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.

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

Honor and Sacrifice

are words we toss around like they mean something, maybe more to some then others. The truth lies in our actions, how we treat our Veterans, the good, the bad and the ugly, it’s all there and you can find a given story to illustrate such.

In my lifetime, I cannot remember a time when our nation has not been involved in some type of military conflict, somewhere in the world. We have called upon our children, and sacrificed thousands, condemned thousands, to a living hell. I work, side by side, with a handful of these young men, and I have to tell you how proud I am of them, and their service.

 

To hear of another veterans suicide is heartbreaking, even if I did not know him. To read his wifes words of despair, and loss, are beyond heartbreaking. To read of the breakdown in services are beyond comprehension, but a reality. Working for the Veterans Administration as a housekeeper, I can tell you firsthand, the staff are dedicated to the care of our Veterans. I’ve seen staff do some pretty awesome things for the Veterans they serve. Many of them are Veterans themselves. They know. They’re family.

 

But the bureaucratic red tape, the rules, policies and regulations are simply ridiculous, overbearing and antiquated, doing more harm than good. They are rigid, unbendable policies which prohibit creative solutions, prevent workarounds, and put our Veterans at risk.

 

It is our duty to Honor our Veterans, Our duty to sacrifice our agendas, our political views, to help those who will carry he cost of war through out their lives. We can do better.

Fake News ain’t New

in fact, turns out it’s been around for a long time in a variety of different flavors. So much so that John Adams had something to say about it. When one thinks of fake news, we often look at it through our modern lens, and that’s the lens of driving an individual opinion as fact, done by using facts out of context, sensationalism, or outright lying. However it’s done, the distortion of reality can have devastating effects, such as starting a war, or murdering and entire population. The difference that separates us today, from yesterday, is that we now have the power to research facts. It’s called the Internet, and it allows for a variety of opinions and sources on any given subject. Thing is, nobody seems to want to use it simple because it might prove their beliefs wrong.

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Is What it is, I Think

I’m not a Trump fan, never have been. I’ve voiced my displeasure more than once. So why have I been bothered by a lot of Comey’s personal comments about Donald Trump? At first, I thought such comments were beyond his dignity, and lowered him to Trumps acidic level of toxicity. That’s probably a part of it, but not the whole reason. I think James Comey understands, unlike many, that to battle a monster, you often have to take the war to the monster, on his own playing field. Calling our President morally unfit to be president is a hard truth that many believe, and resonates to those setting on the fence. No American wants to hear that about our President, but it needed to be said in the venue it was said. I don’t like Trump as a man, I’ve always known that. His morals and ideals don’t even come close to aligning with what I believe, and I’m far from perfect. The thing is, you cannot separate a mans morals from his behavior, they go hand in hand, Trump has proven that. James Comey is simply reiterating that.

Deep State

Americans are embedded with a suspicion of government. It’s who we are, it’s how we’re raised, that suspicious eye being derived from our history, and weaved into our constitution. On one hand we trust our Government, and on the other, we’re deeply aware of how government can fail it’s people, and work to it’s own, ugly agenda. There is no surprise that 75% of Americans believe in a deep state, a cabal of the powerful running the show, behind the scenes.

If you define deep state in the above manner, look around. It’s not so deep, not so secretive, and in fact it’s quite evident. The rich and powerful, be they major corporations or individuals, spend billions of dollars to exert their will, to push their agenda, agendas that often betray the American experience.

If you define deep state as Trump does, as a cabal of Obama, left leaning democrats embedded in key government positions for the sole purpose of dictating policies, and working against his administration, I’d ask to see the evidence. I’d want to know how that works, especially in light of how each incoming president appoints their own cabinet officials to voice their political ideologies and agendas. A newly elected democrat could easily claim the same of the right. He could fire the Director of the FBI, claiming the director was out to get him, wasn’t following his new policies. That’s not evidence of a secretive cabal, that’s a disagreement between a man and his new boss.

I’ve never trusted our government to do the right thing, but not because of secret cabals of men working to their own ends, hidden deep in the offices of Washington, but rather because of money, and power. Of the two, money and power wins every time.

Into the Abyss

of madness we go.

Xi, Erdogan, Un, Putin, all now masters of their universe for life. How? Why?Simple!Because they remove any personal responsibility in your life by creating scapegoats for you to blame for all your misfortunes. The subjects are fine with going to war, corruption, and scandal, as long as they have someone to blame, and the tyrants always offer up someone. Jews, Muslims, anyone that looks different, believes different. I’ve always believed that if a person has steak for dinner and apple pie for desert, the only other thing people need is someone to blame for their personal problems. They ain’t going to be worried about their government. Even if that government is systematically destroying their democracy while they’re feasting.

Are We Stupid, Or What?

I was twenty years old walking through an airport in Germany, and I remember thinking how grateful I was that I lived in a country where there weren’t armed police officers every thousand feet. I couldn’t imagine living under such a presence, of threat and security. Forty years later, here we are, wanting to turn our schools into armed camps.

Is this who we are? Is this the best answer? Where will we be ten years down the road? I don’t have the answers, but I’ve got a few thoughts.

Based upon personal experience, a person suffering from a mental health issue isn’t going to be deterred by the fact that there is, or might be, an armed teacher or officer on site. Jared Loughner wasn’t worried about secret service protection when he shot Gabby Giffords, neither was John Hinckley when he shot Reagan.

Most schools host a wide variety of events after the school day, from basketball games to dance shows to community classes. That means a lot more doors are open to the public. Imagine a thousand people arriving for an event, having to go through security. Who’s going to pay for that? Who would want to attend a basketball game thinking they’d have to go through that? And if there’s no security after school, whats stopping someone from hiding a gun till the next day?

As far as arming certain teachers, is that the best we can come up with? Really? What’s going to happen when a teacher kills an unruly kid because they feel their life is threatened? Or two teachers get in an argument and pull their guns? Teachers are already stressed with large class sizes, insufficient wages, lack of supplies, and behavioral challenges from their students. What right minded person would take a job like that, and be told they now have to carry a weapon?

We’re asking our local schools to carry a financial, ethical and logistical burden that they simply cannot handle, yet they will be held accountable for.

And where will it stop, armed guards at the movie theaters, in our churches, our places of business? Imagine the scene of walking through your local mall, Christmas shopping and there are armed guards with machine guns every thousand feet. That’s where we’ll be in a decade after deciding to arm teachers and having armed guards roaming the halls of our schools. Is that what we want? Is that our future?

One last thing, I don’t believe God woke up one morning and said, ‘Hmmm, people have a right to own guns, and so they shall.’ If you’re thinking God gave you that inalienable right, you might want to try looking for a more peace loving God.

Rob Paxton

It’s an Old Battle

that’s getting old, and worn. Are we a Nation with inalienable rights granted by God? Or are we a Nation of Government, those rights granted by man? One would think the separation of Church and State as a founding ideal answers that question. It does for some, and for others it leads to a quagmire, a moral quest to define the world they live in, where their lives, and ours, are defined by God.

I prefer a Government of men, men you can hold accountable. Men who should hold other men accountable.

The Conservative view that we are a nation under God serves their business practices. That they alone are answerable to God, and not Government. That a Government of men have no right to regulate their business practices, to hold them accountable for fair pay, decent work hours, and safe working conditions.

I don’t necessarily trust in God, that’s not to say I don’t pray, but I’ve learned that answers and action are few and far between, if ever.  Not to mention, individual belief in God differs from person to person, just as it does from religion to religion.

Rob Paxton