That was then

July 8, 2015

“The Week” produced another gem in its “Controversy of the Week” section. Titled: “The GOP: Time to move on from the culture war?” And this quoted comment from Paul Waldman in Prospect.org, “The furor over gay marriage and Obamacare will eventually fade, as seething, red-faced Baby Boomers like Antonin Scalia and Bill O’Reilly—still fighting 50 year old cultural battles and the “hippies’ in their heads—leave the scene. But social conservatism will always be with us. For as long as society keeps changing, ‘there will always be those who want to keep things as they are—or as they were, back in their day,’ and the Republican Party will always be their natural home.” To say the least, are you flipping kidding me!

All right, then the following is a list of things, that would have been true back in O’Reilly’s and Scalia’s day, some fifty years ago. I would have been eleven years old at the time:

  • Woodstock
  • The Beatles, and other rock groups especially since the 1960s.
  • LSD along with other controlled substances.
  • The Vietnam war and our growing opposition to it.
  • The Kennedy assassination.
  • Our love of Hollywood and all things Disney.
  • Divorce and single family homes.
  • The silence concerning teen pregnancy, parental, and spousal abuse.
  • You didn’t hear about abortions, but the facts of the matter were, they still happened.
  • Married couples who definitely stepped out on one another, and secretly took their lovers to local hotels under assumed names.
  • Prostitution.
  • Bullies.
  • The Civil Rights movement and the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.
  • The race riots following Dr. King’s death.
  • The politics of public education even in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  • Religion however, did not attempt to take a central role in government.
  • Anti- Marxism, communism, or socialism. That was the “conservatism” of the day.
  • Billy Graham.
  • John Birch Society.
  • You wouldn’t really hear of “fiscal responsibility,” etc. until the so-called Reagan revolution.

It is not the most comprehensive list of what was true, way back when. But if I can remember how turbulent the sixties were and I am now sixty-one; then I would have to say that O’Reilly as well as Scalia do a lot of ignoring of history. “I love Lucy” was an escapist fantasy of the “ideal American family,” right along with a host of others. “I love Lucy,” did not reflect the home I grew up in. And I am equally certain, it did not reflect the actual homes of other kids growing up across the country. “Turn on, tune in, and drop out,” became the epitome I think of our social hypocrisy. So, these are the “golden years” that Scalia and O’Reilly would like to hark to? Good luck with that. You’d have to ignore a great deal of historical fact, to be able to make that kind of argument.

It is still relevant

July 5, 2015

This is a news item that is now more than two weeks old. Without a doubt, it will have been further blogged about, discussed at length on social media and elsewhere. However, this is my personal take on what Pope Francis said. Global warming and the need to pursue green technology, became one of Pope Francis’ papal encyclicals. Now for the outrage regarding his “bombardment” of capitalism: The political denialists regarding the actual facts, of what is purported to be “capitalism” today,that is. Capitalism has lifted the poor out of poverty for years. Which argument has been blared out from TV screens, blog posts, commentaries found in various print and online publications. How dare this Pope act against the poor? Problem is, elsewhere in “The Week,” the Disney Theme Parks choose to fire their American workforce, and hire a cheap and temporary workforce from foreign countries. I guess it depends on, which “poor” people capitalism lifts out of poverty. Yes, I can snarkily say that the Pope’s detractors have no clue.

So what is green technology? Solar panels to heat and otherwise power your homes and businesses. A general must have as fossil fuels become increasingly depleted. Or wind farms to guarantee the continuation of electricity. These would be just two examples. Others? The introduction of super bright LED lights. They reduce the need for high electrical costs. Still others? If you have a small plot of land to mow, a reel mower is just right for you. Solar or electrical cars, it would reduce gas and diesel consumption. At some point as fossil fuels deplete,there does have to be this massive transition toward new technology. It shouldn’t take a Pope’s encyclical to see the light.

But there are some things you can’t tell people, who open mouths and commit to political comments, based on how much some private interest group has paid them to say it. Politicians who declare that the Pope should stick to religion, instead of meddling in science. The same politicians who disregard the science, if it could potentially conflict with private special interest groups. Political commentary coming from say, “The Federalist.” Except for “The Week,” I wouldn’t exactly know who “The Federalist” is. Unless, it is a pro-business think tank produced publication. Right, and people who worship mammon above all else, aren’t going to be any too happy with what the Pope says.

Innovation happens to have many different nuances. First of all, there is a potential market for this gadget (Kindle, Iphone, Ipad, bread machine, electric mixer, etc.), transportation (car, bus, train, van, truck, commercial jet, military transportation, etc.), service (telecom, search engine for the internet, insurance, etc.), public utilities (including the streets and highways you travel on, incidentally). But at some point, that innovation has to take people into consideration: employees, business owners, customers. If you don’t, you eradicate the very thing you hope to capitalize on. That’s right, innovation doesn’t do anyone much good, if it has no customer to finally purchase it. If it doesn’t have an employee to create it for the mass market. If it doesn’t have a business owner to invest in it. It seems to me that if anyone is short sighted today, they are the people who complain about the Pope, and the fact that he cares about the future of the people and this planet. If you want your big profit margins, I think you people should be prepared to do the same.

Soul Searching Time

June 19, 2015

We have all heard it by now, Rachael Dolezal, outed by her biological parents as ethnically white. What a bombshell that produced and the media feeding frenzy to follow. Also, how quickly the people who had come to praise her — President of the Spokane, Washington NAACP, etc. — how quickly they turn to condemn her, for (gasp!) lying! At this point, I am not going to defend her actions. Albeit, her work on the behalf of minorities is actually commendable. Nor am I going to second guess why, Ms. Dolezal felt she had to “puff up” her resume, so to speak. Instead, I am going to ask a different set of questions.

Ever hear of snob appeal? 1. That is when you get invited to a social hour in which you are expected to: Dress to the nines in millions of dollars in clothing, jewelry, and accessories. And literally, you are never going to get through the door of a multimillion dollar mansion, if you aren’t wearing your most spendy duds imaginable. Basically, you are trying to out-shine, the woman or man next to you, at this particular party. Now for the kicker: everything you wear is a cheap knock off. Or you are engaged in some other act of “let’s pretend,” so that you can crash this particular party. Don’t laugh, it likely happens more often than any of us knows. Under the circumstances, would we call this “doing a Rachael Dolezal?” 2. Politicians and other notables can literally “buy a degree or a diploma.” With this bit of hype in hand, these men and women in various legislatures or the throughout the business world, have improved by considerable their status of acceptability. That is precisely the key phrase here, “status of acceptability.” So considering even these two examples, Ms. Dolezal would not be any different from other people, who have done the same thing. What is sad about it? Us. We can’t “respect” anyone, who doesn’t meet our narrowly defined set of criteria for “acceptability.”

Jacob H. Fries, editor of the “Inlander,” made plain his own brand of snob appeal. Oh yes, we shall admit that Ms. Dolezal freelanced a number of articles… We shall admit to her being this, and that… But under the circumstances, she “lied” to get accepted into our good graces. Therefore, she no longer writes for this newspaper. Real huffy now, what we want, is the truth! Seriously? George Nethercutt has a really big problem with the “truth,” and he is allowed to publish his blithering nonsense, regardless. So my response to that commentary of Mr. Fries is this: Major Gut Busting LOL!

Shall I do a Rachael Dolezal? Actually it is a fact that as a nascent senior citizen, I established a e-novel writing career. You will find on amazon.com, “Are You a Space Alien? And other adventures, a four part science fiction novel.” Yes, as you will also find in the amazon search engine, “Aesgard Awakening! After Ragnorak, the Gods are Alive!” If I were going to do a “Rachael Dolezal,” I would claim some kind of degree in oh, English, or English Lit. (None actually exists.) Or that I have some certificate of achievement out of a creative writing class. (None actually exists.) That I have a degree as a reporter or a journalist. (No, I do not.) I can name X newspaper that I have worked for, over a number of years. (It would not be true.) This is just so, that I can get “The Inlander” to acknowledge, that I have a sci-fi and fantasy novel on the amazon.com bookshelf. Because otherwise, the only local authors they seem to want to acknowledge exists: Had won awards, were well-beloved (already mentioned in other publications before the Inlander picked up on it), already had a career (freelance or otherwise) in the newspaper, or was related to someone who actually worked for a newspaper. But e-mail a link to the latest e-book (which I most certainly have done) to “The Inlander,” and it is met with * silence *. How about that. In short, even the “truth seeking” Inlander, operates on snob appeal. And Rachael Dolezal, is that gal dressed up to the nines in a lot of cheap knock offs; who dared to crash our party. I think that is a sad reflection on all of us.

Why can we not as a society, just respect each other for ourselves? That our street creds and achievements honestly earned, should simply be recognized on the merit. Apparently this was never the case with Rachael Dolezal. To be recognized, she had to put on a costume and engage in an act. Once that costume was forced off of her, and the act was proclaimed for the cheap theater that it is; “we” decided to become very angry. What for? Would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have been able to take the helm of NAACP in Spokane, Washington? Would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have the street creds needed, to advocate on the behalf of minorities? As for the snooty “Inlander,” they needed Ms. Dolezal to be a minority, before she could have presented them with any legitimate articles. Otherwise, would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have unquestionably passed over? No, this is not “race baiting,” or reverse bigotry. Instead, everyone should see this as it really is: the social psychology of shallow thinking. Rachael Dolezal proved conclusively, that image matters more to us, than the truth. We don’t want the truth; we can’t handle the truth. Because if “the truth” actually mattered more, we would have to accept each of our neighbors as they are, warts and all. Sorry Mr. Fries, even you preferred the image to the individual.

Scam Report

June 14, 2015

I visit Facebook about daily. At times, I get any number of “friend requests.” The problem with some of them? The people who want to “befriend” you are looking for a highly vulnerable person. Well, to put it bluntly, I am not.

  • I won’t mention any names here, but the dudes want a “girlfriend” they can cry on the shoulders of. — My wife isn’t treating me right, or she simply doesn’t understand me. Can I hook up with you instead? I am 61. No, I don’t do cradle robbing. Young fellow, you are going to have to find someone more your age.
  • I am looking for a new wife, I am 57… Or this guy claims to be a general stationed in Afghanistan, and a “secret agent” as well. As they say, Too Much Information with an aim toward impressing people? Then the guy who puts a “rose” in the place of his profile pic, starts engaging in name calling, because he isn’t getting a female to manipulate. He should just be happy that I am not a member of the CIA or the FBI.
  • A few personal messages into the conversation: I want money!
  • I have this job, I am located at X, I am having trouble with (fill in the)________ bank. I would like to deposit my money in your account. Just in case the dude is not aware of this? That is already a red flag remark. Refusal of his “offer” leads to: What kind of human are you? Etc.

I live alone for a reason. I may be a senior citizen, but I am not stupid. I can and do pay attention to people trying to bilk you out of your life savings, or trying to cost you (con artist) a great deal more money than you actually have. No, I do not need a hubby with a “child,” who is likely already an adult, and already living on his own. I am not a replacement for the family feud, either real or imagined, as the girlfriend or mistress on the side. No, I am not a doofus female, who is going to melt at the mention of rank, and etc. All that I can say of the kind of people, who want to prey on those they think are vulnerable? Yeah you are most certainly a despicable group of people.

So, what can I say in response? I write books. Hey, here are some (factual) links to my e-books. Yes, I am single and fully intend to remain that way. Why should you ask me what sort of human I am? Why, I am not a human at all! I am a space alien, and you have contacted Zhan Ananar. Dude! Give it up!

Seriously, there is all kinds of information out there. AARP has warned senior citizens in their “Fraud Watch” series: about people who use social media to prey on people, who are of just the right age, to not think very smart when it comes to a “Michael Greene” attempting to “deposit some money” in their bank account. A guy like this who will use any ruse to commit an act of fraud. Or get you involved in a criminal act, that you couldn’t possibly get out of. As long as the information is out there, it is worthwhile paying attention to. I’ll just use this blog post, to reinforce the warning. Don’t be a doofus.

Immoral Authority

June 1, 2015

I let the Josh Duggar case sit for awhile, because of how nauseating it truly was. Then, when “The Week” came out with a synopsis of this matter, I was finally ready to tackle the issue. “Western Journalism” immediately leaped to the defense of “19 and Counting” [Patriarchy] fringe Evangelicals, whom by the way, TLC would no longer be airing. What ever the rationale for women being in complete submission to men. The “Patriarchy” fringe of the Evangelical Christian belief, still needs to realize, that the bible opposes Josh Duggar’s taking advantage of his siblings. Let alone any other girl, “being home schooled and therefore brainwashed” into a cult like atmosphere.

What really gets me, is how quickly anyone could leap to Duggar’s defense. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: What Duggar did was inexcusable but still forgivable. According to which bible? The teachings of Jesus stipulates, anyone who exploits (molests) a child, should have a mill stone placed around his neck, and tossed into the sea. Jesus would not forgive Josh Duggar, then why should Pastor Huckabee? Oh but you see, Duggar was a member of the Family Research Council and one of its rising stars. Duggar was quick to offer his endorsements, of the right kind of GOP candidate. Then came the revelation of just how flawed Duggar truly was.

“The left has no right to be outraged!” Thus intones a self-described righty. “The left with their sexual experimentation…” It is fact that “the left” did know its heyday of sexual promiscuity. Or trot out Bill Clinton as a canard. “Because he insisted on doing it with a young (and therefore vulnerable) intern.” True, he did. And Monica Lewinsky had no problem performing certain services on the former President. Does that somehow excuse Josh Duggar’s behavior?

It factually reminds me of when G.W. Bush left office. Suddenly, Bill Clinton could be blamed for any and all events that led up to Bush becoming President. Post Bush’s eight year tenure, his successor President Obama, could be blamed for everything Bush did that drove this country to near bankruptcy. Either it was to be an egregious attempt at whitewashing a presidency, that was inexcusable and quite unforgivable. Or it was an equally egregious effort to deny that the Bush years even existed. Thus when Josh Duggar, a product of religious extremism is found to be fatally flawed; let us now point fingers at our favorite scapegoats. “The left” has no right to be outraged because of Duggar’s truly shameful acts.

Anti-aborticide movement, holds up their assorted “save the fetus” signs. How about if some counter protestors just happen to walk past this group with a “#JoshDuggar” sign. A question of: why would you want to “save the fetuses,” when they could easily fall victim to guys like Josh Duggar. Isn’t moral outrage supposed to be Christian in nature? The Apostle Paul was all about throwing sinning miscreants out of the church. Josh Duggar tarnishes himself with some truly horrible acts, he should be unwelcome by any church anywhere. Those are the facts of the matter. It is not the “permissive left,” who ought to be “outraged” by anything. Josh Duggar did something, that no one in his factual right mind should ever do. The moral outrage should then come from the very people, who proclaim themselves conservative. Actually, they end up sounding just like the “permissive left.” A pity.

What to find in a candidate

May 15, 2015

George Nethercutt’s latest “Inlander” editorial, “Presidential Litmus Test” would be all right; if you don’t care to look too closely at the lack of good old fashioned virtues, among most of the candidates running for POTUS. In particular, Republican Presidential candidates. What Nethercutt enthused on and offered synopses to: Humility, authenticity, compassion, honor, hope, patience, faith, and wisdom; was actually embodied in the very person of President Barack Hussein Obama. But of course, being that he is of mixed race African-American. Plus the fact that he ran as a Democrat and was successfully elected twice to the office of POTUS. All of that can be discounted and was, by no less than Mr. Nethercutt. So whom does Mr. Nethercutt think would be the Republican version of President Obama? To put it bluntly, that man or woman has made no such announcement. Given the current corruption within the GOP ranks, I highly doubt that such a man or woman would ever care to announce his or her candidacy.

In the news that spread the length and breadth of social media: Amtrak derails in Philadelphia and the GOP run Congress wants to cut funding. Compassion: “deeply caring for people and their circumstances means a candidate has keen insights into their problems and would work for effective policy solutions.” — from Nethercutt’s editorial. My take, such a presidential candidate has to become an “old fashioned liberal.” So much hated in this day and age; and who would have to promote a highly activist government. On the other hand, if such a candidate were a Republican, who was expected to fulfill even one of Nethercutt’s qualifications; he or she would be working at odds with the Congressional GOP; who obviously do not operate from a “compassionate” point of view. As I put it bluntly these days: #GOPnotprolife.

Patience: “true leadership in a political setting demands patience. Few leaders accomplish their policy objectives immediately. Work and patience eventually persuade other leaders to follow a preferred public policy course.” If people were to take a candid look at Senator Ted Cruz, or Senator Rand Paul; would they see such a qualification in either man? How about the public venality of Governors Chris Christi and Scott Walker? Honor: “one who lives an honorable life, free of deception, possesses a trait that marks a good leader for greatness, for only when leaders are fully trustworthy can they fully expect broad support.” True for President Obama given the fact that he was re-elected to the office of POTUS in 2012. But not so true of the named governors in particular, who are vying to replace him.

Humility: “a life style of service without self-exaltation is rare in candidates, but the combination is a necessary trait for which to strive in this next election.” Jon Huntsman would have embodied such a trait and he was immediately laughed off the stage. On the other hand, what goes for Presidential candidates in Nethercutt’s mind, should equally apply to all persons legislative. Do you as a voter see a Mr. Smith going to Washington, among the current crop of elected officials? Neither do I. In short, this isn’t a movie Mr. Nethercutt. Authenticity: “getting what we see in major candidates is a modern political necessity.” Which obviously leaves out Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, and yes Mike Huckabee.

Hope: “leaders must inspire hope in those they lead and encourage others to greatness.” Well, the putative GOP POTUS would have to deal with the bitter dregs of endless Benghazi Investigations. A GOP leadership in Congress, so willing to sit on their hands during an entire Obama administration; would they even be able to offer the necessary support structure, that inspires hope? I highly doubt it. And finally, Faith: “belief in community, in unity, in people — and their goodness — is essential.” Not when you have pot stirrers like Western Journalism (Facebook), or Newsmax (internet), or Fox News (broadcast media outlet), and not the least to be mentioned here, Rush Limbaugh (radio talk show host). Any belief in a community’s inherent goodness or even the welfare of the nation, must be immediately riven apart by wedge issues of division — especially in politics: Health care, wages, religion, abortion services, etc.

My summation has to read as follows: George Nethercutt had no use for President Obama at any time during the course of his Presidential terms in office. I should not doubt that bigotry was a factor. Partisan anger that a Republican had not won against a Democrat, twice, must come into play here as well. But what Nethercutt would prefer to discount in a Democratic President; he is not likely to find in the GOP announcers for office. Senator Ted Cruz does not inspire me. He in particular is pandering to an extremely limited base, that is better known for their hatred and all out bigotry, their lust for material power and grandiose mega churches, than any desire to demonstrate some concern for the least of these among us. A limited base of “voters,” who by their very actions are driving a greater number of people away from any association with Christianity [polls to include Huffpost]. Ultimately, “nice theory” Mr. Nethercutt, until you put people in charge of it. Currently, no Republican running for office can meet Nethercutt’s “virtues” challenge. End of story.

Commentary

May 10, 2015

“The Week” decided to send me a free preview issue. Undoubtedly they hope I’ll take them up on the offer of becoming a subscriber. Oh, I don’t mind; “The Week” is going to offer up fresh fodder for the blog. Take for example: I was wondering why Verizon was suddenly declaring a “they had received no payment” back in March. The same month that I had to go into the local Phones Plus to get a new $10.00 phone. The battery suddenly died in my old phone, that was why. So, abruptly the lady at the counter decides to (without recognizing that “no” means “no”) deduct a $7.99 “insurance plan” from my bank account, which she says will reduce my phone bill to $25.00. Problem is, the next bill that shows up? Verizon is billing me an approximate $145.00. No explanation for all of that is provided. They do declare that “no payment was received” on the April statement, even though my bank account shows that they had received the requested payment. So, a declaration of $88.00 in approximate dollars is due between two payments. But why am I being billed an extra $57.00? No answer. Well, with my next payment, I send off a copy of the bank declaration, and a forty some odd payment for the month of April. By the end of April, I receive a “confirmation” of two payments received, and a demand for a seventy-four odd dollar payment. I put a forty-four odd dollar payment in with the bill, and a note to read in part: If Verizon can not offer an explanation for this insistence of over-billing myself as a customer; then they can shut off the phone services and I’ll seek out a different provider. Well, here in this free issue of “The Week,” Verizon is among many telecom companies who wants to overturn “Net Neutrality.” Uh, by first gouging their customers in preparation for doing so, I take it. Considering what I had already described on my two recent phone bills; Verizon that wants to price gouge their customers wireless accounts; then they would also have price gouged net using customers and businesses. Thanks, “The Week.” Sarcasm fully intended, because I think some of these guys in the news media business, simply do not have a clue. Incidentally, nothing actually stops any telecom company from competing and investing in new technology. They already have a wide customer base now, to make that a guarantee. Let’s just call it what it is, pure and simple greed.

Next up is a highlight on the “presidential up and comer,” Senator Marco Rubio. You really want to know something, if you pay close attention to the backdrop behind Rubio’s candidacy, you would not find anything “charismatic” about this “golden haired” Senator. One commentary given about him, is his decision to pander toward a specifically religious crowd. He will, so the “charismatic” Senator intones, “Protect all life.” Seriously? No government intervention can prevent a miscarriage, still birth, premature delivery that leads to an infant’s death, severe to fatal birth defects. The latter by the way, is also defined by the dictionary as, an abortion. We are not so medically advanced as a society, that the government can replace “God” in a womb to grave preservation of life. — reference Isaiah. Then you have this particular argument that recently came out on Facebook via various news feeds. The anti-aborticidists who argue that “children conceived in rape” have the right to life. More accurately, rape is a perversion and by extension, a hatred of God. The Ten Commandments includes: For I the Lord Your God, am an impassioned God. Visiting the sins of the fathers unto the children, even unto the third, and unto the fourth generation, of those who hate Me. But I will bless unto the thousandth generation, those who love Me and keep My commandments. There are plenty of instances throughout the bible, in which “the sins of the fathers” are duly visited upon the next generation. That should tell you quite readily, someone hasn’t bothered reading their bibles more thoroughly. It also tells you quite bluntly, that Senator Rubio’s “promise” would in one sense, go against God’s edicts.

Then there is the next problem of state to state, which “The Week” did take pains to notice, how the Republican controlled state legislatures like to directly target the poor. Which pits Senator Rubio against God’s edicts in another sense: you can hardly “protect all life,” if you are hard at work screwing over the disabled, the poor, and the elderly. Clearly, #GOPnotprolife. There is that commandment (clearly explained in the bible) about making no false promises before the Lord Your God. If Kansas can tell poor people, that they should never waste their money on spas (spendy!), or shell fish (?), or on cruise line travel (wow!); I don’t guess someone bothered informing the GOP how the poor people aren’t likely to go there with that, anyway. But it doesn’t help Senator Rubio, in his pandering to specifically religious crowds, how he will protect all life. That doesn’t look like a clear “protection of anyone’s life,” from here. So it should come as no surprise, that he doesn’t have a very high poll number, in competition with Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What I had to wryly note about the editorials surrounding the Rubio candidacy, how quickly the people offering an opinion, kept slip-sliding away from a too close examination of potential Rubio failures. Or active GOP hostility toward the bulk of their constituents. The added baggage of active GOP alienation of the very people, they should be courting for votes instead. nationalreview.com Wants to see Marco Rubio as the charismatic individual likely to change the minds of millennials. Uh, Senator Rubio like the vast bulk of extremist GOP, is already out of touch with the average American. Just as he is also out of touch, with any concrete understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Including: What “The Week” hasn’t mentioned so far, but very recently appeared under a “Citizens United for a Separation of Church and State” page feed: The Church of Satan is going against Missouri’s anti-aborticide laws. Regarding the unconstitutionality of such laws. Just as they have gone head to head with Hobby Lobby, concerning that business’ “right” to declare a religious argument, in how the corporate HQ deals with its employee’s health interests. It just might be, that it is highly embarrassing topic to mention for a media outlet, that presumably wants to stay credible. Incidentally, I sent “The Week” a note informing them of my blog url, and my two e-books now on amazon. Unlike paid journalists at oh, nationalreview.com; I am not going to mince words or take political sides.

Vote crazy by 2016

May 8, 2015

I will kid you not that Robert Herold of “The Inlander,” did an excellent job of disclosing election year politics in a nutshell. What he did not disclose — and it would take reams of editorial content more to discuss this — is why the Republican party is so obsessed with whining about the Democrats: The Clintons or President Obama. Because quite frankly, the Republicans have done nothing but run a string of losers for POTUS, this election cycle. I am sure they know it, too.

“Joe McCarthy Redux” is probably an easy call to make; since the years of “Tail Gunner Joe’s” Army/McCarthy hearings, that ultimately embarrassed Senator McCarthy and thoroughly discredited him. The question regarding a lack of moral decency, that completely undermined McCarthy’s “elimination of the Soviet influence” in this nation. At that time, McCarthy was a “lone wolf,” who could easily capitalize on this country’s paranoia with reference to assorted reds. Unquestionably, the more radicalized of them, especially the anarchists, had been proven to be violent. Such people had been behind the tragic loss of life and property through decades of bombing attacks. But of course, “the reds” while a convenient scapegoat, weren’t responsible for all the criminal violence this nation has ever known. They just made themselves an easy target. Never mind the fact that the American Revolution, had definitely spawned some radical progeny. So while “tail gunner Joe” is capitalizing on “fears of a Soviet subversion” of this country, and in turn striving to create his own version of the totalitarian state, a fellow Senator steps up to the plate and challenges McCarthy on his lack of moral decency. That was the end of McCarthy’s dangerous ambitions.

It hasn’t prevented the GOP in the post McCarthy years, from running up on the flag pole all sorts of immoral behavior. Facebook as an example, a “friend” condemns anyone who would “stomp on a flag” and shows everyone the pic of a flag draped coffin. Look who you really stomp on, when you disrespect the flag so much. Well now, considering this meme comes from a Karl Rove inspired website. Exactly what have the “Karl Rove inspired GOP” done for living, but sick and disabled veterans, who were also casualties of our latest war? And what is this that I hear of “Jade Helm,” a multi-state military exercise. According to “Western Journalism” [LOL!], is proof of President Obama’s growing tyranny over this nation. Interestingly enough, as an Army Veteran serving under such Presidents as Carter, Reagan, and Bush 1; no one was claiming that any military exercises I engaged in, was proof of growing Presidential tyranny. But come the 21st century, President Obama ascends to the highest office of this country, and “we” must go off the deep end in “our” pathetically whining terror of the man. Irony much? And isn’t such a “fear” in its own way, a complete repudiation of the flag and all it stands for? Remarkably enough, no one has censored “Western Journalism’s” constant stirring of the pot. No one has shut down the highly radicalized, Fox News. But you only get the Democratic version of political events, on the web. Their commentary has to show up on Youtube, and only afterwards does it go viral. I think that I am being quite fair about it all.

I’ll agree with Mr. Herold that voter suppression won’t do the GOP any favors. Namely because the Democrats can easily make political hay, out of the more crazy utterances of some insignificant (?) GOP on say, the state level. Who cares what Southern or Midwestern state the GOP state Senator comes from? Out of his mouth comes this particularly psychotic view, that a woman needs to carry a deceased fetus for an entire nine months. Uh, she is carrying a decaying body in her womb. That can’t be a very healthy situation for the woman. The fetus has died of natural causes, and it isn’t going to be “miraculously resurrected.” Social media is going to expose such insane utterances for all the world to see. Trying to apply “McCarthyism redux” to Hillary Clinton, isn’t going to bury the fact that a GOP dude is far removed from reality. After all it is what such a member of Congress or any state legislature says; that reminds people of why, they should never have voted for such a guy in the first place. Then you have Women Concerned Against (while making political hay over birth control here in) America. Although my understanding of such a group, wasn’t that they were strictly opposed to legal abortion practices. Their arguments as women were against feminism in general! Yes, I deliberately screwed their name up. They forgot that only because of feminism, can their voices be heard and respected. Because of feminism, they can found organizations and vote. Or for that matter, even run for office. I will also add here, that the people who now don’t want to see any disrespect shown to the flag; either were of the generation of radicals, who spit on our Vietnam vets and called them baby killers besides. Or they are the children of these radicals. And this generation of radicals circa the 70s, or their children — I regard it as laughable really. But such people want to express utter hatred of this country (if a Democrat is in charge of it), the government (if a Democrat is in charge of it), and meanwhile wrapping a flag around the whole mess. — Incidentally, the flag represents everything they hate about this country. It is worse than ignorance. The GOP have purely and simply gone cuckoo.

The GOP blatantly indulge in corruption: Governor Chris Christie. Paranoia is the rabid stump speech: Senator Ted Cruz. Regardless of what Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution says, I prefer to wear my brand of religion on my sleeve: Senator Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. I prefer to hide behind Hillary Clinton and her cash cow antics, vis a vis the Clinton Foundation. But I have my own cash cow problems, that I don’t particularly care to own up to: Jeb Bush. Then there is the infamous Carlyle Group with ties to the equally infamous bin Laden family. Oh yeah, the family of the Al Qaeda founder, Osama bin Laden. That’s a lot of forbidden baggage, eh Governor Bush? As for Governor Scott Walker. Well now it is my understanding that this particular governor made a real hash out of his own state. Do “we” really wish to vote for a guy, who’d bankrupt a nation after bankrupting Wisconsin? Yes voters, you do have a problem. As a Republican, these guys are my problem. And I do think that Ms. Clinton could use some able competition in her race for the White House. The Democrats will need to address that problem, themselves.

Book review

May 4, 2015

City of Scoundrels

Over a month ago I picked up “City of Scoundrels” as a sale book from the Daedalus catalog. Prior to my sitting down to finally read this book, I finished “Love and Capital” by Mary Gabrielle, Cassandra Clare’s “City of Heavenly Fire,” a book for young adults. And in short order, I had read through Gary Krist’s very excellent book. Make that in about two days time, and I had read through a book involving an: 1. exploding blimp, 2. missing child that is finally found murdered, 3. race riots, 4. further confirmation that in the early post World War 1 American century, AG Palmer was quite the Bolshevik hunter. He was responsible for a number of arrests in Chicago by 1919&mdash1920. But what this book also detailed was the machine politics known to exist among both Democrats and Republicans. Just as the book details, the inevitable corruption that went with it.

But mostly this book details the life and times of Mayor William Hale Thompson, a Republican; during what can be called “The Progressive Era” of American politics. To put it bluntly, “The Progressive Era” was not necessarily all that it was cracked up to be. Prohibition was thoroughly discussed in this book, as part of “reformist era” politics. Mr. Krist took pains to point out, just how this war on drugs made possible the criminal gangs of their day. Corruption in high places, made cops, and the sort of gang violence as the consequence of bootlegging rum, that would equal anything in the illegal drug trade today. Especially of this reformist movement that was supposed eliminate public drunkenness, they always say that the “road to hell is paved with good intentions.” So back to Mayor Thompson and the uses he put to machine politics.

This is a story about Chicago, Illinois and its long history of corruption. For anyone who wished to point certain scandalous fingers in the direction of President Obama; scandals preceded this President by many decades, and affected both parties equally. Would you like to know that Republican pacifism and isolationism was a political fact during the first World War? Mayor Thompson was such a pacifist and isolationist, who even declared [treasonous] how Chicago was a “German” city. Literally, this was a Republican who identified with this nation’s enemies. If you are a Mayor of a major metropolitan city especially during wartime, you’d have to be nutcase on a political level, to identify with the enemy. It should also have crippled Mayor Thompson’s chances for re-election. But with corruption and machine politics, yeah actually, Mayor Thompson continued to maintain the status of mayor. Even more than this, Mayor Thompson worked with “poor Swede” Lundin to put loyalists into all positions of power. That’s all positions of power, inclusive of the Governor’s office. Thus my argument is that it takes reading factual history like this; to come to grips with the fact, that there is not much of the human condition that has changed over the years. Just as it would have to take an enormous ego for a mere mayor, to control who gets to become Governor of the state of Illinois. Me thinks that the Bolsheviks such as they were to this country, were less of a problem to the nation at large, than what we Americans could simply do to ourselves at anytime. A short blog post today, but I do recommend “City of Scoundrels.”

Now North Idaho can add earthquakes

April 24, 2015

North Idaho hasn’t exactly demonstrated an active fault for a number of decades. Although seismic faults have been mapped under the city of Coeur d’Alene. Just as there have been geological studies made, that a percentage of the Idaho panhandle was actually created out of vulcanism, many thousands of years before the last known Ice Age. Well the evidence certainly does exist, that Idaho is among the Inland Northwest states that can be called seismically active. Just that our earthquakes are infrequent, and the last time there was factual volcanic activity in the region, was 10s of thousands of years ago.

So you can imagine to everyone’s surprise when North Idaho experienced a series of temblors; epicenter: fifteen miles south of Sandpoint, Idaho. That was last night 23 April 2015, that measured 4.1 on the Richter scale for the first one, at 7:35 pm. Suffice it to say that I was on Facebook at the time the first jolt hit. What I first heard sounded like a pop, then some definite rattling that lasted for seconds. I actually got up from my laptop computer, and went around to where the electric furnace is located. I placed my hand briefly on the main door, wondering if I had a major problem here. Nothing further seemed to be going on, so I went back to dinging away on Facebook. But a matter of an hour later, news had reached the local Facebook feeds about an earthquake hitting Coeur d’Alene. What made me think that the book shelves were rattling? That would have been the only other explanation, since there was ultimately nothing wrong with the furnace. Oh and incidentally, stuff sitting on top of the bookshelves were slightly askew this morning. It wasn’t enough of a jolt to knock stuff flying, but it was enough of a temblor to where you could definitely hear things rattling.

Some three hours later, a stronger jolt was reported to rattle the same region. I am still dinging away on Facebook, when the next news feed was a 4.6 magnitude aftershock(?) came rolling along the same fault line, that the first shock had activated. Interestingly enough, I didn’t pick up on anything actually getting rattled by 10:45 pm as was the case earlier in the evening. But depending on where people were living, either they did feel both jolts, or they felt one or the other. And finally there were reports that a third aftershock had also struck the region. Not that I was aware of such an aftershock,after the first jolt at 7:35 pm. I will not doubt however, that other people did feel up to two or more aftershocks.

So on Facebook friend gets a conversation going about who felt the successive temblors, and where we were at the time of the incident(s) in question. All kidding aside, some people definitely heard a noise that came with the earthquake, and some of us just experienced a slight shaking. Also a friend of this Facebook friend brought up a link that detailed some of North Idaho’s seismic history. Such as a devastating earthquake back in the 1930s. Plus near volcanic upthrusts that made mining in North Idaho mountains particularly treacherous. To say the least, wow! So now I am going to add here, that Idaho has a long period of volcanic activity. 003 This inserted photo of Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of three glacial lakes that were the result of the Ice Age great melt off and flooding. Lake Pend O’Reille which is a massive lake and during World War 2, was deemed sufficiently deep enough for inland submarine training. Hayden Lake which is much smaller, but definitely located in a picturesque setting. And finally Lake Coeur d’Alene. The mountains that serve as a backdrop, not all of those would have been created by shifts in the tectonic plates. It is possible that many of them were volcanic in origin. But of particular interest is Tubbs Hill.181 Walk along its many trails, and you will notice the angular upthrust in Basalt and other rocks, that would definitely suggest the hill was formed in part from seismic activity. I noticed that one year, when I went to take photographs along one of our most scenic landmarks, that Coeur d’Alene can actually boast of. What made Tubbs Hill possible? Hard to say. But with newly activated seismic faults in the region, North Idaho is going to be in for some interesting times.

There were two earthquakes that came rolling northward from South Idaho. One I know of back in the mid 1980s. It registered a 7.3 on the Richter scale closest to its epicenter. By the time it rolled across the entire state of Idaho; it was felt in parts of Washington and also at the Canadian border. That earthquake was likely in the 4.something range. Its effective force had decreased significantly, the further from the epicenter the temblor traveled. The second one, was recorded recently in the last few years. I don’t think that we felt the jolt from it. Comparing the former to the Sandpoint epicenter of last night, and Kootenai County would have been less than two hours away. So we would have gotten nearly the same measurable jolt, as the residents of Sandpoint and Cocalala would have felt. A hell of a noise. Out of this, do we again experience volcanic activity?


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