Blue Splash It Is

Not exactly the blue wave one could have hoped for across the country, but there was a blue splash and the congressional house will now allow for the faintest hint of checking upon the current government.

My current local district flipped from red to blue and we flipped the state house as well, so that we’re now the only state in the country with a divided house/senate. Blue, blue, blue across the major seats open so I can take my anxiety level down a tiny notch, even if I don’t think the battle is close to being over. I wish I didn’t have to use words like “battle” and I wish we could go back to being able to support third party candidates without worrying that by doing so we were helping other candidates that openly support hate and fear and divisiveness.

Also, can I say how pleased I am to have 2 awesome ladies as my state senators and to have my near future district being repped by a passionate and engaging Somali woman. Our country, our states, our districts, our cities…they are made up of more than old straight white christian men and to see more and more diversity in government is AMAZING.

Let’s keep the momentum going. Can we stop fear mongering and start problem solving? Can we stop focusing on profits and start focusing on people? Maybe if we started really addressing the global climate crisis and reversing all the damage we’re doing to the planet people wouldn’t have this underlying fear and anxiety that is being tapped into for exploitation by rich assholes. When there is enough to go around, people don’t feel the need to hate their neighbors, or start wars, or rally against anyone seeking asylum. The hate, the wars, the sense of scarcity…those are all tools used by people that want to profit from and control others. Don’t give them that power.

 

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Last Vestiges of Hope

Tomorrow, November 6th, 2018, America has the opportunity to try and halt the growing divide of hatred that has permeated the country. One of three things will happen.

Voting percentages remain as low as usual and result in things continuing on as they are.

Almost everyone votes and we get the blue wave that restores a bit of check and balance to the government.

Almost everyone votes and there isn’t a blue wave, maybe only a blue splash that doesn’t quite restore any checks or balances and shows that the problem of hatred and greed extends far deeper than anyone was willing to admit.

Right now we can still have hope. I just hope my hope isn’t dashed the same way it was back in November of 2016.

VOTE, no matter who you’re voting for, because I either want to see the majority accurately represented in government or I want to know without a doubt that I am surrounded by assholes.

Shenanigans

I am voluntarily watching C-SPAN today because I want to see the supreme court hearing on Kavanaugh. I am finding it difficult to stay quiet as I sit at work listening to such bullshittery. Even if you didn’t do any personal research on the man, even if you think he should get confirmed, you can’t deny that the way this hearing is being conducted is not on par with the processes in place. The double standard is clearly evident. I’m not watching democracy at work. I am watching democracy being spit upon, being mocked, and it makes me furiously sad.

Watching republican senators get angry about the public using their right to free speech should be concerning. Refusing to acknowledge or vote on motions that have been seconded should be considered a failure on the part of the chair. Continuing to conceal thousands of documents even after releasing thousands of documents last minute with no time to review them prior to the confirmation hearing doesn’t show “transparency” like the republicans are claiming they are doing.

As the week goes on and more and more questions are asked of Kavanaugh, if we get no real answers, if we get no real transparency, and this confirmation gets railroaded through without following the path of integrity it will forever taint the role of SCJ. It will set a dangerous precedent that goes against democracy and the very principles this country was founded on. This needs to matter, otherwise what is the point of American freedom?

Lesser of Two Evils

As this shitshow of an election process continues it’s march towards the finish line I hear more and more people say things like “Trump is horrible, but Clinton is no better” and while I’m not here to persuade anyone to vote a certain way I simply can’t agree with the above assertion.

That would be like saying a deer tick with lyme’s disease is just as horrible as a non-disease carrying deer tick. That a mosquito carrying malaria parasites or Zika is just as horrible as any regular old mosquito that won’t transmit anything to you. Sure they are both blood-sucking parasites but one is inherently more destructive than the other. Yes Clinton has demonstrated a penchant for secrecy and selective communication, a willingness to bend some rules and there’s a real possibility that significant donors are going to pressure her to help them later on. Not sure how that’s different from pretty much every other typical politician though. It’s pretty par for the course when you look at it rationally. I’m not saying it’s ok, I do believe the US government has gotten too big and too corrupt. I’m just saying if I have to be bit by a blood-sucking parasite I would rather deal with a typical one and not one with the potential to cause significant permanent damage.

Trump’s behavior, his words, his actions, his lack of general decency and knowledge of serving the public are far more troubling to me. Sure he’s not a “corrupt politician” but he is a “corrupt businessman” and I don’t see how that’s any better. It definitely doesn’t mean he’s a good fit to be president. Who knows who he’s going to hire to advise him, they could all have their own agenda with no interest in actually helping the general population. Yes something has to change but not like this. Electing Trump reminds me of the plan to get rid of Sudam Hussein which resulted in a much greater problem. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Can we afford the learning curve?

I’m still very annoyed that Bernie Sanders didn’t get the nomination. I want to see the government change and do better, but I firmly believe that Trump will not help that to happen. I really don’t understand how anyone can think he’ll do anything but divide this nation even further. Divided we fall.

“There once was a crass politician, who often screamed about terrorism, to rile up the crowd, of their lies they were proud, spreading hate seemed to be their sole mission.”

The Next Great Reality Show

As I watched the GOP debate last night I got to thinking about the ridiculous line up of candidates squawking at one another. They are all perfectly suited towards one section of the Republican party but none of them represent the party as a whole. The problem of how divided the party is has been, and continues to be, brought up on tv, print and in blogs. What if they are trying to unite the party by pretending to divide it first?

Think about the GOP presidential race through the lens of a reality tv show competition. There are a dozen or so contestants starting out. Each member of the audience identifies with one right off the bat and roots for them to win the whole thing. Slowly though, as each contestant gets eliminated, the viewers are forced to reluctantly  move their alliance over to a new contestant until they reach the end. Very few people stop watching a show if their preferred contestant gets booted off. Americans have been conditioned by so many reality shows that they won’t even realize why they are suddenly ok with a candidate they previously didn’t want to vote for when the time comes. By the time the GOP nomination is selected the entire party will fall in line even if it ends up being Donald Trump.

My other thought was that watching those GOP debates create an opportunity (besides raising your blood pressure) for a great drinking game. Every time a candidate skirts a question and instead plugs themselves you take a drink. Every time they blame Obama for something that is really their own (or Congress’) fault you take a drink. Every time they blatantly lie about a topic or event you take a drink. You’d be pretty drunk 10 minutes in.

No matter what your political views take a moment and really think about the state of the country. Do a little research and don’t take a single thing that comes out of any candidate/politician’s mouth at face value. Think about what your life was like 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. Compare American society against other countries, compare America’s economy against other countries, get multiple sources, question everything. Look at the plans each candidate has created and really think about if they make any sense or not. Just because someone says they want to do something doesn’t mean they can actually make it happen. Together we stand and divided we fall. If you really want America to be a great country, a strong country and a country you can be proud to live in everyone needs to stop focusing on differences and start focusing on how we can work together to move forward into the next chapter of humanity.

Stating The Obvious

After the recent arrests of 6 young men who had been planning on leaving MN to join ISIS there has been an outcry for more money to fight against the recruitment of Americans for foreign terrorist groups. The state wants about $250k in additional funding so they can figure out why anyone would want to go join terrorists and how they can prevent it.

I should ask them to just hand the money over to me because I can easily tell you why these men wanted to go join ISIS and why it’s becoming easier and easier to recruit Americans. I can even tell you how to fix the problem. The issue there is that they aren’t going to like what I say.

People tend to seek change in their life when they are unhappy or dissatisfied with an aspect of it. When your needs are being fulfilled you’re not going to jeopardize that. Those 6 young men looked around at the broken government, blatant hypocrisy and dangerous lack of standards that permeates America and found nothing to inspire loyalty. Working hard, getting an education and being honest gets you nowhere, or at best it gets you just above the poverty level. The only way to get ahead in this country, if you aren’t born into wealth, is to cheat the system through lies, theft or other illegal means. America’s moral compass has been damaged, no one is repairing it. We’ve pandered to the lowest common denominator and now sit there and wonder why more and more people have become disillusioned.

You want to stop Americans from being recruited you have to be able to offer them something better. Look at it like a business. If you want to keep your customer base or talented employees you have to treat them with respect. You have to provide them with quality goods/services or adequate pay/benefits. Your focus has to be on more than just your profit margin. Customers and employees who feel valued are the ones who are going to stay loyal.

Citizens who feel like they matter to their government, who feel like their government is being honest with them and providing them with quality services and fair & effective leadership will take pride in their country. They will defend their country. They will not abandon their country and join groups of angry disillusioned weapon wielding power hungry deep seated insecure unfixable crazyfaces. Just isn’t in the human nature to do so.

If you want to stop your enemies/competition from stealing away your citizens/customer base than you have to DO BETTER and BE BETTER. Stop bickering amongst yourself. Stop wasting tax payer money on frivolous things. Stop treating people differently based on the color of their skin, gender identification and income level. Stop lying all the time about everything. Stop with the ego trips. Stop thinking you don’t owe anyone anything. Stop hiding behind religious opinions to justify your right to be an asshole. Start realizing that your actions have long lasting and far reaching impacts on the entire population. Start understanding that we do not have infinite chances to get things right. Start holding people accountable for their shitty behaviors. Start prioritizing education instead of sports stadiums. Start embracing the undeniable truth of our collective situation and start taking the necessary (and very hard) steps to start fixing things instead of sitting there with your fingers in your ears going “lalalalalala, I can’t hear you” all the damn time.

Re-brand America and make it a country people can be proud of living in again. Make it a country where people can succeed if they work hard and get educated. Do that and you won’t have to worry about terrorists recruiting so many of your citizens.

Now, where’s my $250,000?

Throwback Thursday

Dillinger Four – Smells Like OK Soda:

Yeah they got it pretty good, find an angle and attack, man, “image is everything”

Make ’em buy it like they should, spend some money on a whim just like little good americans

It’s the trick of imagery, enjoy yourself before the next “image of today”

But I don’t like it, I don’t see it that way, I don’t wallow in self-pity

Or need your slogans just to fill my mind, ’cause I may not be anybody

But at least I’m not blind

Yeah, they used to pack them in like a donkey and a cart with a carrot on a stick

And the kids all bought in, but your rebellion is a myth with complacent inspiration

It’s the trick of imagery, enjoy yourself before the next “image of today”

But I don’t like it, I don’t see it that way, I don’t wallow in self-pity

Or need your slogans just to fill my mind, ’cause I may not be anybody

But at least I’m not blind

I used to pass him in the hall, no divine inspiration, average joe in spades, yeah

Now he’s not like that at all, he’s off playing “individual” just like all of his his friends are

It’s the trick of imagery, enjoy yourself before the next “image of today”

But I don’t like it, I don’t see it that way, I don’t wallow in self-pity

Or need your slogans just to fill my mind, ’cause I may not be anybody

But at least I’m not blind