Can we have a do-over?

I knew Abraham Lincoln was wrong way back then. Now that we’re getting rid of portraits in Congress and monuments and flags and anything that reminds today’s Americans of their past, well, then maybe we should kick out those Confederate states from the United States of America. They are an embarrassment. Maybe Lincoln should have let them secede.
…and btw, how many of you know that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the South?
“President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the United States, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy (the Southern secessionist states) that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union (United States) military victory.”

But really, when you think about it, maybe Lincoln got it wrong.

Let’s get Congress to kick out the former Confederate states for their part in slavery! Yeah! That’ll make everyone happy! WooHoo! It’s the only way to purge this nation of the stain of slavery!

Then let’s get rid of Lincoln monuments, too. He’s the idiot whose actions, in 1863 America, perpetuated the stigma of Southern slavery in the United States of America. He should have let them secede.

(Please note the sarcasm in my tone)

(Except for Mississippi…We should keep all the other Confederate states except Mississippi.)

(And maybe Alabama. Maybe we should get rid of Alabama. Football season is coming soon.)

Biden’s Running Mate

Should Joe Biden choose Michelle or Barack Obama as his running mate?

Either one would be historical. A black woman as VP who ascends to the presidency would be monumental.

And wouldn’t it frost every Republican’s behind to have Barack take over again when it’s determined that Joe doesn’t have the go to finish? And if the VP can’t serve then it all goes to Nancy Pelosi. WOW! How exciting would politics be at that time.

OMG. What a wedgie that would make!

Go read the 25th Amendment Section 3 and Section 4.

 

Shopping on Thanksgiving? You betcha!

My wife and I decided to shop Thanksgiving night.

I just read that 20% of people (in an unofficial poll) said they would shop Thursday night. We will be two of them.

Let me see if I get this right: We can either go shopping Black Friday with tens of thousands of other shoppers seeking special deals OR we can shop Thursday night for the same discounts and have 80% less people around grabbing our goodies.

Guess what we picked…..

Bus Drivers, Politicians, Legislators, and Government Officials

It struck me that elected officials are similar to bus drivers and the citizens served are like bus riders. Bus drivers are supposed to follow their defined routes.They should drive them on time, too. Yet some citizens think a bus is a taxi and should take them where they wish to go.

We expect that the route of Bus Driver Legislators is to take the American people on a safe and well-planned route that serves the largest number of people to the places that people typically wish to go, like work or downtown, or home or to certain popular places where other people congregate. People who are not served by the bus route should not get on the bus because it will not take them to where they wish. Taxi cabs will take them where they wish to go, not buses. Buses will take one along a specific route and have specific stops where one can get on and off. The bus drivers keep to a schedule as best as weather and traffic allow.

What happens though when vocal bus riders begin to tell the bus driver where they wish to go and when they wish to be there? What happens when the vocal bus riders get other bus riders to join them and everyone begins yelling at the bus driver to go here or to do that or to speed up or to slow down? The bus driver will have to tell everyone that he must follow his prescribed route. If they want to do something different then they need to take a taxi. You can imagine how all that will turn out if the bus driver is weak or the bus riders are stronger than the driver and overcome him. The bus driver has to either take a strong stand and follow his route or do what the people want him to do. One will cause all the riders to hate him and the other will cause some of the riders to love him.

Imagine a bus in which the people at the bus stop elect the driver by popular vote. The bus driver follows the will of the people who chose him and follows no prescribed route but creates  a new one from the feedback he receives from the riders. Some riders will not be happy because they thought the bus driver would drop them off at their office. Instead the driver drops them off a half mile or more away because it is what the will of the people wish.

Imagine again that each time the bus driver stops to allow people on and off that a new vote is taken to choose a new bus driver. Those who got on the bus at the previous stop may be disappointed to learn that the bus is no longer going where they wish it to go. They must either get off that bus and look for another bus or else live with the newly intended route and hope that it does not change again before their stop.

Of course there will be anarchy if bus drivers simply follow the will of the people on the bus and if new bus drivers are selected each time there is a new bus stop. So some of the drivers band together and develop routes that they will take and then begin to sell the idea at every bus stop that these are the best bus policies that should be done. In some cases, the rules for choosing a bus driver are changed so that students don’t get to vote or tourists don’t get a vote to change the bus routes. More ideas are added to control the bus elections and bus routes until anarchy is abated and the people who routinely ride the bus pretty much get the same ride every day. But then neighborhoods change and companies change and seasons change and new roads are added and the Party of Bus Drivers no longer are doing enough for everyone. Many citizen riders are not satisfied with the old routes and they want a new one. Soon a new band of bus drivers emerges promising changes and providing hope that the bus route may be different if only the old band of bus drivers are replaced with a new band of drivers.

Ultimately, the selection of bands of bus drivers occurs once every four years instead of votes at each bus stop. Since more people get on bus stops one and two then at stops 5-15, it is decided that one and two should have representation equal to stops 5 through 15. Otherwise stops one and two are always at the whim of 5 through 15  and that is not fair.

By now you get the idea that to prevent anarchy, there needs to be rules about how to choose who is to govern and some kind of philosophy to guide that choice.

If Legislators are Bus Drivers who follow specific routes laid out for them, then Politicians are those who talk about their bands of bus drivers and the philosophy of bus schedule and bus routes. The government officials who are not elected are like the people who service the bus, serve the bus drivers, and publish the schedules for the bus routes.

So where does that leave the citizens who ride the bus but never vote for the driver or the schedule or the bus route?

You are just along for the ride. Stop complaining. Vote for the band of bus drivers you want, or take a taxi, or start your own band of bus drivers.

But now what do you do if the bus driver and his party serves the businesses along the route and not the riders? What if the businesses begin to influence the bus routes so the riders are picked up and dropped off near their businesses? What if the buses are no longer taking routes to serve the best interests of the riders at all but serve the riders to a minimum and the businesses to the maximum?

What if the two parties of the bus drivers begin to tell individual bus drivers ‘if you don’t support our philosophies and our policies then we will choose other members of our parties to drive the bus’?

Imagine a world in which the Alpha party of bus drivers and the Beta party of bus drivers select only the bus riders who will support their respective parties philosophy which is now determined by the businesses that want the buses to stop by their stores, to stop by their gas stations, to stop for lunch at their locations, and to do it at times convenient to them.

How do the riders on the bus ensure that the bus meets the needs the riders are paying for and not the needs of the businesses along the route?

Would you ride on a bus inconvenient for you that serves the needs of businesses along the route and not your needs as a rider? Would you vote for the Alpha Party or the Beta Party of Bus Drivers who will drive you to places you do not wish to go and will eventually drop you off someplace that meets your minimum needs? Would you choose the lesser of two evil routes that the bus driver is driving?

And what would you do if the Alpha and Beta Party of bus drivers had road blocks set up to prevent the Gamma Party of bus drivers being elected because they will change the bus routes completely?

And what do you do if the two Parties then begin to control the taxi business so that it is unable to take you where and when you wish to go?

What do you do when your options are limited because your choice is limited to just the two parties of bus drivers. Your thoughts?

Drive your own car? Does that work for you now? And does it work for the city you live in?

Distracted Living: iPad, Facebook, etc.

I just want to mention that there has been a significant change in my life since acquiring an iPad and getting a Facebook account.

I believe that a portion of the population is addicted to Facebook and that it was designed to be that way. It is an emotional addiction. There is a sense of urgency and importance to seeing ‘how many’ and ‘who’ Likes what you post on your wall. It would not surprise me to learn that their are behavioral psychologists involved in crafting and testing some of these features, layouts, and selections. There is also the social connection to see what your friends and family is abuzz about, too. There is no good reason to check my Facebook page 10 times a day, but I do. It is like a great dark chocolate candy wrapped in foil for the emotional connections it brings to ordinary people. I am sure that it has no effect on the Vulcans in our midst, agree?

What to say about iPad? The darn thing is designed to give you a distraction anytime you want one and even if you don’t. I play 12-20 games of chess on it every day. But not a single game is any good. I hit HINT whenever I don’t like the position that I am in. I am in those positions because there is no value in winning against a chess game. Besting a human opponent, or being beaten by one, is more of a lesson learned than 100 games on the iPad. Chess is fun on the iPad and it is not instructional about territorial control, combinatorial moves, or the use of the pin, the fork, or the check.

Where have both of these cultural icons led me? To distracted living, of course.

My blog posts have been less thoughtful, my actions have become less thoughtful, and I find myself avoiding anything that makes me think. I wanted to blame it on age and a lack of ‘conquering’ testosterone but that isn’t it. It is the distractions that are filling up my days and nights. They interfere with tasks, responsibilities, problem solving, and even with holding a conversation with another person.

Am I addicted to these two emotional implements? And by addicted , I mean it in the classical sense of addiction, i.e. it interferes with your life significantly enough that it is a detriment. The answer is ‘yes, I am addicted but I am not debilitated by it’. (Which is what every addict probably says, too. I am sure that I can quit Facebook and iPad at any time…right?)

I know there is probably an App for breaking addictions but I am not going to look for one for Facebook and iPad…for obvious reasons.

President Obama invents the Shotgun Focuser !

Each week, President Obama announces that he and his team are focused on different problems in America. The only possible way this can occur is if he has developed the “shotgun focuser”.

The shotgun focuser can best be described as the ability to focus each BB from a shotgun shell on its way to a different target at the same time. You and I know this is a marvelous invention and are awaiting its patent and possible marketing on late night TV.

The Obama Shotgun Focuser will likely retail for $19.95 and if you time your order right , you can get two for the price of one.

But wait, that is not all. If you order one right away you can also receive a marvelously autographed picture of Obama demonstrating how it is used to shoot down the economy, the Arab Spring, the national debt, the budget, a broken Congress, a backyard barbecue, and an exotic vacation with a single blast. Simply amazing!

Call now! Orders are limited to one per person!

Of course, we could just call it Scattershot and say “Hope for the Best!”

Help with a book…

My daughter is looking for a book…hence this post.

There comes a time for many people when they set aside comic books (not everyone, of course) and read good fiction. When they do, their world becomes so much larger than it was before.

If you could sit down and re-read one of you favorite books, what would it be?

For me, it would probably be either Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey or T H White’s Once and Future King. Both opened me up to a new way of thinking about fiction and about making it believable. I still love Dune, of course, but it has been so mangled by the movies that it is hard to read it anymore. I wish someone would just make it a 22 episode mini-series and capture the characters better.

Now I want a serious fiction book. I’m thinking of Russian writers but I prefer American.

If you have a recommendation, let me know.

 

Why I hated Elysium… the movie

I went to see Elysium expecting a good science fiction movie in which technology has changed the world we know and Matt Damon is going to set it right. That is not what I saw.

Stop now if you plan to see the movie but if you aren’t, then read below the fold why I hated this movie propaganda…

Continue reading “Why I hated Elysium… the movie”