I got Problems with this

I remember last year when Mohammed bin Salman purged Saudi Arabia of any opposition. MBS rounded them up in luxury, sealed the Ritz up tight, and begun a reign of abuse and torture. A year later we have the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and there’s not much doubt in thinking people’s mind, that MBS was behind the brutal assassination. So much so that many corporations pulled out of Davos in the Desert. So why is it a delegation of Evangelical Christians just met with MBS? All I got is a what the fu… What message does that send about Christianity? Specially when the entire delegation is leaning forward, as if in worship of a golden idol. So yeah, I got problems with this shit. Even more so with the latest disclosure from our CIA that MBS ordered the murder.

#MeToo, Only Me

Nothing for Trump is off limits when it comes to creating division and ridicule, be it a disabled person, a political opponent, a person that done him wrong, a journalist, a woman, or a movement.  But damn, throw a little shade his way, and does he get pissed or what? Like it or not, Trump is a master of propaganda, but only to an extent. He can’t sell his sarcastic ridicule to most common sense Americans, but he sells it well to those who linger on his every word, who anxiously wait for his next condemnation of whatever, or whoever is next on his list. Trump knows that, and probably little else, and feeds that beast viciously. Not caring what harm he does, Trumps feeds his ego, that’s what’s important to him. It gives him life, it gives him meaning. I get Trump, I do, but what I don’t get are his followers, those that defend him, those that hang on his every word. I can’t help but wonder if there’s something there, in Trump, that gives their lives meaning. I don’t believe it’s a matter of being entertained, probably more a matter of finding some kind of misplaced value in their lives. Like Trump, it’s all about them. Not about America. Not about freedom, or equality, just them.

The Value of Balance

I stood before a judge once. An old judge. One who mumbled, and slobbered, spittle running from his mouth, and hard of hearing to boot. While I received justice, it was clear to everyone in his courtroom, his best days as a fair and impartial judge were in his days past. Justice is a funny thing, it’s not always fair and balanced as much as we’d like to believe it to be. It can’t be be. We’re humans, we’re fallible, we make mistakes. Judges, Prosecutors, Defense attorneys, and jury’s are all comprised of people with preconceived thoughts and emotions, and all struggle to balance those with what is right, the right decision based on facts presented. I do not believe a person reaches a conclusion in a court of law based upon their political leanings, but on facts, through argument, and deliberation.

I do not know what the truth is in accusations toward Judge Kavanaugh, but I have heard enough to believe in an investigation of accusations. More than that, after watching his testimony, I believe that he simply cannot be impartial, cannot be fair if he believes the accusations against him are a conspiracy put forth, without providing evidence, without demanding an investigation into the facts. I’m bothered too, by his temperament, by his indignant lack of respect toward those who oppose his nomination. If Judge Kavanaugh holds such disrespect for those who seek the truth of the accusations made toward his character, I do not believe he’ll show the needed respect for those issues which come before him as a Supreme court justice. That facts, that valued arguments, that deliberation of those things upon which our scales of justice are balanced, simply won’t matter.

Dire and Troubling Times

We are awash in dire and troubling times, where evil, greed and injustice flourish. Like lambs to slaughter we ignore the plight of our neighbors until our name is called and question then, only then, why there is no relief.

You will claim that you are honorable, that you do not accept, will never tolerate evil, greed and injustice and yet your silence speaks volumes, louder than your words. By doing nothing, by saying nothing, you are not honorable and speak to your neighbor in the silence of fear and neglect, saying to your friends and family, I care nothing for your problems.

We live in a time where no one dares protest the false truths propagated upon us. Indeed we live in a time where the rich and powerful are given privilege not accorded you and I. A world where banks and corporations are given the status of citizenship and that citizenship carries far more weight than mine in a court of law and in public and political opinion. Equality does not exist, the pursuit of money and power casts the sensibilities of equality aside like a foul cleaning rag.

You read that Billions have been given to banks, and there is no accountability, and in fact, bonuses and parties ensue. You read that a thief steals billions and walks the streets. You know this is wrong, and toss your hands in the air, exclaiming there is nothing to be done. Retirement funds wiped clean, Pensions evaporated, Jobs gone, and Houses lost!

And we leave the problems to our politicians and our business leaders to solve. Those who created the problems in their pursuit of power and greed, to begin with. And you think it will work?

What world do you live in?

A world where you want to be taken care of? A world where you claim that when you leave it, you want it to be a better world for your children? Right, what have you done except hand over this world we live in to those who have their own vested interests. Your world where all you care about are your own finances, where your credit rating is paramount, where your ability to shop and fish and take cruises is unhindered. That world is disintegrating.

Not because we are bad or because we are steeped in greed ourselves, but because we surrendered our role in being citizens, believing that financial equality comes without a price, without suffrage. We are now paying that price.

The solution is simple, the implementation is complex. Reverse the laws that give corporations the status and rights of being human, that allow a corporation to be prosecuted and not those humans that have done wrong. Reverse the decades of morality and ethics that claim that what is good for business is good for you and I. Eliminate the consequence of money in the role of those who lobby our politicians. Encourage the role of the General Practice MD in the medical community, invest in neighborhood clinics while dismantling the HMOs. Regulate the hell out of the Pharmaceutical companies insuring appropriate R&D moneys are spent.

Reinstate lost pensions and retirement funds, pay people a livable wage for their days work, cap interests rates on credit cards, loans and the like. Reduce Federal, state and local taxes.

Realize that commerce is the lifeblood of America and commerce is defined by farmers making profit, workers who have the ability to buy and save, doctors who treat without fear or consequence, a legal system that treats all as equal. Commerce defined by the flow of money, service, and goods, not by the profit and profit margins.

Unless we begin to speak out in a clear, unified voice to address the underlying problems of our financial problems, we will drive further down the interstate of no return. Expect things to get a hell of a lot worse.

And when things do start to finally get a bit better, all we will have done is lay the foundation for a worse tragedy for our children because we allowed those who pursue power and profit over honor to solve the problem as they see fit.

The Rock & Toilet Paper

Women and men are different. We might be two halves of the same rock, or we might be two completely different species that resemble each other. I tend toward the latter. Where women tend to think about the need for toilet paper before hand, men only think about toilet paper when it’s actually needed. That and, when men come home from work, they go fishing with the expectation that when they come home, their better half is right ready to fry up their catch, and there better be a damn good supply of toilet paper. But what men don’t understand, is that women are patient, and are willing for whatever reason, to work toward making men more like women. I mean, after thirty some years of marriage, I now check for toilet paper, I no longer fish, I’m a pretty good cook and I’m apt to vacuum when I see it’s needed. All without being told. Devious, huh?

I’m Missing Something

Everywhere I look, I’m reading how great the economy is, unemployment is low, business is booming, and the economic figures look fantastic, with the GDP at 4.1%. From where I set, I’m scratching my head because none of that has trickled down my way. I got a bump of about 20 bucks on my paycheck with Trumps Tax cuts, but all that is, is an extra case of cheap beer. What I do see is prices starting to tick up, my health insurance premiums ain’t going down, and everybody still wants what little I have. Hell, I’d take a 4% raise, that makes sense. I’d even settle for a 2% jump in my paycheck, but it ain’t never going to happen in this economy because people like money in the form of profit, and they’re going to keep it.

Rob Paxton

I Talk,

therefore I am, says some cow in Zimbabwe.  A year ago I woulda laughed at the suggestion of a talking cow from Zimbabwe, but not these days. After all, there’s a orange orangutan running around spouting a lot of bullshit, so why not a cow? My only hope is that now that cows can talk, they talk responsible, and don’t lie, and don’t make fun of others, like the orange one did recently in Montana. Claiming Wisconsin turned orange in the last election, a feat Reagan could never achieve is, uh, a fucking lie. Let’s not stop there, the orange one slammed the first Bush, and his thousand points of light, and in between hurled new insults at a man on his deathbed, John McCain.

Just because a cow can talk, doesn’t mean they have anything intelligent, or of value to talk about, but I truly now believe cows can talk. It’s the world we live in at the moment.

Immigration, an Old Conundrum

I’ve always thought to solve an old, on-going problem, one needs to look at the history of the problem. Where it started, why, and what attempts have been made to address the problem? We were dealing with ways to solve immigration way back in 1911. Good lord, the Dillingham Commission concluded it’s study with the release of 41 volumes. That’s a lot of research, and apparently for nothing, because nothing seems to have changed. Personally, I think the argument is used politically, like abortion, where it’ll never be solved. At least, not as long as immigration can be used as a wedge issue to fan the flames of a politicians base. For me, there’s a difference between illegal Immigration and asylum seekers, and I have to question the role religious and charitable organizations play in bringing hundreds of thousands of refuges into this country. My guess is, we’ll still be arguing about who we should let into this country, for another hundred years. Except Asians, the commission made it pretty clear they were undesirable.

Celebrating America

Sure, the 4th is a day for fireworks, and celebrating our independence, but it’s a also a day to celebrate our journey as a Nation. A journey that began before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and didn’t end with the signing of our Constitution. From the westward expansion, through the civil war, and civil rights, right up to the front door of the present, Americas path has been one reflective of, and illustrative of, it’s citizens. Our wants, our needs, our desires and dreams have clashed, we have argued, we have fought to make our voices heard for the last 242 years, and for the most part we have found a way to weave our journey into a coherent path for all Americans. The thread in the weave is immigration, the calling to people of other nationalities that here, in America, there sits upon a hill, a shining city of possibilities, not found elsewhere in the totality of mankind history. The poor and wretched have arrived upon our shores, and we have welcomed them along with political dissidents, refugees, the rich, the wicked, the ragged. Some came as indentured servants, many as slaves bound by chains, others escaping the arm of the law, whatever their personal path, they arrived upon the American shoreline and became part of a larger journey, our journey. We are who we are, because people of all color, of all faiths, of all races, of all cultures, of all beliefs, of all backgrounds have come together to walk a unique path that is a beacon to all of humanity, that we can live together as one, that we can walk forward together as one, that together as one people, our voice is louder than the thunder that shakes you from your nights rest.

Destroyer of Worlds

Being intelligent is a strange and sad thing. Strange in that your smarter than most, but sad in that you’re not smart enough to know when you’re intelligence is killing you. Now I’m not a particularly religious man, but I do believe our dominance over the wild comes with certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to act as caretakers for the world we share with other life forms. I’m guessing I’m in the minority with that, considering mankind has literally wiped out 83 percent of mammals and half the plant life. We are pretty good at keeping things around that we like though, like dogs, cats and cows, but that’s probably because we don’t do well in relationships and we like to eat. For a species that only makes up about a tenth of a percent of all life on earth, our dominance is leading us right down a path to a cold, barren world where we’ll all be left alone with no one but each other, and that’s a damn scary thought prospect.

Rob Paxton