STOP THE POLITICAL MADNESS

Syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman has a column in the Op-Ed section of today’s (5/17/2017) Houston Chronicle titled, “Trump must be stopped; nothing else matters.”  In the article he expresses his opinion that the President is not only dangerously psychotic but also guilty of malfeasance and treason.

I am not writing this to add support to Mr. Trump, he’s a big boy and can protect himself.  My quarrel is with the mindset that the destruction at all costs of this president is all that matters to a large segment of our population and, it would seem, the entirety of the mainstream media.

This mania to overthrow the government of the United States of America, in the guise of saving it from the clutches of a madman, presents the single greatest threat to our national security that exists in the world today.

It is unconscionable that so many people within our government are willing to subvert our constitution in order to thwart someone who threatens their status quo.  Never in the history of this nation have so many abandoned the process which has seen us through for over two hundred years in order to topple one individual.

Whether Donald Trump survives this onslaught is of little importance to me, I question whether our system of democracy can survive once the precedent of taking action just short of anarchy to gain one’s political goals has been set.   Given a successful outcome in ousting this man will we ever be able to return to a peaceful political process or will the not so loyal opposition have a new method of dissent at its disposal going into the future, one that transcends the rule of law and the bounds of decency?

I’m not asking support for Trump, I am asking that we demand a return to the system that has been our bedrock throughout our nation’s history.  If the aims and goals of those protesting this administration are good and proper then pursue them using the checks and balances to be found in our constitution.

Please, for the sake of our collective future, stop the madness.

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AN OBSERVATION 0N RELATIONSHIPS

Someone dear to me is having a relationship problem and is standing at a crossroads in life.  Since I am not Dear Abby, I won’t share the salacious details here, my purpose is to point to a general observation about all relationships.

There is one overarching truth about each of us as human beings:  As we go through life we either grow, regress or remain static.  This is true for all of us no matter what the circumstance, it is a fact of living on this big blue marble.

When this truth is applied to relationships the corollary is that for a union to persist each partner must grow, regress or remain static at or near the same rate as the other or common ground is lost.  Once there is no common ground there is very little basis for continuing the relationship and any attempt to do so comes at a cost.   That cost usually involves the loss of peace of mind and comes with some degree of mental or physical anguish.

Relationships with deep seated feelings or of long standing should be salvaged if possible but it is important to recognize that there is a point of diminishing returns, emotional suicide serves no one.

In most religions or philosophies we can find support when faced with major decisions in seemingly failed relationships.  I will reference only one, The Bible, 2 Corinthians, 6:14, “Be not unequally yoked.”

Life is a series of choices and whether we grow, regress or become stagnant depends on how well we address those choices.

God bless.

 

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TRUMP VS: FEDERAL LAND GRABS

This has the potential to be monumentally huge (no pun intended).  President Trump stands poised to take on the Federal Government’s right of ownership over public land, including the National Monuments act of 1906.

http://www.libertyplanet.com/articles/can-trump-reverse-federal-land-grabs/

I have blogged on this subject in the past but really felt that I was merely blowing against the wind, taking a position that no one else would seriously consider.  I approached the subject from the standpoint of a strict constructionist after searching the United States Constitution for any mention of federal land ownership apart from that detailed in the Enumerated Powers, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.

Although land usage authority is mentioned in other places, nowhere is the government given authority to acquire any land that expands on the above mentioned article, section and clause.

Even Thomas Jefferson admitted that he overstepped his constitutional bounds with the Louisiana Purchase but did so “for the good of the country.”

And now President Donald J. Trump is indicating that he will enter into this fray and I could not be more pleased.  Mr. Trump, carry a pocket sized copy of the constitution with you and when detractors ask why answer, “it’s not only the law of the land, it’s the right thing to do.”

It would not be possible to undo everything done in contravention to this section of the constitution, France will not be reclaiming most of Middle America, but it might be possible to drastically reduce the size of the Federal overreach.

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DO WE HAVE A PRAYER?

Today, May 4th, is the National Day of Prayer.  This observance was signed into law by President Harry S Truman in 1952 and each year our sitting president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

This National Day of Prayer is non-denominational and is celebrated by people of all faiths, reflecting the diverse population of our nation.

No matter what your belief system this is a time to put aside our differences and concentrate on our commonality.

Despite our diversity we are one people and it is important is that we seek out that which unites us before focusing on those areas in which we disagree.  We must have common ground upon which to stand if we are ever to reconcile those things that seek to divide us.

We should take this day seriously.  We should all find a quiet space and pray or meditate or do whatever each individual feels is right to touch the higher power or inner self, and seek to know what action we each can take to make this shared space, this earth we all call home, a better, safer, more secure space, for all its inhabitants.

So far hatred hasn’t worked to improve things very much, maybe it’s time to give love a chance.

Also, prayer doesn’t have to be confined to one day, you can do it again tomorrow if you wish.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

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A PAEAN TO SPRING

I finally completed my Spring planting for this year.

After many weeks of careful consideration I decided to go with the French Marigold.

This will do it until Fall.

 

 

Spring Planting.JPG

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WRITERLY ADVICE

I must confess that with all the fake news floating about and so much propaganda, material that properly belongs on the Op-Ed pages, being inserted into the reportage of hard news, my daily newspaper reading is gravitating more to the puzzle pages and the comic section.

This is not entirely a bad thing.  Those guys and gals who labor over comic strip story lines sometimes show true genius.

As a fiction writer I sometimes feel that the rewards reaped for my efforts fall somewhat short of that which I might have anticipated.  I can only assume that others share this feeling.

I was in this mindset when I came across the following “Crankshaft” cartoon.  I hope that it brings a smile.

Writerly Advice.jpg

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HYPOCRISY OR JUST POLITICS?

Sometimes it’s enough to make your head explode.  It doesn’t matter if you’re to the left, the right or follow a zig-zag path through the maze of political rhetoric, the question is the same, what are we supposed to believe?

The trigger this time was a discussion of the so-called “nuclear option” in confirming a latest Supreme Court nominee.  A political leader, well respected in his party, was giving a scathing diatribe condemning anyone who would dare to suggest changing the rules in order to “force” the confirmation.  This was immediately followed by a clip of the same politician defending such action when it involved a previous nominee put forth by his own party.

There are two questions we should ask ourselves in times like these:  “Is it all right for a politician to lie in order to advance an agenda we agree with?”  and, “is it all right for a politician to lie to advance an agenda we disagree with?”  Consistency demands that both questions be answered either yes or no.

The problem isn’t that he would advance opposing views on the same subject, dependent entirely on ideology rather than the nominee’s fitness to hold the office, the problem is that we the people casually accept such ambivalence and even applaud it when it benefits “our” side.

It is far past the time when we should call these people out.  Without regard to whether we agree or not with the stand they are taking, when such a stand is obviously hypocritical it needs to be confronted.  After all, if you agree with the current stand then you must have disagreed with the previous, opposing stand.

It would seem that we have been lied to so much that we are now willing to accept political talking points as fact when spouted by “our” side without any critical thought.  This allows the politicos from all parties to advance their true agendas without having to discuss those objectives.

Take the recent health care debacle.  The Obama, nee Romney, cum Trump health care plan, also known as the ACA, is dying a slow death but the pain engendered by its demise has not yet reached the point where a groundswell of public support for the true replacement agenda, a single payer system, has developed.  Eventually one or the other major party will conclude that there is sufficient public interest in eliminating the free market, this when they are confident that they can successfully counter the industry lobbyists, and at that point Medicare for all will become the rallying cry.

A similar observation might be made in the case of any comprehensive tax reform.  Any such reform that leaves the IRS intact will not be a permanent solution.  The IRS is the muscle for the system that provides our legislative branch its single greatest source of power.  Asking those same legislators to eliminate it is counter intuitive at best.

As naive as it may be all that I want is for the people we elect, or those appointed to high office, to stop the charade, to have the courage to state their true agendas and then be prepared to support them in a public forum.

Until that time the best we can do is to hold their feet to the fire.  Whenever you see or hear an example of hypocrisy, call them out on it.  Write, tweet, blog, telephone, whatever, but don’t just put it down to politics as usual and wait for the next obfuscation to be dropped.

Politicians must be held accountable for their positions and when their positions change radically they must explain when and why their views were altered.  It is up to us to insist on such accountability.

As B. F. Skinner put it, “The consequences of behavior determine the probability that the behavior will occur again.”

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