Enough is enough 2016

Is it just me or has the Grim Reaper gone into straight “Honey Badger” mode in 2016?

Within the last three days, we’ve lost singer George Michael, comedian Ricky Harris, and now actress Carrie Fisher.  Let’s not even try to run down the other celebrity deaths over the past year.

It’s not just celebrities either.  There’s the Russian military plane crash, the Bolivian plane crash in Colombia, and other mass casualty events.  Add the number of everyday deaths, and I’m beginning to wonder if the Grim Reaper is trying to set a new high score.

The celebrity deaths stick out because of the news reporting though.  The award shows for next year may very well turn out to be two-hour long memorial tributes with an award or two handed out in between segments.

 

If I were famous, I would be sitting on pins and needles while waiting for 2017 to arrive.  I’d even consider hunkering down in the Cheyenne Mountain fallout shelter.  Then again, that could end up becoming a tomb as well.  Doesn’t appear that the Grim Reaper really cares about when and where he does his business.  Those assistants to the stars are probably all packing aspirin, epi pens, automatic defibrillators, and first aid kits with them at all times just to be safe.  Hurry up and get here 2017 before we lose many more.

It is finished

It’s Friday night, two days before Christmas, and the one phrase that has been going through my mind all week is “It is finished”.  It’s been a long week full of twists and turns, but it’s almost over.  After this one ends, however, another one begins.

Monday, the Electoral College electors met in their appropriate state capitals and cast their votes for the 45th president.  Of course, this was basically an exercise in formality as we already knew who would be voted as the next president.  My first thought on Monday was “it is finished” because I wouldn’t have to hear any more about this damned campaign.  This is my 7th presidential election that I’ve voted although I remember them all the way back to Reagan in 1980.  This is the first one where I have not seen people defend their choice proactively.  Instead, every defense I’ve seen of electing Trump devolves into some rant about Clinton or Democrats.  What does it say about our incoming president when not even his voters can affirmatively defend their choice less than two months after making it?  Buyer’s remorse already?

Tuesday, I took the youngest to the doctor because he was sick.  The test results showed a positive Type-A flu AND positive for strep.  So, for the past few days, I’ve been playing daddy doctor trying to get him back into fighting mode.  We have a date with the TV, snacks, and Alabama Crimson Tide football on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no time to get sick now.  Today was probably the best day as he only went into whine and shut down mode only once.  Well, it doesn’t matter because I’m going back to work tomorrow since mommy is off.  He should be back to full strength for her (bless her soul).  Nah, he’s really a good “big boy” as he calls himself as he’s not a baby anymore.

Then, there was the video making the rounds of the mother and daughter getting arrested in Fort Worth, TX after they called the police to report her 7-year-old son getting choked by a neighbor.  They were charged with resisting arrest, but I’m still scratching my head as to what the initial charge would have been for there to be an arrest to resist.  Maybe I’ll ask my family members who patrol the streets to see if they can help me out with this one.  I always find it hard to grasp getting arrested for resisting arrest when you haven’t done anything to get arrested for in the first place.  Had that been my 7-year-old son, the charge would have probably been aggravated assault or something worse.  Anyone who has the testicular fortitude to put their hands around the neck of any of my children had better be ready to deal with me once I arrive on the scene.  It’s going to be a long and detailed discussion about the who, what, where, when, and why.

Finally, I came across a…  umm…  I don’t know what to call it other than an opinion piece written by Chris Kluwe in regards to his feelings about the incoming president.  If anyone in America honestly feels like they don’t have any f**ks left to give at this point, it’s probably because Mr. Kluwe used them all.  Seriously.  After reading his post, I went to Amazon.com and put an order in for a case of f**ks.  I received an automated response that they were on back order because of Chris Kluwe.  I understand his feelings, but at this point, “it is finished”.  We can’t un-elect Trump.  We can only ensure that our actions help those who need help while trying to make sure those running the country doesn’t screw things up.

For those who follow the life and teachings of Christ, they should remember the last words he spoke before he gave up the ghost on the cross.  In the book of John Chapter 19, the story of the crucifixion is laid out for all to read.  His last words were written in Verse 30, “It is finished”, according to the King James Version.

After going through all I did this week, after seeing and hearing all that came before me, I realized that this is just the end of one phase and the beginning of the next.  I have my anxieties for the future.  I worry about the effects that the potential future changes will have on my friends, colleagues, and even my family.  I won’t allow myself to get discouraged by thinking about the future though.  I’ll just roll up my sleeves to get ready to tackle next week because that one isn’t finished yet.

Thanks for reading as always.  I know there are lots of different blogs to read, but I really appreciate those who take the time to stop by and read my vents and musings.

Have a safe and wonderful:

 

  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African-American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)

Just want to make sure I don’t forget anyone or leave anyone out.  If you don’t celebrate holidays, then just be safe anyway.  There is far too much crazy going on in this world to not be cautious.

 

Team MAGA is loaded. Seriously

I found this interesting detail today from Quartz that I think is worth sharing.

The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.

Maybe it’s just a quirk based on him picking people from within his own social circle or something.  I even read a comment in an article about this where someone made the statement (joking, I hope) that they would be less susceptible to being bribed because they’re already wealthy.

This is what we have to look forward to America.  This was the choice that we ended up with.  This is the team that is going to look out for the everyday man and woman, the forgotten people of America.

IF, and that’s a very big if, they even know those people actually exist, I would be very surprised.  I’m not throwing in the towel yet, but when you see the 1% get rid of the middle man, then that gives the appearance that it’s time to get paid.  I seriously hope I’m wrong.  I guess that one way of draining the swamp is filling it so high that it overflows its border.  Then, it’s no longer a swamp.  It simply becomes a lake.

Linked story from The Guardian:  Trump’s billionaire cabinet could be the wealthiest administration ever

Method or message 

My family received this mailer to remind us of the runoff election for county commissioner chairwoman* that takes place on Tuesday.  Two things quickly came to mind.

First, why do politicians have to resort to stoking fear to gin up support?  If you want me to vote for you, then I have to be comfortable with your policies and decision-making skills. Governing from fear is not effective in the long run and usually leads to mistakes that harm more than they help.

Next, where are there liberal Democrats in the South?  This is Georgia, and my Democratic Party representative, Rep. David Scott, supported the incumbent Republican Senate candidate Johnny Isakson over the Democratic Party nominee Jim Barksdale in the election that just took place.  How liberal is that?

If you’re always afraid of every little thing that crosses your path, how do you intend on governing a fast growing county?  I know this is local politics , but it’s the same tactic that plays out on the national level.

I don’t live in fear, and I don’t want decision makers who do.  I want people who have the ability to see a situation and be able to find multiple ways to solve the problem without causing more damage than doing good.  America wouldn’t be what it is if we let fear dictate our choices.

I guess I could say that she tried to reach out to me as I didn’t receive anything from her competition.  Then again, maybe the Democrat running already knows that I hate getting political junk mail and is really more in tune with my feelings.

*The race is for chairwoman as it’s two women running for the position.

Searching for that silver lining

As the incoming Trump administration is still coming together, I’m trying to search for signs of how things will go.  I’ve heard both sides argue how Trump is going to do what he said he was going to do, and I’ve also heard the doom and gloom predictions of what’s coming down the pipeline.  Personally, I like to see who the president picks to make up their cabinet and advisors before I try to predict what’s going to happen.  I did that with both Bush and Obama, so I will extend the same courtesy to Trump as well.

Given his picks so far, the one thing I can come away with is that we’re going to be in for a long, long 4 years.  Trump rode populist anger against “elites” yet his picks are all pretty much elites and/or billionaire donors of some kind.  I don’t see any earthshaking “drain the swamp” picks as much as I see standard right-wing ideological picks that any Republican ideologue would choose.  From the pick of Steve Bannon as a White House advisor to Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, this country is going to swing so hard to the right that NASCAR may have to switch to running races in the opposite direction to avoid having to make left turns.

There’s also the issue of ethics that the administration will have to come to terms with.  Many of his picks have deep and varied investments that would likely face scrutiny during confirmation hearings.  As for Trump himself, he’s already stated “As far as the, you know, potential conflict of interests, though, I mean I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”  Trump’s businesses make their fortune from the marketability of his name.  Add the title “President” before that name, and the marketing potential shoots through the roof.  What person or company in any country would refuse to engage with any Trump related business now?  I don’t think anyone, the Founders included, ever contemplated such a complex issue to ever reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

To further complicate things, America will also have to deal with whether outside influence tilted the balance of this election.  I read a story today from Philly.com about Russian influence in American politics this year.  It’s quite interesting, and I included a link if you want to check it out.  A Google search for Russian troll factory returns numerous articles about how Russia used social media to spread propaganda, including fake news stories.  America probably got taken for a ride this year in more ways than one, and only time will tell whether that’s true or not.

Maybe that’s the silver lining in this election.  We’re going to hit rock bottom so hard on ethics that people will realize that the government is not a business and being an expert in business does not make one an expert in running a government.  Maybe Trump will indeed make America great again by ensuring people become civic engaged and we find some ethical people who actually care about running the country.  I’ve already been working on my playlist for the next four years.  I’m starting off with Zoom by The Commodores because a brother can still have a dream nowadays:

I’m searching for that silver lining
Horizons that I’ve never seen
Oh I’d like to take just a moment and dream my dream
Dream my dream