Monday, October 09, 2017

The Not-So-Perfect Storm

In order to rebuild society in the image the "group-thinkers" would like to see as "the norm" in American society at large, they must first destroy the fundamental pillars underlying foundation upon which our nation was founded, chief among these being the eradication of those who contributed in any major way to the story of how our nation came into being.  It's a slow and systematic process of de-legitimization, a war being waged on many simultaneous fronts, over a period of many years --in some cases decades-- such that the end-goal of this war-waging isn't always so readily discernible to the average citizen.  When this war-waging is coupled with a fundamental transformation of our education system, over the course of the last two and half decades --with the end goal being the production of a citizenry who are simply incapable of any independent thought and the critical thinking skills necessary to discern truth from emotion-driven fiction-- anyone with half of  a non-zombie (not culturally indoctrinated) brain can see that the nation we once knew and loved is presently on a collision course with a not-so-perfect STORM.  Independent thought and the need to pursue facts, logic and reason before reaching meaningful conclusions --especially for more recent generations, witness free speech being shouted down sometimes violently across college campuses throughout the nation--  has now been replaced with a need "to belong", the 'natural' byproduct of which enables one to be perceived "as being a good person."  Compounding this absence of logic and reason from debate and dialogue, in the rare instance where one happens to chance upon such oddities, is the extremely short attention span and prevalence toward a me-centered bias among more recent generations [And I cannot help but wonder at the role social media, Hollywood and blatantly liberally-biased media outlets play in pushing this narrative of "belonging."  Particularly social media, which possesses the power to control the conversation by deciding which posts/ads to suppress and which posts to share and elevate.].  If you look at events currently unfolding, with respect to destruction of historical statues, through the lens of history a most bizarre realization hits you.  Thanks to this "solidarity of belonging" the tables have turned and those who would have once mocked the religiously affiliated "book-burners", of days gone past, have now become the statue destroyers in our modern times.  It's as if politics of the far-left has now become a religion unto itself?


Image Courtesy of "The Houston Chronicle"


Taken by itself, the push to eliminate "Columbus Day" seems pretty benign, on its surface, even though one wonders: why now and why Columbus?  Christopher Columbus was foremost a brave explorer who helped to reshape the world as we knew it, back in his time, and that feat in and of itself is commendable and entirely worthy of celebrating. Alas, "History is messy and it's complicated." ~Tucker Carleson.  For with Columbus' discovery came an expansion of Western influence which precipitated an influx of disease and other negative outcomes (e.g., immigration) that had a detrimental impact on the Native Americans and the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. [Contrary to the popular narrative being pushed by the ill-informed left, I have found no evidence thus far to support the claim that Columbus is personally responsible --by his own hand-- for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Indians/Indigenous People.]  That's the flip-side of the coin; unfortunately we cannot have one without the other, as is so often the case where any truthful history is concerned.  That being said, if we are being truthful don't we have to ask if these negative after- effects completely discount the merits of Columbus's exploration altogether?  I mean, Columbus nearly doubled the size of European world-view at that time. That's a pretty incredible milestone, in terms of expanding our understanding of the world around us, don't you think?  To my way of thinking, logic and reason would dictate that the unfortunate after-events do not completely negate the contribution Christopher Columbus made toward the endeavor of better understanding our world, unless of course we now want to hold up a moral compass to measure the 'men' behind all great feats concerning the long history of our nation, discounting those with whom we happen find any 'moral' opposition.  But wouldn't this be an extremely slippery slope?  And the answer is: Absolutely! Conveniently, however, that's just the place the far-left wants us to be, because once we're on this slope we can begin to take down great men and women who helped to shape the nation we have today, thereby providing the left ample opportunity to insert a revisionist history in the gaping voids they would carve out.  Witness attacks on statues of other notable historical figures who have sat in relative peace, undisturbed for decades upon decades.

As I stated above, taken by itself this recent push to remove Columbus Day and replace the celebration with "Indigenous People's Day" seems pretty benign, but if you step back and look at the larger picture of events unfolding in our nation an alarming pattern begins to emerge, and when you begin to connect to the dots it becomes readily apparent that the push to oust Columbus is really just one, of many fronts, in the ongoing battle to fundamentally transform America.  The disrespecting of our U.S. Flag, our National Anthem and the U.S. Soldiers --who have sacrificed so much to ensure the ongoing freedoms we have in our nation today-- under the guise of "taking a stand against racism" is another front; timing IS everything.  On another front, in the aftermath of the mass-shooting in Las Vegas, the far left is now leaning towards an outright repeal of the Second Amendment, as opposed to engaging in meaningful discussion on the broader topic of taking expansive security measures to harden the  many vulnerable soft targets throughout our nation.  Mass immigration --as opposed to sensible, well thought out immigration and enforcement of the laws on our books--  is another front, toward the end of re-shaping our electorate.  Meanwhile the process of teaching a revisionist history of "the story of our nation" to our children  has been and currently IS on-going, as stories are being cherry-picked by the left with the end-goal being the indoctrination of generations of children who will perceive America as a fundamentally flawed nation, irrespective of all the counter-balancing historical facts that would highlight all the good this nation has done and continues to do around the globe.  The net result of the latter is the turning out of generations who will be the pre-ordained followers in the fundamentally transformed "America of tomorrow."

With all of the above in mind, I have to ask, isn't  now is the time for all good men and women to wake-up and ask ourselves:  are we really okay with this agenda of transformation and what are the long-term implications of such transformation???!!!!!!???  More importantly, if we citizens choose to remain silent or complacent as this tide of change begins to penetrate deeper into the cultural fabric of our nation:  are we not culpable in this agenda of transformation???  America may not be perfect, but it is still one of the absolute best places to live on the entire planet, and the America I know and love is a cause worth fighting for, as evidenced by the countless sacrifices made by the many brave men and women who came before us, as well as those who continue to serve our nation today.  Here's hoping Americans across our great nation will finally awaken to the reality of the transformation that is occurring in our nation, on multiple fronts.  Once awakened may these Americans, committed to the founding principle of Liberty, vocally embrace --by their words, as well as actions-- a willingness to fight for an America where diversity of thought --one of the KEY founding principles upon which our nation was built-- is not only tolerated, but valued every bit as much as a diversity of 'color' (race) and gender.  Information is truly power, therefore seek truth from multiple sources in your information gathering process.  Then embrace a willingness to look at the opposing sides of any given argument, only then will you be set upon the path to find truth.  "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."~Me, 7/11/2017

My post from three years back ....
"So today, let us celebrate by remembering the man, Christopher Columbus, and his crew who embodied the very essence of pioneering human exploration in their willingness to embrace the untetherable desire to set off into the vast unknown in search of adventure, reaping the subsequent benefits of knowledge and acquisition --the merits and detriments of which can, and will likely, be deliberated for generations yet to come. “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and with his discovery he nearly doubled the European view of the world, for better or worse unleashing the inevitable torrents of change. Tomorrow, or any of the other 364 days of the year, we can celebrate "Indigenous People's Day"... And I happen to have Native American blood in my family heritage."

10/11/2017  Perhaps the "Populist Revolution" which propelled President Trump into office is the beginning of an awakening?  Those in the movement need to stay focused, however, and they need to connect the dots to a vision that extends beyond national security, jobs and the economy.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Tradegy in Las Vegas

The emotions I have been experiencing with respect to the mass shooting in Vegas, late Sunday evening --I saw these images streaming in live, as I happened to be up-- have been just too raw to allow me to write anything meaningful here.  I have found that when emotions are running high, logic and reason really don't stand much of a chance. So instead I have chosen to remain quiet, to think and to pray, while reflecting upon the senseless loss of life and praying for the healing of those most in need.

The images and video from the night of the attack show the courage of Americans coming together during the time of crisis, in order to help one another, as the gunfire rained down from above.  These acts of bravery and selflessness are so profoundly inspiring to me.  Despite the backdrop of tragedy and loss, the selfless heroism and action of so many brave men and women helped to save countless lives, and this really highlights the best of what is to be found among Americans, I think.  This is what we should be focused on right now, in the immediate aftermath of tragedy, not politicization of tragedy in order to advance a political agenda.  The latter is truly reprehensible and it speaks to the worst of what is to found in America.

I commend the Trump Administration for realizing that there is a time to mourn, a time for healing of the injured and the bereaved, before moving on to political discussions regarding gun control and actions to help prevent future such attacks on our nations many vulnerable soft-targets.  When the proper time for political discussion ensues, I am confident that with an honest and open dialogue we will be able to find common ground, rooted in facts, toward the end of outlining meaningful solutions to help prevent future such attacks in our nation.

Monday, September 25, 2017

NFL National Anthem Protests

Regarding the recent up-tick in NFL players opting to kneel during the playing of the American National Anthem, I have to say: timing is indeed EVERYTHING. While I may support your right to protest --and moreover the over-arching legitimacy of your complaint-- I would hope that as Americans, first and foremost, you would have the decency to respect two of the most prominent symbols of our national unity, these symbols being our American Flag and our National Anthem. In this time of unhinged divisiveness, more than ever, we as citizens ardently need to strive to seek out and to embrace reasons to stand together as Americans.  Even if this standing together only lasts for a few fleeting minutes, during the playing of our nation's anthem.

If we begin to willfully tug on the last remaining threads of the underlying fabric of our national unity, I fear we will soon cross a line from which there will be no turning back. But sadly, most people probably don't see the direness of this situation in the way that I do? I suppose this lack of understanding --in terms of long-term ramifications-- is overshadowed by the more immediate emotional nature of the cause at the forefront of these NFL protests. That emotion will almost always trump logic and reason is a tactic widely used by those who would see us divided, towards a more nefarious end. Another tactic of these dividers use is to frame the argument in terms that will most certainly lead to divisiveness, because the argument is set up such that two sides will wind up talking around each other, not with each other towards the end of meaningful resolution and a deeper understanding.

In the case of NFL Protests, those protesting are horrified by the ongoing loss of African American lives at the hands of some misguided, racist police officers.  They want to use the national forum of the NFL to bring the need to seriously address the underlying causes for this tragic loss of life to the forefront of the national conversation. Those protesting on behalf of the latter injustice claim their right to protest trumps any disrespect surrounding the timing of their protest, which just happens to be smack in the middle of the playing of the American National Anthem. Meanwhile, while those on the other side of the equation might wholeheartedly agree with the cause being put forth by the protests, they find the timing of these protests is unacceptable. And suddenly anyone who has a shred of pride and respect for our nation's flag, during the singing of our anthem –representing the sacrifices of so many who fought to ensure the freedoms we have in America today-- is suddenly framed as being an insensitive racist. And round and round we go?  It's absolutely crazy!!!


Image Source:  CNN.com


All the above being said, I think the Dallas Cowboys got it right at their game over the weekend. The actions of the Dallas Cowboy's football team give me hope for a meaningful resolution to the uproar on both sides of the equation. Prior to the playing of the National Anthem the Cowboy players, coaches, staff and owner, Jerry Jones, all took a knee in support of the protest cause. Then when the anthem began to play, everyone stood locking arms in solidarity, thereby showing respect and unity during the few moments meant for reflecting upon our over-arching unity as a nation, with allowance for a profound reflection upon the sacrifices made by so many throughout the history of our great nation. … And in reflecting upon our nation's long and diverse history, I see how very far we have come. The fact we have multi-million-dollar paid, African American pro-football players who are able to protest in the lead-up to NFL games --not to mention their fellow team members, of all races and creeds, who are supporting them-- speaks volumes to just how far we have come as a nation. And while we still have a ways left yet to go, I think we should remain ever-mindful of ALL that we have achieved as a nation.  Contrary to what so many of the dividers would have us believe, the issues facing us as a nation aren't always an “all or nothing" scenario.  There is a middle-ground, that seldom used --these days-- grey-area called dialogue.  "Dialogue", where two opposing sides come to the table in an honest attempt to explain, while earnestly endeavoring to understand and to expand heretofore rigid ways of thinking.  Despite what the dividers would have you believe, Americans, as a whole, are basically decent people, even when we happen to differ from one another along the political spectrum.  Furthermore, we are much stronger TOGETHER than we will ever be on the opposite sides of the ever-widening chasms of our political divide.  Now is the time for all good men to come together .....

10/1/2017 I am also left wondering, if the term "racist" continues to be thrown at any, and everyone, who happens to disagree with accepted liberal group-think:  won't we eventually arrive at a point where the term ceases to possess any useful meaning? I mean, if everyone is "a racist" how will you be able to discern real problem individuals from the masses?  That is to say, by expanding to the term such a broad swath of the population aren't you in effect providing cover for the real racists?
10/10/2017 Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboy football team has doubled down on his not taking a knee during the anthem stance, according to the "Washington Times." Jones has stated that any player taking a knee during the national anthem will not be playing on the field in the ensuing game, according to the WTimes.  Jones was quoted as saying to reporters that the team cannot "give the implication that we tolerate disrespect to the flag.  We cannot do that."
10/15/2017 Personally, I think Jerry Jones has it right.  I'm tired of having politics invade EVERY aspect of everyday life.  No wonder Americans are more divided than ever?  The reasons for division are now in our face 24/7, and not just on the news, it's on talk shows --morning as well as evening.  It's in lectures from Hollywood at their numerous self-congratulatory events and other public appearances. And now it's seeped into one of the last strongholds:  our sporting events, namely pro-football.  There have to be some places where we can set aside our differences and come together in order to relax and to enjoy some entertainment via sportsmanship?!  I hope the Cowboys do well this season, but I'm done watching pro-football for this season.  I've had enough!  Players, you all get paid to PLAY; protest on your own time and dime.  I could have accepted kneeling prior to the anthem, but things have gotten way out of hand and escalated to a wholly unacceptable level.  The whole 'controversy' has just ruined the pro-game for me this season.  Thankfully, Hockey season has started now and these teams seemed focused on playing, leaving politics outside the arena.  Then there is also college football.  Nice to live in a country where we have so many choices. .... One last thought regarding numerous comments to the effect that Jerry Jones has a "Plantation mentality" ... Really??? Talk about a total absence of logic and reason.  Slaves never were paid millions of dollars to do their job.  They didn't have celebrity status and they couldn't walk away from a job they didn't want to do.  But alas, comments such as these aren't meant to serve logic and reason, their sole intent is to stir emotion which always circumvents logic and reason toward the end of maintaining divisions.

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.
9/22/2017 Yet another hurricane strikes in U.S. waters, with Maria devastating Puerto Rico.  Nature heeds no fencing in?  Praying for Puerto Rico and for those who will oversee the complicated logistics of organizing and implementing relief for this U.S. island territory.  God Bless one and all!! 
10/13/2017 My sincere thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by devastating wildfires in the Northern part of California.  May cooler weather bring much needed rain, in aid to firefighting efforts, that lives and homes may be spared.  I had not realized the fires were so bad in that area.

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"????? .............

10/10/2017  VIP UPDATE:  Victory is at long last in sight.  The dreams of a caliphate have finally come to an end, with the falling of the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq.  " BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces have driven Islamic State fighters from the northern city of Hawija, the militants’ final urban stronghold in Iraq" this according to "The New York Times."  Surprised me to see them reporting honestly on this?  Apparently, according to other sources, ISIS fighters are dropping their weapons and fleeing by the thousands, while still others are surrendering to Iraqi and coalition forces.  This sure sounds like a victory --albeit a long awaited one-- for the entire world, indeed:  " Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, said in a televised appearance in Paris, where he is on a state visit, that Hawija had been “liberated,” calling it a “victory not just for Iraq but for the whole world.”" ~The Washington Times, Middle East, October 5, 2017

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?