Facebook Increases My Blood Pressure

February 24, 2017

The way I see it, there are three types of people who frequent Facebook. This may also be true of the other social media networks, but I am only familiar with Facebook. If the other networks affected me in a similar fashion, I would’ve had a stroke a long time ago.

The first of the three types of people on Facebook are those who stay away from politics and post nothing but nice friendly pictures, poems, videos, jokes, etc. I love those people. More often than not, they cheer me up and make my day. There is still hope for humanity.

The second type are those who post political items without doing the slightest bit of research to verify the truth behind the claims. These people represent the extreme sides of both major political parties. Prior to the election, they painted Hillary as a saint and Trump as the Devil, or vice-versa. Since the election, Trump is painted as Satan (his own self), or the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Both sides irritate the hell out of the other.

The third bracket belongs to people like me. Throughout this process I have tried repeatedly to demonstrate that no politician can be trusted and, for that reason, Trump might actually be beneficial – although I have no high regards for the man beyond the fact that he has not made a career out of living off the taxpayers as a member of some government.

Obviously, it is the second type that drives me up a wall. Not only will they defend their posts while refusing to acknowledge that the posts may be out-and-out lies, they will attack my posts and insist I prove my statements.

One such statement had something to do with, “The election is over and it is time to stop the protests and rioting. Give the man a chance. If he screws up royally, impeach him. If he screws up enough to cost him his re-election, vote him out.”

One person too lazy to do any research at all challenged me on the word ‘rioting’. I suggested they might consider the University of California at Berkley who stopped a gay Libertarian from speaking on the campus because the protesters considered him to be too Conservative.

The response from the challenger was “That’s one. You used a plural term.”

Too many people on the left (and yes, it is the Liberals)  are more than glad to exercise their freedom of speech to stop anyone they disagree with from exercising his or her right to free speech. Yes, that upsets me greatly. If you refuse to even listen to the other side, how can you ever hope for compromise.

And yes, it is the left – the side that preaches tolerance – as long as you agree with them. When is the last time a group of Conservative students stopped a Liberal from speaking on a campus?

I made another statement that caused consternation from the left. “I would love to see Trump make America great again simply to see how his detractors react.”

I was informed by people barely old enough to vote that American has never been as great as it is now. How do I argue with someone who is being indoctrinated by Liberal college professors?

I would begin by taking a closer look at the unemployment rate. Obama is very proud that the number is under 5%. On the surface, that is a wonderful accomplishment. However, if one does the slightest bit of research, there are a number of factors that bring that number into question.

Let’s begin with some basic numbers. I’ve seen government numbers (which calls them into question immediately) that an average of 250,000 people enter the labor force every month. I assume that is high school dropouts and graduates, college dropouts and graduates, and legal immigrants. (They might also be counting the illegal immigrants, but I don’t know that for sure.)

Every month the government releases the latest figures of people who got jobs last month. I have yet to see that number top 250,000. So, based on that alone, the unemployment numbers should be going up.

Unless something drastic has happened and I missed it, the population of the United States has also increased every month. I know there are many deaths each month, but the newborns more than make up for that. PLUS, we still have immigrants coming in on a regular basis.

Somewhere along the way I’ve seen numbers representing the ‘under’ employed. Those are the folks who had decent jobs that were outsourced or sent overseas. Instead of making $100,000 per year as middle-management types, they are now working for much less money – but they are working and not part of the unemployment numbers.

But the numbers are still questionable. The big question concerns the number of people in the labor force – a number that has dropped significantly over the last ten years. How can that be?

Let’s begin with the fact that unemployment benefits eventually run out. How does our government handle that? To begin with, there is welfare and food stamps- the recipients of both has dramatically increased over the last ten years. So, these folks are no longer counted as unemployed. They are simply living off the kindness of the taxpayers. (To be honest, if I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn’t be so kind. I don’t mind helping someone get back on their feet, but I resent helping someone stay in the chair.)

I have friends and relatives who insist I am a Republican because I believe and say things like this. I then ask them “How many Republicans have no problem with gay marriage?” I also point out that while I don’t like abortion, I hate the alternatives, so I accept it as a necessary evil. There are a few other items that would label me as a Liberal, but that is only a small part of the bigger point.

I could be wrong, but my guess is that the people on the far left and far right of the political spectrum are the vast minority of our citizens. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. But, thanks to the politicians and the news media, they have us at loggerheads.

As for the media, I am convinced they have moved into the business of ‘making’ the news rather than simply reporting it. If they didn’t bother to cover the protest marches, would the protester even bother? And if they didn’t stress certain facts, would people get royally ticked off and go on rampaging riots?

I heard a talking head question the Trump administration by asking “If they are doing such good and worthwhile things, why do they have minor things dominating the headlines?” Simple answer: So people will get upset and do more things for the reporters to cover. They are going out of their way to get juicy stories.

So, the statement I continue to make on Facebook is “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

In the meantime, I will stay off Facebook for a while and get my blood pressure back down to a reasonable level.


When Will We Ever Learn?

January 16, 2009

January 16, 1919 saw the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes. Had the U.S. Congress done nothing more, the new law would’ve been ignored by the majority of American citizens… and driven the zealots supporting the movement crazy.

However, the problem of enforcement was quickly recognized and nine months later Congress passed the Volstead Act – over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of the prohibition Amendment. Shortly thereafter, a special unit of the Treasury Department was created and eventually Eliot Ness became famous.

Despite massive efforts by law-enforcement agencies (and millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money), the Volstead Act failed to prevent the distribution of alcoholic beverages. In fact, it created many new jobs for people who didn’t like paying income taxes. Rum running and home brewing became basic black market industries and created even more jobs for people who liked to drive fast and shoot at police cars.

Organized crime flourished in America as Al Capone and others grew very wealthy by simply breaking the law and giving people what they wanted.

Eventually Congress realized they were fighting a losing battle. In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition. While many lost their black market jobs, the government went back to collecting taxes on alcohol and everyone was happy again… except for those who firmly believed the government should be used to force people to live as they (the zealots) believe they should live.

While that song is definitely an anti-war song, it speaks volumes about our elected officials in general.

A teenaged girl in our community disappeared a week or so ago. She was found yesterday… hiding at a nudist colony with her boyfriend who is employed at the resort. Why did she run away? Because her parents forbade her to have any contact with the young man.

It seems to me that the best way to get somebody to do something is to tell them they are not allowed to do so. We’ve seen that with prohibition and abortion. We’re also seeing it with our country’s ‘war on drugs’. We spend billions of taxpayer dollars in battles we cannot win.

If we collected tax on all the illegal activities in this country, most of our deficit would disappear.

It may take years for the politicians to give up on the drug war – it helps them get re-elected – so our best bet is to get them to pass the Fair Tax.

That’s how I feel about these issues and I’m sure I’ll have even stronger feelings as I watch our politicians give trillions of tax dollars to company executives who will find a way to stick a good portion of it into their own pockets. Of course, our politicians will also benefit from all that cash floating around. The only people who will fail to benefit are the taxpayers whose money is being wasted.

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