media but in those that support, read and accept those words.

Like Meryl Streep, who actually believes what she said, having been deceived and supported to such an extent that any chance for the truth has been forfeit due to the inordinate pressures of her surrounding and political choices.  Here in lies the real tragedy;   due to the media and its hold over the population at large, the news that is delivered is sensational and dramatic leaving everyone who reads it with a taste for more of the same.  It is this endless cycle of demonstrable hyperbole that has always existed that now holds our fate in its grubby and blood stained hands.

There are bits of truth within the media but the majority of the news is embellished and overstated and the public has lost its ability to discern and judge, leaving the media wide open to promote any agenda it sees fit to outperform its competition and manipulate the minds of those who fail to read critically and objectively.

The real tragedy is the repetition of a blindly accepted premise without the benefit of supporting facts and details.  “Don’t believe all you read on the internet” has become a call phrase to be careful what you read, and be more careful of the conclusions you make from what you read.  The same has been true of our media and news outlets, we must show some constraint in what we repeat, what we accept and how we verify what was said or reported.

It may have been reported that if Thomas Jefferson was elected that he would create a nation where “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced”.  But it was never the words of Adams it was his supporters who wanted to be sensational and divisive.  It was the news media who orchestrated and promoted these spurious allegations of immorality and discord.

There may be more direct invocations by the candidates now but they learned from the press how to conduct themselves and in part are forced to play the game within the rules set by the ever present media machine.  But we are to blame for the levels of vitriolic rhetoric that currently exist.  We buy into the news, we accept, often blindly the words espoused from one political view over another.  We are the sheep, surrounded by ravenous wolves, circling our encampments with the intent of total bondage and slavery to their whims and designs.

The wolves are nothing without our support and our acceptance; they are nothing more than figments of internal desires and machinations.  We can continue to huddle in fear or we can shed our sheepish skins, transforming into lions of the desert, ever ready to pounce on those who deceive and mislead.  We may never know the truth in total but we can surely do more to verify our opinions toward a more honest level of acceptance.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Blight of Liberalism

Image result for democrat blight cartoonNeighborhood blight in many areas of this country have placed a permanent stain over the cities infected and halted the potential and growth within those areas to such an extent that the only solution is to raze and rebuild.  But rebuilding alone is insufficient in order to move toward a truly self-sufficient and sustainable outcome.  These areas need to undergo a complete and utter trans-formative process requiring a much more comprehensive and conservative outlook in order to forestall the future repeat of the disastrous policies of the 60’s.
Blight is so much more than fractured and war torn neighborhoods it is the loss of freedom and responsibility and the loss of a community's spirit due primarily to ineffective governmental controls and oversight.  Ownership is very rarely the outcome and without the accountability of ownership the moral aptitude of the individuals spirals out of control leaving any vestige of responsibility, pride and power forgotten words of a bygone era.
Detroit has struggled with thousands of houses left vacant and devoid of life, except a few criminals.  Utilities have been discontinued.  No water service, no electricity leaving huge tracts of land devoid of life and the associated opportunities.
Similarly, in Baltimore, in storm ravaged New Orleans, Chicago, New York and in virtually every major city there are areas of run down, dirty blighted neighborhoods that have fallen into desperate repair, primarily due to an overall philosophy of irresponsibility, crime and the idea that “it is someone else’s responsibility”.  

Our country's infrastructure, our bridges and roads are falling apart; our sewer systems and water delivery systems are old and failing, leaving a majority of our population in serious risk of complete failure.  These failures are primarily the responsibility of local governments, that for more than a generation has held the view of influence over its constituents rather than the obligation to provide as outlined in each community charter.

Major campaigns have rung the bell of hope promising the repairs that sustain progress but very seldom do they ever deliver.   Potholes are growing in both diameter and frequency with the ancillary costs to our vehicles as we struggle in most cities to maneuver around these gaping holes.  The estimated cost for road maintenance is approximately 185 billion per year nationally but we spend less than half that amount currently (68 billion) telling all that our lives fail to matter to those who attempt to lead and manage.

The growing blight of this country is much more than the loss of buildings within select cities, it is a spiritual blight of our very souls brought on by a handful of leaders who have disregarded their fiduciary responsibilities for short term profits and even shorter stints as the power seekers maneuver their grubby hands on the ever shrinking coffers, diverting those essential funds from needed repairs.

Even now estimates to repair aged and crumbling systems are counted in decades.  At this rate the statistical possibility of consistent and major failures grows into a certainty and the impact of those repairs will affect everyone and for many years to come, disturbing our freedoms, our choices and our opportunities. Government has failed all of us.  Not just at the policy making stages of governess but fundamentally failed us by creating a system of distrust and corruption so pervasive that virtually all facets of life are infected.

The blame for these errors in responsibility falls across party lines but are primarily the fault of the Democrats and RINO Republicans who greedily support this wholesale destruction of our nation’s wealth for the unmistakable and insidious actions of the political pariah within our country's leadership.

For more than 60 years America has been up for auction and like some cheap yard sale our assets have been frittered away at lower than wholesale prices leaving all of us wanting and wondering why.  No political figures have come forth with a plan and few if any stand to warn, complain or explain the risks of staying the fateful course of obvious greed and corruption.

This past election was the voice of millions rising up to fight for what is ours, for what used to be and what perhaps could be again.  This was a call for honesty and a plea for decency and hopes for a replacement of the old ways, the avaricious and greedy toward the generous and honest.

Will government change Trump or will Trump change government?  No one can be sure but the hope of a better way is alive and the faith that as a people we will no longer be subject to onerous and burdensome regulations with the ever present, growing, bureaucratic cesspool has taken a strong grasp on our hearts leading us all to wonder if this man is truly who he says he is.

Those who oppose ramp up their disdain and their distrust and would stay the present inevitability of what was, more willing to allow the potholes of our lives to be sold for pennies rather than face the truths of corruption.   They are more willing to stay subservient and enslaved living the blight rather than lift their eyes toward the opportunity brought on by honest work and healthy responsibility.