Monday, October 31, 2016

Thoughts From a Confused Old Man

Things That Confuse the Hell Out of Me.

Under the truth in philosophizing laws let me declare up front I view my intelligence as average.  That puts me at 5 on a 10-point scale.  There would be many who say that is an over estimation, and there are some who say I might be slightly above.  I also recognize in today’s society most people believe average is 8.5, but that is just one of the things that confuses me.  I am also pretty old (not really old as some would suggest), but not biologically in tune with all the social media stuff of today.  Although I do use Apple so I’ve got that hip thing going for me.

Another thing that confuses me is one of the things I saw on Facebook today.  There was a post about some family who had their son or daughter’s second tweet retweeted by the White House Agenda Twitter Urgent Provocation Control Center (WHATUP CC) showing their child cross dressing for Halloween.  They were devastated at the hateful replies their tweet received and as a consequence are voting “against hate,” I assume this means they are voting for Hillary because lord knows she is not for hate.  What confuses me on this is a) Twitter is known for its unthoughtful (oft times vitriolic) responses from people against almost anything they see. b) While enthralled that their son or daughter’s tweet was rebroadcast by the WHATUP CC they must have realized at least half the nation thinks anything coming from the WH is evil, whether it is or not, so what did they think would happen when the WHATUP CC used their innocent tweet to push its political agenda?  c) Why are you exposing your pre-adolescent to a technology you should know brings out the worst in people? And finally, d) do you really believe the Democrats and Ms. Clinton are not for hate?  Who has sent the violent demonstrators?  Who has set two standards, one for the elites and one for the common folk?  Most importantly, who has the largest body count of people who could have brought them down?

What you see as hate is the society we have become over the past 240 years.  We have become an intolerant people, especially by those who demand tolerance of their personal views and life styles.  If you think voting for HRC will change that then you are in for some rude years ahead, especially as your son/daughter turns into a teen ager and hates you for being his/her parents.

Cats!  Cats confuse the hell out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I like animals, dogs, cats, cockatiels I’ve had a few.  As far as I know, I’ve not killed any whales (directly), nor have I decimated the North American Wolf, Deer, Antelope, Buffalo, or Coyote populations.  I thought cats were supposed to be the “leave me alone” pet of choice.  I have this 14-year-old cat we have had for about 12 years, and if I am at the keyboard he insists on laying on it.  If I am eating, he wants to stick his face into whatever I am eating to decide if he wants some or not.  If I am going to bed, he wants to go as well to make sure I assume the correct sleeping position.  The correct position involves laying where there is a space for him to bite the heck out of my hand if I don’t pet him correctly.  Cats, I often think they would make wonderful slippers.

Well that’s enough confusion for today.

Do Not Look Down


There is a great song by an Irish artist, Dougie Maclean, “Not Look Down.”  I think it nicely sums up the predicament we find ourselves in this election season.
“From up here she said, there’s no compromise, I’ve seen them laughing, they’re in up to their eyes, and all their clever words are whistling in the wind.”
 Life is a challenge, we wake each morning and begin the climb to find our higher self.  If we spend the day watching those around us fail in their climb, we will ourselves fall.  The advice of those who fear the height is “we must not look down.”
Hold yourself to a higher standard, place you trust in God, and don’t look down.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Perspective.


In photography, and the movies there is something called “forced perspective.” It creates an optical illusion for the viewer to make something appear larger or smaller than it really is by placing it closer or farther away in the scene and drawing your eyes toward it.



When this technique is used in entertainment we can sit back and enjoy the illusion.  When the people we look to report the news use it to mask the problems of one candidate and showcase the problems of another it is disturbing. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wisps


Flight is demanding, hazardous, and at times unforgiving.  Yet, for those who’ve experienced it; in control of a flying machine, there is nothing that compares to the freedom and exhilaration you experience when you leave the confines of earth to venture into the air.
As the wisps of clouds slip over the wings, or the tips of your rotors beat the air into submission, you climb sun-ward and see the world as man had dreamed of seeing for millenniums before you.
Speed is an illusion.
Time seems to slow.
Space contracts as you concentrate on the perfect flight.
Whether through the canyons of the clouds, the velvet black of the night, beneath the spectacle of the Aura, in the cauldron of a storm, or kicking up dust a few feet from the earth, there are wisps to remind us we are here and now.  We are alive and doing what we love.
I miss the comradery in the sky.
I miss the friends long gone, who can no longer fly.   
I miss those wisps from times gone by. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Election 2016


 “AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.”
Alexander Hamilton, General Introduction of the Federalist Papers

So we now come to the quadrennial time when it is our turn to set the direction of the nation through the casting of our votes for the next President, Representative, and in some cases Senator, who will guide the path of our nation.  The men who founded this nation were forced to wrestle with the choice of government.  Should it be by the elites, a select group that would retain power through their birthright, or could the free people of the land be trusted to choose wisely the people who would represent them, their goals, and their future?  Over the objection of some they chose the latter, and so we come to this election. 

As in most elections the choices are not clear to all, the path forward uncertain and strewn with risk for our survival.  Whatever the outcome we will continue, until we can continue no more.  For history has taught us that if we lose our identity as one people we will lose the force that binds the many states and some new form of government shall take its place.  

As President Obama noted during his 2008 campaign “the party in power has a tendency to tilt things in their direction.”  Within my memory this has never been more true than for the current administration, where it seems the entirety of the executive branch has been made part of the political effort to control the debate.

As you select your representatives for this next administration choose carefully.  From my vantage point it does not appear there is a choice to unify and unite the nation, despite the best efforts of the media to make it appear so.  So we will continue to fracture and divide, until we find representatives who will speak for the people, not just at the people.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Life, a Slippery Slope Indeed.


Thanks to social media I am exposed to far more provocative thought today then the past, when I could isolate myself within a rather small community of like-minded individuals, brought together with a common purpose, and with mostly shared values.  Now, thanks to Facebook, I see all these posters created by individuals or groups, and forwarded by many who appear to put little thought into the real effect of the choices proposed.

I’ve written in the past on how we as a society have cheapened the value of life to the point we are seeing significant increases in casual violence, gun use, and murder, not only in the inner cities but even the formally safe places like the rural country side.  Even the ideas of worship and the concept of a God are now under attack by those who believe there can be no such deity, and our very existence is simply a matter of happenstance.  

When you couple these two factors I can only shake my head at the convoluted morality we are attempting to perpetrate on this nation all for the sake of political supremacy.  We have moved from a society that placed great value in life, as a God-given right, to one where the value of life is tossed around like a political football.  We argue the pre-born have no rights, or the right of the mother is supreme and she has the power to terminate that life.  We question the right of the state to end the life of a convicted murder, yet at the same time we argue for the right of the ill to commit suicide.  It seems to me we are on a slippery slope as we abandon the basis for a common morality regarding life and choose instead to fragment our understanding and set various values for life.

Life has no value until the person is born, and only then must it be protected from gun violence through the elimination of legal gun ownership. (abortion and gun control) These are the convoluted talking points from HRC, the democratic candidate for President.

If a human is to be born with handicaps, the mother must have the right to end all hope of survival for it is in the unborn infant’s best interest to do so, and this is okay since life before birth has no value. (partial birth abortion) Those who advocate for this suggest that life for all concerned will be better.  This is essentially the argument Margret Sanger made with the creation of Planned Parenthood and her belief in eugenics.

If a person has a life threatening disease and does not want to endure the pain or infirmity that is likely to come, they must have the right to end their life and the state has an obligation to help them. (assisted suicide) Of course those who encourage this say there will not be an increase in the death rate, only the dignity of those deaths.  What a small transition it will be for the state to decide who should live and who should die.

What a slippery slope we have set ourselves on since the Supreme Court ruled that the state must sanction the belief a doctor and patient had the final authority on continuing or ending a pregnancy in the first trimester in their land mark decision in Roe v Wade, and we play god with the value of life. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Predictions of Things Past


There is a whole industry of fortune tellers, psychics, and mystics prepared to help you see into the future for a small donation to their personal welfare funds.  I have no experience with these people other than at an occasional carnival where they would promise to tell me when I was born.  I found their reliability about the same as the California car mechanic who would tell me not to worry, the work wouldn’t cost very much, and then after it was done tell me how the fluximagator was completely corroded and had to have the flambozzler replaced for only $500 dollars, while my Volvo continued dripping oil on the driveway.
I have found I am much better at looking at the past, than predicting the future.  I will admit, this is not the best quality for a navigator charged with directing a plane to a precise location, but such was my skill.  So let’s get on with my predictions.
I predict a Washington outsider will become President.  He will draw on the patriotism of the average American to defeat the urban elites who condemn American imperialism.  One his first day in office a foreign power will return the 54 hostages they held for 444 days for they understood he would not negotiate, and would in all likelihood use overwhelming force to secure their return.  In the course of his two terms he will set the stage for a resurgence of the US economy, and see the collapse of the Soviet Union, leaving the US as the most powerful nation standing.  He will also set the stage for an economic down turn with the national debt he leaves behind.
I predict the Democrats will steal a Presidential election through the use of voter fraud, support from big city bosses, and media culpability providing the eventual winner with a .17% (2/10 of 1 percent) win in the popular vote, but more importantly putting the Democratic candidate over the top in the necessary electoral college votes.
Finally, I predict the Cubs will win the World Series.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Life

Thanks to politics, the media, and the internet, I have been informed that various lives matter.  Fortunately, they have all been color coded so I can keep them straight and root for the right lives when appropriate.  But why do the various colored lives matter?  We have created a society that places little substance, other than rhetoric, on the value of life, so why are we shocked when life is taken from so many before they have reached their full span?

As a society, the progressive movement has succeeded in devaluing any human life that has no voice of its own.  They may be outraged over a dog left chained to a fence in the rain and snow, but challenge them on the right of the unborn and you are waging a war on woman, and of course the organization that finds its origins in the theories of eugenics.  A theory that says we can improve the human race if we promote reproduction of people with the proper traits, and prevent the reproduction of people with the undesirable traits.

We have created sub-cultures where the value of life is so small and insignificant that they pray on the weak and helpless just as our cave dwelling ancestors once did.  We propose to change these cultures through such wonderful ideas as improving education and creating new jobs.  But in the 200 plus years of our history have we actually improved education and created sufficient new jobs to advance these sub-cultures into the greater society, or have we succeeded only in creating an industry of educational experts who are battling a forest fire of social decline with a garden hose.  A hose that is pointed first in one direction, and then another as each new expert claims to have an answer.

As the government grew it created new ideals of what society should be.  We are told it must be inclusive and welcoming to all, but what have we done to the construct of a traditional family, where the Mother and Father are not only committed to their own survival but also to preparing their children for success?  A family where the parents are the primary educators of the young and the schools build on that, rather than the other way around.  I see today’s experts on society placing little value in the traditional family model.  We moved first to the nuclear family, then the blended family, and now the open family.  In each of these shifts the wants of the parents take precedent over the needs of the child.  Is it any wonder the young people of today seem lost and alone when they reach adulthood?

As in most my posts I have far more questions than answers… Life it is all we have until it’s gone.  Perhaps we should value all life, even that of the one we’ve just created?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Just a Note to Those Who Will Hold Their Nose to Vote

This campaign is a unique one in our history.  I can’t recall another time in my life when more people were voting against someone, rather than for someone.  Heck, even the most devote apologists for the Democratic Party that I know, the ones who blamed all the ills of the nation on George Bush through 2015, the ones who reflect on the economic problems with the nation as being caused by a President who left office in 1989, the ones who believe that Bill Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy, the ones who can’t understand why Barrack Obama hasn’t won the Nobel Prize for Peace more than once, have signs denouncing Donald Trump, rather than signs praising Hillary Clinton.

So let’s talk about you, the voter who will hold his or her nose and vote for Hillary.  I’ll get to Donald in a moment.  You say you are voting to stop an individual who is, to use Hillary’s term, a “loose cannon” or through innuendo an unrepentant racist.  You, and the nation will live with your choice for the next four years (assuming she is not impeached and convicted), and we will see what Ms. Clinton is like when she has the full power of the executive branch to wipe her servers clean and go after her enemies.  What we have seen in her campaign for the nomination was the collusion of the DNC and the media to condemn her opponent.  A nice man from Vermont, that although in my opinion misguided, at least was honest about his views, and gave you a sense that he had the integrity to be an honest President.  If you believed you were voting for an honest candidate then you wouldn’t have to hold your nose, so let’s just stop that argument now.   
My question is why should we expect honesty and integrity in government if we don’t expect it of ourselves?  If you can’t vote for someone then why vote?  Or better yet do vote but write in the name of someone you can support like Bernie Sanders, or one of the third party candidates like Jill Stine, or good old Gary “What’s his name”

What’s that you say, you want your vote to matter?  What does it matter when you elect someone you know will not make life better?  If Ms. Clinton is elected to you think she will have the moral authority or political support to ramrod legislation through like President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid did in 2009?  By the way, how is that landmark legislation working out for you and the average American?

Now let’s talk about “the Donald.”  From what I see he has a pretty strong and faithful following.  He hasn’t had to pay people to fill the seats, nor does he have the entertainment industry tripping over themselves to endorse him.  Heck he is having a hard time just getting the professional Republican politicians to endorse him.  He has struck a nerve in the average middle class voter who sees the increasing oppression of the ever growing central government, run by elitists who view themselves as superior to the average American.  Personally I think the people who will “hold their nose” and vote for Mr. Trump will be a pretty small number, but as small as that number is the question to them is the same one.  If you think Mr. Trump will damage the nation less than Ms. Clinton then why not vote for the person who matches your desire for a smaller less intrusive government, like Gary Johnson. 

The bottom line:  The two parties, and the press, have convinced us that a vote for anyone other than the two party candidates is wasted.  Of course they will say that!  The press, for the most part, wants you to vote for the political elite so they can continue their symbiotic relationship.  Think of the press just like a talk show.  Sure, they say it’s just entertainment, but the guests are, without exception, on the show to sell something.  So both sides win. 
The two parties want to maintain the status quo.  The last thing they want is to have the voters actually take control of the nation…heavens to Betsy we can’t have that.



Post Script: Just as an aside, if you insist on holding your nose to vote I’d recommend holding your nose and vote for the candidate who is most likely to affect change since that is what both parties say we want.  Who is most likely to do that? 
Is it someone who has been part of the problem for 30 years, making millions of dollars from influence peddling, or a narcissist?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Flight

From time immemorial the idea that man should fly has been with us.  Unfortunately, the earliest technology did not make for long and sustained flight.  The attempts lasted only long enough to reach the site of the crash.  From Daedalus, and his son Icarus, through Leonardo DiVinci, past the Montgolfiers, past Lilienthal and Langley, until we find two brothers name Wright the ability for controlled flight escaped mankind.
What Orville and Wilbur discovered was it took three things for flight.  The first was the ability to control the craft on the three axis we call pitch (up and down from centerline), roll (rotation around the centerline), and yaw (angular movement left and right of centerline), the second was an engine powerful enough to propel the craft with sufficient speed to overcome the force of gravity, and the third and most important was the skill to manage the first two. 
They learned pretty quickly after those first flights at Kitty Hawk that flying was not as simple as stepping into the craft, starting it up, and taking off.  It took discipline, understanding and practice.  And as with most things in the human experience time has taught us some are better at flying than others.
In the course of sixty or so years man went from the efforts of Orville and Wilbur to get a few feet off the earth, to settling a craft on the moon.  We went from walking speeds to escape velocity.  We built aircraft with increasing complexity and size such that we could carry the entire Wright Family, along with their flyer, across the ocean in a few hours if we chose.
In the following fifty years we have refined some things, but flight has become so common place it no longer holds our collective fascination as it once did.  That is a shame, for there is much we have missed.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

In The Company of Heroes

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a hero as “a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.”  We go through our lives surrounded by men and women who are really strangers to us, some we know, some we know of, and others are shadows whose names are known but to a few.  We call these men and women heroes for some deed, accomplishment, or perhaps simply for the fact they have survived. Each had the courage to do what was necessary when the time came.  They put their training, their skill, and oft times their life on the line to help their fellow man.
The entertainment industry, including the news outlets, throw the term hero around a lot, and in so doing dilute the nature of those who have the courage to do the right thing, at the right time, in the face of incredible pressures of self-preservation.
I was fortunate last evening to join a group of men and women who have displayed courage in defense of our nation.  Men who’ve jumped into places with little hope of getting out, and women who’ve taken their aircraft into harm’s way to save the lives of others being attacked by numerically superior forces.  They share a common trait, they move towards the sounds of conflict.  They place themselves between danger and those they love.
As inspiring as the evening was, it reminded me this nation is built on the strength of our citizens and their courage to face the threats this nation must face.  It isn’t just the soldier, sailor, marine, or airman that do this, it is everyone who stands up to tyranny, oppression, and intimidation.  There are times the courage displayed is not understood by the masses, and the hero must remain strong despite the condemnations. I think of Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela as examples of individuals with the moral courage to fight oppression and who triumphed in the end. 
Consider the courage it takes to stand against the government to stop a pipeline that threatens the rights of a people who’ve been long betrayed by the government, or for that matter, the courage to oppose the majority when you believe there is something wrong.  When we fail to understand the courage inside us all, we diminish ourselves and our nation.  When we condemn, without consideration, those who protest against blind obedience we reduce the strength that has made America a beacon of hope.
Last night I dined with heroes, and was reminded of the courage we each must have in these troubling times for the nation and the world.

Friday, October 14, 2016

In This Time


I am struck by the hypocrisy, or more precisely, the outrageous degree of hypocrisy the two main political parties, and their leading politicians exhibit in not only this presidential campaign, but in all the bombastic political talk that inundates us on a daily basis.  There is a quotation, oft attributed to Alexis de Toqueville[i], but perhaps coming from Joseph de Maistre’s[ii] Lettres et Opuscules Inédites vol 1 letter 53[iii], that said “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”  If this is true then it follows that we the citizens have brought on ourselves these campaigns filled with sexual accusations, political corruption, base name calling, accusations of racism, and other personal attacks.

One has only to spend a few moments on the social media so popular today (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, or others I never see) to recognize that we, as individuals, have come to accept the basest level of conversation when dealing with strangers or even friends.  The moral outrage of the opinion media, politicians (and their wives), and all the celebrities they can muster over the language and views of Donald Trump means nothing when they accept that same language on a daily basis in the entertainment industry, becasue those entertainers can be used to help further their political agenda.

Let’s talk about news and opinion journalists for just a moment.  I used to believe  journalists were impartial, and would dig into stories to uncover the truth, and while a newspaper would support a particular party or agenda, there was always an off-setting paper to show the other side.  In today’s world that construct has disappeared.  It has become obvious that the mainstream broadcast media of ABCNNBCBS is totally on board with the Democratic party and will do whatever they can to vilify the opposition and protect their own politicians.  There is a sense of elitism and distain for anyone who does not share their urban sense of propriety as we see in the accusations of racism and stupidity they assign to the average citizen.  Yet we continue to support this cartel in viewing their products. Today outsiders to the ABCNNBCBS cartel are the ones digging up the alternative explanations and hidden facts, which of course they condemn when it runs counter to their preferred narrative (e.g. Glen Greenwald and the exposé on global surveillance).  Or you can look at the time they spend talking about one candidate’s faults versus the others, or even the mere mention of alternative candidates, so just concede those we look to for honest reporting are hacks for one party and move on.

Then we come to our culture as a general baseline for morality.  If we glamorize violence in film, song and games, why are we shocked when it appears in the behavior or our young? Are we so blind as to not see the cause-effect relationships we have created?  When movies first came out, and began their wide appeal of bringing fantasy to the masses, we saw the distinctions between life and fantasy.  We taught our young in home, church and school how to be responsible within the confines of society and the movies they spent their nickels on at the Sunday matinee reinforced the concepts of good and evil.  Roy Rogers or Gene Autry were the good guys; they wore the white hats.  They didn’t shoot first and always saved the day.  The violence was limited, and the gun fights were vague enough not to traumatize the viewers.   Can we say that today where in an action move of 2 hours we can expect 90 minutes of non-stop violence?  Where a bad guy can shoot a thousand rounds and the good guy isn’t hurt because the couch stopped the bullets?  I find the celebrities (actors, directors, producers and companies) who profit from these movies, but then come out to condemn gun ownership to be among the biggest hypocrites we see today, and the purest puppets of the elite who use them.
 

In three weeks about 60% of the eligible voters will go to the polls to cast their ballot.  In some areas a few dead people will vote as well, but I don’t think they will be swing the election, but with the Clinton's you never know.  However the vote goes we will get the government we deserve.  We have, for the past 20 years encouraged ad hominem attacks of those we disagree with, we believe one party is evil and the other is righteous, we cast aside respectable behavior for political spectacle, and degrade the value of human life through performance, science, and social standards, and through it all both the leading candidates have been there.  One on reality TV the other on reality Politics.


[i] French diplomat and historian who travel the United States in the first half of the 19th century.  See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

[ii] French philosopher and diplomat.  Maistre claimed it was the rationalist rejection of Christianity that was responsible for the disorder following the French Revolution. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_de_Maistre

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It is a Simple Idea


From Shakespeare’s Hamlet we have this advice from Polonius to his son, Laertes.
Polonius:
This above all; to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!                       Hamlet Act 1, scene 3
Polonius, like most fathers, was a bit pompous and long winded, and his son Laertes was about to sail to France for some peace and quiet.  In his ramblings Polonius offers other advice as well, like “never a lender or borrower be” or “be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar” or “Give thy thoughts no tongue.” All good ideas, but I digress. 
So what was Polonius trying to say to his son?  The popular new age view has this meaning that we should value ourselves and our self-esteem above all else.  Since Shakespeare is not a new age kind of guy is there some other meaning here?  The Dad in me says yea, verily tis so.
I share the view, as others have discussed[i], that what Dad is trying to say is to understand both the negative and positive of a choice, and balance your own interests against the influences that others may offer, putting first those things you value above those of the crowd.
This Presidential election makes this advice more important than at almost any time within recent memory, and perhaps my life time.  Both sides are making arguments about what is best for the country, and what her or his opponent will do to destroy the country if elected.  What we have seen in past campaigns is the rhetoric, the promises or the slanders, are never kept or fully realized, and if they were the country still goes on.  Perhaps diminished, but it goes on.  All we as individuals can do is be true to the values we believe to be right and just, and hope those around us share similar values. 
For me the most important question to ask is does he or she honestly share your personal values?  Things like not voting for him will assure a win for her, or who will fill the next Associate Justice position are outside my control.  What I can do is be honest with myself and consistent in keeping my values as important.
I suspect far more people have already decided how they will vote than the polls indicate, I know I have.  If you are truly undecided I suggest you spend a few moments in reflection and prayer to consider what your personal values are, and how important they are to you, and vote accordingly.


[i] http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/thine-own-self-true

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ghost Towns

Communities seem to have lives, just like the people who make them.  Some towns seem to rise up out of nowhere, flourish with a vibrancy and life that is both robust and exuberant, and then just as fast as they came into being they disappear.  The west is filled with these “ghost towns” that grew up from some industry, like mining, and when the industry died out so did the towns.

In reading the posts about Hyde Park I am struck by the similarities of the western mining towns to my home town.  At its height it was filled with the rich and famous, growing from its farming roots, it became a summer playground for rich, then an international political center as the home, and summer residence, of the President. 
It saw Kings and Queens come for visits.  It had its own train stop on the tracks along the Hudson.  It was inevitable that would end at some point.  The President died, and his wife Eleanor retired to her cottage at Val-Kill, but because of her fame and influence the town continued to thrive.


In the 1950s through probably 1990 the life of the town ebbed and flowed as farms flourished, and the county’s number one business, International Business Machines, grew to employ thousands of people in the towns surrounding its headquarters, plants, and research centers scattered around Dutchess and the adjacent counties.  The service industries like restaurants, drug stores, supermarkets, gas stations, and retail stores all flourished.  In the 1960s, the city center in Poughkeepsie was alive with shoppers going to the department stores and retail shops that made up main street.

In the latter half of 60’s and early 70’s we saw the advent of the shopping centers and then malls, with most of that going to the lands south of Poughkeepsie, for that was where the big employer was located, and it made financial sense to be convenient to your customers.  It was then that Hyde Park seemed to begin its transition to the bedroom community it is today.  A place where people come to sleep, but work is somewhere else, perhaps somewhere far away like the New York City.

In the 90’s IBM began its fall from greatness.  Its failure to understand the radical shift in office automation, the changing landscape of computing, and the enormous management bureaucracy it had built, doomed its ability to respond quickly to the exploding advancement of circuit technology as foretold by Gordon Moore, and they gave way to the more agile companies of what is now known as Silicon Valley.

I left the town in the early 70s to join the Air Force.  So I wonder, what will change the Hyde Park of today to bring back the town it once was, or is its continued decline to a shadow of glories past inevitable?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Reasoning, For or Against


There is much in the news about the Republican candidate for President, and there has been much in the news about the Democrat’s candidate for President.  There have even been occasional snippets in the news for or against the Libertarian’s candidate.  Let me see if I can summarize the pros and cons to come up with a best choice.

Candidate
Strengths
Weaknesses
Other Factors
Hillary “I know nothing about technology” Clinton (Democrat)
1.    Been in politics a long time
2.   Knows a lot of liberal benefactors
3.   Knows how to lie to the American public
4.   Rich and knows how to link contributions to political favors
5.   Knows how to use aides to do heavy lifting (i.e. take out enemies)
6.   Puts the needs of the Party just slightly behind her personal needs
7.   Is comfortable living in the isolation of the beltway and avoiding contact with working Americans except for photo ops.
·     Major Accomplishment is “been in politics a long time”
·     Health is uncertain (see strength #3)
·     Positions on major issues tend to change (see strength #4)
·     Does not believe in accepting personal ownership of mistakes (see strength #5)
·     Has a VP partner who is an a$$wipe, and who promises to be her right hand person
Wants to reshape America to eliminate an independent middle class

Will, in all likelihood, continue the Obama definition of “Transparency” and “open government”

Will, in all likelihood, extend the use of DOJ, DOHS, DHHS, and Treasury as political tools to maintain control of opponents

With her history of destroying records her requirements for a post-presidential library should be pretty small and may be able to add a room to the Clinton Library in Arkansas
Donald “I have a big mouth” Trump (Republican)
1.   Has been a major donor to political campaigns
2.  Will say anything, often without benefit of judgement
3.  Is not a career politician, although he says he has paid for some?
4.  Claims to comb his own hair
5.  Is rich
6.  Has alienated a great number of Republicans
7.  Appeals to a great number of dissatisfied middle class voters
8.  Promises to turn down the PC rhetoric
9.  Has a VP partner who appears sane
·     Has the thinnest skin of any presidential candidate since Aaron Burr
·     Absolutely no concept of decorum or civil decency
·     Can’t spell PC
·     With history of Chapter 11 bankruptcy he could declare America bankrupt and file for Chapter 11 protections (which would upset the Chinese and the Saudi governments)
If elected a number of Hollywood properties would go on the real estate market as liberal stars flee to Canada

Entire term -- the nation and the world would be wondering what next?
Gary “Isn’t Aleppo a dog food?” Johnson
(Libertarian)
1.   From New Mexico
2.  Supports legalization of Cannabis
3.  Isn’t Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump
4.  Not Married (girlfriend would have to fill in as first lady)
·     Can’t name another world leader
·     Doesn’t know where Aleppo is
·     Not sure how many states are in the US.
If on Star Trek he would be wearing a red shirt

What would WH kitchen stock for those late night munchies?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...