Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The world's inequalities....

I've been holding back on this one for quite a while now because it's so loaded with extremist sensationalisms, it's hard for me to put in words.
As we all know, not just in America but world wide, there are protesters coming out of the woodwork, protesting everything from tyrannical rule to the growing divide between those that have and those that don't.

Speaking of those protesting in America right now, I truly wonder how many of these are hard working, honest, clean, intelligent people who have lost their jobs or on hard times from no fault of their own, other than trapped in the same currant recession as everyone else?
Is it possible and probable that the news media look for and find only the minority ones just for the sensationalism? The dirty, disheveled, shitting in the streets ones to show us and not the majority who are truly hurting?

I've worried for years with the worlds "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" realities.
My best example of this would be Saudi Arabia, where there are maybe 14 families with more money than they or their future generations could burn for firewood and never run out, when the vast majority are wondering wither they'll be able to eat before they watch their children die of starvation before their very eyes.

The reality that we and all other countries seem to be heading down that same path scares the hell out of me. None of this will come to fruitarian in my lifetime but I worry about the future humans.

Truth is, that path is sick and not good for either the rich or poor. Those very rich have to live behind 20 foot cement walls, called "compounds" to keep the majority from killing them, which brings up the question....What kind of life is that, even for the rich? For the extreme poor around the world, it has to be a living hell.

What seems to have snuck up on us all in the last 30+ years is the exceptness of all the sports players, actors, CEO's of giant companies, high tech executives and investors making absolutely obscene amounts of money. We've come to except those folks having 4 mansions, dozens upon dozens of $100,000 cars, without batting an eye.

I know. I know....The extreme right wing folks would be screaming right now..."Those folks worked hard for what they have and deserve to be rewarded for their labors." The also yell "Who said anything was fair?" and I agree but like I said above, to follow this path to it's ultimate will only lead not only America but the whole worlds economies to the Saudi Arabia model, which is not healthy for anyone ultimately.

I have no desire to take from the rich and give to the poor but there has to be logical and fair ways to rebuild everyone's chances at being a hard working member of a middle class. Where anyone willing to work hard would deserve a living wage, with enough money for safe housing, healthy food, medical care for themselves and their families and yes, a secure retirement when they reach an age too old to continue working. Also a way for those super rich people to help those who aren't able to help themselves by sharing some of their wealth.

The truth is I have no idea how to make all this happen but I hear everyday great ideas that never see the light of day. Hearing all the sides of this issue for all these years, the only conclusion I feel is anywhere near true is the super rich, giant corporations and mega companies don't give a rats ass about any of us. They only care about their immediate profits and they'll do anything, including controlling and buying our politicians to satisfy their greed and selfishness.

By the way, I really think this might be the biggest issue to hit the world perhaps forever and in my humble opinion other than the problem of overpopulation, this one is just starting, probably in it's infancy and just might never go away until we get a real handle on it.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Compromise. Remember that word?

More and more people coming in to my shop are getting sick and tired of our two party system who only care about their own personal political agendas. Both sides have clearly forgotten who they're working for.
Worse yet it seems, both sides have been held hostage by their more extremist outer edges. People who reside so far out in the ozone, hiding in their super stocked (food and bullets) bomb shelters, waiting for the inevitable "end of the world' they forgot what it's like to be a normal, caring human beings. People who pretend to know what they're talking about when in actuality, they're just parroting what some radio or TV channel idiot tells them to think.

So now we've become a divided nation, pretty much right down the exact middle, it seems.

On the extremist right side, they seem to be screaming to cut all social programs to the bone, if not completely eliminate them and the hell with the poor.
On the other side, they're screaming to spend even more money on those very same programs, disregarding the fact that we're not only broke but owe an unimaginably large amount of money for all the borrowing we've done creating and maintaining those programs and the hell with the rich.

The left side clearly thinks we can borrow even more and or tax the rich and spend our way out of the present financial crises and the right side thinks we just need to drastically cut spending and lower the taxes and regulations on business and the rich as incentives for them to reinvest in everything.

Not being an extremist political or financial nut case as a very loud, obnoxious minority seem to be nowadays, I don't claim to know which theory (opinion) might be right but do have some thoughts on the subject.
How about both sides pulling their feet out of their cement encased bullshit agendas (asses) and finding common ground somewhere in the middle of both these approaches?

Even my little feeble mind can imagine both sides leaving their hard core doctrines back at their office and setting down together like the professional adults we chose as our Representatives and making their main goal for once or once again, to "Compromise" for the good of the common men and women in America.

Is that asking to much? That they get back on tract finding ways in the middle to solve our problems, as we elected and expect them to do?

Again, admittedly not knowing one iota about the sometimes seemingly insurmountable financial problems the entire world is experiencing right now, isn't it reasonable to assume taking a middle of the road, compromising path to be the only real answer?

So let me just free form some thoughts right now. Instead of taxing the rich out of business, is it possible to just make damn sure all giant cooperations and companies along with their owners, CEO's and upper management are paying their fair equitable share of taxes, leaving no excuse for any business or rich as hell person, large or small from paying no taxes. No excuses! Equitable being the magic word here. If your rich as hell, you should be paying a portion equal to your wealth, just as us peons do.

With our government clearly spending far, far more than it brings in, (what business could survive one day with that idiot approach?) how about adjusting all the entitlement programs down using a slow, carefully approach. After all, these things got out of hand over years and years of added abuse and would logically take years and years to bring back into reality, without negatively impacting the masses so drastically that people are starving in the streets. How about watching your own parents lose everything they have overnight? Not a pretty or acceptable scenario, is it?

Lets try adding another long lost word back into the English language. "Reasonable".

The one issue I do feel rather strongly about is the stupendous amount of Government regulations put in place through the years. I've been told over and over how crippling they have became for businesses, adding tremendous cost to almost everything we need or consume. When a business is forced by the government to pay far more to produce their product because of some added restriction, who do you think ultimately pays for that?

Could the powers that be just go back and take a hard, honest look at how many of those regulations are actually vital to add to the general safety of mankind versus just feel good bullshit, put in place by those idiots who feel we need protection from ourselves.

I for one being an adult, (well, most of the time) would like to take as much responsibility for myself as possible, thank you.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Thanks a lot extremist. It's your fault!

This is a direct quote from Standard and Poors rating change.

"Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the
gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us
pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be
able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal
consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any
time soon."

In plain words. Both parties are a bunch of idiots who forgot us peons in their zeal to be right no matter what.

I've been watching both sides of our political system become more and more extremist and divided for quite some time now and suspected they were slowly but surely becoming the main problem.

Well, they finally did it. Their kindergarten bickering about whatever political agenda they so treasure finally brought the house of cards to the floor. The Standard and poor's direct quote above says it all as clear as a bell. Instead of thinking and acting for the peoples behalf, both idiot sides only cared about their own version of "I'm right and your wrong".

Instead of applying tried and true values and systems with a healthy helping of compromise, both sides just used the "Blame Game" idiocy instead. Instead of moving toward a healthy middle ground, we have these new extremist nut case ignoramuses cropping up across America, blathering on and on with their end of the world crap.

Yea idiots, that'll surely help matters huh? My take on this is unless you have something intelligent and constructive to contribute toward solving our short and long term problems, then just SHUT THE HELL UP and quit contributing more idiot garbage to the mix.


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Friday, August 5, 2011

Helping entrepreneurs stay in business...

Over and over again, day in and day out, I hear people complain about how hard it is to open and run a small business. With all the fees, crazy overblown regulations, stupid over the top rules and the Government trying to make everything perfectly safe for us dummies, it's almost impossible now to open and run a successful business.
One of the things I constantly hear is how California especially, is a anti-Business state. What the hell? California is an anti-business state? How insane is that?
Where do you think the majority of people have their employment? They work in the small business world, that's where.
The last thing in the world we should be doing right now is limiting intelligent entrepreneurs from pursuing their ideas for a business, which creates jobs for hard working Americans to have a chance at the good life.

A couple of examples now........

25 years ago a person with some great recipes from their Grandma, could find a good location downtown, grab up some tables, chairs, utensils, a stove, a sink, a fridge and whatever else they needed to make the food, then hire a cook, two waitresses, put sign on the front wall, flip the open sign around and boom, they were in business. Not only in business, but gave at least three other people the chance to make a decent living.

Now 25 years ago, that scenario worked perfectly, the business started making money, three people had good jobs and the patrons enjoyed Grandma's fantastic grub. Now lets stop right here to make something perfectly clear. No one got sick, no one died from food poisoning. Everyone working there were just normal people who knew to wash their hands etc etc.

OK, here's where it all started going to hell in a hand basket. So, some government bureaucrat prick took it upon themselves to try and help out all us idiot patrons. Instead of continuing to allow us to take responsibility for ourselves, to make our own choices of where and what to eat, this bureau-crap decided to treat all of us like children with no mind and make damn sure everything in the restaurant was perfectly clean and safe. A place where nothing untoward would ever happen to harm anyone.

So out goes the stove first thing. Oh can't use a regular stove like we do in our homes. Hell no......Now the owners were required to purchase a $10,000 dollar super duper stove with super grease traps with a special hood to catch the toxic smoke coming off Grandma's food. Oh and completely redesigned and installed drain systems in the floor for.....some stupid idea or the other.

So guess what folks? These driven, intelligent, creative people with a great product and idea for a new business can't afford all that crap and have to shut their doors, kicking three other innocent people out onto the employment lines in the process, depriving everyone from enjoying Grandma's great food.
In this day and age when jobs are everything, how incredibly stupid and short sighted is that????

Right as I'm writing my latest tirade, a customer walked in telling me about him trying to move his construction business to a new location. To do this, because of all the excessive, stupid and unneeded regulations, the cost went from something he might handle to completely out of bounds. The new idiocy in that world now is the dreaded "Erosion Control". To do any construction nowadays, all the sudden when building anything, you can't let one little stone or piece of dirt leave the construction area, so...................
Now you'll need, of course ....Those straw Wattles, which are those round straw tubes you see around construction sites. What are they for, you ask? To make sure none of the disturbed dirt gets off the site.....

Huh? Since when is dirt a bad thing?

Wait, we're not done yet. Then you need to completely surround the entire construction site with a Silk Filtering Fence. What? What's that for? Just in case it rains, any dirt (here we go again with that devil stuff) that might wash away is filtered with this Silk Fence before poisoning the surrounding properties.

Not done yet.

Now you'll of course need a super engineered, filtered drainage system to again filter any of that dreaded dirt from getting into the water system.
Now, here's the cool part, None of this has anything to do with his business at all. All this expensive crap is just temporary installations just for the construction process. So, he told me when everything is done, all he can do with all that expensive crap is throw it away. You see, it's worth nothing now that it's used.

It's clear that right now the main problem in America is the lack of good jobs, so lets talk about how the Government could step in and help that process along.
The first thing that comes to mind would be to step back.....I don't about to 25 years ago and take a hard look at how businesses worked then.
They did just fine without all those idiot regulations, thank you. grand idea would be for the Government to get rid of all the new regulations put in place in the last 25 years. Just throw those pieces of shit in the garbage, where they belong. Go back to what worked all throughout time, which is nothing but common sense and logic.
I'm telling you right now. We were fine back then and we'll be fine now without overregulation.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Attitude "Choices"...

An old Chinese curse goes like this:
"May you live in interesting times"

It sure seems to me at this particular time in this great political, social and human experiment called America we've reached a very interesting and might we even say convoluted crossroads. Our political landscape seems to be cut right down the middle. The views from the one side seem to be saying the whole thing is off track, failing and doomed without drastic counter measures.
The views from the other side seem to be saying quite the opposite, that we're just going through another of many ups and downs, same as all throughout history and that everything just like before will eventually come out just fine, with or without the politicians interdiction.

I'm not sure of the exact percentages but the same seems to be true with our social/moral views. One side saying we're heading down the road of moral corruption and ruin and the other side believing we're on the cusp of finally starting to remove a lot of the barriers in the way of total social and intellectual freedom.

It seems to me the last time most Americans were on the same general page was in the first world wars. Those times we had a common and excepted enemy. An enemy that seemed to be trying to take our coveted and loved way of life away. We behaved as a family unit back then. Mess with my family to your peril was the cry and hue of the day.

Let me admit something here. Every day I hear some "fact" thrown out there that positively proves to me that their point of view is right and just. Then practically the very next day, I hear another "fact" telling me everything the other person or side said was a complete fabrication. A flat out lie to further their particular political agenda.
Now these "Facts" not only come flying out of the woodwork from all the media sources and politicians but also just normal hard working folks I come into contact with.

These normal nice, seemingly intelligent folks walk in with their "Facts" in hand either screaming bloody murder about some injustice being inflicted on the huddled masses or screaming about America going down the drain of communism, socialism or any number of other "ism's", far to numerous to count.

One minute we for sure have more oil available right here under American soil than all the other countries combined and the only thing stopping us from using it are those crazy and oft hated environmentalist. The next I hear is that's all a complete exaggerated lie by all the Oil companies in the world to keep ripping us off in price.

Some "Facts" I found on the Internet:

Where are the reserves?

Proved oil reserves are those quantities of oil that geological information indicates can be with reasonable certainty recovered in the future from known reservoirs. Of the trillion barrels currently estimated, 6% are in North America, 9% in Central and Latin America, 2% in Europe, 4% in Asia Pacific, 7% in Africa, 6% in the Former Soviet Union. Today, 66% of global oil reserves are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes: Saudi Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAR (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%).

So in the end folks, I think we're back to the basics of psychology here. We each have it within ourselves to form opinions and attitudes about all the subjects we care to pay attention to slipping in whichever emotional Tagalogs we choose to add. Is today going to be a nice day or a crappy one? Is the weather too hot or just right. Are we going to see life through rose colored or dark glasses? Is America on the cusp of ruin or will it be just fine eventually?

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.

-- Carlos Castaneda

I admittedly and proudly count myself in the latter. I make a choice daily to see the positive in life. Most people I come across think life is pretty damn good right now and fully believe it will always only get better on into the future with the normal bumps in the road. I suppose it depends on where you live but I get proof everyday where I live and work. Everyone I come in contact with, including me are holding their chins high and their glasses proudly half full.

I have no plans whatsoever to start trading in my cash for gold, building a secret bomb shelter or Ark for that matter, to stock with food, guns and ammo for the "The end". I'll leave that up to the thousands throughout time, both from politics and religion who continue to make those silly and obviously failed proclamations.

Oh, one more thing. Every time I get on this rant, someone inevitably accuses me of being the ostrich with it's head in the sand hiding from reality. Sorry guys. I hold my chin and head high and enjoy the fresh air of my own attitude choices and I choose to think positive.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Things I flat ass don't care about!

This subject has hit me dozens of times over the last couple of years. As I watch the news, read newspapers, or any American media, more and more, all I see is stories about things I could care less about. Those things would be far too long to list in this short piece but I'm forced to give a few examples just to get my point across.

I could care less about all those weird ass countries in the far Eastern parts of the world. I live, work, and only care about America. I don't live over there and don't give a rats ass about the extremist's there with their continuing, unbelievably ignorant ways. I've been told the majority of them are decent folks. We'll have to wait and see how that war of ideas comes out in the end, now won't we? That crazy crap has been going on for thousands of years over there and probably won't end in my lifetime, if ever. I don't care about their religion, culture, habits, clothing, what they eat, how the extremist among them torture, kill and maim each other in the name of some idiot god. We have enough of that stupidity going on right here in America every day.

I don't have the slightest desire to be educated and understand anything at all about them. In my life, they don't even exist other than as some exotic tribesmen in some desert land. If there is a modicum of ignorance in my belief, tough $%#@.
Now the same thing is true for me about all the other places in the world. Mexico? I could care less, other than I wish they would stay home and handle their own problems and quit sucking our resources dry. Oh yeah. I could care less about learning to speak Mexican and they need to speak English to me or leave me the hell alone.

Again, I don't have the time, space or intellectual energy to name them all in this space but I think you get the idea. I am an American. There's no reason for me to apologize for that fact. I was lucky enough to be born here and everyone else in the world was unlucky enough to be born wherever they are in comparison. There's no reason for me to feel sorry for all those folks. It's just life. Their unfortunate circumstance in life is not my fault. Even here, I did not, nor would I own slaves. I did not bomb the Japanese. I did not kill the American Indians. None of that is my fault in the slightest and I'm sick of having uppity people try and lay blame on me for other people's problems I had nothing to do with.

Moving on, I could care less about other adults sexual or marriage habits. Not one tiny bit. Other adults have the right to do anything they want with their bodies and lives as long as they don't try and force any weirdness on others. I could care less about what women choose to do with their bodies. Those things are clearly none of my business. I'll take care of my own body any way I want thank you and it's none of anyone else's business.

Oh yeah. One more thing. I could care less about all the political extremist on both sides of the issues screaming their insanities and agendas. I could care less that they each think they have the right answer. Like most Americans, I think they need to shut the hell up, compromise or whatever else it might take and get something real done, once and for all.

In my perfect world which of course doesn't exist, we would all go back to the good old early America times, days where the only news that mattered was what was happening right in the town you lived. Towns hundreds of miles away didn't matter in the slightest to those folks, They had enough on their plates just etching out a living and staying alive. Those folks didn't give a flying $%#@ what was going on in New York city and barely even knew the rest of the world was real, much less cared.

I'm not even sure If I would say I'm especially proud to be an American, as much as it's just my incredible luck to have been born here. I really can't take any personal credit for that fact. I sometimes think all the "American Pride" stuff to be rather uppity and egotistical.

I'm guessing for a minority of folks these thoughts I'm conveying today somehow all of the sudden turns me into a non-caring %#*&@ but oh well, as the saying goes "You can't please them all".

Here's my truth as I and most people who know me personally see it though. I'm just a normal hardworking, honest to the core, caring about my friends, customers and family type of guy.

Nothing less, nothing more.

Like most Americans, I would jump out and help in any LOCAL emergency without regard for my safety or well being. I do care greatly about those around me.

Well? Whatchathink?
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The devil in the details is.....BIG BUSINESSES GREED

I’ve come to the conclusion that when there are issues and problems in normal hard working folk’s financial lives, it’s inevitably the fault of big business in one way or the other and number one on my list would be banks. I know. I know. There's a small generally extremist screaming minority of folks down south and up in the junior high schools of deep Alaska who want to place all the blame for everything from toe rot to our present financial recession on the dreaded government but I beg to disagree. Just to remind those robots, the government is us folks. If you vote, you are the government. If you don't, go stand in the corner and shut the hell up. Is our government perfect? Hell no but it's probably the best in the world.

Now I'm not talking about the little corner market or friendly hardware store here. I’m talking about the giants of the world. Big business in most cases has only one agenda and that is profit. Profit above all other considerations. It’s all that matters. Now I’m not talking about a normal profit margin here to be able to keep a business healthy and successful but outlandish, rip-off and the hell with the public profit. The part that consistently angers my sensibilities is big businesses complete lack of consideration for a word that slowly slipped into the clouds of yesteryear and purposely forgotten at some point. That would be the whole concept of “Reasonable”. In the beginning, businesses were rightfully expected to make a “reasonable” profit. Somehow through the intervening years, that word just flat out disappeared, especially with concepts like “Whatever the market will bear” and “Supply and Demand”. These nonsense words were invented by big businesses as logical sounding excuses to rip a new hole in us, without guilt. A hole nothing goes in, just out.

In the beginning businesses also had far different concerns. They actually cared about their customers.... first and foremost above all else.
Lets see. What’s that old concept called? Oh yeah, customer service. Yea, that’s it.
Another old, out of date concept they practiced then was quality. They actually cared about the quality of whatever product they were selling, products that were meant to last for years if not generations. The owners had pride in the products. In fact as far as they were concerned the quality of their products reflected on them personally.

Seems like nowadays there is only one purpose for a business to be in business and that would be to make all the higher ups rich beyond their wildest dreams, including all the shareholders and owners. Not the employees mind you, screw those idiots! Just those at the very top of the ladder. The hell with those peons at the bottom.
Not just get rich but get rich as quick as possible, most time to the detriment of the common man. Not become more and more successful over a long period of time as in the past but RIGHT NOW!
I know, I know. I’ve heard all the talk about business being the grease that makes everything else happen. I even have a friend that proclaims that "GREED IS A GOOD THING!" That without hardcore greed, nothing would get done in life.

That same minority wanted from the very beginning to blame the people for being stupid agreeing to all those loans the banks were offering they couldn't afford. It was their fault for not reading all the fancy smancy legal fine print, only a lawyer could begin to understand. If any of them actually asked anything about this, the banks just said "Oh don't worry your little head about that. In just a few years, you'll make a fortune in profits on your home."

OK, I don't know about you but when my wife and I sat down in the Title offices when buying our homes and they spread out those 400 pieces of paper for us to sign, we didn't read one word, other than where to sign. You see, back then we personally knew and trusted our Realtor and trusted banks explicitly to not cheat us. We also had to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that we could afford the payment throughout the entire loan period.

Piss you off? Completely agree? Read below and DO IT!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Come on all you rich folks.....

On all the American Media, we're always seeing these huge, wonderful sounding stories of the rich and famous in society donating to great and worthy causes, building homes for the poor, adopting children with incredibly unfortunate lives and histories, establishing institutions and schools for the poorest children imaginable. Everything they do is amazingly beneficial and often times the first and only time these unfortunate fellow humans have had to know someone out there knew or cared about them. The first chance they've had in their lives to know hope even existed.

All this wonderful, selfishness and giving altruistic attitudes and actions these incredibly rich and famous people do is great indeed. There's certainly no way we could ever take that away from these caring, loving folks, now is there?
Well, I personally have a huge issue with all this. Every time I see these stories, they are almost exclusively taking place in some other country.

What about America folks? Don't we have an overabundance of super poor, needy folks right here in America that badly need help, especially in these "interesting times" we find ourselves in right now? Aren't there children slowly starving to death right here, unseen and hidden on the streets of America right now also? With all the floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other horrible events on American soil recently, aren't there thousands upon thousands of deserving Americans, young and old who have lost everything they had and live with no hope for the future? What about them, Mr. and Mrs. rich and famous, what about them?

Seeing this I am often times forced to question their real motives and agendas. Especially the super rich and famous actresses and actors. Is part of their reasoning just a tad egotistical? Look at me, I am so cool. I adopted this super poor black baby from Africa. Without naming names, we all know of the most famous women on Earth right now creating somewhere in Africa a giant educational institute for young girls. A place to give them a chance to become educated and enjoy the benefits of a degree they never would have had. Well, Mrs richest women in the world, how about those same girls right here in America? What about them? Are there not thousands upon thousands of super poor deserving young girls here also? What about them?

I know this is probably far from politically correct (tough shit) but have you seen how much money all those famous actors and actresses make per year lately? Holy crap! You and I could live for a year on what they make "Per episode" on some of those silly weekly shows we drug ourselves out on.

I would ask them to forgo just one of their three mansions in Hollywood or get rid of just one super Jet and instead donate that money to....oh, I don't know....maybe a dozen super needy families right here in America? Maybe forgo that 3 months vacation for 30 of their best partying pals this summer in Haiti and instead keep a thousand children from starving to death this month right here in America?


Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grown man crying..........

I'm by anyone's standards a grown man. Like most men, I almost never cry. That I can remember at this point, I can count the times on one hand in my adult life. When my Dad died, then my Mom and when our Daughter was laying in the hospital on the edge of death (She survived fine in the end, thank you).

Like a lot of folks, I'm a fan of National Public Radio. I listen to it religiously every morning on my way to work and every evening on the way home. No screaming music or bullshit talk radio for me. I enjoy what I consider to be a station for intelligent, thoughtful people like I consider myself to be.

By the way. This week is their pledge time. Get your butt over to their website
( and share some of your wealth to keep this great service we all depend so heavily on going.

As we all know, the airwaves right now including Public Radio are filled to the brim with the death of Osama Bin Laden. This morning during the Morning Addition segment, a piece they call a driveway moment came on for me. That's what they call a story that you find so compelling that you stay in your car until it's over. Before this piece was over, I could barely see, I was crying so much. I was bawling like a baby after receiving their first shot in the leg at the doctors office.

Giving full credit to National Public Radio's Morning Addition segment, I feel compelled to pass the story on to you. This is straight off their website (May 5, 2011), verbatim.
Now this was in Mrs. Beverly Eckert's own words and voice. As you can imagine, she was gently crying throughout the entire telling. It was her voice and deeply felt emotions that finaly tipped me over the edge.

Beverly Eckert lost her husband, Sean Rooney, in the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. She remembers her husband's warm brown eyes, dark curly hair, and that he was "a good hugger."

The two met at a high school dance, when they were only 16 years old. When Rooney died, they were 50.

On Sept. 11, Rooney called his wife at 9:30 a.m. He told her he was on the 105th floor, and he'd been trying to get out.

"He told me that he, you know, hadn't had any success and now the stairwell was full of smoke," Eckert says. "I asked if it hurt for him to breathe and he paused for a moment, and says, 'No.' He loved me enough to lie."

After a while, they stopped talking about escape routes and instead focused on the happiness they'd shared together.

"I told him that I wanted to be there with him, but he said, no, no, he wanted me to live a full life," she says.

As the smoke got thicker, Rooney whispered, " 'I love you,' over and over," Eckert says. "I just wanted to crawl through the phone lines to him, to hold him, one last time."

Then she heard a sharp crack, followed by the sound of an avalanche. The building was beginning to collapse. Eckert called Rooney's name into the phone repeatedly, and then she just sat there, pressing the phone to her heart.

"I think about that last half-hour with Sean all the time. I remember how I didn't want that day to end, terrible as it was, I didn't want to go to sleep because as long as I was awake, it was still a day that I'd shared with Sean," she says.

Rooney had kissed Eckert goodbye that morning before going to work. She says, "I could still say that was just a little while ago, that was only this morning. And I just think of myself as living life for both of us now. And I like to think that Sean would be proud of me."

So go ahead and ask me what I think of Osama Bin Laden's death. Should he have been captured and tried in a court of law? Should they show the pictures of him as proof of his death? Who should get credit for his capture and death?
To every question you might ask, my answer is exactly the same. I don't give a shit!
Mrs. Beverly Eckert's personal story is the only reality that matters at this point.

The rest is pure unadulterated bullshit.

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Personal Responsibility?

I was born and raised on a small farm in mid California. Everyone raised in those conditions and times learned very early in life that there were things out there that could possibly hurt you. We were taught to be careful in life but told that bad things could still happen to you and it was your responsibility to take care of yourself. Example.....One time I was playing over at my friends farm. Now his father had dug a huge hole in the ground. No idea why. Maybe he was putting in a septic tank or something. Here's the deal though. With such a tempting thing as a deep hole in the ground, where do you think me and my friend were playing? Yup...right there on the edge of that hole of course. Probably throwing rocks in or something young boys do.

Well, the inevitable happened and I fell in. Smacking down in the bottom of that big old hole, I broke my arm. As I lay there yelling, crying and screaming in pain, my friend ran and told his Mom what happened and they called my parents to tell them what happened. My Mom came and everyone dragged my sorry ass out of there and she took me to the local doc to get it fixed. Guess who got in trouble here? Me and my friend of course. All the way to the doctors office my Mom was berating me for doing such a stupid mindless thing as falling in that hole. I knew my friend was getting his ass chewed out real good for the same reason.

Now I'm telling you right now that the idea that my friends parents should be sued or held responsible for having this huge, dangerous hole for me to fall into did not even cross anyone's mind, much less my parents. The only person they were mad at was the people responsible for doing such a stupid thing and that was me and my friend. Can you imagine how different this scenario would be nowadays? Nowadays, not only would people sue those negligent land owners for not properly protecting innocent kids from such a dangerous situation, the people who owned that land might even lose the whole farm over this.

How idiotic is that? Nowadays the injured party would not even feel bad about suing because it's not personal, you see. That's what insurance is for. With the advent of insurance, we have lost our sense of responsibility of our own actions.

Another example. When I was in high school, there were a couple of cool things all of us did. One would be to hang out at the bowling alley and the other would be to go roller skating. Now I remember plain as day, even at that age that as we walked into the roller skating rink, there was a huge sign up on the wall that said:
"Skate at your own risk". As far as everyone was concerned at that time it was a done deal with that sign. It made it perfectly clear that it was our choice and responsibility if anything were to happen while skating.

Another example we've all heard about is the lady who spilled her hot coffee she just bought at a McDonald's and won millions! Now clearly she was not responsible to make damn sure she was careful with that coffee. The restaurant was negligent for having the coffee too hot.

One of the insane things that drives me crazy nowadays are those jerks, mainly in politics both national and local who constantly try and make everything perfectly safe for us. Impossible, I say. What ever happened to the reality of "Shit happens"? Just to make a very clear, concise and direct point. In my perfect world, which doesn't exist of course, when some poor unfortunate kid fell down in the skating rink and became paralyzed from the neck down, everyone would of course feel terrible for him or her but that would be that. His or her parents or family would just have to deal with this unfortunate and sad situation themselves as humans have done all throughout history. The skating rink or society in general would have nothing to do with it.


Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Garbage in, garbage out.

Has anyone else noticed the shadowy, slowly creeping, insidious "Dumbing down" intellectual place we seem to be entering nowadays? Let me take a wild guess here that the main cause is our entire drugged, hooked, obsessive fascination with "The Media". They very well might be our present day demon. The demon who is determined to erode our minds with trivial, shallow junk. Stuff about as stimulating as watching paint dry.

Lets take a good cold hard look at what's going on with the media. Starting with the News. You've all heard that only bad news sells? A stupid concept in my humble opinion but there it is folks. Doesn't matter in the slightest which news program you watch or listen to, the only things you're going to learn is how the world is about to end in one catastrophic way or another. Here's the truth though if you read between the lines. Pretty often the normal news programs will have a small story about this amazing man or women who does some absolutely stupendously wonderful thing for mankind out of the kindness of their ample hearts. Helps drug addicts or provides housing for the poor or started an organization to show our military people how thankful we are for their sacrifices.

I could go on with examples for pages here but you know what I'm talking about. These geniuses are most always just one person. In a lot of cases, if that one person went away, the whole fantastic organization would just melt away. Here's the thing though. Those unbelievable folks are out there right now doing stone cold miracles. There out there by the millions, all over the world much less. So, how come the "News" doesn't tell us all about their good deeds and accomplishments? Stories about these kinds of people would certainly be good food for our minds and souls huh? I'm going to take a wild guess that for every negative thing going on in the world right this second, there are thousands of purely wonderful and positive things happening also. Remember the golden rule though......Only bad news sells.

OK how about the general entertainment media now? If you have a bit of age on your bones, you'll remember that Movies and Television's early days had programs and shows that were intellectually stimulating. Alfred Hitchcock for instance put the fear in your imagination and intellect instead of throwing a bucket of blood and guts in your face. The shows had at least a modicum of substance and value. They set up situations that demanded your complete attention.

Nowadays? I personally think there are a few little diamonds in the ruff out there at this time as I'm sure you do. The vast majority though is pure unadulterated garbage. I would go so far here as calling it poison garbage. Ultimately insidious, dangerous garbage. Instead of challenging our minds, it's like having that 14th beer, third glass of wine or third joint. You've gone from fun to stupidity. The creators of the majority of programs or movies being made now could care less about the effects of the madness and stupidity their pumping in our vanes causes. They have the same exact agenda that all the other media outlets have. That's to take as much money out of our pockets they can and putting it in theirs.

The main point I'm trying to make here is we have let ourselves slowly but surely be pulled into the media's version of reality but it's all a damn lie. It's all not only false but mind numbing crap designed to rob us of our minds and turn us into something we clearly were not meant to be. Humans are the most amazing things on the planet. We were strong enough to pull ourselves out of the dirt and caves of long ago to be the creators of all the amazing, creative, artistic and useful things we have now.
The only thing I can think to do is try with all my might to remember it's all a bunch of bull pucky. It's not real. It's all just crap to draw you in and get your money. I think I would much rather spend my money on that first glass of wine.

My advise? Sorry, don't have any. Nor am I presumptuous enough to think I could tell anyone else what to do. Just more of my Esoteric Mumblings.

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random thoughts, or just magic?

Being an amateur writer in the true sense of the word but enjoying the hell out of myself, there are some things I find amazingly interesting but just flat out don't understand about the whole writing process. I'm positive I'm not the first amateur writer to ask these questions.

Writing these rather small column type pieces is actually quite easy for me. All I need to start the faucet flowing is what I call just a seed of an idea. Almost always not from my feeble mind. Usually gleaned from some conversation at my place of business. It turns out that normal, everyday folks have great ideas, opinions and thoughts and can articulate them in interesting, intelligent and creative ways, if given half a chance. So that "seed" I speak of is actually one hell of a good head start for my blathering on and on about a subject.

The truth is once I get a seed, such as the seed of todays piece, which was simply "Where in the hell do writers get their ideas from?", I just set down as I'm doing right this minute and like magic, all these hopefully pertinent and applicable to the subject words just start flowing out of me like water onto the screen, using the keyboard strokes. I consider myself lucky because back in high school, while choosing which courses to take, my choices included "Typing". Now back then only girls took typing, so of course that appealed to me. Being the only guy with all these pretty girls sounded good to me. Also, typing seemed like it would be a pretty easy class, especially compared to things like Math(Yuk)or History(yuk and 1/2). So typing it was for three straight years. Didn't use that skill for years but now it paid off in spades for me.
See, there's an example of fill thoughts just to add to the story and take up space....heh.....heh....

OK, back to the subject at hand. I have to admit with just a touch of humble pride that quite a few times in the recent past, folks have said to me that my writing was pretty good and why don't I write a book? Well........On to another side tangent here for just a moment. I'm actually one of those crazy reading nut cases. Without exaggerating, I would take a wild guess, I've read thousands of books in my life but write a book? Holy Molly!

How do those great adventure writers do that? To make up an entire alternate reality or universe in the case of Science Fiction or Fantasy writers. Then fill it with original characters, places, scenes, timescapes, conversations, action sequences, danger, love scenes maybe including interesting and creative mysteries? Where do their original ideas come from? I've actually heard several writers say something like this. "I have no idea where those things come from. I just set down and things like that just come out of no where. Almost like I'm just the worker bee and someone or something else is feeding these ideas into my mind."

I once read a book by this psychiatrist by the name of Fritz Pearls. He developed the Gestalt Therapy model back in the 60's to help people hopefully dump all the built up crap out of their systems that might be holding them down. Wew...How's that for nonsense filler? The important thing I did take away from reading his junk though was he said everybody had a book in them if they would just set down and start writing without any editing at all. Just let it flow out like water.

So, am I going to write the next great novel of the universe? How should I know? I'm just the worker bee here, ya know....'s your assignment for today kids. Set down at your computer or get out a piece of paper and pen and just start writing. See what happens. I'm going to guess here that you'll be pleasantly surprised at what comes out in the end. Hell, who knows. Maybe you'll be one of those people who end up with a second successful career as a famous rich writer.

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Community Involvement....

I've had a business in a very small community for something like 34 years now. I've lived in another very small community for something like 23 years now. In both of those instances, a recurring theme and complaint I've heard over and over from the locals in one form or another is the fact that a lot of folks who live there don't seem to participate in the local clubs, organizations or events that come and go, sometimes yearly or more often. A lot of those complainers always wonder why more people who move there don't become involved in the local happenings.

Even I, in the beginning years of working and living in these small communities had the same disappointments, to say the least. Years ago, I got into the whole website building business. I came up with an idea everyone who heard about thought was a wonderful and grand idea. I noticed back in the early days of the Internet that large towns and communities had these great websites. Websites that gave all kinds of information about the towns or communities. People from all over the world could simply go to the town website to learn everything they needed to know about that town.

So, my grand idea for my own new successful business was to build both of those towns a great, creative, informative website. Now get this! My thought was to do this FREE! No charge whatsoever from the community. What I did do however was to offer to build all the small businesses in that town a website and maintain it for a relatively small fee. The few businesses who already had a website in those early years could pay me to have a link directly to their website, so potential customers could access information about their business straight from the community website.

I even had town meetings with all the interested parties and businesses present. I would then present my idea with power point presentations to educate everyone about this service I was offering. Well everyone thought it was a great idea. YEA! They would say. Lets do this!

The only thing I requested and expected from the local involved folks was for people from each of the clubs, organizations and event people to feed me any information they wanted others to see on the website. I would do all the technical work on the website FREE!

So, I went about the labor intensive work of building two small local towns websites, so the world could access information about them. Then I rounded up quite a few local businesses that were interested in having me build them websites or have links to their websites. I then created all those websites and added all the links of the others.

Then went in person to all the clubs, organizations and event people to try and get them to assign the job of a liaison between their clubs and me. People who would feed me via e-mail anything they wanted to have on the website for the world to see. Well, everything went pretty damn well for the first year or so, then slowly but surely those people assigned to talk to me got slower and slower. So I then went back out to reinvigorate them into action again. Again it worked for a while, then slowly went away. With very little new information on the websites, the businesses began to logically slowly drop out also. The truth about websites, whether they are about towns or are business websites is the towns or owners of the businesses have to constantly update them with new exciting information. Without this dynamic, you might as well shut them down. They just set there and die a slow and painful death.

Well.........there finally came a time when I decided that as long as I was the "Super salesman personified" everything went pretty well. You know what though. I was always only interested in being the technical administrator, not the "Used Car Salesman of the month" with this. So eventually I shut both of the websites down and both these small towns lost an unbelievable resource back in those early Internet days to show the world what they had to offer.

I came away from this very telling experience with a far better understanding of the dynamics of the whole small town "Community Involvement" realities. The cold hard truth about these folks is new people who move to these small communities are generally people trying to escape the whole big city overcrowding, noise and "neighbors in your face" experiences. They are clearly trying to avoid the huddled masses any way they can. They are mostly rather "recluse" and came there to be able to do that very thing.

So where does all these truths leave the civic minded folks who want to become involved in their communities and make them a better place to live? The ones who are constantly complaining about the lack of Community Involvement from most people? Well, as anyone knows who tries to get folks "involved", you learn right away that each club, organization and event actually only has a very few energetic, great volunteers who do ALL the work involved in making it happen. Any others that come to the events just come on show day and enjoy the benefits of these few people's efforts. I'm not judging anyone here. This is just the reality of it.

So everyone else should at least just appreciate the hell out of the 4 or 5 nice, great people in each of these clubs who are willing and able to make these fun, entertaining events happen. The next time you're standing there enjoying the wine, eating the delicious little sandwiches someone went to all the trouble to make. Profusely thank those 4-5 people for all they do.

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Create your own games, then plan on winning!

I think most folks by far just travel through life taking whatever is handed to them without much thought. With humans, there would be basically sheep types and then there would be the sheep herders. Most societies don't try and teach folks to aspire to sheepherder status at all. I guess under the guise of politeness, civility and just trying to get along with others, the sheep really don't want to stand out from the crowd.

Now this is all fine and good for a while but the truth is, the sheep almost never get anything they really want or need out of life. They tend to except blandness, sameness and safety over adventure, creativity or just taking chances. Being herded around by the man with the whistle and stick, they only get to eat the grass already stomped down by the masses, instead of the fresh tasty stuff just over the hill.

Seems to me the first thing one has to do to get what one wants and needs out of this very limited span of time on this magical blue ball we're standing on is to start taking stock of ourselves. The clear truth is each of us should be the dictator in control of our own personal domains. Creating our own game and then making sure we are the winner. We sure shouldn't depend on some Sheepherder to establish our path on this journey, now should we?

So the next time you walk into a store or any kind of business for that matter. Walk in with your own personal take charge attitude. Walk in with purpose. Hold your head high and look completely in control of yourself. Lets look at two ways to get things done in there. You could say what most people would say. Like "Please, do you think it would be possible for you to do this or that for me"? How about instead saying "Hi, here's what you're going to do for me today, and here's how you're going to do it"?

Here's where it gets interesting to me. A lot of times the business or person you're dealing with will say something like "I'm sorry sir but we don't do that. Our rules/protocols don't allow that". At that point, you have a couple of choices. The first of course is to start arguing your case with this person, trying to talk him/her into doing what you need. The second and better choice by far is to completely bypass this person all together as soon as possible. You could say "Ok Sir/Mame, the last think I want to do here is waste your valuable time and certainly not mine. I can see you don't have the authority to help me. Please go get your superior. He'll know how to handle this".

Again start out by not demanding anything. Just telling this "superior" what you expect him/her to do for you. Don't raise your voice. Just look straight into his/her eyes and tell them in a calm authoritarian voice how it's going to happen. Remember.....important point here. You're not "asking" them to do anything. You're "telling" them what needs to be done and how to do it. Remember. You are the dictator in control of your life and of this situation. Have absolutely no doubt of that at any time with your negotiations with this person or business. Doubt and insecurity leaks out of your pores like sweat, leaving a stain everyone can see.

Creating this kind of attitude in oneself leaves no room for others to cheat, rob, trick, cajole or in any way take advantage of you. All this is true in our personal lives also. People with lots of friends are the types that just barge right into others lives and just take over. Life doesn't come knocking on our doors. You have to go out and kick down doors and position yourself where you want to be, on your own terms.

The opposite of a winner is not a loser - it is a quitter. People who "win" at life, who accomplish their goals and do great things, are those who keep trying. Instead of letting a little setback knock them off course, they dust themselves off and take another go at it. I believe we were all born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. That complete confidence is the grease and engine that will make it happen.

Here goes the old platitudes, in case you need them to meditate too.

Grabbing the bull by the horns. Dancing your own dance. Being in control. Setting your own rules of life. Being the dictator in control of your domain. Creating your own game and then making sure you're the winner. Think big - dare to dream. Put in the extra mile.
Above all else. Don't wait for anything to happen. Get out there and make it happen!

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A common man's perspective

This is an e-mail response I got back from a very good friend. In this wild world of the Internet, we've never actually met in person at all. I became "net" friends with him on a Helicopter Pilot forum I discovered through my Daughters career with those weird ass machines. He visits the forum often to give new pilots the experience of his years of flying them safely and with great intelligence. I liked him immediately because of his great writing skills and attitude toward young people trying to break into the Helicopter Pilot industry.

He has always been nothing but positive about the industry and life in general. However, in just the last few months, I've seen him on his Face book page get caught up in all the negative political spin. I felt the need as a friend to write him a note telling him of my concerns. He wrote this back and as usual, it's so well written and I think perfectly reflects what a lot of, if not the majority of Americans are going through right now, that I thought it worthwhile to let all my blog readers hear what his response back to me was.

I'm keeping him anonymous for his own privacy.

Here is his letter back to me.....

First of all, you never have to worry about stepping "beyond your realm" with me. Friends are friends are friends, whether we've ever met face to face or not, and I consider you a very good friend indeed. I always welcome this kind of email from friends and family, because they make me take a look at myself. A reality check of sorts, if you will. That's never a bad thing in my estimation, and I'm not one to go getting defensive because I know the sentiments come from a genuine concern. I appreciate that more than words can say. I'm nowhere near perfect, so I can always use some words of wisdom from a friend!

I've caught myself on many occasions getting sucked into the negativity of the political realm and allowing myself to get swept up in the foolishness of it all. Being a passionate person, all too often I have a tendency to go overboard and let my emotions get the better of me. I have many hot button pet peeves that will set me off in a heartbeat and once I get going, I have a hard time stopping myself.

To name just a few:

Illegal immigration - I think it's just an absolute slap in the face to this nation, and to every immigrant who's ever gone through the process of coming here in accordance with our laws that our government is so incredibly willing to look the other way with regards to the rampant invasion we're experiencing;

Partisan politics - This country cannot survive as a nation divided along political lines. We don't have to agree on every issue, but we DO have to learn to work together and compromise for the greater good of the American people. It's absurd that our "leaders" act like spoiled children, and we allow them to get away with it. It's out of control and it needs to stop;

"Affirmative action" - There was a time when minorities might have needed an extra leg up, but that time is long gone. Nowadays, I just see quotas and affirmative action programs as a way to simply lower the standards for those who are either incapable or unwilling to meet the established standard. I've seen too many friends and family members who were far more qualified, lose out on jobs and scholarships for no other reason than their skin was simply the wrong color. These programs provide no motivation for self-improvement, and foster a society of people who have a sense of entitlement just because they're from a certain ethnic group. The ironic thing is they condone discrimination, even though that's exactly what they were designed to prevent. I think there should be one standard for everyone, and if you do not yet meet that standard, get off your ass and solve the problem. Don't sit around and wait for someone to lower the standard for you;

Anyone with a sense of entitlement - This country is great because people used to believe in doing an honest days' work for an honest days' pay. People knew that if they ever wanted to improve their lot in life, it would take hard work, motivation, and perseverance. Today, it seems too many people feel that they are "owed" something for nothing. More and more it seems people are just willing to sit around and stick their hands out and wait for someone to come along and give them something. I believe that if you want something, you go out and bust your ass to get it. I know you understand this as a self-employed business owner! ;-)

Hypocrites and Liars - Nothing chaps my rosy red ass quite as much as someone who falls into one or both of these categories. I find them more and more often anymore. Doesn't matter if they're slick salesmen, politicians, or whomever. I hate being lied to, I hate being ripped off, and I hate double standards (hence my FB photo album). In my chosen career, my life depends on honesty and integrity. I refuse to tolerate anyone who lacks either.

The above issues and topics will get me spun up fairly quickly and once I start seeing red, the horns come out and I start blowing smoke out of my nose and pawing at the ground. I absolutely have an incredibly fiery temper, though I do realize it and therefore do my very best to keep it in check. I guess it's the Italian in me ;-)

As a student of history, intellectually I realize that this time is just a downturn in our country's cyclical history and that things will get better, as they always do. There have been many before, and this likely will not be the last. On an emotional level though, I am not old enough to remember the last time our nation was in such a predicament. It's one thing to read about it in a textbook, it's completely different to be in the moment and experiencing it as it happens. I guess the doomsday stuff is a result of this. I just wonder how we can stop this snowball when it seems to be gaining speed and it's going down a very slippery slope. It scares me sometimes, to think about what the world and our country might be like when my Daughter has children of her own. I think this is part of the reason I get such a doom and gloom attitude at times. Just fear for what might become based on what I see in the world around me today. It's easier to see the bad than the good, and sometimes I get caught up in it all. I know in my heart of hearts that as you said, most people are good, rational, intelligent human beings. I guess I just need to try to focus on that a little more.

Like I said on my Face Book Page, I consider myself an independent, tho my tendencies are definitely more right-leaning than left. That said, there are plenty of things (gay marriage for one) that I agree with on the left side of the fence that would get me tarred and feathered with my righty friends. The problem is, I don't really care what anyone thinks of my political views, morals, or preferences. I'm always happy to explain myself and my beliefs to anyone who asks. I also love a good, civil debate on the topics when someone has a differing opinion as that is how I expand my horizons and learn. Basically what comes down to is that I just believe in what I think is right, no matter which political group endorses or condemns it.

On the Helicopter Pilot Forum, I do my very best to always be positive and helpful. Thats what that forum is for in my estimation, so that's what I try to present there. I do get caught up in petty arguements and Urinary Olympiads even in there, though I certainly try not to. I genuinely believe in paying it forward, and helping those who want to achieve what I've already achieved (or hopefully they want to do better than me!). On Facebook, it's more of whatever my day brings. Flying Pediatric and Neonatal transport teams for the last 8 months, I've seen some pretty depressing things so I know my FB statuses have reflected that. I'd say on an every day basis, I am far more like the persona you see in the Helicopter Forum, but this past year has been very rough on me and I'm sure that's come out in my FB postings. I do try to see the positive in things, but being an imperfect person, I know I do get negative sometimes. I will endeavor to keep that in mind in this coming year, and do my best to keep it from getting the better of me.

I'll tell you this much, I don't have many friends who would care enough to bring such concerns to my attention, so the fact that you wrote to me means a great deal. Thank you for watching my back, thank you for all the kind words, and thank you for being such an awesome friend. It is an honor to be able to call you my friend, and I hope someday I can give you as much as you've given me through the years. Your support, encouragement, kind words and wisdom have meant so much to me. Thank you.

Blue Skies and Tailwinds my friend.

Do you see why I consider him such an amazing, intelligent person? We need more people with his caring intelligence and integrety, that's for sure.


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Friday, January 14, 2011

Misinformation versus Truth.....

Like a lot of folks, I listen to National Public Radio each day on my way to and from work on the car radio. I'll admit that I feel their news is by far the most complete, non-biased and lacking of any political agenda out there on all the mostly bullshit airwaves. I do know in the mostly extremist world, they would adamantly disagree with my analysis but tough shit!

Sooooooooooooo, this morning they had this report I personally found extremely interesting and informative. Like most news right now, the subject was how much responsibility do the various extremist idiots on both sides of our political system need to take for this present assassination attempt and all the others in the past.

I have to admit right here and now that my very last blog tried to deal with this issue also. As you can see if you read that one, I too got caught up in considering blaming the extremist news idiots for influencing these crazies to shoot politicians.

It's well known that in March 1981, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan. What is not well known is that several years later, the life of President Reagan and the life of his vice president, George H.W. Bush, were threatened again in fact, not just once. In the space of 18 months, four situations came to the attention of the Secret Service.

In two of these incidents, people with weapons and an intent to kill appeared at public events. In the two other incidents, the would-be assassins were intercepted before the events. Ultimately, all four cases were prosecuted. Two were convicted, and two were sent to psychiatric facilities, though the government didn't exactly advertise it.

These were not stories that hit the news, but they were situations that caused great concern for protectors. At that point in time the Secret Service decided they would like to know more about the behaviors of these people. So they undertook the most extensive study of assassins and would-be assassins ever done.

In the Secret Service Exception Case Study Project, they identified 83 people who had completed assassinations or made assassination attempts since 1949 — some cases known to the public, some not — and collected every document they could find. They also went to visit many of these people in jail.

They went with a very particular pitch: They would say, "We're here because we're in the business of trying to protect people and prevent these kinds of attacks. You are one of the few experts because you've engaged in this behavior. We would like to talk to you to understand your perspectives, your life". Most said they'd be very glad to talk.

The researchers asked prisoners how they chose targets, how they prepared. They inquired about their motives, every intimate detail of their process. After they asked these questions, they combined the answers with other sources and analyzed the information. In 1999, they published their results in The Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Nonpolitical Killers
The insights of this study are interesting to review in light of the Arizona shooting, though obviously we still don't know that much about Jared Loughner, the suspect in the attack, or his motives. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that according this study, assassinations of political figures were almost never for political reasons.

Ok, now here is where it gets super interesting I think. It was very, very rare for the primary motive to be political, though there were a number of attackers who appeared to clothe their motives with some political rhetoric. What emerges from the study is that rather than being politically motivated, many of the assassins and would-be assassins simply felt invisible and worthless. In the year before their attacks, most struggled with acute reversals and disappointment in their lives, which the paper argues, was the true motive. They didn't want to see themselves as nonentities. They experienced failure after failure after failure, and decided that rather than being a "nobody", they wanted to be a "somebody".

So these murderers or potential murderers chose their victims almost exclusively for the fame they thought they would get out of the deal, not for any particular political agenda at all. For example, there was one guy who was fixated on his governor until he heard that the vice president was coming to his area. He said he had read enough to know that there hadn't been anybody who had attempted to assassinate a sitting vice president. He reasoned that he would become far more famous killing a Vice President than his Governor.

Another assumption people make about assassins is that they're insane — people completely divorced from reality. But this study — to a degree — rejects that idea as too simplistic. The way these people sought to address what they saw as their main problems — anonymity and failure — wasn't inherently crazy at all. They had their share of mental problems for sure but don't we all?

So at a Safeway in Tuscon, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords became the latest public servant caught in the cross hairs of an attacker's gun. This study suggests the attempt may have been driven by very powerful and personal motives.

Crazy huh? Just when everyone thinks they have it all figured out, along comes a very extensive and well thought out long term professional study to throw a heavy dose of water and reality on our completely misguided explanations.


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Monday, January 10, 2011

America needs to start talking, instead of blaming

For all those who actually read most of my blogs, you know I've brought this subject up several times and ways, through the years. In fact the very last one was about this exact subject.

On a quick side note, would you believe I've just recently written my 100th blog. Where oh where does the time go and where oh where does all that bullshit come from? I knew I had a pretty big head because most stores don't carry my size hat but it does amaze me to reach that pinnacle of Esoteric Mumblings to be sure.

As I said, I've been writing about this subject a few times for years now and in my humble opinion (there's that odd, contradictory thought again), it's about time pretty much all the news media are FINALLY just starting to want to talk about it.

The "it" here is of course the clear responsibility all the news sources have to start taking for all the severe, extremist, partisan and clearly dangerous rhetoric they are all spewing more and more all the time. I'm sure for most of those Talk Radio and Television nut cases, it started out as simply an opinion wave they started and the money just started pouring in as more and more ignorant people who forgot to think for themselves jumped on their stupid ass bandwagons.

I have no idea if Jared Loughner who tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and still might succeed, had any influences from the extremist asses but I can tell you this. It doesn't matter in the slightest which side of the stupid political fence these complete morons are on. ALL the talking heads need to turn down their hate and blame before we have another civil war between groups of extremist with middle America caught up in their insanity. Lets get something perfectly clear here. These groups of idiots with their extremist bullshit are a minority. The majority of real, intelligent Americans have not swallowed the bullshit put out by these nut cases and just wish all this stupidity would just go away.

Like I said, I'm super glad all the news organizations are starting to at least talk about their responsibilities in promoting all this hate and blame. Of course in the beginning of these very important conversations, I'm still hearing both extremist sides trying to blame the other side for everything. "Jared Loughner is a left wing extremist" says the right side. "Jared Loughner is a right wing extremist" says the left side. Can't both sides see how incredibly stupid and childish they all sound right now. They ALL sound like a bunch of kids on the Kindergarten playground yelling and screaming at each other. It's time to GROW THE HELL UP KIDS.......

In total, 19 people were shot in the rampage outside a supermarket where Giffords held her meeting. Giffords was shot in the head, and remains in intensive care.
Among the six people killed were a 9-year-old girl who was born on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and was interested in public service, as well as one of Giffords' aides.

Giffords' brother-in-law, Scott, the commanding officer of the space shuttle, spoke over the radio. Flight controllers in Houston fell silent. "As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful," he said. "Unfortunately, it is not." "These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words," he said. "We're better than this," he said. "We must do better."

Yes, we are Scott. Other than a fringe of nut cases in American, the average intelligent American is indeed far, far better than that.

Robert E. Lee during the Civil War told his solders to not call or think about the other side as "Enemies". They were to call them "Opponents". Can you believe the incredable wisdom involved in that one thought and rule back then?

I am an ardent believer in the concept and stated law in America of freedom of speech but clearly we are going to have to somehow tell all the idiot, screaming, neck muscles sticking out, spit flying out of their mouths nut cases trying to blame the other half of the public for tearing the country apart to SHUT THE HELL UP and start being responsible for their actions. If they want to keep their flaming income and listeners in tact and actually do some good for society, they should slow down, quit the blaming and try and be a catalyst for real answers for our many problems here in America.

Maybe they could try and bring intelligence and pride back into the average Americans life instead of hate and fear. Wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air?


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Monday, January 3, 2011

Isn't it about time to try and heal the split, in America?

Divisiveness galore. That would pretty much sum up the political climate in America and possibly the world right about now, wouldn't it? Somehow we in America went from a country joined in our quest for freedom from tyranny and religion to a country split right about the middle. With extremism at the outer edges moving toward the apparently very few in the middle.

This is an era where partisan politics seems to have split America right down the middle and political debate can grow so heated that most folks choose to avoid the topic altogether. Those who have joined either side of the extremist movements, whether that be the right wing or left are all convinced their political agendas are the one and only truth and the other side is literally trying to destroy the America we all revere and love so much.

If one were to travel from coast to coast in order to find out why political discourse regarding public affairs has become so disconnected, you would be shocked and amazed at how dysfunctional a lot of extremist have became. What does it mean for the future of our country when we can't even discuss our political differences in a civil manner anymore, and who has the authority to say what's truly "right" or "wrong" anyway when it comes to such hot button issues as abortion and gay marriage.

Permanently competitive and ideologically charged politics is a new reality for America. Governing the United States requires agreement among our basically two party system. America's present unstable power politics generates relentlessly bitter conflicts over a huge range of domestic and foreign policies and motivates activists in both parties to constantly compete fiercely all the time.

All us regular, intelligent middle of the road folks are now experiencing the results of this insane competition between the extreme right and the extreme left. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", seems to be the rule nowadays. Both sides try to out shout each other for our attention. Both sides put out mostly misinformation and at times, flat out lies about the other side to further their obnoxious, outlandish, ignorant agendas, with no care at all about what's best for "the people".

Like the title of this piece says, isn't it about time we all try and heal the split, in America? This ideological split is slowly but surely poisoning our way of life. Each idiot, extremist side tries to blame the other side for all our ills. I say it's them and their insanity that is the cause of most of our problems. If they would simply shut the hell up about their own sick, stupid, ignorant agendas and start trying to contribute to real, honest solutions we can all agree with, "we the people" are capable of solving our many problems, one at a time.

The first step in my humble opinion (do I even have any of those?) is for everyone to admit that this partisan politics we find ourselves in right now is a major part of all our problems and needs to go away. All those nutcases need to crawl back in their bomb shelters, close and lock the door and stay away from the rest of us for a time. Lets give "The people" a chance to solve some of these things instead of those shouting, obnoxious, eyes bugged out nutcases on the radio and other obscure news organizations that have cropped up in the last couple of years.



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