2018 Mid-Terms Preview

WE have less than 1 week before the country goes to the polls….I try to be an FYI blog……so I will give my readers a site so they can check out the positions and issues and the people running…..so please check it out and get out the vote….

Election news from a diverse assortment of trustworthy sources, curated by Pocket. What you’ll find: Issue explainers, polling, and reporting and analysis from outlets with a track record of accuracy. What you won’t find: Endorsements and opinion pieces.

An observation about the country at the time of the Constitution still rings true today…..Unfortunately, leaving election control to individual states led to unfair voting practices in the U.S. At first, white men with property were the only Americans routinely permitted to vote. President Andrew Jackson, champion of frontiersmen, helped advance the political rights of those who did not own property. By about 1860, most white men without property were enfranchised. But African Americans, women, Native Americans, non-English speakers, and citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 had to fight for the right to vote in this country.

https://getpocket.com/explore/midterms

GSFP is endorsing NO one……We just want the voter to be informed…..

I feel that voting will change little….the theatrics will increase but the mov e to make the country a safer and better nation will go nowhere.

Best remember the words of John Adams…….

“We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another. It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures. “

Sadly these days his wise words fall on deaf ears…..the American voter prefers a personality not principles and in return the country suffers greatly.

Please use all sources and make an informed decision with your vote.

Know your issues……

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Where Have The Humanists Gone?

I was until my injuries very politically active….since my mid-twenties I have protested, voted, been disobedient, organizer, etc, etc ……and in all those days I guess deep down I was a Humanist……although I was a socialist, a radical, I still wanted what was best for the people of my country.

Before I go on…..I need to go into some detail about Humanism…….

Humanism is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. Affirming the dignity of each human being, it supports the maximization of individual liberty and opportunity consonant with social and planetary responsibility. It advocates the extension of participatory democracy and the expansion of the open society, standing for human rights and social justice. Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as a part of nature and holds that values-be they religious, ethical, social, or political-have their source in human experience and culture. Humanism thus derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological or ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny.

https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/definition-of-humanism/

Now that we have the working definition……there was a time when humanism could be found in both parties of our system……but since the 1990’s and the swing to extremes in political tribalism the days of humanism is gone…..is it truly gone?

Though the term is rarely employed in our time, “Christian humanism” is one of the noblest movements of the last century. It’s a concept much older than the 20th century, of course, dating back to St. Paul’s visit to Mars Hill in Athens. There, Paul had challenged the Greek Stoics to discover and embrace their “unknown god.” A few decades later, St. John the Beloved sanctified the 600-year-old Heraclitean concept, logos (meaning fire, imagination, word), at the beginning of his Christian gospel.

Following this ancient tradition, many of the greatest of Western thinkers—from St.Augustine to Petrarch to Sir Thomas More to Edmund Burke—had inherited and breathed new life into Christian humanism during their own respective ages. In the 20th century, two men—T.E. Hulme in the United Kingdom and Irving Babbitt in the United States—reclaimed the 1,900-year-old concept, believing it the only possible serious challenge to modernity, the exaggeration of the particular, and the rise of ideologies and other inhumane terrors. From the grand efforts of Hulme and Babbitt a whole cast of fascinating characters arose, embracing Christian humanism to one degree or another: T.S. Eliot, Paul Elmer More, Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward, Willa Cather, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, J.R.R. Tolkien, Nicholas Berdyaev, Etienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, Theodor Haecker, Aurel Kolnai, Bernard Wall, Sigrid Undset, Thomas Merton, Flannery O’Connor, and Russell Kirk.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-christian-humanism-gone-forever/

One can see the lack of compassion here on a blog….there are those unfeeling toads that call themselves patriotic Americans that are no more than just con artist like the politicians they elect.

This country CANNOT move forward until we restore the compassion we once possessed.

It is that SIMPLE!

Must It Be Endless?

I have made it a lifetime endeavor to study conflict (war) and analyzing cause and effect…..and since 9/11 it seems that the US is in a cycle of endless wars……most of which had little to do with the actual attacks on 9/11…….and those that defend the endless nature of conflict…..

A continuous and repetitive thread in the commentary on the decade since 9/11—one might almost call it an endless and open-ended theme—was the plaintive observation that the struggle against al-Qaida and its surrogates is somehow a “war without end.” (This is variously rendered as “perpetual war” or “endless war,” just as anti-war articles about the commitment to Iraq used to relentlessly stress the idea that there was “no end in sight.”)

I find it rather hard to see the force of this objection, or indeed this description. Was there ever a time when we involved ourselves in combat, or found ourselves involved, with any certain advance knowledge about the timeline and duration of hostilities? Are there two kinds of war, one of them term-limited? A bit like that other tempting but misleading separation of categories—between “wars of choice” and “wars of necessity”—this proves upon closer scrutiny to be a distinction without much difference.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2011/09/in_defense_of_endless_war.html

Personally observation…..endless wars benefit NO one but those that supply the implements of war….it is about the profits not the reason for the war.

We can make peace profitable if we truly wanted to….there is the rub….there is NO WILL!

Pain Management–A Personal Story

The new push for the control of the amount of opioids…..for decades the health professionals have been pushing opioids for a cure for just about everything.

We have a new president and a new “windmill” to tilt…….Opioids are the new drug of choice for the government to take on and destroy…you know like they did with weed and crack and meth and…..the list goes on all of which is still available at your underground drug store at the corner of 5th and Main.

Personal story……in 2005 I fell onto concrete and broke my right leg in 4 places….after 2 surgeries and a couple pounds of metal and screws I was sent on my merry way……but first I was turned over to pain management for my injury will have a lasting pain quotient associated with it.

After much trial and error trying to find to best pain reliever (keep in mind these do not eliminate pain just help you manage it) the best cocktail was morphine and oxycodone daily.  These have their side effects and one learns to deal with them as best we can.

Fast forward to 2017……I have been managing pain for 12 years and then another trauma to my right leg….I needed to have 4 toes removed from my right foot.  Pain increased and yet I was still using morphine and oxycodone to manage the pain.

And now enter the president and the government……there is an epidemic of abuse in this country of pain medication…..and the government will wipe it out…..

Are you old enough to remember this ad?

That was so successful that the patrons of the Waffle House grew by 200%…….but drugs could still be found at your local underground pharmacy…..

Back to my saga…….

My last visit to the pain management doctor I had to bring my pill bottles…the pills were counted and I had taken 2 pills too many….I was dressed down for over medication and warned that itf it happens again I would be kicked off the program as being an abuser….that would have made it impossible to get on another program because of the title hung around my neck.

Then we have to take a pee test and it will show all drugs that you take and that you had a beer or a glass of wine which would make it another dress down and another threat of loss of meds.

Nothing I like better than being treated like a 5 year old….but what can I expect when the dude calling the shots has the mental capacity of a 5 year old.

The Task Force has finally come out with a new version of the 1987 “This is your brain on drugs” ad……a total of $385,000 of taxpayers money will be spent to stop this opioid abuse in its tracks.

Sorry I think it is well established that these drugs are addictive…this is a waste of money but hey that is what this government does best…piss away taxpayer money.

Here we have the thoughts of the government and the Speaker of the House……

the House continues its bipartisan work to address the opioid epidemic. By the end of this week, we will have considered more than 50 pieces of legislation to support prevention, aid recovery, and protect our communities.

Chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by the opioid epidemic—whether that means wrestling with addiction, supporting a loved one in recovery, or providing comfort to a friend or neighbor dealing with loss.

https://www.speaker.gov/general/taking-action-against-opioids

It is personal for the Speaker?  What garbage!  Someone gave him the name of someone struggling with addiction…….that is NOT a personal story….that is what we call bullshit….or more politely propaganda.

Me?  I have decided that I will not be treated like a 5 year old.  I will take a break from my pain management program…..yes the pain will be a bit much most of the time but I will make it through….it is either suffer with the pain or stick it out and let these toads treat me any way they like because they can simply because I need some relief from constant pain.

Why Not Elect Progressives?

College of Political Knowledge

Paper:  2018/2

We have all the indications that there will be a “Blue Wave”….by that we mean there should be a massive election of Dems to the House and maybe some for the Senate.

Most Dem candidates tell the population that they stand for progressive ideas and for moving the country forward.

This tickles me…….the ones that are saying such crap are the old Clinton Dems from the 90’s and those are in NO way a progressive candidate……these people are what use to be called “Blue Dog” Dems….meaning that they were conservative some to the point of being more so than the GOP….they did NOTHING to move this country forward.

Most are owned by the corporate structure that owns the GOP….it is not political it is about which will increase profit with the least amount of pain for business.

To be a true progressive one would need to embrace a wealth of issues…..

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social insurance,  to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
  • Limited injunctions in strikes.
  • Farm relief.
  • Worker’s compensation for work-related injuries.
  • An inheritance tax.
  • equal rights (pass ERA finally)

Yes these were ideas from the old Progressive Party of Teddy when he ran as a 3rd party candidate.  A look at modern progressive issues from the Progressive Policy Institute…..

https://www.progressivepolicy.org/issues/

Progressive politics are essentially a set of ideals and policies revolving around solving social issues and preventing different forms of disenfrachisement. Things like broader voting laws, stratified taxation (e.g. more money–> higher, more taxes), and different forms of equality legislation (e.g. Equal pay, Marriage equality, voter protections to prevent disenfranchisement).

We true progressives hate it when the media taunts some candidate as a progressive……No I am not a liberal…no I am not a Democrat….I am a progressive.

I often get asked what the difference between a “liberal” and a “progressive” is. The questions from the media on this subject are always something like, “Isn’t ‘progressive’ just another name for ‘liberal’ that people want to use because ‘liberal’ has become a bad word?”

The answer, in my opinion, is no – there is a fundamental difference when it comes to core economic issues. It seems to me that traditional “liberals” in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A “progressive” are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules.

To put it in more concrete terms – a liberal solution to some of our current problems with high energy costs would be to increase funding for programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A more “progressive” solution would be to increase LIHEAP but also crack down on price gouging and pass laws better-regulating the oil industry’s profiteering and market manipulation tactics. A liberal policy towards prescription drugs is one that would throw a lot of taxpayer cash at the pharmaceutical industry to get them to provide medicine to the poor; A progressive prescription drug policy would be one that centered around price regulations and bulk purchasing in order to force down the actual cost of medicine in America (much of which was originally developed with taxpayer R&D money).

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/whats-the-difference-betw_b_9140.html

Please do not get me started on the stupidity of a Democrat equates to being a socialist.  That is right I said STUPIDITY!

My point is know your issues and do not allow labels to define your vote.

American Fascism

For eons the Right has accused the Left as promoting socialism and when the Left makes a similar observation about the Right and fascism these same people go into a fit of rage.  So the Right is to out right lie but the same is not tolerated by the Left.

This applies to most issues that can be divided into Left and Right issues.

So to allow the Right an opportunity to use some of the anti-fascist tactics I will post this…..

Fascism is a loaded topic for Americans. The term is usually put forward as oppositional, as the flip side of representative democracy, e.g. authoritarian. Left unaddressed is whose interests’ American representative democracy represents. Twenty years of research by political scientist Thomas Ferguson strongly supports the conclusion that it is monied interests (a/k/a the rich) that determines public policy. And while this isn’t the authoritarian leader alluded to with the charge of fascism, neither does it contrast with it in the sense implied.

In the American iconography, slavery and genocide against the indigenous population took place from the so-called founding forward under this system of representative democracy. Phrased differently, there is nothing intrinsic to representative democracy that precludes slavery and genocide. The social, economic and political repression and exploitation they represented had economic taking as their motive and they were systemic in structure— no single authoritarian leader, no Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini, created them as social facts.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/17/american-fascism/

There are aspects of fascism that are taking hold in the US…….

Fascists reject liberal democracy, which is basically a representative kind of government where elections are free and competitive, powers between different government branches are separated, and people have more or less equal rights, freedoms and protections under the law.

Fascists, on the other hand, prefer totalitarian one-party rule, led by a strong leader (your favorite dictator). This allows the fascist country to have unparalleled national unity of purpose, a very ordered society, generally ready for armed conflict. Such a society is also poised to respond quickly to economic measures, especially in time of difficulties. A fascist country will likely isolate itself, blaming the international economic order for its troubles.

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/fascism-101-what-it-would-take-for-it-to-come-to-america

To have enslaved America with this hocus-pocus! To have captured the mind of the world’s greatest nation without uttering a single word of truth! Oh, the pleasure we must be affording the most malevolent man on earth!” These words come near the end of Philip Roth’s 2004 novel The Plot Against America, but for some they could have been written yesterday. The election of Donald J Trump as president has been called “unimaginable”, but the truth is many people did imagine the forces that have brought him to power, or versions of them; we just stopped listening to them.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/03/americanism-us-writers-imagine-fascist-future-fiction

In closing…I am NOT saying that this person or that is a fascist….only that conditions are there and it is up to the nation to decide.

On To The Mid-Terms–2018

A mere days before we experience the 2018 Mid-Terms……this will be a test of the strength of the Trump political machine…….or will it be the “Blue Wave” that some are predicting to sweep the GOP from one House of Congress and possibly both Houses.

All eyes are turning to a possible “Blue Wave”…..meaning that Dems could take back the House and make gains in the Senate…..but the biggest question is will a “Blue Wave” be a good thing or folly?

The collapse of the Democratic Party over the last four decades is nothing less than historic.  It’s the kind of thing folks will study in the future, as what Barbara Tuchman called a “march of folly.”

Ms. Tuchman defined a march of folly as “the pursuit of policy contrary to self-interest,” and nothing has been as obviously contrary to the Democrat’s fortunes as their pursuit of a neoliberal, centrist strategy.

Oh, yes, Democrats will do well in the 2018 midterms, but in too many cases it will have nothing to do with their policies, and everything to do with how Republicans have screwed the vast majority of the American people so that they could – once again – give trillions to the uber-rich and corporations.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/04/democrats-and-2018-midterms

Personally, I do not see much changing….maybe a few more shots at Our Dear Leader before he exits the White House….but as far as the citizens of this country it will get no better than they are today.

Emma Goldman once said, “If voting changed anything it would be made illegal”…..and I must agree with her assessment of the voting process….

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.

The truth be told…I have never voted for the winner of an election…..I always vote on issues and positions…..I would NEVER vote for one person over another because of gender, religion or sexual preference.
I just hope that others follow me and choosing our leader by what they will do for the country and not by appearance or party.
I feel that I shall be disappointed.