Tag Archive | news

For the Politically Minded

I limit the amount of politicizing I do on Lifehelps.

When I am in the mood for speaking out on this complex, often perplexing and frustrating subject, I put a post on

http://patriotsvoiceblog.wordpress.com

 

Not to worry, my views are eclectic rather than very far left or right, although it is fair to warn you that I am not a fan of the current administration at all.

Today’s post is my evaluation of a memorandum from the White House I found on

http://www.cnn.com

touting Mr. Trump’s accomplishments in his first 100 days as President.

Feel free to go over and check it out.

Hubris of Ignorance

The following link is provided with the permission of Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station:
http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/the-hubris-of-ignorance.html

 

This will take a few minutes to read, so get a good cup of coffee, or as Jim might suggest, a beer.  Make yourself comfortable and be prepared to think a bit.

Here are some samples from Jim’s excellent article:

 

“Have  you been following this? All these airplane crashes? And everyone is so confused. Everyone is going, Gosh, how come there are so many airplane crashes? Well, um, I gotta theory here. You remember, what was it? Like, uh, four years ago? The air traffic controllers, they went on strike? And then, um, Ronald Reagan fired ‘em? So then they just hired anyone who was hanging out at the time. And now everyone is going, Geez, how come there are so many airplane crashes? How come there are so many airplane crashes?! I dunno, maybe Walt the janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707!”
— Bobcat Goldthwait

Maybe Walt the Janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707.

But then again, in America we’d love to believe Old Wally could maybe pull it off.
Because we Americans, we sure love the heroic myth of the common man.

Oh we do. We prefer myth over reality every time.

We love to tell ourselves that one.

It’s the myth of our country’s birth. We love that myth more than all the others combined.

We tell ourselves with great pride how a bunch of raggedy assed, untrained colonists one day rose up against tyranny.  The Minutemen were roused from their beds in the middle of the night by Paul Revere and they rallied to the Stars and Stripes. They threw all the tea into Boston harbor and sent England a stiff upraised middle finger, up yours, we ain’t paying no taxes no more.  And then a bunch of farmers grabbed up their muskets and formed themselves into a militia under good old George Washington and this army of amateurs chased the Redcoats all the way back to England without any help from anybody except for Jesus.

Because Americans are special. Exceptional.

And when they’d thrown off the yoke of tyranny, well, then a bunch of common men gathered in Philadelphia to receive the Constitution directly from God. They wrote down the sacred words and everybody signed it, especially John Hancock, and America was born.

Amen.

That’s the myth we tell ourselves, we Americans.

We’re special. Exceptional. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and forged the Republic out of the mud with our own hands.

We’re a nation of amateurs. Bunch of Good Old Boys beat the best army on the planet. Bunch of farmers wrote the Constitution and laid down the foundation for the greatest country in the world. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In America, we’re not ruled over by kings. We don’t owe our allegiance to some hereditary weak-chinned inbred royalty.

No, Sir.

In America, why the people are the government and anybody can be president.

Anybody.

We are a nation of amateurs and damned proud of it, aren’t we?
That’s what this election was about.”

“Moreover, we Americans by and large tend to be suspicious of education and experience when it comes to government.

Anywhere else, brain surgeon, airline pilot, corporate CEO, dog trainer, we want the most experienced person we can get. But the President? Not so much. Power corrupts, right? You got to clean house every once in a while. Throw the bums out.

Except…
Except, in retrospect, perhaps ignorance and a suspicion of “elites” isn’t the best way to go about selecting a leader.

The world is a dangerous and complicated place.
Almost unimaginably so.

And nothing is as simple or as straight forward as it seems and as the mob apparently believes.
Foreign nations do not kowtow to the United States.

This is not something new.

This is no weakness of Carter or Clinton or Obama – or Reagan and Bush for that matter. These nations have never bent a knee to us. From Morocco during Roosevelt’s time, to Cuba and Vietnam during Kennedy, to Libya under Reagan to Haiti and Grenada and Panama and all the nations that fill your news feed today.
It is the nature of nations, large and small, to push back – and in fact, like dogs, the smaller a nation is, likely the more fierce and furious its bark.

At home, we Americans face the same problems we’ve always faced, energy and resources, civil rights, race, age, religion, law and order, unrest, left and right, young and old, health care, education, infrastructure, jobs.

It’s complicated and difficult and always on the verge of failure.
This is not a world for a government run by amateurs.”
Jim wrote one thing I especially have to quote…okay, then comment:
“The simpleminded demand simple causes for complex problems.
The simpleminded demand simple solutions.”
****
Fellow Americans..fellow humans, for that matter:
Are we truly simple minded?  Or is it more that we don’t engage our minds to their full capacities?
If the former is true, we are in deep trouble and the situation is hopeless.  If it’s the latter, however, we need to get off our butts, wake up and engage!
I will come back to this quote in a future post:  It’s just too rich to leave.
****

Go read the full article; enjoy.

 

 

Writer’s Block

It seems  that there are so many fresh thoughts and ideas coming into my head;
So much new information:  News items, results of studies and research…
Yet the things that are solid enough to put on paper – or computer – seem old and stale.

The new things are like trying to catch clouds
Or hold the current of a river still long enough to be examined and described.
Does it always have to be that the newborns of life are soft and pliable?
But then, that is part of their loveliness.

Hopes, dreams, possibilities:
All like children yet to be conceived!
O that I will be able to hold some long enough to write about them!

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On Our Own

I was reading the headlines on

http://news.google.com

 

There was one about the CDC having their conference on the impacts of climate change without federal participation.  From the way it was stated, I got the impression that this is new.

This got me thinking, what will we need to do for ourselves?  From what will the Federal Government withdraw its assistance?  Will we have to learn to do without some things?

Another question:
What do Federal agencies do now?
There are some major provisions, such as financial support for our more vulnerable citizens, including elders, people with disabilities and children; protection by the military; parks and land management…

Then there are some about I really haven’t thought…or did know.  These are ones Mr. Trump wants to get rid of:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Minority Business Development Agency
Economic Development Administration
International Trade Administration
Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Office of Violence Against Women
Legal Services Corporation
Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department
Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy ReliabilityOffice of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Office of Fossil Energy

Add to this federal funding for everything from emergency response to education, health, community development, agriculture and on the list goes.

 

I am thinking that I will need to review my own lifestyle and look for ways to be less dependent.  I can do that now, or wait until I’m forced to because an agency or program gets taken away.

 

I invite your help:
What things do we need to take back so that we are less dependent on government services?
What skills do we need to develop?
Are some things better done in local communities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Truth

Let the truth be known;
Hold it in high esteem.
“Alternative facts” don’t make it;
They’re nothing more than schemes.

 

Let Truth rule your heart;
Honor and keep it near.
Even when Truth seems difficult;
Declare it loud and clear.

 

Great is this treasure,
A valued gift and right.
Let us join in preserving it;
Let us walk in its light.

Reactions Run Amuck

What is happening?????
Why are people acting out so violently?????

 

Perhaps it’s time for one long time out:  Take a break from all of the things that anger, distress, worry or frighten us; find some quiet, nurturing peace and calm down.  There does seem to be a corporate unrest in the air these days.

 

Some of this seems more like attitude run amuck than simple anger.  Just read these news briefs:

Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Police in Philadelphia say three men hanging Christmas lights were shot after getting into an argument with a passing motorist.

A 62-year-old white man accused of shooting a 15-year-old black teenager to death Monday night in Charleston, W.Va., allegedly told police after the murder, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail: “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Coral Springs Fire Rescue reports that one person died and another was wounded in a shooting at Coral Square Mall on Saturday morning.

A Good Samaritan who tried to stop a woman being assaulted was shot to death outside a Texas Walmart packed with shoppers on Black Friday while another man in New Jersey was also killed outside a mall, authorities said.

(CNN) One person is in custody after three Starbucks coffee shops were vandalized in Albuquerque, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A gunman wildly fired shots into the air in a Long Island hospital parking lot early Saturday, officials said. John Gamble, 35, pumped off multiple rounds from a .9 mm handgun about 5:50 a.m.

I couldn’t find it again, but there was a story about someone shooting a teen who bumped him.
There was also another one that read something like, “Trump gives Democrats reason to stay angry.”  (Really, they need to stay angry???)

The best antidote I know is to step away from all of the rhetoric, news stories – whether professional or just plain gossip – and clear your own head.
I also think it is important to set your boundaries at the point where you still deal with things well.  I, for example, limit the amount of news I read or listen to.  Remember, a lot of what we here on the news is distorted at best, so don’t let it all under your skin.

 

Another strategy I use is to stay away from conversations that will produce nothing except anger, frustration and disagreement.  Don’t get me wrong; I love a good, well informed debate.  My point:  If it is stirring up more displeasure than your soul can take, step away, regroup, get your own balance back.

 

So much of what we hear about is way over the top in terms of reaction.  Hmm, somebody bumps you; don’t shoot him or her, okay?  You have an arguement; leave the pistol in its holder…or better yet, in the gun safe at home.
Next time, I’ll find some happy headlines for you.

How Can We Have Hope

How can we have hope
In times so full of fear;
When troubles seem to boil,
Robbing us of peace and cheer?

 

How can we hold on
When violence is brewing;
Pouring into our streets,
Its hateful venom spewing?

 

The answer is this;
Its secret not hidden:
Surroundings can’t stop her,
For hope is born from within.