Burning Daylight

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Looking west at the sun setting from just outside my then job in Clearwater, FL, November 3, 2015.

We are once again at that point of the year where clocks get shifted in most of the United States. Parts of Arizona and all of Hawaii doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, and now my state of Florida is following suit with a similar design to forego the twice-yearly resetting of clocks an hour, “springing forward” in March, “falling back” in November.

A footnote, if I may. Doing a brief study of the various stories about this article the past couple of days, one thing I’m seeing these news outlets NOT doing is telling the public when the law would be enacted. (Answer: this year, on July 1, 2018.) I took journalism in high school – did terrible at it by the way, mainly because I took the course as a freshman and really didn’t have a grasp of what journalism was at that age. Anyway, one of the things I was taught way back in 1985 is that who, when, where, what, why, and how are the questions EVERY story should answer. Things must have changed in journalism since I took that course, I suppose – something glaringly evident to our current President.

I’ve heard a lot of argument pro and con about the abolition of standard time and the permanent use of Daylight Savings Time. In the winter months, we’ll be in the same time zone as Puerto Rico, and an hour ahead of the rest of the Eastern US. Sunrise in the winter months would be past 8:00 in the morning, but the sun would set no earlier than 6:30 at night.

Personally, I have no opinion. I’ve been through Arizona three times in my life, passing through my way to and back from Las Vegas. I don’t think it would fair of me to pre-judge how things will go, so I’ll just sit back and see what happens. What could go wrong? Not much from what I can see.

 

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Giving No Quarter

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The world we live in is definitely changing – but I guess it is up to determine to all of us as individuals to determine what these changes are since the media is of no help when it comes to these matters as of late.

No, this is not meant as a commentary about how bad the Democrats are or how bad the current President is inasmuch as it is about how everything has gotten political everywhere you turn. I’m tired of needing to ask this unspoken of permission to watch a basketball game because someone might say something politically offensive – or a movie, because a certain actor I used to admire calls the President a punk and/or wants to beat him up.

The Academy Awards are tonight – whoops, can’t watch that. Some of those award winners might get political.

I’m sick of it – I avoid the news whenever I can now, because who knows whether this organization is telling me the truth or telling me just what I want to hear which probably isn’t true, but merely a ploy to get you to watch because you won’t know it’s true or not for a while. It is infiltrating everything – and unnecessarily so, to the point where nothing can be enjoyed. We are all given the choice of being acolytes for one political party or the other, and the minute you step off those reservations you’re nobody.

I miss the days of common ground, and I hope something can happen soon so we get back to those good old days.

How To End The Shutdown

I’m typing this at about noon on Sunday, so there’s a decent chance by the time you see this posted Monday morning, this financial government shutdown will still be on. If it has been solved by the time you see this post, store this away for the next shutdown, whenever that occurs.

Regardless of how you feel politically, it is unconscionable and irresponsible to not keep the government financially up and running, and to not pay up the running expenditures this country requires to function. No business runs this way, and in any business, workers would be fired for not doing the tasks they agreed to perform.

Our politicians would never agree to this (though a group of people in Congress are not accepting pay voluntarily), but one way to greater ensure “financial shutdowns” don’t occur would be to suspend the pay of those in Congress serving in the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate. Isn’t it odd that our politicians always seem not to have their own skin in the game when it comes to our money?

If a governmental shutdown suspended their pay, wouldn’t we see things resolved with a bit more swiftness? They don’t make as much as professional athletes, but remember that they also healthcare with heavy discounts. Plus, there’s all that fund raising they do, and who knows what creative ways our leaders come up with to find ways to dip their hands into that box of cash?

Most in congress (with the exception of the House speaker and the leaders of the Senate) make $174,000 a year, or $3,346.15 a week. Suspend the pay of all 535 in Congress (435 in the House, 100 in the Senate) and the country saves a little under $1.8 million a week if they received no pay, or at least $93,090,000 a year if it somehow took that long to get a deal done.

Just a thought. A thought our politicians would NEVER agree to. Even in a Trump presidency, they have all the reason in the world to keep the swamp around.

A Paradigm At Play

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I don’t know whether or not the allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, running to be the next United States Senator representing Alabama, are true, though I think it’s likely the charges could be accurate. But in the highly charged accusative atmosphere in the wake of the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and many more, the veracity of the allegations is almost a secondary issue.

You have the “perfect storm” of issues that makes for what the media would consider a juicy topic for discussion. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that this is a smear campaign, though the evidence as of this point in time points to the allegations against the former Alabama judge likely being true. Mr. Moore has openly blamed the liberal media for this campaign alleging misconduct against him almost four decades ago, and the timing of bringing all of this up now (as opposed to earlier in the campaign, or when he was a judge for that matter) would support that.

What I think the judge may be wrong about is this merely being the work of liberals. Note that there is a sect of establishment Republicans in D.C. who cannot stand President Trump. Also note that when the allegations against Mr. Moore first began last week, the first calls for him to step aside were from those very same Republican senators. Probably not a coincidence.

Thus, you have collusion between Democrats and Republicans on the issue. Hence, the left-right paradigm is exposed. Here’s former Tampa Bay radio host Lionel discussing the paradigm on WPIX-TV out of New York in early 2012:

Before you go grab some tin foil, make it into a shape of a hat, and put it on my head, let me point out there are bigger things at play here. In our president, you have a businessman trying to clean up what is perceived as a mess created by politicians by mismanagement over several decades, in other words, to “drain the swamp” as he often puts it. If he’s successful in these efforts and no one interfered with him, he’d basically make politics as a profession obsolete, allowing more “everyday people” to run and win. The last president outside of the political realm was Dwight D. Eisenhower, general and war hero from WW2 that was still fresh in everyone’s heads in 1952. Meddling with a war hero would not have been good business for any politician back then, and probably would have been a good way to lose one’s job.

Ditto with the jealousy president’s tweets. Did anyone complain during FDR’s presidency that he was doing too many fireside chats? Probably not.

The paradigm picks its battles carefully. They can’t pick every hill to die on, because that increases the odds of exposure if they did. Instead, they do it every now and then, like Senator John McCain voting against the repeal of Obamacare this summer at a critical moment. They will pick fights that can assure themselves victory, and with the Roy Moore fiasco, it looks like they will win again. Even if the people of Alabama rebel against the accusations and elect Moore after all of this, Mitch McConnell could still refuse to seat him, and that move would likely open up yet another Pandora’s Box of ugliness.

 

Ideas, Politicians, And Party

Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton

When I worked in network radio in the 90’s, Stan Major would often to talk about the seven sisters of the media, and how those organizations are controlled by liberal ideology. They were, according to him, Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS, and NBC. I guess those sisters now have had children now with the advent of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News over the past few decades.

I’m a believer that the world of politics has three plateaus. Regardless of whether or not you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist, or a believer in some other party or movement I didn’t mention, these plateaus exist.

First you have the most pure process of the three: the idea. Ideas are to politics what the ace is in most card games. They’re bulletproof. An idea can’t be killed no matter what legislation or humanity passes with time. Once an idea’s time has come, it happens. Think of healthcare in America, for example.  It took a long time to implement healthcare here, and when it got passed in 2009, many conservatives say it got rushed in. Now with a Republican president (though I think Trump is more of a De facto Independent), and Congress, the GOP can’t seem to find a single way to replace the healthcare system.

Politicians are the next step down. How do they implement these ideas? How do they maneuver and manipulate? The execution of ideas by politicians determines who the good politicians are, and who the bad ones are. Leaders lead by the vote of the people, and are sometimes repellents to those who vote. Only Hillary Clinton could have lost to Donald Trump a year ago. Put Bernie Sanders in there as the Democratic nominee, and that likely would not have happened.

Then we get to political parties. They are to society what an adult video store is to a city. It’s where ideas get degraded and prostituted. I see a “mob mentality” in both parties. Those who don’t “get with the program” get way too easily ostracized, and which party’s “mob” sticks together often decides who carries the day.

Ideas, politicians, and party. Somewhere in that link of chains, the system is broken. Where the break is, and who’s to blame – well, that’s something that isn’t very clear. Both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump elements of our society can’t really be sure in their heart of hearts if they are on what will be the right side of the history books. That’s why I try to stay impartial, follow my heart to determine what’s right, and even that isn’t easy at times with the various news outlets prostituting either the DNC or the GOP.

As things stand now, the political climate is bound to for more calamity before things improve.

Though The Heavens Fall

I really haven’t been following the latest gossip with President Trump lately. It gets to a point where you go insane trying to keep up with it all, and I enjoy my sanity in tact. 

Sadly, you get immune to the theatrics of Trump’s tweets and the media’s over reactions to them. I’m sure some people in the newspaper industry privately bitched when FDR held his fireside chats in the 1930’s and 1940’s on this new invention called radio. I can’t blame the President for declaring TV obsolete: someone else would have. 

President Trump keeps insisting the Russian fiasco is a witch hunt, while the Democrats insist otherwise. The facts are evolving by the day, if not the hour, but the crux of the story hasn’t changed. 

Something will have to give at some point ahead, we just don’t know what side prevails yet. Then we can talk about what happens to Trump’s presidency. 

General Stonewall Sessions

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(NOTE: I originally wrote this before the attack that took place in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday morning. With the exception of changing dating, I’ve left this article as it is.)

A week ago, I had mentioned that I didn’t think James Comey proved his case against President Trump. On this past Tuesday, and with much network ballyhoo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the same Senate committee.

Whatever momentum the Trump presidency gained might have been lost, as I didn’t think Mr. Sessions did all that well.

What irked me was this use of “confidentiality” of conversations between President Trump and his charges, like Sessions. The way I understand executive privilege, you either have to use it, or you don’t use it. Several Trump employees (Sessions, Dan Coats, Mike Rogers) have attempted this claim of confidentiality as a way to reserve the right of the President to use executive privilege later on.

Isn’t that contempt of Congress?

I’m surprised the Democrats made no efforts to compel Sessions to answer the questions they posed, but with a Republican majority, they probably thought the efforts would be fruitless.

As for Trump, it seems to me that they want this “cloud” over their heads, and merely act like they don’t. It’ll be up to all of us to figure out why.