Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Manufacturing fear

August 14, 2015

I picked up a copy of “The Inlander” this morning, and read their lead article, “Manufacturing Fear.” It pertains to Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich versus the “crazies.” The kind of people, inclusive of Washington State Representative Matt Shea, who apparently likes to stir up a lot of trouble. Only, not just in Washington state. Yes, this article written by Daniel Walters was certainly illuminating enough. But I do have a number of questions, not of Mr. Walters. Rather, of the kind of people he wrote about.

Why is Washington Rep Matt Shea in Idaho? The citizens of Idaho have nothing to do, with his election to the Washington state legislature. If this is all about the sovereignty of citizens, especially concerning matters of “mind your own business” types of politics, then Rep. Shea is in the wrong state. He should be doing his job, that the citizens of Washington state elected him to do. Not mucking around in the affairs of another state. It doesn’t matter if the fellow was invited; he is a fellow who represents Washington’s government, and that is his place.

Second, why should anyone insist that “right wing” is applicable, to being opposed to government? Or that a “revolution” is needed to remake society, my way? It might surprise the crazies out there, in Washington state and Idaho, how much the government has acted for them, than against them. For example, the federal government always did act against extremists. I can think of “The Whiskey Rebellion” as a primary example, of when the government sent in the troops to crush resistance. When the new Constitutional government that was formed under George Washington, precisely; “trampled on the constitution,” to crush this particular resistance. Over the more than two centuries of this nation’s history, inclusive of President Woodrow Wilson and Senator Joe McCarthy, there have been many instances of “constitutional trampling.” But of course, [those] people were seen as an enemy: We were at war—Germans, Japanese, etc. Economic—immigrants, legal or illegal, or the wrong sort of politics such as socialism. Racial—especially in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, and the demand for “state’s rights.” Or more accurately, the right of states to continue institutional bigotry. Religion—if it is of any culture, sect, denomination, that I don’t adhere to. Reference: Christian nation. But who are the identified Christians that ought to belong here? Which ultimately renders this article as highly ironic — It is okay to trample the constitution against an alleged Commie, but it is not okay for me to get the business end of it. Especially if I have done something that is against the law: Phil Hart, Cliven Bundy, Randy Weaver, etc. — that is when I shall style myself, as an “anti-government right winger.”

Remember when “My country, love it or leave it!” was the meme used against Vietnam war protesters? Yes, it was a meme, before the days of the internet, and such comments can be rendered digital to be shared. The descendants of these “conservatives” from the 1960s to 1970s, would actually have dad or granddad rolling in their graves. There is no such commentary of “My country, love it or leave it!” heard from their lips today. Not when people like Rep. Matt Shea, etc. declare their hatred of anything, that could be corrosive to “their” rights. At this point, I shall step in with this argument: just your rights, is that it? Just your proclaimed “love” of the U.S. Constitution, correct? I can already see that you don’t care to get along with anyone. And if all you can do is hate people, even the very government you represent, it isn’t the governing document you “fear” for. If your paranoia was truly based on fact, you would be herded off to a federal penitentiary and likely deported. IE, the AG Palmer raids, during the President Wilson years in office. A newly formed FBI would be surveilling you for questions of “loyalty;” through the offices of lead G-Man, J. Edgar Hoover. The House Committee on Anti-American Activities, would be quick to pinpoint what was wrong with your way of thinking. A Joe McCarthy would be rounding up “militia” and “TEA Party” leaders on the assumption that; a hatred of government and calls for a revolution, must destroy this nation as we know it. By all means, investigate and crush it at its very source. A Joe McCarthy would not have seen Rep. Matt Shea as “right wing.” Especially in the light of the following:

The government at various levels; funds, builds, and otherwise maintains the infrastructure. While Rep. Shea is zipping around between Washington state and Idaho; he is literally using the infrastructure, “tyranny” made possible for him. Government collects taxes, yes. Rep. Shea is a beneficiary of state tax collections. Or did you really expect that the fellow, was going to occupy an office in the Washington state legislature, on a voluntary basis? I didn’t think so. The fringe lunacies among the militias, “TEA Party,” etc.; can expect Social Security in some form or another. The government provides the Forest Service, to fight fires. The government provides the BLM, to help regulate the use of public lands. The FDA, the EPA, to reduce the consequences for citizens and customers, of acts of rapacious greed as produced by various commercial interests. You should be able to trust the meds you are given, or the food you eat; or the park you and your family go to, to enjoy. That’s the problem with radicals; they aren’t thinking much beyond the “conspiracy of the moment.”

Planned Parenthood was recently put in the news, owing to a heavily edited and highly deceptive “sting video.” As expected, the anti-choice religious fanatics entered into a self-righteous uproar. A recent “The Week” detailed, how fetal tissue is used by research scientists for its wealth of stem cells. Through such research, they tackle such medical problems that includes Parkinson’s disease. I have this question, are the anti-choicers opposed to organ donation? When they die; no part of their body should ever be used, to save another life? That is definitely their argument against the health and welfare of their neighbors, themselves, and their families. No funding, no killing, and yes, no medical cures for yourself. Simply sad.


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, “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, “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 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.