Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Greatest Loss ....

What would be the greatest of all possible losses to your way of thinking?  I suppose the answer depends upon your perspective, but I would wager few would argue that the loss of a child comes near the top of such a list, if not at the very top.

Eric Bolling, a former host on the news, opinion and commentary show "The Five" --and more recently, the host of the new show "The Specialists"-- has come to know this profound sense of loss, on a very personal level, this past week.  Over the weekend Eric Bolling's son, Eric Chase Bolling, only nineteen years of age, passed away, unexpectedly.  Eric Junior was taken in the prime of his life, when his dreams for the future had only just begun to unfold.  I can only imagine the depth of sorrow Mr. Bolling and his wife must be experiencing at this very moment, and my heartfelt thoughts and ongoing prayers go out to them during this time to loss and transition.

I wrote a piece a few years back titled "Where Have All the Good Men Gone" and after watching Mr. Bolling for several years now, on Fox News, and getting to know a little about him and his family, I can say with utmost confidence that Mr. Bolling most certainly falls into that category of "A Few Good Men."  Which, to my way of thinking, begs the question "Why do bad things, happen to such good people?"  It doesn't seem fair, nor does it make sense that any parent should ever have to outlive their children.  If anyone can show us the lessons to be learned and the way forward in the aftermath of such tragedy, I'd have to say that Mr. Bolling and his beautiful wife, Adrienne, are probably two of the best people to do so.

We are none of us ever promised a tomorrow.  That is why the wisdom of the ages is "to live your life as if today were your last day", here on Earth.  Easier said than done, I know.  Perhaps this is a common struggle we all share?  That being said, it appeared to me as if Eric Boiling, his wife and son tried their best to live their lives this way. So God Bless and Keep you, Mr. & Mrs. Eric Bolling.  May He help you to heal, in time, and may He show you both the way forward in the aftermath of such profound loss.  May the memory of Eric Chase continue to live in the hearts and minds of all whose lives he touched during his time here on Earth.  I strongly feel, that those whom we love are never far from our hearts and minds.  They watch over us, in spirit, until such time when we are meant to meet once again.

Tribute From "The Five":  Video Link

Friday, September 08, 2017

3-D Chess

Think those in Congress sorely underestimate President Trump, on both the right and the left.  In my humble opinion, Trump has been observing the workings of government, these past several months --both in terms of strengths and short-comings.  President Trump is NOT your typical politician.  He does what it takes to get the job done.  From my perspective, Trump has embarked upon a 3-D game Chess strategy, while the consummate politicians are still playing within the here-to-fore established 2-D boundaries.  Think there are going to be some surprised people when the dust settles on down the road.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Stranger than fiction?

I have been writing about a hurricane and the Texas Gulf coast over the course of the past three weeks, and I turn on the news yesterday to find Hurricane Harvey is barreling toward the central Texas Gulf coast as we speak, due to make landfall early Saturday morning.  How weird is that?

Makes me wonder if the things I write will actually come to pass? Like the movie by the title name of this post, "Stranger Than Fiction."  Perhaps I can write myself winning the lottery?  ; )

In any event, my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas as they brace for impact.  Be smart, safe and May God Bless and keep you!

8/29/2017  Thoughts and prayers are still with everyone in Texas. Have a friend who has been deployed to help with search and rescue.  Praying especially for him.  The ability of Texans --and those coming in to assist from other states, like Louisiana-- to band together in order to get critical things done, in the absence of the division which seem to be dividing the nation at large, is truly remarkable.  This should serve as the bar for the rest of the nation to strive toward.  We are stronger together than we can ever be while attempting to function independently as ongoing, isolated splinter- identity groups.
9/3/2017 Saw on the news, Friday, another hurricane, Irma is now headed potentially for Florida.  I also had a storm headed for Florida in my writing, but this storm --in my writing-- gets diverted back out to sea where it eventually dissipates, missing major landfall altogether.  Need to finish that part of the writing up? ... Have written that the hurricane will make an abrupt right turn just prior to making landfall on Florida mainland.  The storm will then head north, into cooler waters, where it will lose momentum and begin to dissipate, such that if it does make landfall further up the coast it will be greatly lessened in severity.
9/11/2017  Praying for ALL impacted by hurricane Irma, and so very thankful the storm did not make a major landfall as a category 5, as initially anticipated.  Anxious to hear news of how those in Cuba are fairing?  Have heard nothing thus far.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Time to VENT!!!

"The Boy who cried Wolf"  & Term Limits .....

8/24/17 A.M.    To those who claim that President Trump's speech on Afghanistan was little more than a diversionary tactic, meant to refocus attention away from Charlottesville, I have to say --quite frankly-- Are you completely NUTS????  Is your perspective, where President Trump is concerned, so clouded that you have completely lost the ability to think logically and reason altogether?  All things being equal, the terror attack in Barcelona, last Thursday -- just days before the President's speech-- is logically the most likely driver for the President's "get tough on terror" speech given the following day.  While the deaths of Heather Heyer and two police officers, in Charlottesville, were tragic and wholly unnecessary, White Supremacists account for less than 1% of the U.S. population, and their views do not in anyway represent the views espoused by the majority in this nation: Witness the thousands of people who came out in support of mainstream views in the city of Boston over the weekend.  Bottom line, one crazy individual aside, White Supremacists do not pose an immediate threat to our very way of life here in our Western society.  On the other hand,  as evidenced by yet another terror attack in Barcelona Spain, Islamist extremist terrorists do happen to pose an immediate threat to our very way of life here, in our Western society, especially if we continue to do nothing concrete towards the end of preventing a terror attack here on our streets.  Bringing the fight to the terrorists, with the mission directive being to "hunt down and kill terrorists", goes a long, long way towards preventing a terror attack from happening here, in the United States. That gives most reasonable citizens hope that prevention is actually possible.  Unlike, the previous administration, the Trump Administration is willing to take decisive offensive actions that would work to prevent terrorism from striking here in America.  If that's "crazy and unhinged": then give me crazy and unhinged any day of the week.

Seriously, those of you on the Left who are unhappy with a President Trump, and have therefore embarked upon this scorched-earth campaign, you REALLY need to take a long and hard, serious embracing reality-check, because your arguments don't stand up to the scrutiny of logic and reason.  This reality-check applies most especially to those of you in the media who claim to be objective journalists.  Perhaps this is the era which has come to an end:  the era of objective journalism? You're like the "Boy Who Cried Wolf": you truly believe EVERYTHING Trump does of is of catastrophic proportions, and soon reasonable people are just going to tune you out altogether I know, I have.


"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum, even encourage the more critical and dissident views.  That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."  ~Noam Chomsky (via Tucker Carleson)  


Granted, Donald Trump is not your typical, polished politician, but that's part of the reason the American people sent him to Washington.  They wanted a President who would shake-up the establishment and actually get meaningful things done for the average citizen.  Stoking the fires of our division --e.g., by focusing on removing Confederate statues from government buildings, where they have stood for decades without comment or concern-- feeding upon hatred and distrust, does absolutely nothing to help the country heal.  It doesn't put people back to work or help them to put food on the table.  It doesn't help to make healthcare effective and affordable.  It doesn't bring economic relief in the form of long-term tax reform.  These are the things we all have in common, the things that truly matter, and if you and your party aren't focused on these things, then I find it hard to believe you when you say that you "truly care about the American people and the nation as whole."  Your actions speak volumes louder than your words.  Obstructionism and sowing division do nothing meaningful to advance the cause of the American citizen.   The party of the Left still doesn't get this -- or they simply don't care, which should be of even greater concern. THIS IS WHY YOUR PARTY LOST THE ELECTION.  If you had an ounce of common sense, you would come to terms with the latter and then learn from your past mistakes.  Otherwise, you and your party won't stand any chance in the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections either.  Now is the time for critical thought, thinking outside the feel-good box of 'belonging'. Now is the time for good men to stop being pawns in the establishment's over-arching agenda.  Obstructionist, establishment Republicans would do well to heed this advice as well.  You ran on a platform of healthcare repeal, immigration reform and tax reform and thus far you haven't accomplished any of the above.  You have the majority, what in the heck are you waiting for?????  Can you say: "Term-limits"????? .............

Friday, August 18, 2017

Now is the time for all good men to stand up for what they truly believe in ....

Now is the time for all good men and women to stand up for what they truly believe in .... The future of our world may well depend upon your voice and your action.

It's late and I've yet to sleep, but as I lie in 'bed' and contemplate the notion of sleep I find my head is pounding and my heart is heavy. Another, in a long procession of terror attacks --over the course of the past two years-- has most recently struck on the streets of Barcelona, with a rented vehicle being used to run down innocent pedestrians enjoying a warm summer day on the streets of beautiful Barcelona.

I find myself perplexed by the response among people here, in the United States, to this most recent terror attack in Barcelona. Perhaps a lack of proximity to the the devastation and carnage, being an entire ocean away, helps to explain the lack of a sense of outrage, concern and a determination to do something –anything tangible-- towards the end of preventing another such attack. The response I mainly seem to be getting from people I've encountered is –and I'm paraphrasing here-- “Yes, it's a horrible tragedy. But it happened [thank God it didn't happen here] and its going to happen again; it's just a question of where and when.” Call me crazy, but I'm not okay with that, the notion that this type of violence is somehow inevitable and part of our new way of life in these modern times … violence being unleashed upon defenseless, innocent bystanders merely going about the business of their daily lives, while trying to find pockets of happiness in a world that seems to have gone blanking mad. I stop and ponder the vehicular tragedy we experienced here, in the USA, in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend, when a white supremacists plowed into a crowd of anti-supremacist protesters which wound up taking the life of a young woman and two police officers. It too was a terrible tragedy. Most people you ask will say the two events, the one in Barcelona and the one in Charlottesville, have no connections whatsoever, but I wholeheartedly disagree. When I think on the events in Charlottesville, VA, it occurs to me that while the things that white supremacists believe in and stand for run counter to the very notion of the things I believe America stands for, the rights of these supremacists to march and to say these things they supposedly believe in is protected by our constitution. Moreover, while the white supremacists have the right to speak their hateful and divisive rhetoric, in America, we have hundreds --perhaps even thousands of people-- who found the courage within themselves to meet these hateful supremacists on equal ground in order to speak out against their evil way of thinking. While I do not condone the violence, on either side of this equation, I am somehow comforted by the notion that in America we have a strong voice advocating for truth, reason and the values we as a majority in this society espouse.

When I think on the radical beliefs being inculcated in so many of the youth practicing the faith of Islam these days –followers of radical Islamism advocating the use of terrorism and violence in order to advance their agenda of hatred, intolerance and oppression-- however, I do not see this same counterbalancing force we witnessed in Charlottesville, VA, over the weekend. That is to say, I see no counterbalance within the larger faith of Islam that would –or has-- organize(d), in large, meaningful numbers, speaking from positions of truth and power, in order to courageously speak out loudly against the evil being unleashed by radical Islamist extremism. I truly believe if these young men, so susceptible to being recruited by the extremists, actually had another voice to turn to for a check and balance upon the radical beliefs --by way of an examination of the radical beliefs within the context of the mainstream interpretations of the Quran and its teachings-- that so many of these men would find their way free from the grasp of extremism. And quite frankly, until this counterbalancing voice from within the faith of Islam emerges with strength, numbers and the courage of their convictions, I truly believe the violence we have seen in terrorist attacks like Barcelona will continue to be sown upon our streets, both here and abroad, wreaking havoc upon the innocent and the defenseless.

“The thing to be feared most, above all, is that good men will choose to do nothing in the face of true evil.”


Late a.m. ... Thinking further on the above, in the light of day, it occurs to me that the one thing the alt-right, alt-left and Islamism (radical Islamist extremism) all have in common is a driving force to shut-down open dialogue, thereby eliminating any possibility for meaningful, multi-way discussions to occur.  In the absence of dialogue, things tend to escalate rather quickly towards the end of violence.


[I also have some early detection and technology driven prevention/disabling ideas  to thwart terrorism, but I'm too tired to share them here tonight.  Perhaps, I'll share tomorrow after a night with at least a few hours sleep.]


8/23/2013 Then there is that … That the leader of the Free World might actually assume a leadership role in addressing the elephant in the room by putting an end to the era of appeasement and cowering,where terrorist are concerned. After nearly a decade of speaking softly, Trump, in his role as Commander in Chief, is finally dusting off America's Big Stick … “Speak softly, but carry a big stick”, ever heard that one before? Well, thankfully, President Trump has. On Monday, President Trump stood in front of the rest of the free world, addressing his troops, and announced to them and to the nation at large that America, along with its allies in the Middle East, was finally going to get about the business of bringing the fight to the terrorists.

During his address, President Trump informed his troops that unlike the previous administration the military has his full backing and support. Moreover, from this point forward America is not going to be pre-scripting their play-by- play moves for all the world to see. Trump assured his troops that they will have adequate funding, training and the resources necessary to do their job in real-time. President Trump also announced that he is going to hold our allies in the Middle East (Saudia Arabia and Pakistan in particular, Jordan seems to have been holding up their end of the bargain) accountable for the commitments they have made toward the end of actually hunting down and eliminating the radical Islamist terrorists, hell-bent on unleashing their ideology of violence, intolerance, hatred and oppression upon the innocent and defenseless.

These terrorist have now been warned that the era of inaction, whereby governments have done little to actively combat terrorism at its source, is over.  We're through putting colorfully worded band-aids on the very real problem of radical extremist violence.  We will mourn tragedy, but moving forward we will take decisive offensive actions. The Free World is about to shine one heck of BIG light into the deep dark holes where violent Islamist extremist ideology seems to fester and breed, and soon there will be no more safe places for these terrorists-in-the-making to hide.  Perhaps the moral courage demonstrated by the President of the United States, in identifying the true evil that exists within our world today, and then putting a decisive plan of eradication into immediate action, will inspire other world leaders to finally take a definitive stand towards the end of tangibly removing the threat of terrorism from their own lands. Perhaps the leaders of the true faith of Islam will also find the moral courage to speak out against these violent extremists, using the wisdom and peaceful teachings to be found within the Quran in order to show misguided young men a better path in this life. In the face of true evil, President Donald Trump, has chosen to do something meaningful and I find, strangely enough, that his voice, his action gives me hope for this world of ours after all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dreams & Visions

"Foxglove"
NOKO 

"The thing to be feared, above all else, is that good men would choose to do nothing in the face of true evil."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wisdom out of the mouths of Babes?

"If parenting seems easy, then you probably aren't doing something right."  ~My Middle Daughter

Wisdom out of the mouths of Babes? So take heart, if parenting seems to be overwhelming for anyone out there these days.  This too shall pass.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Let your kids BE KIDS; they grow up so quickly!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Net Neutrality" No more???

Note to flipping-out Democrats, politicians and journalists:  enough with the Russia angle already!  While you all are busy foaming at mouth, the Trump administration is presently poised to revisit, and likely to repeal, "Net Neutrality" in favor of Big Business.  And no one is talking about this?!?

Still boggles my mind that Democrats and mainstream media remain relentless in their pursuit of "collusion" and "obstructionism" charges, where the Trump campaign is concerned, in absence of any tangible/admissible legal evidence to date.  This when the evidence --FBI documents-- to move forward with a conviction against Hillary Clinton actually exists, on multiple fronts? Guess, "Don't poke the bear" doesn't apply when the bear --Republicans in control of Congress-- is inept?  Republicans give the notion of being "principled" a bad name, because these days when Republicans are "principled" they can't seem to find their way through compromise in order to get the really meaningful shit done.  Anyone ready to start talking term limits yet???

Monday, June 19, 2017

"The Narrative"

If I could find the time machine, I'd go back in time and remove the concept of "the narrative" from our modern-day cultural vocabulary.  The modern-day concept of "the narrative" took root in the previous presidential administration, when talking points and spin --aided in large part by a dishonest media-- slowly began to supplant truth, and rather successfully --from a legal standpoint-- I might add. Thanks to the narrative, these days empirical, fact-based truth and ideas no longer seem to matter to the average citizen.  If you say something often enough, loud enough and from the right celebrity, political and media pulpits, then "truth" becomes whatever those driving the narrative want it to be.  And sadly, I believe it is the very concept of "the narrative" that is responsible for ever-widening chasms of our national divide.  One is left wondering, what will it take to shatter the illusion of "the narrative", thereby restoring order (i.e., civil discourse and national unity) to our universe once again?

6/22/2017  Per my concluding question:  I'm thinking,  it will take the restoration of journalistic integrity to the news-media industry.  But one wonders, what would drive this restoration?

7/11/2017 I think those content to be mindlessly led will always readily subscribe to "the narrative", those who seek truth would do well to look elsewhere.

9/3/2017  "National Day of Prayer" in the United States, per President Donald J. Trump.  Maybe it takes a national disaster (i.e., Hurricane Harvey) to bridge the chasm of our national divide?  Stronger to together:  Texans and those helping them out get this.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Freeze-Frame???

I have to wonder, does the media's hovering around in the aftermath of any given terrorist attack, for hours on-end, acting like a bunch of vultures waiting to be the "first to feed" really serve the interests of the people the media are supposed to be speaking to?  Seems to me this non-stop coverage does more to serve the terrorists' end-game.  Might I suggest, that after an initial announcement, detailing the date, time, place and venue for any given attack, the media should then continue with their normal programming, breaking in from time to time to give pertinent updates as needed.  Then in the aftermath of the initial tragedy --when all of the dust has settled and victims and their families have been attended to-- the media can give a comprehensive update on the facts surrounding the story, with an equal emphasis given to the victims and their families, thereby sharing the human side of tragedy. Cover a terror attack this way, and we stand a chance of showing the beauty to be found in the human spirit's ability persevere and triumph over madness.  Let us celebrate this spirit of perseverance and triumph over pure evil, while remembering the contributions of those who needlessly lost their lives at the hands of soulless mad-men, hell-bent on promoting a warped ideology of hatred and intolerance.  In other words, at the very least, media please do not act as terrorist surrogates in spreading the terrorist message of fear and carnage.

My heartfelt thoughts and ongoing prayers to all impacted by the terror attack in Manchester last night.  May God Bless, keep and guide those affected by this tragedy, one and all.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

???

Beware the one-eyed man.

[ 7/16 Saw more in a dream last night.  There is a terror cell operating out of SW Brazil.  The one-eyed man wears an eye-patch and drives an older model green Volvo.]

Friday, May 05, 2017

Obstructionism, Ineptitude or Blackmail???

How's this for a conspiracy theory?  The whole "Russian thing" is just a distraction.  A "Look over here, everyone",  while we --the party in power, at the time: Democrats, by way of the Obama Administration-- use this fabricated distraction of "the Russian government conspiring with the Trump campaign" to justify our 27.5% increase in surveillance requests --a 3x increase in number of requests from years prior-- incidentally collecting data on hundreds of U.S. citizens, whose names we unlawfully unmask for multiple political gains, many of which we are still being put into play as we speak, behind the scenes.  I mean, if the Obama administration had really been concerned about the Russian government "meddling in our election", then our government should have started an active investigation prior to the election, but they didn't.  The Obama administration didn't let the American people know about this supposed "definitive meddling", even though they claim "to have known about this meddling" in the months leading up to the November 2017 Presidential election.  The powers that be have even claimed to have "proof"  of this "meddling" by way of digital footprints --this is rich, given recently leaked Wikipedia documents which show that among our U.S. Intelligence community's "bag of tricks" is the ability to hack somewhere and then leave misleading "digital footprints" pointing to other hackers/countries.  In any case, now six months after the election, this "proof" of Russian meddling has yet to be tangibly identified and logged into evidence for review by the Congressional Committees conducting formal investigations.  Yet, the allegations of conspiracy still linger?  This in spite of the fact that the only definitive statement being put forward thus far is a joint statement from the CIA, FBI and DNI "That there exists no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government."

My conspiracy theory claims that the previous administration was gathering intelligence on a specific group of American citizens, namely U.S. members of Congress.  Why?  So that they could blackmail key Congressional members in an attempt to derail any consensus on Trump's legislative agenda, should he win the election, and/or should Republicans gain control of both of the House and Senate.  This is why nothing much in the way of meaningful legislation is coming out of Congress since the Inauguration --when Trump officially took office-- even though the Republicans now control both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

All the above being said, the wise man says "All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one." ~Okham's Razor

Applying this theory to the Russian hacking theory, which is more likely:  1) Russians hacked the DNC and got the emails to expose Clinton campaign weaknesses; or 2) that anyone with half a brain could hack an account where the access code was literally "password"?  Even the outlier explanation, that "a disgruntled Sanders proponent leaked the emails in an effort to expose the bias of the DNC towards Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders", makes more sense than option #1.

[5/17/2017 Look into Seth Richards, a 27 year-old DNC staffer who was shot from behind in a supposed "robbery gone wrong", back in July 2016 on the streets of D.C.  This when his jewelry, watch, wallet and phone were all found to be on  his body when police arrived on the scene.]

And sadly, the long-time standing lock-step voting by the Democrats in Congress --which turns into outright "obstructionism" when the opposition party takes control of the U.S. Congress-- coupled with ineptitude of the ongoing fractured Republican party (in terms of rigid ideological "principles") probably makes more sense than "blackmailing" members of Congress to sway votes and control legislative policy.  Or does it?  Whatever the case, all members of Congress need to put their rigid party ideologies and personal "principles" aside and focus --both parties!-- on getting meaningful legislation enacted for the good of "We the People", or come the mid-term elections we will vote you out of office, Democrats and Republicans alike.  "Resist!"  Does absolutely zilch to address the needs of the people.   Yet, somehow, even after the 2017 Presidential Election upset, Democrats still cannot seem to find their way to understanding that this is why they LOST.   People are tired being nothing more than "votes" to Democrats.   Anyway, Somewhere out there is a meaningful middle-ground and Congressmen and women:  I suggest you find it and quickly!  Because at the end of the day, neither obstructionism or ineptitude amounts to victory for the American people.  As for the "blackmail", something tells me the truth is going to finally come to light this time around ......

5/8/2017  More public hearings on Capitol Hill today.  There was a lot of grandiose show-boating, but nothing new or definitive.  Save for the fact that James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, testified under oath that he stands by his earlier statement  ---citing a joint conclusion between the DNI, CIA and FBI-- that "there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government."


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Trying to Wrap Your Mind Around the Unfathomable?

It is unfathomable that chemical weapons were once again used on the Syrian people? When will this madness end?  To hear of the deaths of the innocent, among them children, and to then bear witness to the ensuing suffering of the survivors by way of graphic news and social media full-color images is almost overwhelming. One wonders if we, fellow citizens on this rapidly spinning Blue Planet, will all become callous to such atrocities in order to maintain the frivolity of our seemingly important 'everyday lives'? To say my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Syrian Chemical attack, followed by victims of separate terror attacks in London and Russia over the past week, no longer seems to BE enough? I am left wondering, how many of us have become complacent in a world gone mad ......

One is left wondering:  In today's crazy world, does the ability to separate what "we think" from what "we feel" become crucial to our ability to continue to function 'normally' in the face of the unthinkable???? And if so, are we then okay with this new normal?

4/7/2017 Been thinking some more on this terrible atrocity executed against Syrian people, and it occurred to me that the Russian government gave assurances it had worked with Syria government to dismantle and then to subsequently remove the Syrian government's chemical weapons stock-pile.  This recent chemical attack is clear evidence that the Russian government, by way of Vladimir Putin, failed to live up to the commitment it made in front of the United Nations.  As such, this failure would seem to constitute grounds for Russia losing their seat on the United Nations Security Council, either a temporary suspension or even a longer term removal.

4/21/2017 Yet another attack in France, Paris, near the Champs D'Elysees.  The destruction and death continue in a battle where no one truly ever wins. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Much Are We Really Willing to Take???

Not only are we living in a materialistic world, we are now living in a dangerous technologically driven world, a world where any and everything is now for sale to the highest bidder it would seem.

The U.S. House of Representatives guts standing internet privacy laws (protections afforded by FCC Regulations).  Why? Apparently this is some twisted effort to 'remove restrictions stifling innovation'.   This sure sounds like smoke & mirrors to me.   We already have an intelligence community that has repeatedly demonstrated a gross overstepping abuse in their surveillance operations, and now we're going to further open the field to anyone interested in playing?

I'm all for innovation, but not at the ongoing expense of private citizens like you and me.  Granted no reasonable person still clings to the illusion of absolute privacy in today's tech-driven world (e.g., traffic cameras, bank ATM cameras, hospital cameras, university cameras, store and business surveillance systems, etc.), but to now have all of our personal internet transactions available for sale to the highest bidder is absolutely CRAZY TOWN!  Now my stalker can acquire my exact location, along with details regarding any of my online purchases, details such as lingerie, bra sizes, etc.  Just wonderful? I feel safer already: NOT!  Now everyone can have their own personal stalker too in the form of massive and invasive data-mining, legally collected and made available to any and everyone willing to pay for access to this information.  If anything, consumers should be able to sell their own information and reap the benefits and income thereof, instead of the other way around --that is consumers paying for service and then having their information sold out from underneath them to the further financial benefit of the service provider.

There are many ways to encourage and support innovation with regards to on-line businesses: gutting existing internet privacy laws is simply NOT one of them!  If you think the U.S. Congress is ineffective, misguided and dishonest now --politically or otherwise-- just wait until the potential for black-mailing our elected officials sky-rockets with a veritable feast of new private information hitting the 'market'.  Once this mass of private information becomes available to the general public/highest bidder, even Congressional term limits won't be able to reign back-in the limitless potential for abuse.

(*VIP!  See note at very bottom, under 3/31/2017*) I strongly urge you to write to your Senators and demand that they defeat this legislative attempt to gut our existing internet privacy laws, for I do not believe the Senate has yet to vote.  Then you might also want to drop a line to the White House, because the word on the street seems to be that President Trump would sign this F*****-up piece of legislation into law, if passed by the U.S. Senate, which really surprises me given the President Trump's ongoing aggravation with being 'spied on by the previous administration' --both during and post election, leading up to the inauguration.

If you ask me, selling out the American people IS NOT THE WAY TO "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN"!  I'd rather have a wall surrounding basic internet privacy than a full southern border wall and the former would be a heck of a lot cheaper too.

Think this legislative failure is the definitive line in the sand for me.


3/30 Here is my letter to my Senators  . Feel free to copy and use.

As I sent my letters off to my own Senators, I wondered: do the majority of Congress-people feel obligated to only support the interests of those whose political views happen to align with their own? This despite the fact that I VOTE for candidates based solely upon their experience and past performance, regardless of party affiliation.  In fact, I voted for an equal number of Democrats and Independents, along with Republicans, in this past election.  What do you think???

3/31/2017  VIP!  Had some more time to investigate this matter further today.  After doing some research on-line: it seems the U.S. Senate has already voted on this deregulation, on March 23, 2017, in the previous week.  Pretty sneaky!?!  Did not hear anything about this until it was done deal with the U.S. House of Reps voting this week.  Just surprised me that the Senate voted before the House, but I suppose that is entirely possible as this legislation not technically a budget matter (all bills related to budget issues must originate in the U.S. House of Representatives, per the U.S. Constitution).  So bottom line: writing to our Senators won't probably won't affect a vote which has already occurred, however, writing to our elected representatives would let them know WE ARE NOT HAPPY.  This in turn might encourage them to reconsider their position on the matter and possibly even put this discussion back on the table again?  Anyway, as a last resort I did leave a message on the White House contact page in hopes this legislation has not yet been signed into law by the President.  Here's hoping the little guys actually winds up having some say in this matter!  At least with a President Trump in the White House the little guy has at least a 50/50 shot.  The odds have shifted in our favor.

4/5/2017  Well, sadly the "little guy" has lost again.  President Trump signed the de-regulation legislation into law on Monday, April 2nd.  So get ready to start reading the fine-print on all of your CCFSAs. Guess all you can do now is to choose your provider wisely, stay current on any policy changes for the latter and hope (pray?) the Broadband ISPs "do the right thing."  Sorry President  Trump, this one goes your loss column for me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blessed are the Children, for the Kingdom of Heaven Surely Belongs to Them ....

Regarding the rape of a 14 year old girl, in a Maryland high school:

If we fail to keep our children SAFE, in an environment that by definition should be safe, then anything else we can do to further the cause of humanity fails in significance by comparison.

"It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life-the sick, the needy and the handicapped."~Hubert Humphrey, in a speech at the dedication of the Hubert Humphrey building, Nov. 1, 1977.

 "Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

Aristotle has often been quoted as saying 'You can judge any society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens.'



I found myself physically ill upon hearing this unthinkable news .....

Friday, March 17, 2017

Actions do speak louder than words ...

A ship full of holes will never float: Executive Order 12.333.

Some truths are, indeed, self-evident.

3/28 ... And now the possibility exists that our national intelligence may have been exploited in order to commit political espionage? Is it too late to put this genie back into the bottle?

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

It's About Time We Had Transparency w.r.t. Health-care Costs for Services

The only way you can truly save healthcare and keep it affordable "for all" is by means of introducing a true transparency into the system.  Meaning, people have right to know, up front, what any office visit or procedure is going to cost them, instead of being blind-sided with some horrifically enormous bill after the fact.  I mean, medicine is about the only industry today where the consumer must blindly sign upon the dotted line, agreeing to pay whatever the cost may wind up being, without first being given a reasonable cost estimate/comparison.  With today's technology, there is simply no excuse --beyond deception-- for consumers not having access to prices for medical services upfront.   Moreover, patients should be able compare prices, along with customer reviews and oversight independent rankings, instantly right on-line, in order to shop around and then get the most value for their hard-earned dollars.  Transparency in the healthcare system will also foster competition, which will work toward the end-goal of driving costs down and keeping them down in the long term.  Can the government do something incentivize transparency w.r.t. health-care costs? Allowing coverage to be purchased across state lines would also be a huge driver in lowering costs.

3/10/2017  Republicans would do well to slow the pace and heed the warnings of congressmen Rand Paul and Tom Cotton, lest the Republicans wind up hastily pushing another sloppy, ineffective (i.e., doesn't address all issues adequately), loop-hole ridden bill through congress in much the same fashion the Democrats did with their snowball piece of legislation the 'Affordable' Healthcare Act.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."~Abraham Lincoln

And what's up with the "Cadillac Tax"? How is it fair to penalize employers for providing above the base standard for healthcare to their employees?  Level the playing field by penalizing those who have access to better options?  Sounds pretty "socialized" to me.  Not what I thought Republicans stood for?!?  I'm really surprised, not to mention disappointed!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stardust

"We come spinning out of nothing, scattering stars like dust."  ~Rumi


The Sower of Systems', 1902 By, George Frederic Watts


7 New Earth-like Planets Discovered 'Nearby' (39 Light Years .. It's all relative, right?)



Supernova Remnant E0102-72
September 5, 2009

[Credit: X-ray - NASA / CXC / MIT / D.Dewey et al., NASA / CXC / SAO / J.DePasquale; Optical - NASA / STScI ... read more .]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Free YOUR MIND

In the absence of critical thought, emotions and group-think will always prevail, polarizing every issue and sewing the inevitable seeds of division and discord.  The time has come to wake up, to stop blindly following others.  The time has come to engage your heart, along with your mind, in order to more fully partake in the true meaning of this shared journey we call LIFE.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Politics of Dancing?

The fledgling Trump administration gets its first bitter, and very public, taste of "the politics of dancing." Time to clean some serious house? The former administration loyalists have overstayed their welcome?  A number of someones, are pushing buttons (illegally, I might add --by way of leaking classified information into the public domain-- which should be the gravest concern of all in the entire Flynn-scenario) in order perpetuate the scorched-earth campaign currently being waged by the Left, at all levels, with the here-to-fore "asleep at the wheel" media --the past eight years (e.g., Obama-Medvedev "hot mic moment", March 2012)-- being complicit in this war-waging. Truth be told, Hillary Clinton using her own private server for government emails --including transmission of classified information-- probably did far more to empower the Russians and jeopardize national security than any pre-election conversations between General Flynn and the Russian Ambassador.

Nancy Pelosi incorrectly used the word "scapegoat", in a public announcement yesterday, when referring to a Tweet attributed to what we now know to be a fake twitter account for Mike Flynn (i.e., NOT him).  Stepping back and looking at the Left's whole post-election response to the loss of their candidate, Hillary Clinton, it occurs to me that the Left are using the Russians as the scapegoat for Clinton's loss.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend four hours sharpening the axe." ~Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Time to Every Purpose



I did not vote for Donald Trump, but I am willing to give our new President of the United States of America a chance to actually be in the office, doing the work, before I will take to the streets in protest.  I respect our electoral process --even though I strongly feel the order of states voting in the party primaries should vary, from year to year, with the order being assigned by means of a random lottery-- and moreover, I respect the Office of the President itself.

Quite frankly, after eight years of soaring rhetoric, smoke & mirrors, and a profound lack of accountability across the board:  I am actually looking forward to a bit of W.Y.S.Y.G. ("what you see/say is [what] you get").  I may not like everything that President Trump tweets, on Twitter, but at least I get to hear what he's thinking, straight from his mouth, without the added step of a biased media-spin. Donald J. Trump has found a way to circumvent what has heretofore been a blatantly biased --and in some case downright dishonest-- media and I think that's AWESOME!

My advice to President Trump and his new administration moving forward?  Quite simple, really:   namely FOCUS and get meaningful 'shit' done!  Do the latter, Mr. President, and all of the protesters, nay-sayers, no-showers (at the inauguration) and other obstructionists will become superfluous to the execution of the Office of the President of the United States of America.  We've spent so long focused on the trees, we've become lost in the forest of 'identity politics'.  There is "a time and a place to every purpose under heaven." Now is the time to put America's house back in order once again, starting with some soul-searching prioritizing of critical issues (i.e., life and death issues, being able to provide for our families issues) facing the nation. After that, the rest will fall into place.

From my perspective, every President gets a clean slate at the start of his/her new administration, otherwise nothing in this country would ever get done.  The vetting process --election-- is over!  Let me repeat:  THE VETTING PROCESS IS OVER! The President should not have to waste valuable time --his and ours-- defending his past record.  That being said, President Trump should be held accountable for his actions moving forward.

So I say, congratulations, Mr. President!  I'll be keeping you and your administration in my special thoughts and prayers.  God Bless!

I'll leave the rest of you with a parting thought.  Whatever you happen to think about 'Trump the man', if you're being honest, you have to give President Trump credit for doing a rather remarkable job when it comes to reaching out to his opposition during the transition period. And I highly suspect President Trump will continue to do so throughout his term in office.  I am left wondering, however, if you --as citizens, leaders, politicians, etc.-- simply refuse to come to the table and be a meaningful part of the discussion about the path America will take moving forward and things wind up getting done without you or your party, won't that make you/your party obsolete on down the line?  Just a thought.

2/28/2017 President Trump did a  wonderful job with his address to Congress.  The President's speech was one of the best such speeches ('state of the union') I have heard in my adult lifetime.  It struck just the right measure of inspirational, with facts and tangible plans of action to actually back-up the accompanying rhetoric.  Here's to government finally getting meaningful things done for a change!  Now, let us see if the media is capable of keeping up with President Trump --and his administration-- in any meaningful way?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The tangible ...

Something to hold onto?  At the end of the day you have to be thankful for simply having a safe place to lay your head each night.  Anything else is just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A beating heart, by itself is simply not enough .....

It always bothers me when I hear 'religious' people talk about the "sanctity of [human] life", as if a beating heart in and of itself makes all the rest of the stuff that comes with this life worthwhile.  It's not that I don't personally believe life is precious, in and of itself, rather it boggles my mind that people can talk about "a life" and its "beating heart" --as if these things alone make us whole-- while completely dismissing the consequences that occur in the aftermath of that same life.  Maybe it's just me and my personal life experiences, but to my way of thinking given the two choices --between experiencing an abortion (short term physical suffering followed by a return to our Creator) and a being born into this world unwanted and more often than not unloved, and then having to live [experience] a life of pain, suffering, neglect and abuse (long term physical, mental and emotional suffering)--returning to heaven surely has to be the easier and less painful of the paths one can travel.

I guess to my way of thinking, you are an irresponsible advocate "for life" unless you are personally willing to step-up to the plate in order to ensure that each and every life brought into this world has at least a shot at a purposeful life, filled with at least some small measure of love and respect, because a life without these things is simply unbearable.  So I suppose, I am sincerely wondering why we never hear "pro-life" advocates talking about this other side of the "life" equation?  And more importantly, what will these advocates do in support of the aftermath of each and every "saved" life.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Recent Nightmare ...

Had a  horrible nightmare last night.  Now granted, not all of my dreams (visions) actually come to pass and thankfully so.  This dream was of a bunch of people caught in a seemingly normal traffic jam and then suddenly all hell broke loose as armed men were shooting stranded motorists at random in their cars ... there were explosions too and the perpetrators were riding motorcycles.  Scared the living daylights out of me ... so vivid, such graphic, unrestrained violence ... so much needless loss of innocent life.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

U.S. Congress Set to Vote on "Iran Nuclear Treaty" ....


What would you say if I told you that they say the path we are about to set foot upon will change all our lives, our children's lives and their children's lives, irrevocably forever and not for the better.  The "Iran Nuclear Treaty" tentatively set to be voted upon by the United States Congress, on September 17 --in a "resolution of disapproval vote"-- does not just marry the ultimate in vanity to politics; this treaty starts us along a trajectory which will bring about our (the human race as a whole) ultimate demise on every level possible.  I'd advise those members of Congress who are currently planning to pat themselves on the back for signing on to lend their support for this “ “ground-breaking” “ international treaty to find their spine, to take a courageous detour outside of their party's regimented lock-step --pushing aside, momentarily, the widely pushed (and accepted??) narrative that it is “THIS deal or outright WAR” aside--  in order to clearly evaluate the written terms of the Iran Nuclear Treaty --including its numerous “side-agreements”-- down to the very minutest of details. Then having done the latter, I ask these same members of the U.S. Congress to ask themselves if they are willing to sell their soul for short-lived “infamy” in accepting the delusion "that what they (will have) have done in voting to support such a weak 'treaty' truly does anything to promote the greater good." To ask themselves if they can live with the notion that they alone will be responsible for sealing the fate of humanity as we know it today. I'd add that history has a way of stripping away the varnish of present day perception --so often clouded by the spin of “smoke & mirrors" and the inherent need of weak men to feel that they belong to something greater than themselves-- in the laying down of facts toward the end of chronicling nations' tales, but what would be the point?  Because in the end, there will be none left to whom the tale could be recounted.


"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." ~Oppenheimer


9/11/2015  A deal by any other name would be a "treaty" .....
 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

" "Climate Change" " Show-down?

Carly Fiorina unleashes some articulate perspective on "climate change" in an interview with Katie Couric: A must see!


2/15/2017   Speaking of 'wars':  Here's some tangible fuel to justify skepticism on the whole "global warming" issue.  January 2017, NOAA scientist, Dr. John Bates, blows whistle on skewed recent temperature data. Valid ocean buoy data was discarded in favor of "hot" (known to report hotter) ship data.  Then this "Version 4" dataset was delayed in its release so as to further lend credence to the "Pausebuster" paper [“Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus”, written by climate change scientists to explain away the apparent pause in global warming temps over the past decade, published in the journal "Science" .. just six months before the Paris conference], thereby delivering a maximum timely impact, in an effort to influence the outcome of the Paris Climate Accords this past 2016.

"The NOAA revelations are shades of the 2009 “Climategate” scandal, in which hacked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit indicated that its scientists were suppressing information contrary to their global-warming agenda. A similar batch of 5,000 emails released in 2011 showed likewise and, furthermore, reported Forbes, illustrated that the “scientists view global warming as a political ‘cause’ rather than a balanced scientific inquiry” and that “many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.” ~The Observer, By Selwyn Duke "NOAA Scientists Falsify Data to Dupe World Leaders on Climate Change"

Bottom line?  We are absolutely called upon to be good stewards of the precious resources on this rapidly spinning and beautiful Big Blue Planet: plants, animals, earth, water, sky and people as well. We are not, however, compelled to be mindless followers, blindly changing our lives,  in fundamental ways (i.e., preventing the realization of true "energy independence" --oil, natural gas and clean coal-- with an over-abundance of regulation, which also puts hardworking men and women out of a job in an already thin economy). Nor are we called to spend a larger than necessary chunck of our own precious personal financial resource so as to adhere to a bogus scientific bent.  A bent that incidentally financially benefits both the scientists --who pursue ongoing data manipulation, in support of "the cause"/"climate change"-- and those billionaires whose products are associated with the "salvation of the earth" (e.g., green cars, green energy, green light bulbs, etc.).  Wake up and follow the money, people!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Power to Transform Our World?

Yet another tragic shooting in the month since I've been away,  First the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, and then the shooting of Kate Steinle, in San Francisco.  Now another movie-theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, last night.  And I almost forgot the lone-wolf shooting at the Army Recruitment center in Tennessee. Hard to find the right words for reason or consolation sometimes, isn't it?  Save to say those who would take the lives of defenseless others, innocents among them, are the polar opposite of those motivated to action by honor.  My heartfelt prayers go out to all involved in these senseless tragedies.  I am left in awe pondering the overwhelming forgiveness expressed by the families of the victims in the South Carolina church shootings.  I can't help but be inspired by these courageous individuals who so readily found their way to forgiveness in the immediate wake of such profound loss.  To my way of thinking, forgiveness has the greater power to shape --transform-- this world for the better.  What say you?  

The time has finally come to address the profound vulnerability of gun-free zones?  And we're way past the time where criminal illegal alien deportations should have been addressed and the laws on the books enforced.  Whenever I am in the state of Texas I always feel safer w.r.t. to the above scenarios playing out --military installations being the one sad, glaring exception-- because if someone pulled out a gun and began shooting at defenseless people I have little doubt that two or more "licensed-to-carry" gun-owners would not waste a second before drawing their weapons in order to take down the shooter, but maybe that's just me. The best defense is always a good offense.  From where I'm sitting forgiveness and the enactment of future offensive measures --in effort to prevent future shooting tragedies-- can go hand in hand, despite the narrative being pushed by the liberal left and the mainstream media.

9/11/2015  “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”~ Alexandre Dumas, "Count of Monte Cristo"


[image source:  newyork.cbslocal.com ]

Kelly File interview

Three young Americans riding on a train, from Amsterdam to Paris, found themselves in the eye of a potentially powerful storm.  Within a matter of mere seconds, these brave men found it within themselves to act, without hesitation and with courage and honor.  By their immediate and selfless actions these three young men saved countless lives.  Truly inspirational!  May God Bless all involved.  And may the heroism of these brave men inspire others to find it within themselves to stare terrorists, hell-bent on destruction, square-in-the-eye and to find the courage within themselves to take action in defense of innocence against the ever-growing presence of evil in our world.


Friday, July 24, 2015

"The wounds of honour are self-inflicted"

"The wounds of honour are self-inflicted." ~Film Quote from "The Last Knights"

A poignant quote from the film (movie) I happened to watch late this evening with my daughters.  Thought provoking, these words, are they not? And drawn from a fictional movie script at that.  Personally, these particular words leave me wondering if we currently live in an age where the notion of honor has now been relegated to realm of fictional tales and legends of days long since gone by.  I suppose there is still some thinking to do on this subject.  What say you?  Has honor in our modern-day society now been replaced with the politics of identity and belonging to a 'greater whole'?

"All honor's wounds are self-inflicted." - Andrew Carnegie


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Donald Trump Enters the Presidential Race

A "primary" is a preliminary contest right?  It's not an outright war.  I'm just checking, now that the provocative Donald Trump has --finally-- officially entered a Presidential race.  The object of this preliminary primary contest is not to eviscerate your opponents, towards the end of being a lone victor hobbling across the bodies of the other 'slain' Republican contenders in order to cross the "primary finish-line" --hopefully, with the ability to still stand-- to face the Democratic candidate in the general election.




With the above image seared into your mind, might I offer another timely word of advice to the Republican field of primary candidates: Let us NOT do the work of the Democrat Party for them.  Think it would behove all of us looking for a viable alternative to the status-quo --of the past eight years-- to have our primary candidates conduct themselves, during the course of the primary, with a strong measure of decorum and respect for one another.  As I told my daughter the other day:  just because someone is LOUD and obnoxious, doesn't make them right.  Translation --in this instance-- those with the fabric necessary for true Presidential leadership will find their way to using words effectivly, in a constructive manner, towards the end of conveying the thoughts and ideas needed to alter the trajectory our nation has been set upon. 

One last thought: A true leader also possesses the ability to listen and to consider the input of others, otherwise we will find ourselves right back in the throws of Congressional grid-lock and Executive Order overreach.

7/20/2015  Why embrace real issues, with real solutions when you can embrace a media circus drenched with hyperbole?
7/24/2015  In keeping with the theme of "hyperbole" in my last comment:  I actually heard a meteorologist (on the weather channel) say the following in a weather forecast this morning, in reference to a tropical storm currently brewing in the Atlantic Ocean:  "This activity is a key signature of climate change.  When we have these types of weather extremes:  Severe drought (motions to California on the western coast of United States) with tropical storms simultaneously delivering large amounts rainfall in other parts of the country."  And this meteorologist made this statement rather mater-of-factly; he didn't even blink an eye.  Seems he's well-positioned on the "science is settled" bandwagon, happily purveying a political (profit-driven) agenda: non-manipulated/unbiased data, actual facts and the inherent chaos of Earth's dynamic weather system be damned (I, personally, have no issue with the notion that Earth's climate obviously changes; it's been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years and it will continue to do so for thousands more with or without the input of mankind (e.g., witness previous ice-ages and periods of global warming, long before man entered into the picture in any significant way).  To think that we, mere humans, can in some way control or influence nature is simply ludicrous.  To think that world-wide impending doom is charging towards us at the hands of nature, via  ""climate change"" -- previously referred to as "global warming"-- is simply profit-driven insanity.  The latter aside, are we called to be responsible stewards of the Earth with which we have been entrusted:  absolutely, but "gloom and doom" at the hands of nature is not imminent in anyway ... now man destroying himself or being subject to larger cosmic forces may be another story, but I digress).  I mention this meteorologists weather statement --issued as if it were a documented scientific fact and subsequent effect thereof of man-induced ""climate change""-- not only because his statement caught me entirely off-guard (the larger portion of the present CA drought happens to be man-induced due to the diversion of river waters natural flow in an effort to protect some species of "smelt" fish) but because I am sincerely wondering where "The Donald" happens to stand on the issue of ""climate change""?

Side Note:  Went home over the course of my travels these past several weeks, to visit with my family in Texas.  Upon my arrival, I was surprised to find that nature had once again, after several drought-ridden years, finally reversed her course a full 180+ degrees.  That is to say, where once ponds and lakes had dried up, or sorely receded, and the sombre brown-brush of parched dryness had swept over a sullen land:  a blanket of lush greenness, swaddled in an abundance of liquid gold now unfolded across the vast landscape.  For me, it was, despite the areas of significant flooding, a refreshing sight to behold.  Life was returning to a seemingly barren-struck land.  In talking with parents about the change in their own piece of the vast Texas landscape they had this to say [paraphrasing]:  "The drought took both of our stock ponds, killing the fish in them.  It also diminished our harvest and it was hard on the animals, but the upside is that the drought seems to have taken all of the plague of disease-ridden oak trees and the disease they carried right along with them ("Texas oak-wilt").  Also the swarms of west-Nile carrying mosquitoes seems to have died off as well.  We now have 1/20th of the mosquito population we had prior to the years of drought and thus far we have not heard of a single reported case of the west-Nile virus in the area.  And both of our stock tanks are filled to the top once again."  So with the latter insight from my parents, I am thinking, in some strange and mysterious way: Nature knew what she was doing all along.  Go figure?  Nature finds a way.

7/28/2015  The 'damage' due to "carbon-footprints" has absolutely nothing on the potential for damage due to nuclear weapons in our much more immediate future. (i.e., Iran nuclear deal). The time for a serious embracing reality-check is long, long overdue, people.  Let's blow away the smoke and shatter the mirrors already.

9/2015  "Like" him or "leave" him, Donald Trump has been a lightening rod for focusing attention onto the presidential primary races.  Perhaps Donald Trump's entering the race has served a useful end in drawing the attention of the usually uninformed, low-information voter into the media-fray surrounding this candidate --and by default drawing attention to the other candidates, Republican and Democratic alike.  I mean viewer-ship for the Republican Primary debates has clearly broken all sorts of records, evidence that people who normally don't tune-in to the politics surrounding elections are actually listening this time around.  Perhaps the mere exposure potential voters receive to thought, information and ideas exchanged in the ensuing media dialogue will open their hearts and minds to consider another perspective and in the process of doing so these voters might glean new insights about candidates and issues important to them.  Thanks to Donald Trump, 2016 could actually be the year of the informed voter.  How exciting is that?!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Interesting News: President Putin to meet with Pope Today


Most interesting piece of news today.  Putin has landed in Italy and will visit with Pope Benedict later today.  Putin last visited with the Pope in 2013.  Interestingly enough, this visit falls on the heels of the G-7 summit, from which President Putin was barred --for the second year in a row-- from attending. This because of Putin's annexation of Crimea and allegations of ongoing involvement in fighting in Ukraine.  Perhaps, the Pope hopes to gain a powerful ally to help protect Christians under attack in many Middle Eastern countries?

Later p.m.... Putin was over an hour late to his scheduled meeting with the Pope? Timing is everything ....

[Of note, the Russian Orthodox Church  is a member of the Eastern Orthodox group of churches which remain separate from the Vatican (in Rome) to this day.]

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Timely Word of Advice for Republican Party Candidates ...


Here's a word of advice for the field of candidates currently vying for the Republican Party's nomination:  What you say now, while speaking to a traditionally conservative and often Christian audience, can and WILL LIKELY be used against in the larger political arena (i.e., the mainstream media and Democratic candidates/politicians will find a way to spin your words such that they will, wherever possible, be used against you.)  Lest you forget:  "perception has become the new truth in our modern day politics," whether we like it or not.

With the above in mind, might I suggest to the current slate of candidates that each of you choose your words, and more importantly that you CHOOSE YOUR ISSUES WISELY!  Where, extreme caution must be exercised when discussing hot-button social issues (e.g., birth control and gay marriage).  Here's a wholly radical idea:  why not just keep your campaign narrative focused exclusively on the larger issues, namely the issues which have the greatest potential to heal, empower, protect and unite our great nation, because the bottom-line is:  You cannot and will not win an election, in the larger public arena, where "hot-button" social issues are concerned, but you sure as heck can lose on them!  Candidates failed (miserably!) to make this important connection in the previous 2012 election cycle.  This time around, it is my sincerest hope that the field of Republican candidates starts thinking about the general election TODAY (from day one).  To my way of thinking, if you aren't doing the latter, then you aren't truly serious about becoming a viable Republican candidate for President.

[Side thought:  When, and if, you find yourself pressed on hot-button social issues it would greatly behoove you to redirect the focus back toward the larger, more universal issues currently facing our nation.  If, however, you are unable to successfully redirect the conversation and find you must give some answer, simply state some version of the following:  "Everyone in our great nation --thanks to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers-- is entitled to hold his/her own personal moral convictions, based upon their unique spiritual or religious beliefs, but we must recognize the distinction between the holding a personal  moral conviction and the infliction of those convictions upon others in the public arena.  In instances where there is a clear need for legislation, in order to protect the latter rights of various individuals or groups of citizens, provisions have been made in our United States Constitution for our States to enact the laws they deem necessary to meet the needs of their respective populations."  The important point in the previous statement being that YOU, the candidate, understand the clear distinction between holding a personal moral conviction and the infliction of those convictions upon others in the larger public arena.]


Now, I'm not saying you should deny your Christian (or other religious) heritage or your faith, nor am I denying the fact there have been an increasing number of instances where "the faithful" have been targeted for ridicule --by the mainstream media, opportunistic political groups and politicians-- for choosing to bring their personal (religious) beliefs into the public arena. What I am saying is simply this:  PLEASE, don't step into the trap of entering into the field laden with land-mines of personal moral convictions during this new 2016 Presidential Election cycle!  If you have learned nothing else from 2012 election cycle, let it be the necessity of avoiding extensive discussion on personal moral convictions.  Let us also avoid the newly nuanced charge of "religious persecution" just levied by Senator Marco Rubio in his interview over the weekend.  We really don't need to go there right now!  In sum, let us (the Republican party and candidates) not risk risk destroying the field of Republican candidates by continuing to take the bait on hot-button social issues.  Let's keep the focus on the issues which matter most: those issues being the ones capable of uniting and fixing the country as a whole.  

By avoiding hot-button issues, Republican candidates will remain free and clear to focus their campaigns on issues which will truly benefit the nation as a whole (e.g., tax reform, balanced budget, job creation, national security and education). These important issues, which you will speak about in your campaigns, can then be used to energize and unite both the party and the country as a whole, because Lord knows there is a whole lot that needs fixing in this nation of ours, right now ... not least among this list of 'fix-its' being the ever-widening chasms of division presently plaguing our nation (e.g., black vs. white and other minorities, wall street high earners vs. middle class, religious vs. secular, etc.)

One final, parting thought: Why not try GETTING INTO OFFICE FIRST and then let your actions and words speak volumes, from a place of undeniable authority, to the need for our nation to revisit its founding history in support of religious tolerance?

Praying for Balance

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas who have recently been hit by severe storms, with large hail, dozens of tornados and most recently (ongoing) flash-flooding as the Brazos and Colorado rivers overflow taking cars, roads and homes with their fiercely flowing torrents.  From drought --in subsequent several years-- to now flooding? ... Hope nature finds its way back to balance, and cessation of pounding storms, again soon.  God Bless one and all!

5/30/2015 And of course my ongoing thoughts, prayers and donations are with the people of Nepal as they work recover from the two catastrophic earthquakes which recently struck their country, back to back.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Lying on our backs, looking UP Into the blanket of stars that gently gives cover to night ...


“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”
~Rumi

 Amazing Photo-capture By:  Andrew Whyte, Caters News. Image Source: Telegraph News on-line


Describe yourself using four music "album" covers or less.  (Likely only someone born before 1979, or earlier, can do this?)

You are to be given an all-expense paid trip, with top-of-the-line accommodations, to an as yet undisclosed location. Is there any one place in the world you would refuse to go, regardless of the latter?

Finish this sentence:  "My LIFE is worth ...." 


Flip a coin: Heads or Tails?  Other?

You are speaking with someone who does not appear to speak your native language well.  They manage to inform you that they are visiting with family currently living in your country.  What three pieces of information do you choose to try to convey to them?

What do view as the most pressing world issue in this day and age? 

Close your eyes before attempting to answer the following question:  Could you survive a week without your cell phone or other connection to the internet? 
Now before you open your eyes once again, name five meaningful observations about your present environment.

What would you give to save the world?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fanning the Flames of Civil Discord?

In absence of true leadership chaos, and often violence, will inevitably prevail.  I find it most interesting to note, however, that as civil discord burns brightly on the home-front (presently in Baltimore and previously in Ferguson and other cities throughout the nation) the national focus on global concerns (earthquake in Nepal, Iran military maneuvers around Strait of Hormuz, Nuclear Weapons Deal with Iran, ISIS and other terrorist activities around the globe, Implications of Clinton Foundation Donations w.r.t. foreign powers gaining undo influence and potentially compromising national security, etc.) is rather conveniently diminished.  Perhaps current 'leadership' chooses to fan the home flames of discord toward a greater, overarching, political end? [As opposed to speaking on the situation in any constructively meaningful way, so as to diminish the rhetoric of an ongoing national divide by addressing the underlying issues plaguing communities, such as the one in Baltimore Maryland, while emphasizing the fact that anytime an unarmed U.S. citizen winds up dying in police custody it is a tragedy which must be thoroughly investigated, prosecuted if necessary, and learned from so as to prevent future such incidents from occurring again.]

Also have to wonder, if media outlets would chose to minimize their ongoing, 24-hour, visual coverage of rioting and destruction if the allure towards violent protest and destruction might in some small way be diminished, because the perpetrators would no longer have a guaranteed national television audience. Everything in moderation: including media coverage of violent protests?

4/29  The city curfew seems to have been effective in curbing further violence in Baltimore.  Have to applaud community members, civic leaders, church officials, etc. who found the courage to stand in the streets of Baltimore last night in order to speak in favor of ordered protest, in compliance with the city-wide curfew, over violence and destruction.   It is my sincere hope that justice will prevail in getting to the bottom of the events which lead to the tragic death of U.S. citizen, Freddie Gray, while he was in police custody.

5/13 Thinking we need to focus some "nation-building" right here in America, in cities like Baltimore.  Where supportive communities would work to build strong family foundations and improved educational opportunities,  leading to meaningful and lasting employment and career opportunities.  Because a never-ending handout, alone, will never amount to true freedom and equality.  The illusion of  entitlement to "free stuff" being consistently pushed by liberal progressive policies (failed policies) is the real injustice, not this resurrected narrative of "ongoing racial inequality." The narrative of "racial inequality" offers no definitive solutions.  Instead we have only finger-pointing, victims and violence,  which amounts to a misconception of division towards the end rallying voters to the base for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election. Would that we would, that we could all see ourselves first and foremost as Americans and then work toward meaningful solutions to real problems from there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Looking for the Spark of Leadership ....




“Looking for the light-switch of leadership” ~Jeb Bush, speech 2/18/2015

Isn’t that the truth … A truth currently sweeping its way across the nation, according to numerous independent polls addressing the nation’s confidence –or rather a lack thereof—of President Obama’s handling of the global threat terrorism now poses to our nation.

I’ve heard the following line of thought from several prominent foreign policy and news analysts over the course of the last few weeks (and I happen to wholeheartedly agree): As long as we are having a discussion focused around semantics we don’t have to address the real problem, with respect to ISIS and other Islamist extremists, in any immediate or substantial matter. In that respect the Obama Administration's non-approach to tackling the real issues concerning the threat of terrorism, and the ISIS movement in particular, has proved to be a rather successful demonstration of spin-action? Perhaps this Administration –-with the aid of a blatantly biased liberal media—thinks "we can even spin this narrative of “naming conventions” and “tolerance” right up until the very end of our administration’s ‘reign’; then it will become someone else’s problem"?


“Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue." ~La Rouchefoucauld

I find it rather hypocritical that President Obama continually goes out of his way to speak of tolerance towards those who practice the faith of Islam, citing the fact that the majority of Muslims are peace- loving and not terrorists, claiming that “religions don’t kill, people do” when the President had no problem explicitly calling out the wrongs committed by a minority of Christians –albeit centuries ago-- in the name Christianity, during his address to the “National Prayer Breakfast.” While I happen to agree that the majority of those practicing the faith of Islam are non-violent, this acknowledgement fails to address the violent minority who are outright dangerous to all within their grasp who oppose the ISIS world-view, be it by their choice of faith or ethnic heritage. And interestingly enough, what do suppose brought about a final end to the misdeeds committed by rouge Christians during the Crusades? The original Crusade campaign came about in the late 11 century, when Christian forces were called on by Pope Urban II --at the behest of Emperor Alexius I, ruler to the Byzantium throne-- to protect Christians and Christian lands being attacked by Muslim (Turkish) forces in the Middle East. There were successive Crusade campaigns over the course of the next several hundred years, but of note is the fact that it was these same Crusaders, called to action at the request of their Pope, who stepped in to police their own in order to put an end to the injustices being carried out by a minority of misguided Crusaders. But it would seem as if these truths somehow eluded the President when he was skimming through history in order to assemble his ‘facts’ for writing his speech.

The problem with semantic games and the pushing of a repeated narrative of tolerance is that it prevents us from getting at the heart of any meaningful solution towards the very real problem that is the “Islamic State in Syria and the Levant, ISIS” (i.e., mass killings of minority faiths, beheadings, burning people alive, enslavement, rape, torture, harvesting of human organs from captives and the list of atrocities goes on and on). “Nuance it” any way you want: ISIS militants at their very core are driven by a warped interpretation of Islamic ideology. ISIS is a political ideology of oppression, with theological underpinnings based upon a fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran (Islamism), and sadly jobs and educational opportunities*, up front or by themselves, will not eliminate the very real threat these Islamist extremists pose, most immediately to those of different faiths or ethnic heritages presently living within the territories now controlled by ISIS militants, and in the larger picture/longer term to all citizens of western nations, most especially those stationed in or traveling abroad in the Middle East.  By refusing to name "the enemy" we allow uniformed people to make the false association that "we are at war with Islam itself", when we are not; we are at war with a radical faction of extremist Islamists.  When we name the enemy we also pave the way for a discussion to enlist the leading authorities of Islam to denounce this extremist faction and to ultimately accept the responsibility to police their own.

Diane Feinstein, a Democratic Congresswoman representing the state of California, and former head of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said it best “We fight them over there now; or we fight them here later.” The Congresswoman’s words speak to a black and white truth, illuminated by the light of true leadership and foresight … Leadership and foresight we could sorely use among our foreign policy makers in Washington D.C. right about now.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Benjamin Franklin

So semantics aside, what would potentially constitute "immediate and substantial action" in terms of addressing the very real threat posed by ISIS terrorists?
1) Right now: get much needed shipments of arms and weapons supplies over to the Kurds who currently fighting on the ground, in Iraq, against ISIS and who are currently willing and able to engage ISIS on the ground in an effort to hold onto strategic locations, while attempting to regain others.
2) Actually fulfill, in a timely manner, the recent specific enumerations of arms and weapons supplies requested by the King of Jordan --during his visit at the White House-- such that the Jordanian Army may continue to their fight against ISIS on both the ground as well as aerial campaign fronts.
3) Consider the authorization for use of Special Forces Operations on the ground, in Iraq, to assist in the ground campaign against ISIS.
4) Put the mechanisms into place necessary for the retrieval of downed fighter pilots engaged in the coalition’s bombing campaign against ISIS, such that coalition members (United Arab Emirates) who have withdrawn their aircraft from the coalition's ongoing bombing campaign would return to the fight.
5) Step-up the air campaign against ISIS, substantially, such that the number of daily bombing runs truly has the force of power to actually degrade ISIS (per Eric Bolling of "The Five") capabilities as opposed to being the half-hearted token gesture of "action" which this bombing campaign is playing out to be.
6)  Bomb the blazes out the oil fields ISIS currently controls, from which they are generating huge revenues that then go to fund further recruitment!
7) Welcome ALL world leaders to the coalition table (including Israel) who are willing to take a stand against ISIS.
8) Join the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in calling upon leading Islamic authorities (e.g., Saudi Arabia) to denounce the violent extremist actions being undertaken by ISIS (and other terrorist groups) based upon their ‘distorted’ interpretations of the religious teachings of Islam.
9) STOP broadcasting our military strategy to the world!  Let the world think all options are ON the table (just because it's on the table doesn't mean you have to use it, but at least you keep your options open). Stop using public timelines for military movements and don't needlessly eliminate the element of surprise (i.e., March plans to retake city Mosul, in Iraq).  Political expediency shouldn't be "standard operating procedure" for military maneuvers.

Finally, with regards to President Obama’s most recent plan –announced just today-- to combat ISIS by means of “de-legitimizing ISIS”: let me just say that the power to de-legitimize ISIS lies first and foremost with religious leaders of the true Islamic faith. In my humble opinion, based upon their own religious teachings, if the non-violent majority of those practicing the faith of Islam do not denounce the actions of the violent Islamist extremists and then further take action in effort toward “policing their own” then these non-violent Muslims are themselves complicit in the violence being perpetrated by ISIS and the like, in the name of Islam, by virtue of their inaction.

*[Also find it extremely ironic that this Administration, which was once so critical of its predecessor for “engaging in nation-building”is now --in the aftermath of their "violent extremist" summit, held this week in D.C.-- flirting with the “nuanced argument” that the United States should now consider the "root causes" behind the effectiveness of terrorist campaigns in recruiting young followers.]

Friday, February 06, 2015

Measles Outbreak: Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Regarding the current outbreak of measles in pockets of the country:  I have to wonder, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

That is to say, that perhaps the rush to admonish parents for opting out of vaccinations for their children conveniently (purposefully?) overlooks a more meaningful truth, that truth being the source of origination for the latest "outbreak" of this disease.




Doesn't it strike you as odd that measles was largely under control if not 'eradicated' here within the continental borders of the USA and now suddenly we have a measles outbreak spanning several states?  So what has recently changed that would account for the outbreaks we are now seeing around the country?  Parents of both political persuasions in the United States have been opting out of vaccinations for their children since the "autism scares", in the late 90's, and we haven't seen any "outbreak" until just recently.  So what's changed?  Could it be this disease has newly introduced carriers in the form of a large scale influx of non-immunized illegal immigrants --many among these being children now attending public schools across the nation-- who have been haphazardly 'processed' into our system --but not vaccinated-- and then unleashed upon our communities?  And measles may just be the first of many diseases "outbreaks" to be unleashed upon the nation.  What about the mysterious rodent virus that was killing humans --in large numbers--south of the border, a few years back.  To the best of my knowledge there is no vaccination for that virus. Maybe that's why we have immigration laws and a process for legal immigration in the first place?


Granted the science surrounding vaccinations has been more thoroughly investigated over the past decade and most now agree vaccinations are safe to administer --though, as a parent, I would still choose to space out the vaccinations, over a matter of months, and not bombard tiny immune systems all at once with multiple diseases-- such that parents who have not had their children vaccinated should now seriously consider having their children vaccinated for the more serious diseases, especially in light of the myriad of issues surrounding lax enforcement of our nation's immigration policy under the current administration.