Monday, November 25, 2019

How to keep lies from destroying the American Republic

Whines!  Groans!  Cheers! Jeers!  Wringing of hands and dire warnings abound...all over the internet, with particular targeting of "Social Media."  THAT is a misnomer, if I ever saw one...it is NOT social and it is NOT civil.  Social media isn't even truthful, except seemingly by accident.  Not many "thinking" people disagree as to the falsehoods that abound on the internet.

The same complaint(s) are becoming rampant regarding the media, with particular attention on what is euphemistically called the "news" media.  The term "fake news" appears everywhere, both truthfully and falsely applied so often as to make the label ineffective as either a warning or a label (truth in anything, including advertising and public relations, is a rarity).

Politicians and their supporters (does that end up labeling over 90% of our population?) add to the lack of candor, having expanded their falsehoods from campaign promises to include actions and positions actually taken while holding office.

So...is this unacceptable?  If so, to who (or is it "to whom,"...I never did get that right)?  Is there any desire...a heartfelt desire...to change this and return to a more truthful existence for all of us?

It would be nice to believe that such a desire exists.  But...how?  Here are a few ideas to consider...and feel free to think up additional and (hopefully) even more effective ways to accomplish the goal.

First, the so-called "news" media have to be forced to tell the truth and/or label their lies as lies.

Second, internet posting of any kind has to be able to be tracked to the person or organization that is commenting.

Third, all media (including that labeled as "news") has to be made legally responsible for falsehoods.  It is time to, in the interest of Justice, to eliminate the qualification or claim of "absence of malice."  If a person in private life can be legally made responsible for libel and/or slander, so should the "news," whether it be broadcast or print.

Is there any real reason why our people, our country, our government cannot pass laws that require all comments, all stories, all reports be attributed to real people and real organizations so they can be held accountable?  Is there any reason why anyone should be free to repeat slander or libel just by quoting another person?  That should be unlawful unless the person or organization repeating the story has independently verified it with attribution...not anonymously.

Why shouldn't a person that defames another be held accountable and not allowed to hide behind anonymity of the internet?  Require that identification of those posting be available, so that there can be confrontation, both personal and legal.  I see comments on "social" media and in stories that, if the commenter were made public and had to repeat the comments face to fact, would never say the things that they have posted or written.

As I grew up, I was advised to live my life, and speak and write, as if everything I did and said could appear on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow; think and consider before speaking or writing or acting.  So many today thing there are no such things as consequences.  Or, if there are, that someone ELSE will suffer them.  It is time to stop that thinking.  Time for the chickens to come home to roost...

If the voters demand this and insist that the internet providers not be allowed to censure but that all who use the internet be identifiable and legally liable for comments and statements, we can again enforce a degree of civility.  But...we have to want to accomplish that and take action to demand that.  Will you?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Multi-National Companies are never "Patriotic"

Haven't posted in a long time; the world and the Nation seem so tumultuous as to defy any reasonable discussion...on any level or any subject.  But...I finally have come to believe that to do nothing is to approve of what is...even to encourage it.  The other side of the coin is that if you do not have a better idea, then perhaps you should hold your criticism(s) until you do have something better to offer.  Be that as it may, we all might want to at least be aware of and deal with the matter in my heading.

Each of us view the definition and needs of personal security differently, but the one universal seems to be that we value our personal freedoms and do not wish others to impede or subtract from the baseline that we currently possess. Consistency demands that we honor the converse: that we should not expect to invade others' space or interfere with their freedoms.

At some level each of us also value and have an expectation of truthfulness toward and from others, including our institutions (government, schools, Courts, business enterprises.

At the beginning of the last century, our business enterprises operated within national borders;  their identified with the nation in which they operated and supported the general national interests, aligning with the national sense of patriotism.  In the last 70 years that has changed.  And the change poses dangers to the concepts of national identity and national patriotism.

The largest and most powerful business enterprises on the planet operate across national borders, most (if not all) making profits from both sales and manufacturing in disparate countries throughout the planet.  They have no allegiance to any particular country.  Oh, they claim to care; their public statements of their Owners, Officers and in their Press Releases claim allegiance...but to each nation in which the statement is issued.  Clearly this is a propaganda issue, not a truth issue.  Each company is concerned ONLY with profits.  Anything that interferes with profits is their enemy.  That means that ALL ELSE holds no consistent place of value.  Clearly allegiance is toward whatever will positively impact profits...and is fleeting at best.  Once the profit element has been secured, there will be neither allegiance nor memory of any such thing.

Under this set of unassailable facts, shouldn't EVERY nation-state consider that every business enterprise be viewed, regardless of national origin, as a non-citizen?  Shouldn't each enterprise be required to meet criteria and standards in a proven way and not given the presumptive standing of "citizen?"

Enterprises such as Google, Micro-soft, Amazon and Nike (and many more) currently show more concern about the welfare of China than of the United States.  But, you say, those are American companies (with the emphasis on "American").  Not anymore.  Follow the money.  Follow the power.  And any payoffs are a threat regardless of size or scope; there is no such thing as being a "little bit" pregnant.  Does anyone think that the proximity of Google, Amazon and Nike offices with multitudes of employees in the Northwest has nothing to do with main cities in that area harboring felons and illegals contrary to United States law?  Those companies and their employees see themselves as superior to and having no allegiance to the United States of America.  And other countries are having the same experiences.

As of now, each multi-national plays nation-states against each other to obtain financial and regulatory advantages.  That is to be expected.  But none of these countries are consistent in recognizing (and trying to control the effects of) the threat to their borders, to their government, to their citizens' freedom.  Why?

It would be easy...and nice...to state that our governments just aren't as aware of this, or are preoccupied with more important things.  Hogwash!  Does anyone not question how one can run for public office with relatively low personal wealth, hold elected office for decades at a relatively low salary lever, yet retire with millions in assets?  This state of affairs has existed for more than a century, yet the media doesn't care and clearly the governments' Inspector Generals don't care either, even in the face of public inquiries.  Why?

One opinion would be that despite the wording of Oaths of Office, laws, and conscience, the awarding of money and/or power constitute bribes more powerful than the concepts of truth, honor, promises, and/or conscience.

So...the ultimate question is how strongly do citizens feel about allowing their freedoms and security to be eroded, dissipated and perhaps even at some point eliminated.

Logic would suggest that the American citizen (and citizens of all the countries of the world) demand of their governments changes that would first arrest and second deminish the power that multi-national companies now enjoy;  that such business enterprises not be allowed to fly under the radar of public accountability and not the private accountability of being able to "pay off" those who stand in their way.

Government exists because WE delegate to it power and authority.  Perhaps we should consider voiding that delegation and start over?

Friday, May 25, 2018

DISQUS blocking posting if you don't allow cookies

Up until today, Disqus has been one of the more civilized posting cites on the Internet, but today they apparently changed to REQUIRE allowing cookies.  If you don't (and I do not), they block your ability to sign in.

"Free" speech indeed!  Another means of communication silenced for those who value their privacy.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

America is on the brink of becoming a "3rd world country"

My definition (and my suggested reason for the existence) of a "3rd world country" is the absence of the rule of law.  The status has nothing to do with the form of government.  Even a dictatorship can be responsive to the needs of a majority of its people.  Chaos, violence, denial of respect of "others," and a desire to eliminate or render powerless and inconsequential all those who would disagree or challenge a "different" point of view are the characteristics most prevalent.

With the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States, the above characteristics have become predominant...even in those elected to public office.  Prior to his election, once an election was concluded and votes counted, those who considered themselves on the losing side would grouse, whine and moan...often loudly for a bit, promising the collapse of civilization as they knew it...but then retreat to wait for the next election;  there was a respect for the election process and the rule of law.

One can argue that the election of President Trump was a legal revolt by the voters.  Clearly a majority felt that those elected to public office were no longer honoring their oath of office to represent the citizenry, but were actively pursuing  self-aggrandizement, accumulation of personal wealth and of power.  Those possessing the perquisites of elected office find the presence of Mr. Trump in the White House to be a threat to their "elite" status and power, so they...in some cases quietly, in other openly and loudly...do all they can to render him powerless.

Unfortunately, these efforts have not been confined to sanctioned legal political maneuvering.  Elected holders of office and even the press have openly challenged the right of President Trump to hold office, regardless of the fact that the election has been legally certified.  For the first time, elected office holders are urging the portion of the public that disagreed with Mr. Trump's electioneering promises to disregard and disrespect the election and the rule of law, with the intent of disrupting and eliminating any discussion on policy and action in favor of emotional mob rule.  Some have even spoken of their desire that Mr. Trump be "eliminated" only to later disingenuously argue that they only meant removal from office...even as their acolytes and supporters  violently demonstrate, injuring persons and destroying property as they go.

These people behave as if laws are "optional"...only to be obeyed if they happen to agree with them.  Civility and respect for others is now almost universally absent in America, except for small, almost secretive enclaves where people still value disagreeing with others without acting disagreeably.  Friendships and marriages are failing and disappearing because of this encouragement of mob rule as a replacement for the rule of law.

It could be argued that this path started decades ago when the secularists in America began convincing a majority the the rules of behavior handed down in the Bible should be considered the Ten "Suggestions", open to both interpretation and human approval.  Predictably, that now is extending to our secular laws of behavior, as those who chose to ignore and act contrary to law insist that they should not be required to suffer "consequences" for their transgressions.

With the ongoing combination of polarization, disrespect for those who do not agree with us, and the encouragement to disrespect not only the law but also those who enforce the law, it is certain that increased violence will result, as those so inclined will feel encouraged to kill and otherwise eliminate all who do not agree with them.  And that, my friends, is exactly what happens in 3rd world countries.  Take the time to breath deeply, set emotions aside, quietly calm yourself and consider if this is what you want for your country, much less the world around you.

Mob rule in this country was violent.  And the day after, most of the members were quietly embarrassed and ashamed of their actions.  Unfortunately, today's Media encourages and excuses the excesses, even labeling them as justified and proper, not particularly surprising as it if financially and ideologically rewarding for the media to do so.  One wonders if the framers of the Constitution had that in mind when they gave the Press the freedom to libel and slander as they wish under the guise of "freedom" of the press.  The result is that one Mob rule moves on and pops up somewhere else, sometimes under a different name or "cause."  It makes me consider seeing them as the mob equivalent to the renown "Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York" first described in "Guys & Dolls."

It would be reassuring to think that America will wake up at some point in the cold, harsh light of reason and reverse course.

That isn't going to happen.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The "Establishment" Politicians on both sides still don't "get" it!

Perhaps it is because they see any success by President Trump as "Armageddon" to their elite political existence.  I find it hard to imagine that with the myriad professional politicians with elite educational credentials are unable to see the true reason for the election of a businessman with considerable baggage, personally and in business,  to the highest office in the land in preference to a life-long political operative who had so much in common (with, of course, ideological differences) with those on both sides of the aisle.Can they all hold the conviction that Secretary Clinton lost because she was a bad candidate and had at least as much baggage as Mr. Trump?

While it is clear that all professional politicians motives, even as they each deny them, include self-aggrandizement, accumulation of power, money and a sense of an elite status, not one of them seems to have the ability to sense, much less analyze and conclude, that the American voter is fed up with the lying and failure to actually care about the things that the voters who put them in office truly care about.

Some of them seem to think that because they were re-elected even as Mr. Trump won in last November's election they were not seen by the voter the same way that hindsight seemed to indicate those same voters saw Mrs. Clinton.  One wonders if they have any inkling that if in their own races there had been 3 or more choices (including a brash, non-politician) that they might have suffered the same fate as Mrs. Clinton.  Because with very few exceptions, it is clear that such would have been not only possible but likely.

Those of the political establishment have for years...decades, actually...gotten away with making promises that were clearly abandoned as soon as the election results were tabulated.  In some cases it is clear that those promises at the time they were made were clearly lies.

Now that President Trump has held office for almost a year, it has been clear to every citizen capable of voting that every other person elected to the Congress of the United States of America acts to prevent any significant accomplishment by the new President...every one, even those who ran on a Republican ticket.

For eight years, Republicans claimed they had a better way of providing Healthcare in America and were prevented from providing relief for the American people because of the veto threat from a Democrat President...FOR EIGHT WHOLE YEARS!  But once President Trump took office, having promised that when the Republican controlled Congress presented the bill to him, he would sign it...that Republican-controlled Congress failed to pass the promised legislation. That is too egregious to be an oversight, a mistake, or something slipping through the cracks!  They lied.

Meanwhile, the Democrats for the previous eight years had proven over and over again that they also were lying to the American people.  They also were moving further and further to the Left, as they took the side of demonstrators who took to the streets hurting people and destroying property and even attacking, hurting and murdering police.  They claimed such violence was only "sporadic" and that it was all part of "free speech."  Somehow they missed the concept of the guarantee being for the right to avoid prior censorship, but not consequences for what was said.

It is unfathomable that professional politicians do not recognize that the majority of the country see them as the equivalent of an invading, occupying force that holds office through subterfuge and fraud while exercising their power to obliterate individual freedom(s) and control both speech and action.

Clearly, the citizens of this country do see that as the truth, hence the election of President Trump.

Instead of colluding with each other to try to take Mr. Trump down...instead of investigating the election, obstructing real partnership to get reasonable legislation passed...and colluding with a clearly "Leftist" media for the same purpose, they should recognize, admit, and act to prove they are prepared to abandon their lust for money, power, and status by actually listening to and acting on the wishes of their constituents.

If they do not, the next election cycle will see a lot of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle facing challenges from candidates that will make President Trump look like an agreeable teddy bear.  And those candidates will win.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Our Educational System is failing...but THIS is ridiculous!

We continue to allow our Educational System in America to deteriorate.  Objective evaluations show performance to continue to fall when compared to what students in other countries are achieving.  We literally do nothing about it...except to point fingers at people and factors other than ourselves.

The reality is constantly growing more apparent.  High School Diplomas no longer guarantee that holding one means that you can do basic math, spell most words correctly and recognize when you have to check a dictionary (do any young people even have one anymore, much less know what one is?), have the ability to write a coherent sentence or note with decent handwriting so that it can be read a half hour later?  High School Graduates no longer even seem to have had instilled a sense of discipline or the ability to concentrate on any task (other than "texting" others) for more than 45 seconds at a time;  they interact face to face badly, seemingly unable to communicate without using an electronic device.  They have not been taught the rudiments of "problem solving" or civilly discussing different sides of any given subject.

This results in Colleges and Universities being inundated by applicants that several decades ago would have been deemed insufficiently prepared to benefit from exposure to "higher" education and been denied admittance.  And parents would have recognized how inappropriately prepared such young people were and realized that to fund such would be a waste of money.  Yet...Colleges and Universities are well attended.  Why?

Our (Your) government has made loans easily available.  To the immature person, this seems like "free" money, since repayment is not until after graduation which fells like eons away to the new applicant.  These loans don't require a well defined "purpose" or "motivation" for so-called advance studies.  A young adult can "park" themselves in a University or College for 4 years or more...and the institution they attend welcomes the government money that enables them to fund all sorts of courses in what is a largely non-competitive environment for the faculty.  The presence of young people so ill prepared for what used to be the rigors of acquiring a University education required (and apparently continues to require) a down-grading of subject matter and grading standards.  Such a waste of time and money is deplorable.  But it is worse than that.  No longer is debate, challenge, or problem solving allowed, much less valued, in many Colleges and Universities.  News Flash: the real world doesn't have "safe spaces."

Why, you ask, this diatribe now?

When President Trump announced that he was going to discontinue DACA as a Presidential Executive Order, young people around the country walked out of classes, out of work and congregated to declare such action as being "cruel" and "hurtful" and even un-Constitutional.  AND they were joined by many of our elected Public Officials.   Apparently, our diminished educational system's deficiencies has already percolated to those holding public office!

How can I suggest such a thing?

The DACA program is only by means of a Presidential Executive Order.  It is NOT a law.  It is subject to the personal whims of whatever individual holds the office of President of the United States.  This makes it a political football with no real benefit to those it alleges to help...a very uncertain thing that leaves some level of fear in the minds and hearts of those who are subject to it.

By demanding that Congress act to codify DACA so that it becomes the law of the land, President Trump is working to make the benefits certain and sure, which would depoliticize the program, removing it from use to fear-monger those who are subject to the current vagaries of politics.

The President has given Congress 6 months to get a law drawn up and to present it to him for his signature...a signature that he has stated he would provide.  And he has further indicated that if there is some proven need for additional time to get this done, he is prepared to re-visit the matter.

Anyone with a REAL education, prepared to read, ask questions, research would have almost instantly realized that for those affected, this was a cause to demonstrate THANKS...not fear.  The fact that not one group realized the truth just emphasized how our refusal to redesign and rededicate our Educational System to serious education has resulted in what can only be described as a nation of indoctrinated idiots, with apparently no ability to think and evaluate correctly.

It is impossible to not think that this is the ultimate proof that our educational system is no longer remotely involved with educating.  It has failed miserably.

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Mob" Rule apparently now acceptable in America

Life in America today suddenly seems like a combination of a seriously illogical dream and being on the trip that Alice took to "Wonderland."  It appears as if someone set off a device that has deprived almost everyone of any common sense or logic.

Dealing with the relatively new phenomenon of "Terrorism" is bad enough; the senseless killing of innocent individuals by Muslim Extremists, Mentally Ill individuals and a couple of Far-Right Fanatics is an unfortunate fact of life today.  All violence or any sort, whether against persons or property, is to be condemned and punished no matter who the perpetrator.

But by what logic does this sudden desire to sanitize and/or revise History become a populist movement, seemingly endorsed by the Media, the Democrat Party (and its members) and the Republican Party (and its members)?  Has the entire country become so narcissistically enthralled by a desire to "attack" something that such action a denial of historical truth will erase anything or improve life in America in 2017 for anyone?  If this was the 1850's in our West, tomorrow the mob would wake up feeling guilty and avoiding looking each other in the eye out of embarrassment and guilt.

Our President condemns the violence in Virginia by all who took part in that violence, and goes on to condemn the attitudes of Racism as being "wrong" and "unacceptable" but the Media, the Democrat and Republican elected officials and anyone on the ideological Left insists on misinterpreting his comments as equating the beliefs of the Racists with the beliefs of those who declare that Racism is wrong.  Instead of seeing the statement(s) as the plea and demand for non-violence by both sides, promising punishment for those who act violently, as the call for sanity that it clearly is, they incorrectly label his comments in an attempt to profit politically.

Seems as if there is a strong logical basis for suggesting that all of America...or, at least the media and the political establishment (all sides)...should properly be undergoing treatment in a mental hospital.

The only speech allowed these days seems to be Leftist, Socialist, Progressive, Marxist, Liberal and Fascist.  All others are shouted down or prevented from speaking without being denigrated and insulted with the aid of the media.  What is going on today is the over-turning of the Constitutional guarantee of "Free Speech."

For those who respond that the "speech" being quashed is "bad" speech, they might consider that if a group that disagrees with that definition gains power, the reversal will make it impossible for them to speak at all.  The court held that the church that demonstrated at military funerals with a message that clearly was hurtful to the families involved had a Constitutional right to so demonstrate.  There was emotional hurt but no violence.

How much more effective would it have been if the legal march in Virginia (they had a permit, after all) had simply been allowed to take place...BUT NO ONE ATTENDED OR REPORTED ON IT?  After all, they were after publicity.  Any intelligent person or group would have won the day by simply ignoring the matter...it is a fringe group with no significant support and that would have been clear is all had simply stayed away.  But unfortunately today's attitude is that anyone with whom you disagree must be shouted down and "prevented" from saying anything.  Why?

Politicians say a lot of things that I don't like.  But they get to say them anyway.  News reports are very often wrong on facts or incomplete and slanted...but I don't get to shut them down.  But I don't want to shut them down.  If I feel strongly enough about a matter, I can write letters, make calls, ask questions and made suggestions.  But the actions of the last week suggest that my right to do so will not exist for long, because this feels like an attack on our very rights under the Constitution.

When History is being sanitized revised, and re-written...and mob rule replaces our Constitutional guarantees, we are in very big trouble.