Rebuttal

January 28, 2010

Ready to hunker down

I haven’t listened to an entire State of the Union speech since… Come to think of it, I’ve never listened to one from beginning to end.

Why? Because I view it as an annual campaign speech. If it truly was a “State” of the Union speech, it would be a multimedia extravaganza with charts and graphs. It would be a well researched and carefully planned presentation to let the public know exactly where we, as a nation, stand.

Instead, the State of the Union has come down to two things: First, a litany of excuses (the blame game) to explain why things are not better. Second, to make the same promises that were made in the past.

Politicians have no intention of keeping promises. That’s why they make them so freely. In the same speech, a politician (I’m not pointing the finger at Obama or any other individual) can blame the deficit on others, promise to cut back government spending and waste, and promise billions of dollars will be spent on new projects.

The shame of it is… the blind followers fail to see the contradictions. They stand up and cheer the politician’s every word. Oh! Wait! That was the senators and the other members of congress and the Cabinet. I guess they were simply cheering for the man’s audacity! Such gall! Let’s hear it for our fellow politician!!

To be honest, I’m glad this President was unable to move much of his agenda forward. Bush might have begun this deficit, but Obama wants to take it to new heights.

Hopefully, he and the congress will slow down and give more careful thought to the things they propose. Instead of a lawyer deciding what should be in health care reform, let’s put together a committee of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and insurance company executives and tackle the problem areas.

I think another word for “politician” is “arrogance”. They see no need to bring in a panel of experts. They’ll put together a 2,000 page bill that is full of crap… sorry, full of earmarks that have nothing to do with the proposed legislation and try to convince people that they’ve created the greatest thing since the Federal Reserve.

I didn’t listen to President Obama’s State of the Union speech for the same reason I ignore most political speeches. When a politician’s lips are moving, it’s a sure bet that he or she is lying.

I never did like listening to lies.



The Right Answer – Our Worst Enemy

July 23, 2009

As I race toward my sixty-fifth birthday, I’m reminded of the many things I’ve learned in my lifetime. One of my most significant discoveries is that the right answer is a terrible thing. For many of us, the quest for knowledge ends as soon as we think we have the right answer.

I sometimes joke that I found an object in the ‘next to last’ place I looked. How many times have we heard someone report that the lost object turned up in the last place he or she looked. Well, sometimes I go the extra mile just so I can make a silly comment.

When lost objects are the subject of the search, it doesn’t make any sense to continue the search after the object has been found. However, when it comes to knowledge, it’s extremely important to continue seeking a more definitive answer. Quite often, the additional probing turns up additional facts that, at times, totally alter our thinking. That’s when we realize our first conclusion was absolutely incorrect.

Case in point, a 1939 reference book listed uranium as a worthless metal.

It doesn’t take an in depth study of history to recognize how many times the scientific community has been mistaken. Yet, every time they ‘prove’ a theory, they’ll defiantly defend their findings as the ultimate truth.

It took an amateur paleontologist to prove that many dinosaurs were more akin to birds than lizards. The established community laughed at him until he found nesting grounds and eggs.

Lately I’ve been accused of being a right-wing FOX News watcher because I dared to question the universal health care plan being shoved down our collective throats by a President who seems to have little trouble spending tax payer money.

I’ll be the first to admit both parties seem to enjoy throwing around our tax dollars – especially when it can win additional votes for them during the next election. But the quantities of cash in question with this administration are beyond comprehension. We were told the stimulus package would turn the economy around. Thus far, it’s hard to say. Has it or hasn’t it? That all depends on who is doing the talking.

(Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? His or her lips are moving. Trust me!)

The fact that the Administration is delaying the mid-year budget report until after the August recess of Congress seems to me to be a bad omen. Do they not want us to know how deeply in debt we are headed? It would be much harder to pass legislation to add to the financial burden if the public knew just how heavy that burden might already be.

And yet, when I question and try to determine the truth behind the news reports (on FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS) I’m accused of being right-wing.

I consider myself a moderate. If I were to be identified with any political party, it would be Libertarian. I have never voted a straight party ticket and consider anyone who does so to be a complete idiot who refuses to take the time to learn about candidates of opposing parties.

Nancy Pelosi condemns the corporate executives who fly on private jets. Yet she does the same on a regular basis – at tax payer expense. Is this acceptable behavior? Might this be called hypocritical?

George Bush was accused of being arrogant. The way Barbara Boxer treated Harry C. Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, was a true example of arrogance. He tried to tell her how condescending her remarks to him were and, instead of taking the time to listen to what he was saying and, perhaps apologize, she interrupted him repeatedly to explain how wrong he was.

Sean Hannity does the same thing when he ‘debates’ someone who sees things differently. Bill O’Reilly is even more arrogant… but in a more polite way. I once heard him speak out against the Fair Tax. His comments proved that he had never read the bill and had no idea what he was talking about.

This country has forgotten the meaning of debate because we no longer listen to one another. We are so positive that we have the right answer that there is no need to listen to any facts that might prove us wrong.

We need to get back to being a civilized society that respects a person’s right to speak. We need to stop the protests that occur whenever someone from the opposition tries to explain his or her view of the issues.

Am I correct in my arguments? I think so, but can never be sure. If I’m off base, hopefully someone will come along and tell me where I’ve gone wrong. I promise to listen.

By the way, how many of you have taken the time to contact your friends and acquaintences in countries that have Nationalized Health Care. Do you want to get some honest answers from people who live under that system… or will you simply take the word of Glenn Beck?


Michael Jackson’s Band Wagon

June 26, 2009

If you don’t mind, I’d rather toss Michael under the band wagon.

For many of us, yesterday’s bigger loss was the death of Farrah Fawcett who finally lost her three year battle with cancer. Even with her tremendous suffering, Farrah had the courage to put together a documentary of her struggle to demonstrate the importance of not giving up.

And what was Michael Jackson doing during the last three years? I really don’t know and I obviously don’t care. After the repeated accusations of child molestation, the plastic surgeries to make him look more like Liz Taylor, and his many other idiotic actions, I got tired of hearing his name.

In many ways, I feel sorrier for Michael than I do for Farrah. Farrah was battling a physical enemy. Michael’s enemies were mostly in his own mind.

When the Jackson Five first came on the scene in the late 60’s, I was a big fan of the young Michael Jackson. As time progressed and his musical style changed, I lost interest. Perhaps that was my fault for getting old. I quit listening to rock and roll music as it evolved toward what it is today. Somewhere along the line, I switched to country music which, today, is more reminiscent to the rock and roll of my youth. With country music, a story is told and I can understand the lyrics. (That’s how I know a story is told.)

The young Mr. Jackson was very good looking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his appearance. But then his skin began to get lighter and his nose turned into something you’d expect to see on a Caucasian. In truth, it makes me wonder what his body looked like. How far down his neck did the doctors go when they turned his skin lighter?

Enjoying cookies and milk and sleeping with little boys. I don’t care how much of a Michael Jackson fan you are – that is beyond weird. It makes me wonder what sort of demons shared that body with the fabulous entertainer.

Yes. I called him a fabulous entertainer. While I didn’t care for his music, millions of other folks disagreed with me. They loved his concerts.

During the last American Idol, I thought sure Adam Lambert would win because, of all the other contestants, he was the best entertainer. He seemed to be a natural on the stage… just as Michael Jackson was.

Kris Allen is a very talented young man, but he doesn’t have the stage presence of Adam Lambert. I think Adam lost because most Americans thought sure he was going to win. So, they either didn’t bother to vote, or they voted for Kris to make it close.

I think a similar thing happened when Bill Clinton beat George Bush. Everyone was sure Bush would win, so many voted for Ross Perot… so that Bush wouldn’t win by a landslide.

Oops! I strayed off the original topic. My apologies.

Getting back to Michael, I always hate to see a person die before his or her time, but I can’t help wondering how much Michael’s demons contributed to his demise. In a way, he’s been fighting his own form of cancer for most of his life. Maybe that explains his weird behavior.

Numerous personalities have stated that most of us will long remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of Michael’s death. Some likened it to the death of Elvis Presley – another performer I didn’t really care for. Some even went so far as to compare it to the death of John F. Kennedy.

Sorry. That takes it too far. Both entertainers were extremely popular with their fan base, but the assassination of a United States President is more than a little different.

I have no idea of what I was doing on the day of Elvis’ death. I couldn’t even tell you the year he died let alone the month and day. Soon I’ll be in the same situation with Michael’s death (as well as Farrah’s), but I’ll never be that way when it comes to JFK.

I was a sophomore at Edinboro State Teachers College on November 22, 1963. I was at my off-campus housing when I heard JFK had been shot. I then walked into town where I got the word that he had died.

Come to think of it, it’s a bit troublesome that our culture puts more emphasis on the lives of entertainers than on politicians. No wonder our government is so screwed up.