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.

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?