Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Who made America Great?

A quick thought before I start. Everyone knows the phrase: give them an inch and they will take a mile. The origination of this phrase goes all the way back to the caveman era. It started when the first cave husbands where asked by the cave wives to stay home one Saturday to perform one task around the cave. He agreed thinking it was okay to miss whatever version of caveman golf existed at the time for one Saturday. So, he agrees to the one task around the cave and half way through the cave wife starts adding to the list and before he knows it he has spent the entire day in the cave. He grunts out the cavemen noises for inches and miles and hence we have the saying.

Who made American great? The irony is that the answer is included in the infamous post 2012 election results for the Republicans. Remember they put together a review of how they failed and were going to implement it going forward. Like everything else worthwhile politicians soon forget what they promised.

Our history is filled with monumental greatness and almost simultaneously horrific deeds. One day we will learn to separate the two and take giant leaps forward for civilization. For now, though it helps to remember who made the great part of America.

It even starts from the very beginning. The Pilgrims came here for religious freedom, suffered, made new friends and ended up creating what we now know as Thanksgiving. They were immigrants coming for something they didn’t have and eventually built something they felt was better for themselves.

And from that start America grew. This growth was constantly fueled by immigration. These same immigrants then their descendants became everyone from entrepreneurs to laborers to professionals to artists that built this country. And we could not be where we are today, nor have the potential to be even greater without the diverse group of people who came here to build a better life.

There were also the immigrants of the 1800’s such as the Irish, Eastern Europeans, and Asians on the West Coast. Each of these groups suffered some abuse and eventually through their communities survived then thrived. And each of the immigrant groups built businesses, usually family businesses, some became large corporations through the work of the family, others the descendants became Doctors or Professors because they were given a value system not just of hard work, also of self-worth.

Also throughout our history is one group of people exploiting other groups to achieve great wealth and power. The next step then becomes the exploited group rising and establishing their identity and working within and sometimes outside of the system. Sometimes the exploited group had help, sometimes they did it on their own. The most obvious examples are the abolishment of slavery due to the Civil War: the late 1800s when workers started their riots for better working conditions; and most recently the Civil Rights movement. After each event there was improvement in the quality of life.

After people immigrated they assimilated in some ways and in other ways they kept their original culture hence the little Italys; China towns; and other ethnic areas dedicated to shops, restaurants, entertainment from the original native land. America became this infamous melting pot we read about in history books. And this melting pot built us into the zenith of the American dream.

For generations we have watched each group of immigrants add to the power, the diversity, to businesses, to culture, to art, to education and to our greatness.

And now we elect a President who wants to make us great again. And in doing so, we are failing ourselves by doing the exact opposite of what made us great. All these groups had desire, drive, ambition, etc.. they wanted a better life for themselves and for their children. Now a select group of Americans think they are somehow better. One group is the infamous one percenters, people who feel they are better than others due to their wealth. We have seen this before in the late 1800s and the 1920s. The other group is the people who feel their world is faltering and they need someone to blame. They feel superior in their blame. This is the same group that once they assimilated into our country blamed the next group of immigrants for their problems. And each time we overcame their controls and fears, we became better as a country.

The good news is you probably knew this before you read this post. Our history is well documented. Our greatness is because we recognized what all who have come before having done and then contributed our self. So, to continue to be great we need to overcome these two groups and replace the class society and the fear with what our ancestors brought forth to this country. A desire for something better.

Who made America great? It was you and I and our forefathers, our ancestors, the person that arrived one day and dreamed of a better life and then built that life. It was not the entitled, the feudal rich, hate mongers, the ignorant, the bigots etc… They may control the conversation in the government right now, yet they do not control the destiny. The destiny of our greatness lays in our own hands.

Happy Thanksgiving all

On a side note:
Back to the first paragraph about the Republicans; they were to become more inclusive. They completely forget most Americans of all races, creeds, colors are more conservative than liberal. The Republicans had an opportunity to become inclusive and if they put the middle class first would have taken this country to new heights, instead we have sunk to new lows. And you wonder why I say we need new parties to represent us.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick comments………and let’s get this story done

Everyone has heard this a hundred times, yet in today’s world it is paramount you heed this advice. When you are in public, behave like you are in public. Remember there are cameras everywhere and everyone wants that YouTube success video. You do not need to be plastered all over the internet behaving in such a way that the most common comment is: “get a room” or “you know they aren’t married” Please, no one really wants to see your two backends bouncing on a chair built for ½ a person. And being so drunk you cannot even sit up straight is no excuse.

Love your family, talk to them, forgive them, whatever is needed. Live is too short to die angry. And in my work world I see examples of this way too often. Yes, I know you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, but do not make that your life. They will disappoint you sometimes and you can be angry. Just don’t carry it to the grave.

Right now, I still love my Mavs, yet sheesh, some consistency of play would be nice. And who knows what is going on in Nerlens Noel’s head.

And here is the conclusion of my latest story:

For about a year the world was at war. No one really cared what started it, yet every regional conflict you could imagine had blown up. Right now, no one had used nuclear weapons, but stories were coming out of biological and other chemical weapons being used.. Slowly rational heads came together. Most of Europe was only mildly affected other than heavy fighting in the Ukraine. Russia wasn’t winning so they were able to agree to a cease fire. They needed one. They were fighting in Georgia and other territories throughout their mid Southern border. China really didn’t want this war because it interfered with their economic growth plans. They did not want a multiple front war and yet were fighting three. They almost attempted an attack on Taiwan or the Republic of China, however, they were flanked by Japan and South Korea and the war with North Korea. They kept a large army on the border to prevent it spilling into their country. Also, they had a large insurgency in Tibet fighting them. Africa was a hotbed of all sorts of fighting. Luckily South America and Australia managed to be free of attacks and only sent some troops as allies of one side or another throughout the world
And the Middle East was just a disaster from Turkey to the Kurds to Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. Fighting existed throughout the region. Country against country, terrorist state against country or another terrorist state. No one knew where the lines were at any given moment, nor if they could trust any other group as an ally. Sides changed quickly. Israel took on many factions, yet even those seemed to change weekly depending on what was going on amongst the other countries in the region. The world grew weary fast, but it would still take time to sort out peace. Hatred is much more powerful than even greed.

Well, there was one person who cared who started the war. Jill had determined most of the facts that triggered the lead up to the President starting the war with the troops he sent to Saudi Arabia that ignited the fight between Iran and Saudi Arabia. She knew most to just about all the players.

She knew some of the why and there was one person she still wanted to know. She didn’t know for sure 100% who shot Congressman Greg. Greg was the center point, and this is what she knew.

Congress was at a standstill. The President had been on a war footing for his whole term. He wanted to prove he was a great leader and winning a war was the way in his head. Problem was no one wanted war, no one in Congress, not even his generals, much less another country. So, when Saudi Arabia made their threat, he in his own thoughts, didn’t see him being pressured into a bad decision, he saw it as an opportunity. His party had a slim majority in Congress and they wanted to appease him to get their agenda passed, yet war was not an option. Congress finally declared war on a few countries two months after the fighting began, just because they were backed into a corner. The military sales to Saudi Arabia barely passed. And Greg couldn’t vote.

In fact, if the Persian who was the Russian agent, had contacted Greg and gotten some assurances from him that he would vote against arm sales to Saudi Arabia he could have taken that back to Iran even as a Russian agent and been able to assure the Revolutionary council that Saudi would not get what it wanted, he would have been able to persuade the government to ignore Arabian bluster. The world would still be a tinder box, yet no matches would have been lit. Paul’s superiors would have been able to talk the President back from the ledge once again and convinced him they would get him re elected for a second term and a larger majority in Congress, so he could do what he wanted. Paul’s superiors knew all along it would be what they wanted which as always was to control world markets with oil. They were still working to control Russian flow of oil to manage their efforts when the war started.

Jill pieced this puzzle together. She knew the personalities of all the American players and their agendas. She knew Greg always voted in best interests of the country. She dealt deeper into the Russian agent’s past and determined he was up to something in Iran. She didn’t know the underground Persian group, yet she made some determinations there was turmoil brewing. She traced the American agent killed and had an idea of his efforts and his contacts in Iran which crossed the Russian agents contacts. She knew the Colonel that killed the Iranian Father of the small boy. She did not know the grooming of the small boy to be a leader of the Persian movement had begun. His anger as a child was their psychological weapon.  The war weakened Saudi Arabia and they knew it. Persia would regain prominence in the world. Russia knew Saudi was weakened and was making plans. And the Americans were scrambling to maintain control with a weakened Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud suffered great losses militarily and internally. They never lost the war. It ended in a stalemate, yet they were diminished. Much had changed all over the world, but the smallest human frailties in life still are the most important.

Paul’s superiors wanted Greg dead. They knew he would always vote against them. They also knew Paul and his crew missed and there was still much of the investigation going on. They were covering their tracks as best they could. The SUV being found didn’t help. A special election in advance of the general election to get their man elected was the plan.

Jill discovered, followed, pieced together much of the story, yet not all, but the one piece she wanted desperately to know was being told to Sheriff Daniel. Greg was recuperating, yet he would never know one iota of his being shot changed the world. And even Sheriff Daniel would never tell Greg what he was told. If only the Russian agent of Persian descent had caught up to Greg things would be different. Jill even knew that. She knew Sandra had finally dropped Greg or so Sandra thought. Greg had been called away from her as part of the cleaning up Paul’s superiors directed. Jill knew they called him off. Congressman Greg and Sandra would continue as husband and wife and Greg would never be the wiser. Sandra was honestly happy Greg survived and would heal. She buried the past.

Jill didn’t know how crazy the truth.

The hunter and longtime friend of Daniel, Greg, Samuel and everyone else in the community who found Greg in the woods was talking about it with the Sheriff in his office. He had always been one of those guys who knew everyone, was well liked, but non-descript. And unfortunately, very jealous of how popular was Greg. The nurse that helped the doctor when Greg was found had always had a crush on Greg even after he married so she never married. The Hunter had a crush on her. She was always nice to him, but never had an interest in him. His anger boiled up in him for years.

Greg went hunting and the friend saw him get in his truck. He followed him. Greg took his time, so he was able to get ahead of him on the trail and in a moment, he could never explain turned and shot Greg three times. Instantly he regretted it. He was not a bad person, he just had a bad moment. And that is how he was there to take Greg to the hospital. Running down the trail with Greg over his shoulder he had no idea of everyone else in the woods looking for Greg. Paul’s group had fired from a great distance. They had scoped out the area and were timing Greg’s pace and were just about correct and might have hit him if he hadn’t been shot already. They were professionals, yet they needed to know if they hit him, so they could cover their tracks. After they attempted their shots they realized someone else was with Greg, not knowing it was the person that shot him, so their planning was thrown off. They did not look for the Russian agent and made the mistake of not cleaning up fearing they may have been seen. They split up and met back at the hotel, then the one group made the botched attempt to go to the hospital.

Daniel knew of the nurse. Everyone did. She lived for Greg and Greg was never interested in her. Just one of those things. He was dumbfounded to find out the hunter had such a crush on the nurse. The huner never told anyone. He wasn’t married, yet Daniel never really knew him as an adult so never thought much of him. He understood now, that the nurse would live unrequited love and so would this friend.

Sheriff Daniel played Judge and Jury and told him to leave town and to never come back. He didn’t threaten this, he suggested it. It is better for all involved if he would start a new life even though in his fifties like them all, somewhere else. He agreed and went home to pack. He left town within the week. The nurse only briefly thought about him over the years wondering what happened to an old friend, but nothing more.

Jill went to her grave with this one piece of knowledge evading her. She watched the world piece itself back together and knew where all the pieces lay, but never knew that a man had shot and then saved Greg’s life, nor who.

Greg went back to DC and served two more terms. He retired. Sandra was happy, truly happy.

Samuel and Daniel would talk about the hunter on occasion since Daniel had to tell someone what he knew. Other than that life was good in their neck of the woods.

The nurse never married. She died alone never knowing one man did love her. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One reason why Washington doesn’t get it

We know we are angry at the politicians. And sometimes the reasons can elude us, we just cannot put our fingers on it, but there is something that just isn’t working. Tonight, I want to share a small example of something most of you are painfully aware, yet maybe you never voiced it consciously or you realized the problem, but never articulated it in your head.

I do want to say over the last four or five days there have been many thoughts rumbling through my head, yet all forgotten because I haven’t had the time to stop and write. And I do want to finish my story, however, tonight I am just too tired or uninspired; which is crazy because I do know how I want it to end for good or bad.

Again, I hate there has been so much I have wanted to share, but just cannot remember so before I forget this thought.

At some point in the last few months or next few months your employer may give you a raise. And for most people this will be in the 2-5% range. Some will be blessed with something better, yet most will receive some standard raise that really doesn’t reflect your efforts in most cases. And that is your employer because well, they can. And so, you think is it D. C. or my employer that I should be mad? Well your employer some, but for now since this is big picture this is for D.C.

You receive your raise, and wow your backcheck actually went up, but then two months or six months later, here comes the annual enrollment for your benefits. And so, by the time the health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, health card requirements and what if you wanted to actually add to your 401k or 403b you look down and that increase you had received is now a decrease. And not everyone has full benefit options and yet even they see decreases. How are we to plan to get ahead working for someone when we cannot add to our savings without losing take home pay? And then we still need to pay bills, buy food and clothes, have some semblance of trying to keep up with the Joneses etc so we go and rack up credit card bills even more. Now the tad bit of extra we are adding to our savings and our take home pay is reduced twofold: one in the short term because of less in our check and two in the long run because of higher bills, credit card debt or car loan or loan or if we do not borrow money we are trying to make something else last longer than it was built to withstand so now we have repair bills or end up replacing something and other aspects of our budgets are thrown asunder. So, any small extra in savings is outweighed by day to day costs that ballooned over the amount added, plus any earnings.

The completely clueless leadership in Washington thinks our worlds are going to be made magically better because they come with up a tax plan or better healthcare bill or some other hyperbolic legislation that does nothing for the vast majority of us, but gives them talking points come election time.  And you and I know all this, yet we never put this pen to paper when addressing our elected officials. Yes, I know they are not responsible for how much we earn. That is up to us. What is up to them is how they set the tone for the country. Does the tax plan really do anything for the vast majority of us? Are they putting the cart before the horse, or the horse before the cart? I have said before, maybe we give tax breaks to businesses after they produce for the country. Once wages are raised and benefits are better then they can see their tax decreases. Letting Washington tell us things will be better if you let us do it this way, is our own fault. You know this, and I know this, yet sometimes we need to be reminded of concrete examples of why this isn’t working for us.

So, the next time you hear a politician tell you how their plan is going to benefit you; put pen to paper and see how this works out for you in one year, three years five years etc…. Do you gain? Some of you will, most won’t.  Are you guaranteed raises each year? And does any tax decrease in one year or five years cover the increases to your life? Do you see a plus side to the effect? $20 a week, $40 a week, $100 a week, when do the numbers turn in your favor. And please be realistic, I am not talking about winning the lottery and buying $100,000 cars. I am talking about your situation as it stands, normal promotion opportunities, use average raise amounts over a five-year period, and remember this is not guaranteed, yet you can use it as a framework. Are Washington’s actions benefitting you? Healthcare reform, tax reform, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, …when you add it up, are you better off in one year? Five years? My gut feeling is you are not going to like the answer.

We can easily create a monthly budget to afford our lives, it is understanding how public policy affects this budget hopefully will help you realize what I stress repeatedly. We need new leadership in Washington. Anything the Republicans or Democrats will offer you in 2018 or 2020 will not benefit the middle class. I can guarantee it. And as you know the only things certain in life are death, taxes, and now computer hacks. Yet I know nothing coming out of D. C. will benefit the working or middle class.

Look over your lives and realize with better leadership, our lives can become better. We won’t be destroying capitalism by blindly reducing rich people’s tax brackets. We will if we destroy the middle class. If you had confidence that if you invested in yourself life will get better, you would make those decisions. We all know if going back to school would guarantee a better wage, better job, better benefits for your family, most would go back immediately. If you had better training to help achieve that promotion, you are there. It is the same for the big picture. If you had better opportunities created by better public policy, you would vote for those politicians. This isn’t socialism; it is responsible public policy. Education, better health(care), equal opportunity, strong values in our leaders are part of the ingredients that make a society and a country strong. So please, contemplate the basic example above for the last year. Did your life get better just because you received a small or average raise? What are your long-term opportunities if nothing changes in our world? Or are you accepting mediocrity because you feel this is nothing to strive?

You can accept what Washington offers and may never know there could be a difference. I hope not.

And another thought about something that just pissed the heck out of me.

I know I do not have some high flying high touting job. I know what I do many people could do once trained. What I hate is because of preconceptions or misconceptions a person would not think I would work hard or strive to do a good job just because my station in life isn’t the same as theirs.  That alone Is very wrong. Secondly though do not presume I am stupid. And recently someone did. So, to keep this generic, a person with a high education and a title with prestige turned in work that my job is to review. The first time the work was sent to me, there were some mistakes, I sent a request for corrections, I sent it a second time needing the info I requested the first time. Is the work 100% required, in general some of it no and some yes, however, the person I work for does require it so the results need to be addressed.  This person sent back the info for the third time and all they did was change one sentence to make the appearance they changed the whole document. DO THEY THINK I AM STUPID???????? And what is worse they went and screwed up the document worse than it was before… the numbers ended up being almost 20% off from the original calculations. I have no idea where they got their numbers because it made no sense unless they just flat out guessed.

I am older now. I worked hard at one point in my life, did real well, decided to change careers and it ended up horrible. I accept I do not strife to make as much as I did before, yet, I still care about my work and how I work for and with others. I will help you even if you do not ask. I want to have things done well. At my job you can ask me to help and I will, whether you are part of my employer or doing business with my employer. I work with hundreds of people who make much much more than I, some treat you like you are their servant and others like you are a person. I know this is going to happen., what I do not like is being treated like I do not care. That whatever I do is worthless and not worth making the effort to fulfill. This is a societal problem and it goes back a bit to the post I made about people who feel entitled. Again it infuriates me when you hand me inferior work because you do not think my work is important or my efforts are important. I had to rise above the other day. I put the work aside and when I calm down I am going to send a request for the information to be corrected again. I will wait till I calm down enough to ask for it professionally and with some decorum. I do work in a professional environment and my employer requires me to treat all with fairness and equality. (one reason I like working for this person).

So please work hard, care about your work, and yes sometimes you may have to suck it up for the moment, but never let anyone insult your work, your efforts, or you as a person. I eventually will ask for this work again and this person is not going to get what this person needs till the work is completed correctly. So don’t you settle either. Make sure, maybe a bit more calmly than the situation requires, yet make sure others understand your worth at all levels of life. You matter so don’t worry about people who think they matter more than you.
“Those who judge will never understand and those who understand will never judge”
Wilson Kanadi

And after saying the above, one more judgement of others, but please if you make much more than everyone else on the block or think you do, do not come to the table unprepared. Ugh!!!! It is embarrassing for all involved, especially for you, but you have got to be kidding me. Someone is paying you good money to screw up royally?????? Wow  (kinda goes back to the people in DC also)

And finally

“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

Bernard Baruch then Dr. Suess believe it or not

Respect is more important than our society implies, because at the end of the day, we are all dust and other people’s memories and impressions.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A quick thought on the investigation

You hear everyone talking about how great things are going since the announcements of the indictments and guilty plea. And on the surface of it, it does look like a good start.

I am a bit concerned. What has been discussed seems either too easy or not that relevant. I know there was much talk about the meeting last summer with younger Trump and now the new information on another meeting last spring. If you were really trying to create conversations with a campaign from another country, you think it would be more clandestine. Invitations to come get dirt on emails about an opponent, this seems too elementary.

I still feel any collusion was done years ago. They may not have decided ten years ago that Trump would run for President and the Russians would create a social media attack. Yet, I think there is more to Manafort’s money laundering and somewhere some Trump involvement. I feel there would have been some agreements that somebody owned somebody a favor. I am not quite sure who would have owed the favor. Maybe Trump did some Russian oligarchs a favor by laundering some money through his properties. Or Trump owes the favor because he received some badly needed money invested in his properties. Either way I think if there is a relationship with the Russians it goes back a few years.

I do believe whether in collusion with Trump or not, the Russians did make the effort to influence our election through social media and maybe other resources. To me, the fact that more Republicans are not standing up and demanding more answers is amazing and scary. I have made the comment before that people may have the goods on them and that is why they do not stand up more. I say this in jest, but I must wonder how right I may be. No matter whether the investigation exonerates Trump or leads to impeachment, all Americans should be very wary of any foreign power trying to sway one of our elections. I once posted that the Citizens United decision left the door open for foreign influence. Now we have use of our own inventions, social media platforms paving the way for our undermining.  

Everyone in Congress and yes, the President should spare no resources to find the extent of foreign influence in our country. This should be a priority by our government. To maintain an open society takes real work so we need to address this attack, so we can enjoy our freedoms, yet maintain our security. Our freedoms, our values, and our Constitution make us special, not any individuals. Letting someone skate or letting something suspicious go unchecked is our leadership abdicating their responsibility to us.

Obviously, there is an enormous amount of information to sort through and hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have said before, for this country to heal post Trump either way, the evidence will need to be very convincing and thorough. Unfortunately, whichever side feels wronged will not go down without a fight. The better the conclusions, the more chance the average American will be convinced and can lessen the impact of the losing side. We will need a strong majority of people behind the answer to move forward. I hope we achieve this so please let the investigation carry forward and do not put too high of expectations into it till more is known.

Peace folks

Monday, October 30, 2017

A follow up to the previous post and more story

I was reading and ran across something that made me realize there are a few people who feel entitled that I would like to punch in the nose. Still hold to my opinions previously that we have a problem with the use of the term entitlement in the general sense currently and we may need to address this differently.

And have you seen the AT&T commercial where they show people enjoying something discomforting instead of enjoying Uverse. If you have ever called their 800#s, you know what is discomfort. And on top of it the geographical hold cable companies have is one reason people are leaving them. Monopolies of any kind do not benefit the consumer. And it is not capitalism or the free market. Another reason not to trust what the one percenters are doing.

And we need real tax reform. Anything this Republican Congress passes will screw the clear majority of this country. Folks it is up to us.


And now to continue the story

Jill still kept track of Congressman Greg as best she could. She also knew about the other Greg. And the Russian spy. Jill was beginning to put things together, yet still couldn’t figure out a motive. She was very aware of world events and her job had her working extreme amounts of overtime the last few days. She had very little time for her own projects, yet for Greg she found a few moments. Jill was trying to tie together everything for her superiors on Iranian troop movements and the news was not good. They were mobilizing, calling up reserves, working intently with the Russians on logistics. They were preparing for one large war.

Hezbollah started making forays into Israel. This was by design now. Iran felt comfortable Israel would not join a war with the Saudis, but they did not want Israel having the time to jump in at their own convenience. Iraq having survived ISIS wasn’t too keen on another fight, yet they started moving some troops south as a precautionary measure. Syria went in right behind them and built up their army on the Iraq border, also prompted by Iran and Russian. No one knew which way Iraq would go if they joined the fighting. Russia was working with Iran to help cover their other borders if war broke out. Terrorist groups ramped up operations throughout Europe, mostly on their own taking advantage of the American troop announcement to rally their operatives.

Jill kept track of the unfolding drama and knew more than anyone and unfortunately more than the President since he wouldn’t listen to anyone anyway. Paul’s superiors knew this trait about him and worked hard to see him. Right now, he was playing commander in chief, so he spent his entire time telling the Generals how great of a war he was about to win. The Pentagon worked diligently to find some way out of the madness and still protect Saudi interests.

The Russian spy had disappeared, and this worried Jill. She had been trying to find him in the little spare time she had and to no avail. He was in communication with the people in Iran, the Persian nationalists. They didn’t call themselves Persian nationalists, however, this was basically their aim. This group of people saw opportunity, yet were unprepared to implement any takeover of the Iranian government so they did something the rest of the world would regret. They were not terrorists, however, they tried bombing a government facility. It was partially successful. The government agent who had been in charge when they captured and tried to get answers from the American spy realized this was some type of new group and internal. He was not listened to by his superiors since he had blown the information on the American spy. They publicly blamed Saudi’s. The Saudi’s filed a protest in the United Nations and the Security council voted 4-1 in their favor, only Russia voting for Iranian interests. China sided with the Saudi’s because they did not want war at this time. Their military was concentrated in Southeast Asia still aggressively trying to take over the South China Sea and the surrounding area. They had gone all in on winning a skirmish with the US to take complete control of all the Southwestern Pacific. They supported the Saudis, yet they saw the US being stretched very thin with the troop commitment by the Americans. They were playing their own opportunistic games.

The Pentagon reading Jill and others like her reports on all the world movements were working feverishly to find an out because there was no area where they had superiority on the planet and any fighting might catch them in a serious deficit. The troops the President had promised were not in Saudi Arabia yet, but they were pulled from Europe and some ships form South east Asia. All headed somewhere and not being where they were needed immediately.

Russia started the war because they moved into the Ukraine again. Not a real attack, just enough troop movement to cause Europe to panic. Germany, France, and England sent troops to help the Ukraine government, but it was the bombing in Iran that created the largest outbreak. Saudi bolstered by the promise of help went all in and attacked Iran because they misinterpreted the Security Council vote against Iran as allowing them the right to go to war.

The world went to war.

The next day Jill finally figured everything out and knew the true cause of the war. Her work slowed as the military took over all logistics of everything the US had. She still worked mind you, but she had more time to work on her projects and Congressman Greg was her pet project right now. She figured out the answer to a degree except she couldn’t put the motive together. Nor the exact details of the incident.

Otherwise Greg was conscious and acutely aware the United States had just joined a major war and no one in Congress had voted for one. He was pissed and still bedridden.

Sheriff Daniel unknown to Jill and actually to himself was about to be told the cause. Only he didn’t care about the war, he just cared about Greg.

To be completed

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Word or term commentary

I have a feeling about some use of words or terms that is hard to describe and in my opinion, are misrepresented. I know you can argue against my point if you take the literal application that I am about to refer, yet I hope you realize I am trying to make a point about some aspects of our society.

The first word is entitlement. And that word is thrown around quite a bit lately. The alt right and so called very conservative will say all the welfare recipients feel they are entitled to their benefits. Or you have people who say the rich feel entitled. And there are many other examples you might think. So, which is it and who is it. In the cases I am trying to make my point I will say neither. Truly there are people who you want to punch in the nose because you can tell they do feel entitled. There is no mistaking those people.

For the people who get called entitled in the general sense though I feel we need a new word. To feel entitled you must understand where you arrived to get there. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor you exude that feeling to others and well the rest of us should punch you in the nose.

The generalities though apply to large swaths of people by ignorance do not know they exhibit entitlement. The 19-year-old woman with one or two children receiving aid does not feel entitled. In fact, the problem is she knows no other way. Many were brought up in this way of life. Multi-generational poverty has taught them no other option. Or the rich kids running about town expecting everything to drop in their lap without showing a morsel of gratitude are in the same level of ignorance. Their whole life has been handed to them and they just do not understand others. This isn’t their fault. We are now dealing with multi-generational lack of empathy.

I could go on about this, yet I do not want to turn this into a lecture. I see these misapplications of the term as a problem we have that shows we are having a hard time addressing who we are as a society. By no means do I feel this is a root problem. This is more of a symptom of lack of understanding of others. And then more importantly how do we turn around the behavior and beliefs, so the various groups can interact better within society.

The other word or term is the concept of someone being deserving. I think we throw that term around too much and in my opinion incorrectly in many situations. Again, this does not apply completely, yet when is someone truly deserving versus the need to create a new word or application to better identify what a person should receive.

And explaining this idea is not going to seem straight forward, you need to broaden how you approach my point. Here is a made-up example to give you an idea. I do not want you to think I have a negative feel about the idea that some people are deserving, but in what cases and how can we better approach defining who is deserving

So, let’s say someone has gone through many trials and tribulations and for a long period of time. Maybe one family member had cancer and died, there was loss of income that ruined the family, their house experienced a large disaster or was flooded in a storm, or any other combination of events that make life miserable for a stretch of time. And then something good happens such as they inherit a large amount of money or win the lottery. People will say that person deserved that money. And I say really. Do not get me wrong I am very happy for that person, maybe envious to be truthful. I am glad they did receive the blessing to help them get over the tragedies. Yet are they deserving?

Or how about team hasn’t won a championship in a long time and finally win. People will say the city is deserving or the fans are deserving or the team itself is deserving of that championship. Are they? Again, I do not want to take away anything from them or the victory, yet how are we applying deserving.

And correctly you can say if someone works hard, perseveres, puts in the long hours etc, well then shouldn’t the team be deserving and by default all the fans who supported them year after year shouldn’t they deserve to win. Truthfully, I do not know. If it is my team, I am extremely happy and may feel we deserved it. Shot I may feel we deserved winning if I won a softball league tournament. And rightfully so you can say they do deserve it whether it was a world championship or the softball league championship. Yet many times we apply the term deserving to situations that may not live up to its true definition.

These are just two words that started bugging me recently and I just wanted to discuss them. Overall most people have a good grasp of their meanings, yet to me it seems we bandy them about too easily at times without truly understanding how we are applying them. This again, shows symptoms of problems in our society that have deep rooted causes. And the causes are the misunderstanding of others and where they originate. Obviously, there is much more, yet I wanted to throw some thoughts out for you and if you have an opinion or want to carry this further please let me know.

I was going to write more on the story, yet this took more time than I thought and like I said before I could go on forever. Instead the Cowboy game is about to start and we are playing Washington and even though it isn’t the 1970’s rivalry it use to be, I gotta go. Cheers

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Some comments and more story

So, since last night we have a couple of stories that reiterate the point I just do not understand why rational normal Americans are letting themselves be pushed around by our government.

The first is the latest and that is the protections now in place to prevent people from filing class action lawsuits against large institutions in certain circumstances. How on God’s Green Earth are we supposed to be able to protect ourselves if our government won’t?  The Senate passed it 51-50 and Trump says he will sign it. Of course, he will.  He is currently at a multi thousand dollar a plate fund raiser. Who are the people who can afford these fund raisers? Yep his good ole friends the billionaires etc. So why do people believe he has any possible motive for helping the majority of Americans, the working and middle class.

 The examples of how large of a disaster this can be are Wells Fargo and Equifax, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg in what can happen. And now who holds them accountable to the customers if they screw up in largess? No one now.

What would motivate people to actual action? Our values, our freedoms, our pocketbooks do not seem to mean much it seems. Historically pocket book issues would drive some action, however, recently not even that seems to spur a response. If it did, we wouldn’t have this convoluted tax reform that will do nothing for us. Again, the one percenters are at a fund-raising dinner for Trump. And they are all slapping themselves on the back, telling each other what a great job everyone is doing. Sure thing, more for them less for us. How can any average American person support one iota of the legislation being passed or discussed under this administration? I am for capitalism, yet capitalism that benefits the whole of the economy and country, not this anti capitalistic greed that permeates through Wall Street and the one percenters. Capitalism is not the hoarding of wealth, it is a way to move goods through the market and allows people to prosper….. and note the word people. Not too many people have the opportunity they did just a generation or two ago. And that opportunity is shrinking every year.  

And as always, I can go on, but all it does is tick me off, so enough for now (this is an ongoing disaster I can comment on any day) back to the story.

Paul’s Superior, normally a calm controlled person, very manipulative, yet calm was about to blow three caskets. There were enough problems trying to find out about Congressman’s Greg shooting, why he was shot, who was there, (one of his three caskets) and now the President had called him this morning. He was just there yesterday.

The President was always a loose cannon, but he was their loose cannon. Now though he was pissed and honestly so. He didn’t need problems. He did better when Paul’s superiors could hand him news he could share with the public that made him look good, really good. Today though he was handed bad news and he would look horrible. The Saudis were threatening him with worldwide oil shutdown if he didn’t send them troops immediately. They wanted a very visible reassurance that the United States would back Saudi Arabia against Iran. And with all the intel they were receiving about American overtures towards Iran. Yes, even just a little spy drama playing out was enough for them to put the squeeze on the President.

Paul’s superiors knew they could keep America in oil, prices would go up some. In the long run, this might benefit the American oil industry because fracking could be expanded significantly and more fields brought back on line and with the raised prices, solid profits would be wonderful. So, first glance this seemed like a threat the US could wait out. Yet Paul’s superior felt there was something missing. Maybe there was too much out of his hands right now and he was not accustomed to it. Or maybe he needed time to think and plan to put his world back in order. Either way, having the US send more troops to the region on some pretext wouldn’t cause too much concern. Unfortunately, he knew better and being out of sorts caused him to make the mistake and agree that the President should immediately reassure Saudi Arabia and send some troops. First, he did not know the scope of support they wanted and forgot to ask. Second Iran was already on alert due to the American spy connection rumbling about in the country and the controlling interests in the government not knowing the extent of it. Third, he did not know the intents of the Russian spy, Persian nationalist who had been near the Congressman when shot, only that he was trying to have him shot before he could contact Greg. Or at least that was the fear that the Spy was trying to contact Greg, they just were not sure why at the time.

Paul’s superiors had recognized the low-level spy following Greg around. Their Greg had been keeping tabs on the Congressman through his wife. He had planted surveillance equipment on their cars, in their house, and in Greg’s office. Paul’s superior did not like mavericks like Congressman Greg so he kept track of him. Since the spy was Russian and based on his contacts within the CIA, not a hot priority, Paul’s superior thought it would be a good idea for him to disappear if he got too close to the Congressman. The spy tried so he had ordered Paul’s group to remove him and lose the body. The Congressman being shot by someone and his own people weren’t sure what happened and thinking they did it, was the first mistake in now a long line of events that Paul’s superiors were none too happy about.

And Paul’s superiors also hadn’t planned on how fast the President would act. He always wanted to be the hero, so the President cooked up his own pretext for sending troops to Saudi Arabia and went on national TV that night to let the country know he was acting strong against threats against US allies such as Saudi Arabia. The Saud’s knew if they could manipulate the President quickly they could make a real showing with the US. So, they convinced the President Iran was preparing to shut down the gulf, cut off oil to the West on their own, or they would cut it off to “protect” their interests.

Paul’s superior watch in horror as the President came on TV that night and announced the US would be helping their allies in the Gulf against the very dangerous Iranian threat of shutting down the gulf so Iran could prepare for war against Saudi Arabia. He was not the only person watching in horror as both the leadership of Iran and Russia separately watched the same address. The phone call to the Kremlin from Iran happened about two seconds after the President went off the air.

The President told the Nation he was sending two aircraft carrier strike groups, one full army Corp with specialized brigades trained for the Iraq war so they would be prepared for the similar environment in Iran, which was another problem the President didn’t realize Iran and Iraq were not that similar, since this was done in a hurry there wasn’t much time for the military brass to explain to the President what would be efficient and practical. He ordered it, and this is exactly what the Pentagon contacts for Paul’s superiors were told when they started calling during the President’s speech. They asked separate contacts how could they allow the President to order such a force on a whim. The answer for good or bad, he is the President.

And Greg had been calling Sandra regularly trying to get some feel of the condition of the Congressman. He had no other task right now. He had not talked to his people in a few days and had no idea their current stress. He was following his last orders and since he was not getting an answer he became more and more belligerent with Sandra. She was distraught and now was not answering his calls. The messages he left her scared her, but not in the way he wanted them.

The Congressman was slowly coming around. He was still unconscious, yet there were responsive movements on his part when he was examined. His brain was not affected by the shooting so if the loss of blood did not cause an oxygen loss to the brain he should be fine if he did survive. All the major injuries were to internal organs and they were repaired. All anyone could do now was wait. Little did the Congressman know many people wanted to speak to him about what he knew. The doctor and sheriff still had a lid on people seeing Greg or the family. A small contingent of press was still in town, yet the news the President delivered had most of the nation’s press focused on Washington.