Thursday, May 25, 2017

It is always too hard

And it is never enough

I know you know how difficult it is to say something to a close friend or loved one when someone passes or a tragedy strikes. And it isn’t easier for a casual friend or a complete stranger.  And yet everyone is working hard to find the words for the people in Manchester. And rightfully so. We, as humans, feel empathy when something horrible happens. Some of it is a bit of relief that it didn’t happen to us, but overall people want to make people feel better. And as you know, the words don’t come easy enough and it is even harder to do something.

Remember the phrase: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Well no one knows the pound of cure for the current terrorism situation, and the ounce of prevention should have been done 2 or 3 generations ago to actually have prevented some of the situations we have around the world and especially the festering hatred in the Middle East for the West.

And since the ounce of prevention should have been done a long time ago, the pound of cure is going to take a generation or two to star to find the ways to change people’s hearts and minds.

Ignorance and poverty are great breeding grounds for hate and unfortunately there are people who love to take advantage of this to create an illusion of power for themselves. Then they use this power to drive their disadvantaged followers to unspeakable atrocities. History is filled with way too many examples of this behavior.

Until we realize the best prevention for abuse of power is better education and better opportunities throughout the world, we will continue to deal with despots and insanity. Some people want this situation to continue. Unfortunately, people make money from war and resource manipulation. Again, better education and understanding of the truth is the ounce of prevention. This prevention though takes much more work than most people want to realize. There really isn’t a pound of cure.

Building walls, buying more bullets, raising more armies, creating radicalized anti Muslims will not cure the problem. It only adds to it. Until we work on the prevention, we must protect ourselves, yet that looks different from trying to use the above measures as a way to say this will stop terrorism. As long as people can be manipulated, there will be terrorism in some shape form or fashion. The prevention may underweight the cure in the phrase, yet holds much more weight in solving the problem.

And standing up for your rights is not terrorism, using senseless violence based on hate is terrorism. Way too many people are falling victim to the latter right now so it is hard to differentiate honest fighting for values that should be deserved for the Syrian refugees from the other problems coming out of Syria. We cannot confuse where we need to fight versus being dragged into fights that need to be dealt with in different means.

I have no special magical words for the people of Manchester, or the other past victims of terrorism. I wish I did. Their grief will go on for quite a while. Their anger will feel justified, yet it will be unproductive. We must use what measures we can to protect ourselves as best we can without losing the values we have that this terrorism wants to take away from us. I always hate saying sometimes you should be the better person because at the time it sounds so weak and hallow to the victims. Yet it is true. We become stronger by not giving into the hate and working to build a better world even for the people who are becoming radicalized. Like I always say, the best answer is not always the easiest answer.

So, to the people of Manchester and Paris and New York and San Bernardino and other locales, your grief will be hard to lift, yet please find it in your hearts to work towards making the world a better place so others do not suffer as you have. You understand more than the rest of us the loss so hopefully you use this to work forward. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

“Follow the money”

Yes, the infamous quote from the book and movie: “All the President’s Men”. And not as well known, but just as important thought, follow the motive or motivation. Why does anyone want to do something? They have a reason. Sometimes it is simple, sometimes it is nefarious, sometimes is it stupid, yet there is almost always a reason why someone does something.

Are you fed up with the media slapping themselves on the back every time someone says or prints something? And then the whole liberal media is telling the whole world so and so is blowing up the internet or something or other. Hyperbole for hyperbole sake is not real news, nor is it anymore closer to removing Trump. Sometimes you know why the Trump supporters hate the liberal media.

They are playing the movie on cable lately and I do not think it is a strange coincidence. The difference between the current media and the movie though is strikingly different, yet how is this all connected. In the book or movie most of the media isn’t picking up on what Bernstein and Woodard picked up on. Sure, they had help, but overall the Post was actually the media being at its best. Yet none of the media back then was as smug as the current drivel you read on the internet. Newspapers still put out good stories, yet they are a dying business according to the internet. Funny the stories in the paper always seem better than the stories on the paper’s website for some reason.

And why am I bouncing back and forth and so random in this post? Good question.

And that is one point, the press in all its formats does not seem to be able to ask good questions anymore. Stories on the internet drop off after a couple of paragraphs, sometimes running out of steam before any new news can be disseminated. So how would anyone be able to determine if Trump really did anything if the people who knew didn’t tell and no one has the ability to ask the right questions?

Let’s change direction again. The Republicans are a good ole boy club. And are so self-serving they are now to the point of you must be part of us to enjoy prosperity. They are squeezing people out who do not conform to their ideals. Case in point was the story today found on a few websites discussing how a person resigned from a prestigious position in a company because a Republican Congressman found out this person was part of a group working to challenge Trump. Congressman wrote a letter/fundraising letter to the person’s CEO and entered a side note letting the CEO know the person was working with a group critical of Trump and the particular Congressman’s policies. The verbiage in the note was a bit harsher. Now this is something to break the internet. Here we have a government official in a Republic like ours using his position to out a person who does not agree with him politically. This letter or side note should never have happened. Yet in our society today we are headed more and more towards a small group of people so brazenly devoid of any values trying to determine who can speak out against the government. Now because of particulars the Congressman did not actually break any laws, but the outright affront to the Constitution such as free speech and the right to assemble peacefully to address a grievance is on so large a display the outrage should be so strong he would need to resign yesterday. Yet, have you heard this story? It is out there, yet this is what should be breaking the internet. This madness, this unconstitutional act by a person who at one point took an oath to protect the Constitution needs to be addressed.

So where is the liberal media, are they up in arms about this, and sticking to themes of this post, what was the Congressman’s motivation to write this note? Self-serving power and greed maybe????

So where are we today? We have a President who does not hide his intentions, his followers may not see them or stick their head in the sand, yet he is blatantly obvious that he does not care about our country, constitution, or our values. His people in power with him are starting to follow the lead and the greed machine is in full swing. The Republicans, who wonderfully love to join the club, see this as the way to behave and are fast on board. There is no way they are going to impeach Trump. They have too much to gain.

The media is too self-absorbed telling the whole world who had the best comment today, yet not doing any real work to out these Constitutional atrocities. And finally, the Democrats are so lost right now, they have no idea they are probably going to lose the 2018 midterm elections. Yes, I am predicting this now. Unless the party makes major overhauls in most of what it does, it is going to be more shocked in 2018 than in 2016. The media and the Democrats are facing serious problems of smugness because they think just by saying Trump did something the rest of the Country is on board with all their back-slapping congratulations on their cute comments.

So, I will help everyone out if anyone is still listening. The Russians helped Trump for one reason, and it starts with higher oil prices and they have been working on this for a while. They were loaning Trump money years ago, getting into his head and feeding his ego. We do not see this directly, yet he has been close to them on the sly. They probably have been working others also. So, folks you must follow the money and the motivation. Trump’s motivation is narcissism and greed; Russia’s motivation is to become the premier power in the world and this is not new. Russia has always felt like Europe treated them like a step child so the feeling in Russia by the Czarists onward has been to find a way to supplant everyone. Putin is just the latest Russian zealot in charge trying to arrange the ultimate worldwide coup. Pretty heady accusations I agree, yet what it all boils down to is there are a few oil oligarchs in Russia along with alt right politicians in Russia led by Putin who want to dominate and right now the best way to do that is to destroy the United States. And what a great tool Trump is for them.

So, it is time for the press etc to quit worrying about the election collusion. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Russia’s motives run deep. Our country is young and does not have the history of Asia and Europe to help us put events in better perspective. We are mainly a greedy country. And unfortunately, we also hold the greatest document ever written by man as our centerpiece. A weird dichotomy to say the least. We are about to lose our cherished country because we let greed become the club to join, instead of holding our forefather’s ideals sacred. And the worst example of greed is fast taking over our country and the two institutions that should be able to prevent this from happening just do not get what kind of monster they are fighting.

There are millions upon millions of good people in this country. It is just up to someone or some people to find a way to redirect their energy back towards what could make us the most special country to have ever come about on planet Earth. The clock is ticking though folks.

Follow the money from the motivation to get to the real bottom of everything and just remember the bastards never sleep. Any election collusion is just one event in much larger Machiavellian scheme.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope each and every cherished member of our families has a wonderful and blessed day.

It is a beautiful spring day here in North Texas and I hope your day is just as picturesque.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Here’s an idea

And fortunately for you, this is not one of my grandiose economic development ideas. This is from my better half. So, it is more practical since….. well you know, it comes from a woman.

We were shopping together one day and she was thinking how nice it would be to buy clothes regularly on sale. Of course, we all think that, however, this day we were shopping for work clothes. And she thought about what if certain stores had ongoing discounts for work clothes. And I thought well, why not.

We all know brick and mortar retail is going through difficult times. And yet, they are a major source of jobs. What if and this is important for people on a budget so this would benefit many jobs that have clerical workers or call center employees or other organizations that have a large workforce that isn’t highly paid yet need to follow some basic dress codes, or even the ambiguous ones like “business casual” or business professional”?  And there are many companies and organizations that could benefit from offering employees a work relationship with large department stores. This gives the employee a broad choice of clothes within the framework of what is needed for work since department stores tend to have multiple departments to cater to different age groups and styles.

Management of companies or organizations could work with the buying departments and give some general guidance of what works, or if “business casual” what doesn’t work and these choices would be available for something akin to employee discounts etc and could include sale items and clearance. I am sure some negotiations would produce something beneficial to the store and to the organization.

Yes, I know there are companies that offer discounts to certain places as part of their employee benefits package, however, this could be very specific and helps two groups of workers. Retail employees keep their jobs since there is consistent business and the people working get help with their budget by having access to nice clothes at a reasonable price. You may say, why go to the bother when the working employees can shop at discount stores, well, there is nothing to preclude them from doing that. They just get much better and extensive choices. Also, some companies or non-profit organizations require some of their employees to dress well and that can be expensive. This would help those people.

Just a thought, an idea, to ponder as we work on saving jobs and help people on a budget. Another benefit might be any clothing manufacture in the United States could sell directly via online at a discount to the employees also since this would be another source of jobs that are kept here. And yes, I know there are not that many American jobs in this sector anymore, however, with some tax incentives and some business maybe we could bring back or create some. 

Overall, we need to create jobs that have better wages for people to make a decent living, yet having general service work helps young people, or people needing a second job, or maybe retired people looking for second income or something to do. Maintaining a retail sales force is a great way to preserve these jobs.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stepping into deep water because someone should

Normal political discourse is difficult. People cannot seem to be able to sit down and have a rational conversation. Well is seems that way. Or people seem to be afraid to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with them. Anyone not afraid usually has an agenda that is far flung from mainstream needs.

Now this is for very basic issues.  People forget it is okay to disagree and have point counter point discussions. If you bring up a topic that is controversial though, it is just about impossible for anyone to put forth a rational argument, yet at some point someone needs to say something very blunt

Racism and poverty are problems that neither the Republicans, nor the Democrats have a clue how to solve. I know many Democrats will go up in arms about they are the ones fighting these battles. Okay you are, but you are failing miserably at overcoming racism and poverty with your policies and at this point in history I am going to say lack of policies. Democrats are as closed minded as Republicans, just in a different way.

On the surface, many people will say they know how Republicans are not helping solve these issues, yet they miss deeper problems. They will interchange the word conservative and Republican. And believe it or not, the mass everyday Republican is a truer conservative than I give credit to the National leadership of the Republican party. They, unfortunately, let themselves be led astray by false promises of conservative action. So, at this point the Republican leadership has no intention of even trying to eradicate poverty or racism. It serves them well with how they disguise their policies.

Yet many hard-working conservatives who call themselves Republicans would actually like to see these issues addressed and a better resolution than what we have seen. They approach the issue seriously different than Democrats.  Democrats on the other hand tend to fall back on forty-year-old verbiage about the problem and propose no new ideas to solve poverty or racism.

If you think that Democrats have done something, then think about this, just like the middle class the standard of living for people in poverty has declined. How does a poor person’s standard of living decline? Basically, they are more reliant on the government than they were 50 years ago. Their education is worse than it was 50 year ago. Their health is worse than it was 50 years ago. Poor people have suffered historically, yet we have created a whole new level of poverty in multi-generational welfare families.  If the Democrats had really done something, don’t you think things would have gotten better than worse. And do not say it is because the Republicans have prevented this from happening. No, they haven’t. Yes, they have not produced any programs of their own. They want to reduce spending for social programs. They give tax breaks to the rich. So, it looks like this is all their fault. Yet what have the Democrats done that has moved the needle in any positive direction regarding improving the plight of the poor or improving race relations. Certain black people have done more than the Democrats to improving the standards of black people, and some of those people call themselves Democrats, but the Democratic party has not done anything new.

Let’s start with Hillary Clinton. She ran as the great hope for women in our country. Proof that we have moved forward as a society because we could elect a woman as president. Yet if you delved into her policies? They were a hodgepodge of individual statements to try and sound socially liberal by saying we are here to protect all the various groups from the mean old Republican Party. Seriously go back and read her website if still available. This isn’t a way to move forward and really is why the Democrats are just at fault for poverty and racism as the Republicans. You cannot accuse one group of people being against another if you yourself cannot offer more than lip service. And also, Hillary’s candidacy is proof how closed minded the Democrats have become. They were so obsessed that we must have a woman president they forget you need to nominate someone that might actually win. There are many people who really do not like Ms. Clinton, do not respect her, nor trust her. Yet the Democrat elites were dead set on shoving Ms. Clinton down our throats because that is what they wanted. This had nothing to do with what the people wanted. Sanders would have never won the general election against any of the regular Republicans because most of this country tends to lean to the moderately conservative side. It has always been this way. Yet the race would have been more traditional without all the madness if it had been between Sanders and someone else. There would have had some modicum of respect. He would have been roundly defeated, but his populist movement would have gotten a viable start.

And the young people he would have inspired would be more open to new ideas to fight racism and poverty. They would not have been tied down to 50-year-old failed policies. The only reason Clinton was close was because Trump was nominated. She also would have lost against most other Republicans, yet the close-minded aspect of the Democrat party would have prevailed and going into 2020 we would still be getting the same message from them as before. No real chance to address doing something about poverty and racism. And now the extreme elements, especially for racism have a stronger hold in the mainstream conversation than they have had in a long time. And why? The Democrats and Republicans didn’t do anything to PREVENT this from happening.

Yes, the wonderful, we know everything that is best for you party, doesn’t have a clue that they along with the Republicans have destroyed one of the most basic elements to prevent racism and to lift people out of poverty. And that is better education. You can throw money at education or you can improve it and neither party has done anything to raise the level of education in this country. Ignorance is a tool of evil and to fight it you have to give people the tools to become better.

And what is worse the party of business, the Republicans have left their constituency down. Advancing technology means people need to know science and math etc, yet we are not producing quality candidates to fill all the jobs. And it isn’t just science, people need to be able to communicate effectively so English is important. And they need to work well together so knowledge of civics and courtesy are important. And it doesn’t hurt if young people are the future of our country they understand our history so they can do even better. Yet at all accounts our kids are not getting the overall education throughout the whole of our country as they need. So now we have immigrants getting the better jobs at lower salaries than what our people should receive. Why,,??? Because the very same businesses that complain that they cannot fill positions support a party and platform that shoots ourselves down. The Republicans have created a vicious cycle that destroyed American ingenuity and one of our most basic values to go to school get a good job and do well. Sure, there are people who still fit this scenario, but they are fewer and far between. We need to offer opportunity throughout the country, not just in certain locales.  Republicans try to tout these values, but the reality is except for their kids, it is all noise to look good.

And here is the real kicker, child development models with some slight differences in ages, but overall say kids’ education is the most important from 2-8 or so. If they do not get a good foundation at this point then it becomes much harder for them to catch up. And along with this, they need a healthy diet, and exercise. And this is the best time to instill values in a child. Everything we said we needed in the 1950’s was correct. A strong family, a parent with them to teach them values, people who strived to be successful to be their role models and an improving public education system. So basically, when people talk about that idyllic time of when America was great they are almost right. What happened was we did not follow through. Hence the Republican and Democratic leadership failed us by not putting this ideal into daily practice for the whole country. Instead they spoon fed political noise to their constituencies and left us with a whole host of problems from ingrained poverty, racism, under employed workers, terrible health education, obesity, pollution and poisons in our environment, random acts of violence to extreme acts of violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, gangs lifestyles more important than the family and a whole host of problems that can be solved with the right action. It will take a generation to turn the ship. And where does it start? It starts with the wonderful little toddler or baby in your neighborhood, rich or poor, white or black, or any other ethnicity, by making sure they get the right start. Whether you demand more from your local schools, or help parents learn to be parents, or create a safer community, this is where you make America great again, with the most innocent.

Kids will always play with kids, some maybe shy or unsure of themselves, yet overall kids will be kids given the opportunity. We teach them to hate and we fail their future because we spend more wasted energy and time fighting each other than just stopping and talking to each other about our children’s future. I make it sound so simple to make monumental changes, yet giving a two-year-old your time with love, patience, and finding them opportunities to learn will do more than anything the Republicans or Democrats have done in three generations. Sure, this is more, yet you need to start on the foundation to build something great.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Otra vez!!!!mas randomness????

Okay it is Cinco De Mayo and what the heck, we are so ethnocentric we butcher everyone’s language anyway.

I was going to title this post succumbing to weakness, however, the above sprouted in my diffused synopsis and well the worst is history.

The succumbing to weakness is because I still read and post to those story boards. Yes, they drive me crazy and yet…. I think drinking would be a better habit…. At least you can blame the alcohol.

Anyway though there are some points I make that never make my blog though and I think sometimes I reference something I said on a story than on my blog. And every now and then I think about picking out the best of (well my opinion best of) and posting them on this blog to pull some thoughts together. Under my fake Facebook page name I wrote a comment today that I do want to share. You have heard me bellyache that no one really has a clue to healthcare reform, well in a back hand way I came up with an unusual critique and rational for not passing what just got passed. So here is that post:
                I wonder how long it is going to take for: for profit hospitals to realize how screwed they became with this bill. Either they lose patients because less people are insured or patients cannot pay half way through payments because their own costs became too much. Or how about facilities that have been treating people then that patient has to change insurance and new insurance falls into the we do not have to cover pre existing conditions unless you pay thousands extra in premiums. Yes folks the party of business just screwed a bunch of businesses. And now the same party that "lowers your taxes" just raised them dramatically at the local level as counties etc have to pick up the tab for these patients going to County hospitals who are under or non insured. Imagine labor and delivery at County hospital....I'm sorry maam you have to come back next week to have your baby. There is a waiting list till then. Yes I know your contractions are three minutes apart, but you just have to wait. Obamacare didn't solve too many problems especially with care and cost yet this bill exasperates every health care issue you can imagine.

Yeah a quick hit this afternoon to a story about a Congressman had to have a reporter explain the Healthcare bill to him after he voted for it.  Yeah the liberal internet is loving this one.

I hope everyone has a safe evening celebrating and get help driving home if needed.

And tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby. I am trying to get out to Lone Star Park to see it, however, the better half is going to a baby shower tomorrow so lets see what happens.

And strange, but true, I saw the Weekend last night. Yes I am still a bit lost over that one

Beautiful Spring evening and weekend projected here in North Texas. I hope I make the effort and get out and enjoy it.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My latest fear and some more random comments

Have you ever wondered why the Republicans just do not outright denounce Trump? Sure, there have been many discussions on this and I am wondering if one stuck in the back of my mind. The fear is that the Republicans are seeing how far Trump can go. The party and national leaders are already owned by the oligarchs of this country so why not let him go as far as he can. And even if he flames out, you can consolidate and then push the envelope further.  Basically, they don’t care about Trump or his policies, even the ones they like, they just care about how far this can be taken so the oligarchs can consolidate their power even more so after him. Granted not the most optimistic future, yet like I said a fear.

And for tax policy and Trump’s proposal, why can’t we reverse this cart before the horse thing. I have said this before in varying ways, let’s just give the corporate tax breaks once they invest back into American. Let’s give breaks for wage increases, new jobs, investments in infrastructure (maybe public private partnerships), new technologies, then maybe we can look at tax breaks for the corporations and the benefactors of corporate ownership.

Actually, I had thought a bit more about this and I wanted to draw my own little diagram such as the Laffer napkin that is making the news again. Well, cannot think of a cute drawing to show this idea.  We do need a visualization though of something different, whether it be diagrams or charts or even more creativity to spur some thinking.
You know the phrase: rising tide lifts all boats, well the tide just needs to start on the other side of the bay than where it has been for the last few decades. There is always the far left that wants to spread the wealth or whatever, however, a civilization needs diversity of its people and even economic diversity. The problem has become the consolidation of wealth and the wealthy making all the rules. We just need to rearrange how the tide rises so that the poor, working class, middle class and even the upper middle class receive some benefits disproportionate to the uber rich until a bit more balance is in the economy.  I know for many it is hard to say, you can’t take away all benefits from the rich or they will take their money and run somewhere else. We need them to invest. There is too much money sitting in accounts making money for the sake of making money. This really isn’t capitalism, and actually hurts capitalism. They need to see there will be a benefit to their efforts if we get them to invest in the country again. The hard part is getting them to realize there is going to be outsize benefits in other parts of the bay before they see the tide rise.  We all know this is the right thing to do, except them. They have become quite accustomed to having it their way. Work will need to be done.

And finally, I talk about finding new people to run for office and developing new parties. Well there are many programs and such out there. Believe it or not, I made the effort and reached out to one of those organizations. The call themselves the Centrist project and I find their work potentially very beneficial. I will be mentioning them off and on going forward as I see an opportune moment. I have spoken with one of the local leaders directly and had a very enjoyable conversation with him. I have promised to do some volunteer work for them on occasion. They are trying to find and promote independent candidates. I still feel we need two new major parties. So much of D.C. is ingrained insanity so you need organizational support to be able to make changes in the current practices of government. I once wrote a piece about the problems a true independent President would have if one was elected then tried to institute a whole new set of policies and ideas. This group though is trying more to get independents elected to Congress to throw off any one party having a working majority. It would help, yet I feel this policy would have been better implemented ten or so years ago.

Basically, they are the antithesis of the tea party movement. The tea party seems to want only want they want and put blinders on to true governance. It is my way or the highway. Unfortunately, there is no way a large country can be governed by this short sightedness. The Centrist Project wants to put independents in to drive governance back to a more central less extremist view of governing.  I will stop here, they have a National website you can go and read more information. Better let them speak for themselves than me give you my view.  Again, I will comment on them and other groups as I explore further. I do salute them for taking action and hopefully their efforts will be fruitful.