Saturday, June 24, 2017

Into the Night

As the sun sets in the west, the heat still boils off the land.  The crews walk to their aircraft, each quietly considering the tasks before them.
This scene has been played out ten thousand times, in a thousand different locations.  In every case, there was a mixture of excitement, confidence, dread, and hope.
Quietly, but with anticipation, they strap themselves into their seats, becoming one with their aircraft.  If the aircraft is the body, the skeleton, sinew and flesh, its hydraulic system its lifeblood, its engines the heart that makes it all go, then they are the mind and the soul of this entity, and they will feel the joy or pain of the flight.
As the engines come to life, as the systems warm and ready, the crews finish their final preparations.  Soon, they will hurl themselves into the night seeking the darkness as a cloak.  There they will hide until the first light of morning finds them returning to their perch.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Yet Another Morning After

On November 9, 2016 the Democratic party and its legions of supporters awoke to a blurred reality with Donald Trump beating its Wonder Woman/Warrior Princess/Saul Alinsky Apostolate Hillary Clinton.  A woman who, by her own admission, was far superior to the average person and would have been happy to stamp out the nation of deplorable middle Americans who had rallied behind candidate Trump. Her legions, located in California, NYC, and other urban centers could not understand how this unthinkable thing could have happened.
Since then there have been a number of special elections (four actually) to fill congressional vacancies created by people moving to fill the administrative vacancies.  In each and every case the DNC has pushed a candidate almost as flawed as her highness HRC.  In each case, they have lost because the local voters are, for the most part, the very deplorables HRC talked about in her campaign and outside money could not buy them.
The Republican Party is gloating.  I expect they will live to regret that, but for now they are busy patting themselves on the back for their brilliance.
What I’ve observed since that remarkable November 2016 night is the DNC and its public news media support seem incapable of self-criticism and examination.  As long as people like Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, John Lewis and Tom Perez represent the DNC, as their public face and leadership, this trend will continue when the average voter steps into the ballot booth.   
For the reality is simple; outside the liberal enclaves they come from they are toxic reminders of a Presidency that sought to divide this nation along racial and gender identification lines with routine name calling, shaming, and at times outright lies.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cheshire Politics

‘But I don't want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can't help that,’ said the cat. ‘We're all mad here.’  -- Lewis Carrol

We seem to have lost the ability to self-govern, the only question is what will be its outcome?  We have become like the citizens of Rome, caught up in the Circus, placated by the battles in the Colosseum, and amazed as our Senate sits around while the Emperor fiddles. 

For eight long years, the Republicans in the Congress bitched about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and how the Democrats had worked unilaterally to pass it for the President.  When given a chance to undo it, and pass a healthcare bill that would fix the many problems we see in the ACA what have they done?  Of course, this has been made easier by the stupidity of the radical left and their resist movement where the only thing important to them is the removal of President Trump at any cost.

Since January 20th we’ve had three or four special elections to replace congressional members who’ve taken jobs with the administration.  So far, the democrats have lost all of them, but the lesson they push is they didn’t lose too bad so they actually won.  Two thoughts spring immediately to mind. 

The first, we have truly entered into the world of Lewis Carrol where up is down.  When you choose to bend the language to suit your perception of what should be rather than what is, when you become so invested in the party rather than the nation, and when you choose your candidates based not on their skill in governing, but on their radicalness what outcome should you expect?

The second – the common definition of insanity; where you keep doing the same thing, but expecting a different result.  If the DNC maintains its current leadership (a likely event), and if they continue to play to what they believe is a strong radical base there is a real likelihood there will be a Republican super majority in the Senate come 2019.  If that happens, Annie bar the door.  The problem for the DNC is actually getting those radicals to vote rather than just protest and riot.

I will be the first to admit I don’t have a clue as to what relationships and negotiations go on behind the closed doors of our Congress, but it sure appears to me there is only the smallest of bi-partisan cooperation.  The peacocks of the Congress seem much happier playing media darlings to the press and their fan base, than they actually rolling up their sleeves and hammering out a solid compromise that isn’t ideal for either party, but is in the best interests of the nation.

Unfortunately for both them and us, the news media has chosen sides.  If there is even a hint a Democrat in the Congress is working with his/her counterpart they are hung in effigy, their is home invaded, and their lives made miserable by the very people they are elected to represent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Glenfell Towers

Are the residents of last week's London's Glenfell Apartment Tower fire victims of EU climate change initiatives, or just bad English civil engineering, or maybe both?

Senator Bill Nelson’s Amendment

Senator Nelson (D-FL) has introduced the “Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017.”  His proposed legislation seeks to amend the 1998 act to get more money for the EPA and NOAA to research algae blooms and provide the states with more money to counter them.  When I asked how much this would add to the debt someone responded “When we are talking about clean water does it matter?”  My simple answer was yes, this is my explanation.
Everything has both a value (real and emotional), as well as a cost.  In this case, everyone wants less algae in our fresh water, but does that mean we spend unlimited dollars to try and get it?  You can make the exact same argument for national defense, civil rights, speech, religion, open spaces, urban development, welfare, social security, medical care, wild lands, space exploration, education, infrastructure, and the list goes on.  When half the country believes cost is no object, but someone has to pay for it then how do we ever balance our books?
Most states require a balanced budget each year, why is that?
I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who is quoted as saying.  “The thing about socialism is sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

What was, but now is?

My wife, our son, daughter-in-law, their children, and I spent a frenetic week in Orlando.  We hit Universal twice, Disney twice, and spent full days floating around the resort’s pools.  In the course of these adventures, I saw some remarkable things and an aside comment by someone put these questions before me.  “When does teaching become indoctrination?”  or “Has teaching always been about indoctrination?”

For a child, the world is brand new and they absorb everything.  Social Science tells us a child learns at a remarkable rate, how much of what they learn becomes unquestionable truth that forms the basis of their adult judgements?  Interestingly, we see in many of today’s social media memes that my generation believes the things we learned as children are absolute truths.  Is this because we were taught them as an absolute truth, or because their truth has been confirmed by our life experiences?   

As we moved through the crowds of the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom we were constantly reminded of man’s obligation to preserve the environment, yet there was little, actually no, mention of the massive impact Walt Disney world had on the natural environment of Central Florida.  We were shown pictures of how sea turtles are killed by ingesting floating plastic in the ocean, but were then given the expensive merchandise we bought in plastic bags.

All the way up the “Expedition Everest” ride we were informed of the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas and how the legendary Yeti was its protector, and would be mad if we didn’t help save the planet.  Yet, on the ride at the very peak were empty plastic drink bottles, and what looked like rubber wrist or hair bands that had been thrown from the cars and left to sit on display.

On the newest Animal Kingdom ride “Avatar Flight of Passage,” we are shown pictures of how the evil strip mining practices of man had almost destroyed the natural beauty of Pandora, but now enlightened scientists were working with the Na’vi to help restore the natural balance, as we snaked our way through probably two miles of concrete passageway made to resemble rock caves.  Once on the ride about 100 or so visitors are taken on a breath-taking banshee ride through the trees and oceans of Pandora.  I rode this at 11pm so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t solar powered.

I wonder, what lessons do my grandchildren take from these experiences?  It seems to me to be just modern indoctrination given by a corporation that appears not to follow its own advice.  But perhaps I am just jaded by today’s political polarization and the fact so many claim “the science is settled” when we attempt to debate the environment and the needs of mankind.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day, 2017

Today is Father’s Day
I learned today Father’s Day became a holiday in 1972, although the Catholic church has recognized the importance of fatherhood since the mid-14th century as St. Joseph day.  As I think about fatherhood the word that comes to mind is leadership.
In a traditional family, the father is not normally associated as the primary caregiver of children, but a good father’s influence is inescapable.  He stands quietly in the background providing the support and guidance that enables his family to survive and flourish in the world, much in the same way the head of a business does not do all the work, but fills in where needed while providing the direction forward.
To lead requires an individual who will put petty annoyance aside, but is able to resolve conflict with the least amount of pain.
He is an arbitrator of things great and small, with the wisdom of Solomon.
A disciplinarian with the patience of Job.
A supporting cast member with the ability to step into the lead when the star is sick.
A director with the confidence to listen to all the prima donnas as they seek a larger role.
And finally, a father is love.  A love that knows when boundaries should expand and when a safety net is needed.
To all the fathers – Good luck, and go with God.
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