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.

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.