High Stakes Democracy

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I’ve been watching the proceedings surrounding the question of whether or not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is approved by the United States Senate with great interest these past few weeks. In the past few days, and a week since the Senate Judiciary hearings took place, an accuser came forward: Christine Blasey Ford. The accusation: that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh forced himself onto her at a party over three and a half decades ago.

It sounds a bit sketchy to me. I can’t recall ever there was a time in my 47-year-old life that something occurring in high school has received such scrutiny. Usually, you have to impregnate, kill, or go to jail to get someone to notice what you did in your high school years, provided that it’s something negative. But, in the era of President Trump, the Democrats have been known to make an out of context argument or twenty.

I would think Ford’s story will have to be air-tight and otherwise convincing enough to woo more moderate Republicans away from confirming Mr. Kavanaugh. On top of which, it’s a huge gamble for the Democrats that could go off the rails. What if Ford flops at the hearing on Monday? I’d think they could lose votes in the November elections.

There are some senators who want to keep Ford’s testimony private, proposing a closed session take place. I tend to think that would be a total disservice to the public as well. The accusations against Kavanaugh gave the nominee no quarter – so it would only be fitting that if Ford testified, that it would be open to the public view, circus atmosphere or no.

I’m sure there will be more on this in the days ahead. Six days out from the proposed hearing date, the media seems to be already in a feeding frenzy – shades of 1991 and Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. That didn’t go too well for the Democrats, either.

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Votes Matter

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An altered version of a scene from Washington DC this past week. Near the police officer to the right is Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO. On the right separated by two other people is talk show host Alex Jones, banned by social media platforms en masse in the past month. September 5, 2018.

Former President Barack Obama made a comeback of sorts yesterday in Illinois, making comments about the political realm. While many of his comments seemed to disparage the current occupant of the office, Donald Trump, I thought he (Obama) made one very important point as he riled up the Democratic base: the importance of voting.

Personally, I tend to think the American people are getting how voting is important. In my home state of Florida, 3.1 million of us went to the polls for the late August primaries so that finalists for a menagerie of state races could be found. Four years ago in 2014, only 1.6 million voters did so.

Regardless of how you feel politically, if you don’t take part, I don’t think you should complain. The elections in November are probably the most important “midterm” elections in the nation’s history – they will likely decide if the current President, rightly or wrongly, will be the third such leader in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives should the Democrats win a majority of the 435 seats which will all be up for grabs.

I would rather have everyone participate in democracy and it not be what I want it to be then to have a democracy that I want that not everyone participates in.  It’s that simple for me. Go vote in your primaries if they haven’t occurred yet in your state – then vote in November.

 

A Saboteur, You Say?

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As is often the case this time of year in the world of television, I’ve shuffled the lineup a bit after Labor Day. I’m doing these posts more frequently and in the afternoon or early evening. Hoping the changes are improving the quality of the blog somehow.

The breaking news this moment is the revelation in the New York Times that there is a saboteur in the White House working against the Presidency – which they (the NYT) are aware of because the anonymous person has inscribed an op-ed piece. Even if you believe the media is fake news, this is big news – because there are only two outcomes here that can be true.

The first possible result is that what the New York Times is saying is true – that the Trump White House indeed has a saboteur, which would seem to me to be an act of gross misconduct. Is it criminal misconduct? I think that depends on the job title that saboteur has.

Secondly, the media is flat-out fabricating for whatever mind-boggling reasons they would have in doing so – and that’s a distinct possibility as well. They’ve printed a lot of things about this president that have wound up being inaccurate with time.

Either way, this is VERY serious and troubling – and it should be pointed out here that either one outcome or the other has to be true. Either it is true there is sabotage at the White House or that the media is lying about it.

Needless to say, stay tuned.

 

First, They Came For Alex…

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I think it’s perfectly normal that when the big events of our time and in our lives happen. that it’s fair to seek out answers – even from outlets and people you wouldn’t ordinarily think of.

The first time I ever heard of conspiracy entertainer/talk show host Alex Jones was back in 2004, maybe 2005. I had gotten a DVD through the grapevine of a symposium hosted by actor Ed Begley, Jr. and introduced by Jimmy Walter which had suggested that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job. The theories of the different presenters varied a bit – some were more liberal, some were staunchly conservative, but the purpose was to get your interested in the idea that 9/11 wasn’t what the media represented it being. One of the snippets presented on the DVD was a much younger and less raspy Alex Jones and his “Road To Tyranny” documentary.

I certainly don’t agree with everything Jones has said – for instance, there was a time when he called Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, “Mr. Maddow” on his shows. I thought that was grossly homophobic. I also don’t deny that he’s probably 100% accurate when he said he was an “entertainer” in a recent court appearance. Talk show hosts are entertainers by definition – they present premises in a manner that tries to get more viewers than a given host’s competition.

Where I draw the line is what the social media outlets did on Monday – censoring Alex Jones solely from Apple, Facebook, and YouTube among other social platforms. Why just him when there are dozens of other lesser-known hosts on radio stations and the Internet that do exactly what he does all over the world? Making one person a scapegoat when others do likewise – that’s always a slippery slope. Makes you wonder why it happens now, three months before the mid-term elections, and why it didn’t happen two years, five years ago, whatever.

I don’t like playing social justice warrior – but I took my little itty bitty shot at Apple in response. I took their podcast app off of my phone, and don’t intend to listen to any podcast anytime soon. A small gesture, but if they are going to tell me not to listen to such-and-such a show, why listen to any show Apple offers? They should allow me, their consumer, to make such choices.

Primary Colors

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Get out and vote!

I was pleased to get my voting ballot in the mail this past Thursday for the series of Florida primaries that most of the populous will be voting on in late August. Personally, I tend to be an advocate for these early votes – you never know if a hurricane could pay us a visit in late August, or even early November. Voting early also allows me the time to research which candidates are the best personal fit for me.

It’s not my intent to bore you with who I endorse – I’ll just let you in on who I went with pertaining to the two big Republican races here.

For Governor, I went with Ron DeSantis – even though I’m probably spitting in the wind on this one. I’m thinking Adam Putnam will wind up winning that race (and wind up being the Governor for that matter), but I felt he was too much of a “Republican establishment” guy to vote for in this round.

For Senator, I went with Rick Scott – who I feel is a flawed candidate but still better than anything else out there.

At this point, I’m hard pressed to find a Democrat worth voting for in the November general election, as I don’t really see anyone out there who can tell me what they can do that would be better for the country than what President Trump is doing or what he could do. I tend to think it’s all a stall so that Hillary Clinton runs again in 2020, and that everything is being held in place until that point. If Hillary falls ill, or something winds up happening that she can’t run, I’m thinking Bernie Sanders is their Plan B – but kind of what the Republicans did with John McCain in 2008, by the time he gets to the “big dance” it’s going to be way too late for him to win.

A Clinton/Trump rematch scares the poo out of me – I don’t know if the country could withstand a rematch between these two.

A Problem In The Workplace

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Imagine being in a workplace where a constant problem has existed for decades. It hasn’t always been the top problem, so the employees in “the workplace” tend to ignore it. Every so often, the problem comes to the front of everybody’s minds – but something always seems to come along to prevent the problem from being solved.

“The Workplace” recently hired a new executive officer – it was not to CEO the employees, who had a say in the matter, were anticipating getting. The CEO has a long-term vision to solve the constant and long-persisting problem once and for all, but his “Board of Directors” kept cutting off the ability for the CEO to implement changes every chance the Board got, ensuring the problem would persist on some level for the immediate future.

Recently, there has been a movement by key employees to eradicate the “big problem” that has existed for many years. Many of the people who are suddenly complaining the loudest were the very same employees who didn’t want the problem fixed, or looked the other way at one key point or another. They’re now screaming at the CEO to fix the problem that could have been fixed many ways by many different avenues by many different people and work committees.

The CEO tries to explain. The explanations fall on deaf ears. The CEO and those loyal to him try to explain that this was a problem that could have been fixed by now for sure, had one of the many opportunities to fix it actually been followed through upon. Former employees weigh in and say the problem needs to be fixed now.

Frustrated, the CEO agrees and sympathizes with the employees – but tries to explain to them that the workplace has a chain of command that he would prefer to be followed. He had already tried to implement changes at the executive level but was turned away with every chance “The Board” had. With that happening repeatedly in previous months, the CEO fears going down that road again – he feels it would produce the same result as beforehand.

Instead of fixing the problem with at least one opportunity of many the workplace had – the problem “The Workplace” has is allowed to flourish, and instead of fixing it, all people seem to want to do is complain about it.

Somehow, this all sounds familiar.

The Real New World Order

I woke up Tuesday morning to a boat load of news bulletins regarding the summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. Apparently the summit went better than expectations, and the framework of a few deals was laid out.

This was more or less why I voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. I felt if I had voted for Hillary, it would have likely been more of the same leadership we’ve gotten the last 30 years or so from both major parties. Trump, I thought, would give us a new look – which could either be disastrous or exemplary. I took the gamble on him and in retrospect, I’m glad I did.

There will still be a lot of verification involved – but what is the more desirable goal here: more peace, or more hatred and suspicion? Yes, he (Trump) is a most unorthodox leader, but if you watch close – there’s methods to his madness.