Retrospective, Damn

Well it has been another year, we have all gotten through it despite the idiocy of the nation and constant upheaval to our peace. I wanted to wait before I said anything, before I looked backwards or forwards, you know dip my toes in the waters of 2016 before washing away 2015. So now I have waited, based on the first two weeks of the new year, well it doesn’t seem it will get better. Here is my quick look and thoughts on what was and what will be.

Politics, Damn

It does not seem that we are in for a civil debate leading up to the election of a new POTUS to bring our nation together. Indeed not, instead no matter who the two leading parties nominate I think we can look forward to a nasty year of sniping, pettiness and below the belt ugliness. Never mind, the world and the nation are burning like Rome and our political discourse has descended into the outhouse. An interesting view of all the current candidates was provided by the New York Times.

The GOP has brought to the table their ‘Best and Brightest’, if this is the truth we are in terrible trouble. This is what left swimming in their pool, it is a terrible thing the American people have done raising up the Id of the GOP to become the nominee for their party. I foresee a split in the ‘Grand Old Party’ coming soon. Truly, the sane ones (yes, there are still a few) remaining within the GOP are beginning to speak out, against the insanity that is Trump and Cruz, never mind the rest who are simply sideshows at this point.

The ratings are from the Conservative Review

The ratings are from the Conservative Review

The Democrats are not offering much better though, don’t hate. Where is the young blood we need for new ideas? What do we have leading the charge, a woman with questionable ethics who considers herself having the ‘right’ to be POTUS, that she is ‘inevitable’. A man who has some great ideas that are not sustainable and who frankly is 74 years old, yes I know ageism on my part but I think we need to consider the consequences of the office of President when we vote, the health and age of our nominee’s is an issue. I couldn’t find a similar map and rating for the two viable Democrats, but go here to Inside Gov, you can play beat the contender to your hearts content.

Democrats

Violence, Guns and Damn

We can’t look back without considering the violence, our addiction to it as a nation. Start with police violence, last year there were twelve hundred and two (1,202) American citizens killed by police. Do any of us wonder what is wrong with this? I certainly do. When do we start to demand a change in the behavior of those who are hired and paid by us to protect and serve us? At what point do we start to question the legitimacy of ‘internal’ investigations into police involved shootings? When do we demand all police involved shootings, especially those that end in the death of a citizen be reported to the FBI, just like all other murders; today the only way we know is private organizations such as Killed by Police who do painstaking data collection.

We had some terrible and tragic examples of what wholesale availability of guns, combined with ideological hate can do. Despite our blood soaked streets and churches, we continue the battle with little success to close the loopholes. We are a nation that loves our guns, loves our ‘right’ to own them, shoot them, carry them openly (unless you aren’t Caucasian). We are a nation that will make excuses for every Son-of-a-Bitch that shoots up a neighborhood, a theater, a church taking innocent lives in the process; well that is so long as the shooter is Caucasian. The Gun Violence Archives provide the clearest view of just how bad it is out there.

The President took action, too little too late in my humble opinion. The problem with Executive Actions? The next POTUS can, with the flourish of a pen undo each and every one.

Weather, Damn

We took it hard last year, or should I say Gaia put it to us. Between Earthquakes, Volcanos, Tornados and just plain old weather to kill we got hit hard across the world. Yet still there are those who would deny there is something wrong, something changing that perhaps we should be listening to what the earth and Climate Scientist are telling us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Refugee Migration, Damn

The politicians would have us believe there is one answer, most of us with even a single brain cell know there is more to it. We are a polyglot nation, it has always been our strength yet it has also been a source of struggle as new immigrant communities attempt to integrate. Now we have refugees from nations we broke, who are not like us and who we have painted as the enemy. The thousand year old war between Christianity and Islam continues, this shit isn’t new we just have better and more destructive weapons.

Can we deny we disrupted the peace? Can we deny we created much of the problem with our ‘Nation Building’, our ‘Manifest Destiny’ attitudes and our belief we have the ‘right’ to stomp into any nation and do as we wish. Now, we have created a problem for the world. On the other hand, shouldn’t we be asking the question; ‘Why are so many young men coming, without women and children?’ I think about this one, let the women, the children, the aged come let’s get them out of harm’s way but let their men fight for their independence and their safety. Is this harsh? Maybe it is, but in all honesty I don’t want our young men and women fighting for a nation or a people that will not fight for themselves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some Things That Didn’t Suck

The Stars and Bars came down over the State House of South Carolina, finally. This was a hard fought battle but it happened and it was in my opinion epic.

Marriage was made legal nationally, the Supreme Court ruled that all people could legally marry and have their marriages recognized. It was another hard fought battle, it was an epic win and many of my friends rushed to make their long standing partnerships ‘legal’.

This year saw the proliferation of transparency, technology in the hands of everyday citizens is adding to our discourse. We are using the tools we have for more than selfies and pictures of breakfast, instead stopping to film what might be critical to stopping racism, police violence and other acts that have always been part of society, but never part of our dialog.

Closing, Damn

There are other notable things, good and bad. I simply picked a few. I could go on and on and on. Do I think 2016 will be significantly better? Truthfully? No, I think we are scraping the bottom of the barrel right now, I think Presidential politics will see us with the tragic and terrible before November. I think the inbred idiots in Oregon with their guns and chest beating are the tip of the iceberg. I think those who hate government but desire to be part of it are the problem and we, the people get the government we deserve.

 

Comments

  1. A fair summary of the year, Val. At least you pointed out a few positives at the end. The choices for president are not the greatest but we need to vote!

  2. I agree with ..well… about 110% of what you write. One thing that keeps me going, though. No matter how loud the “anti-this, anti-that” crowd gets, we still seem to make slow progress.
    I do think that most of the issues you deal with can be traced to two things. 1. The Reagan -era philosophy that government, by its very nature, is bad. And 2. The SCOTUS Citizens United decision that opened the flood gates of unregulated money to PACs .
    Our elections have always had a nasty side, but we have seen a real increase in the order of nastiness along with the resources to support nastiness.
    So , I guess I do disagree on one point. I don’t think we get the government we deserve. I think the system does not allow that to happen.

    • With a very small portion of us turning up at the polls each time the open, we get what we deserve. With the minority voting, we get what we deserve. With an uninformed electorate, we get what we deserve.

      I know, it sounds harsh but the reality is we, the people have allowed this to happen by sitting back and turning a blind eye. We have enabled the dysfunction by ticking the box we recognize rather than demanding change at the core. We have gotten what we deserve by being sucked in by glitz and glamour of Hollywood (Reagan) rather than demanding knowledge, skill and an abundance of competency.

      We are our own worst enemy. It is on us to fix this.

  3. If I had been as certain of the winning lottery numbers and I am that we will NOT see reasoned, polite political discourse leading up to the election, I would be so rich right now I’d be paying some flunky to type this for me. Not gonna happen.

    Everybody talks about how we should play nice, but they always mean the other guy should. Nasty, ad hominem attacks are perfectly fine when WE do them, because, after all, we’re right.

    I think you have an interesting view on refugees and one that makes a lot of sense. I usually try to catch the BBC news at night because it has a more global slant, and the refugee crisis is a hot topic nearly every day – it’s a true crisis for much of Europe. A lot of them are economic refugees, not just from war zones. They are fleeing countries with no jobs and becoming drains on countries with strong social programs. It’s a real dilemma for all of us, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer anywhere.

    All that aside, I hope 2016 is full of rainbows, puppies and unicorns for you, Val.

    • Peg, you and I both on the lottery but someone (3) else got those tickets, bless them all.

      I watch BBC and Al Jazeria (SP), for the same reason; global slant and less opinion.

  4. It’s a really scary time right now… in the U.S., the vote of every person is more important than ever in the upcoming election! Your post is very well written and you lay out the issues clearly (so clearly that I say again that it is a scary time right now!)

    • It is frightening right now. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, it is scary. We all need to truly sit and consider what is needed and then we all need to pack our cars with our neighbors and carry them to the polls.

      The problem? So many are so uninformed.

  5. Definitely many damns to damn about. Just more proof that those elected to govern and more interested in getting their way that governing for solutions … and yes, will the surroundings burn in a way that neither side sees it.

    • I simply want to damn them all Frank. Truly, every last one of them. I think there are solutions, I do. The problem is those solutions require the very ones in office to execute, they won’t it would be against their own personal best interest.

      We are all damned.

      • Although from different angles, interesting how our thoughts have aligned on that. It seems that elected officials are more interested in getting their way than with governing … must be because governing to provide solutions requires work.

  6. Oh well, it seems like it is bum up, head in the sand again for me this year. I am sure, however, as we wade deeper and deeper in 2016 the sun will shine over you Val. Have an amazing 2016.

  7. Damn! I wish I could get that one-way ticket to Mars now! Bernie Sanders is actually 74. Will there be a ‘None of the Above’ selection on the ballot this year? And, in case you missed it, a full-fledged hurricane – Alex – has developed in the North Atlantic; the first time there’s been a January hurricane in the region since 1955. I think the zombies will start turning up by spring.

  8. Google:
    “The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas the public will accept. It is used by media pundits. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton (1960–2003), a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who in his description of his window claimed that an idea’s political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within the window, rather than on politicians’ individual preferences. According to Overton’s description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.”

  9. Found it!! “Overton window”
    …. check it out!!

  10. Damn.

    Most of the Rs beat their chests and talk about leadership in ways that simply cannot be reconciled with the facts on the ground. Healthcare, climate, the economy, war, liberty – every one of these issues has a special interest lurking in the background to shape their public comments. I do not think that this is the case with their presumptive nominee. That seems to be something quite different. Just as frightening, but in a different sort of way.

  11. Damn! But you’re right in all that you pointed out. Damn!

  12. A well thought out ans scripted post Val.. And I Sigh along with you here across the other side of the ocean, we do not have the Gun law problems, but the snipping and childish shenanigans of the political circles are all I think spiralling in the same direction down hill..

    Maybe the times are showing us that these old systems are breaking down.. for they are surely not working.. They spend more time in each party digging up the dirt on someone rather than remembering what their jobs in government is..

    Remember they are supported and all of them are Elected by us the people.. And I can see in the not too distant future the people making more noises .. It has already started here as Junior Doctors take action, who are striking for the first time..
    When the Government refuses to listen.. The People will make them..

    As for Gaia.. well, she is as fed up as we are.. and is making her self felt.. Loud and Clear.. and I feel will continue to rattle our bones..

    Good to see a post from you Val.. and on a brighter Note.. You know I wish you all the very best for 2016… and way Way into the Beyond!

    Love to you.. Sue ❤

  13. About the “pushing” to the extreme …. I heard about a phenomenon called “something” window … can’t remember the name. Basically, by pushing so far right & outlandish, what seemed extreme becomes “not that bad”, because the extreme is so awful. Maybe “Ederton” window …. Have to research.

  14. Sometimes I wonder. Maybe we see it coming but don’t know what to do to stop it … as we see others rude it!

  15. Well thought out and well presented essay. I find myself agreeing on just about everything. As a long standing republican I am embarrassed by Trump and Cruz, the climate change deniers, and the fools that think evolution is a hoax and the earth is 6,000 years old. I worked in the Goldwater ’64 campaign for 10 months at least 20 hours a week in a little storefront office in North Miami, Florida. Many said Barry Goldwater was an extremist and nuts. But I think the old patriot would think most of the present day Republican Party is nuts. They don’t get it. 70% of head of households lucky enough to have a job lives paycheck to paycheck. They think being unemployed is some sort of mere inconvenience.

    • I think Carl, those who have stuck by and with the GOP their entire lives are beginning to question what is next. Many are wondering where to go with their vote if one of those standing on the debate stage become the nominee.

      The problem is, they have all been pushed to the far right by those who would be ‘king’. Even the few who might once have been considered moderate are more extreme as the pander to the base of extremist with the loudest voices. I find it frightening from my position, but interestingly those on the other side of the aisle who are thoughtful moderates find it just as frightening as I do.

      • Yes, they have to pander to the right wingnuts because that’s where 70% off the money comes from. The Nixon approach was to tack right for the nomination and then tack to center after winning the nomination . Ironically Nixon proposed a national health care program and Ted Kennedy lamented that he should have backed Nixon on that when the chance was there. I remember when Bob Dole was running and he was asked about the platform written up by the right. He replied that he had not even read it and did not intend to. He was a sensible pragmatic consensus politician. I liked Lindsey Graham and at present I’m leaning toward Chris Kristie. Ben Carson and that very decent Mike Huckabee believe in Genesis Creation so can’t vote for them. I wish those two great New Yorkers were around today:Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. In 2000 I voted for Ralph Nader as did 97,000 other Floridians

    • Carl. Since you mentioned Goldwater I thought you might enjoy this little blurb.
      https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/barry-destroys-the-gop/

  16. Obviously our laws are different in the UK but I don’t understand if you could save lives by making gun laws more stringent why wouldn’t you?

  17. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  18. I fear that in 2016 we finally scrape right through the bottom of the barrel and will keep on digging.
    And I agree with you on the refugees – if we can only provide asylum to a limited number, we should be able to discriminate and pick those who are in the most danger from ISIS – that would be Christians, gays, atheists, Yazidis, women, children – not young Muslim males.

    • I read a great and thoughtful piece recently on this issue. It truly put things in perspective for me with regard to the refugee issue. If young (fighting age) males want to run from their own country, we can take them but only into the military, we can train them and we can pay them during their service. Their families can be provided the same benefits as other military families. Once they are trained they can be returned to their own countries to fight for their countries and their freedoms. Why should our young men and women do the fighting they are unwilling to do?

      There was more to it, but that was it in a nutshell. I thought, yes! That is the answer.

  19. Presidential candidates often talk of crossing the divide and bringing both sides together (like Obama had hoped to do), but unless we get a moderate in office–from either party–I fear it won’t happen. Candidates like Kasich get little airtime, and yet as that table shows, he’s one of the most moderate in the GOP. He said, “Being a Republican doesn’t mean you can’t care about people,” which is a nice statement and one I wish his fellow GOP members would embrace. He said that in reference to expanding Medicaid in my state, a move I was happy he made. Of course, the rest of the GOP use that to trash him. And so it goes on and on.

    • He and a few others like him are why I believe the GOP is about ready to see a great split. The moderates both in the party and and in the general public will no longer tolerate having the extremist destroy their party and their brand. It is truthfully tragic. Oddly, I think a split would do wonders for our political dialog overall.

  20. Damn.

    I am hoping that we have (or soon will) hit rock bottom and the only way to go is up. Please, Lord!

    • I don’t think we are there yet. I am not even certain we can see the bottom yet though I think we can see the bottom feeders. The problem? We keep on watching with sick and twisted perversion, even though we are revolted by their behavior we can’t help watching. I feel the ‘part 2’ coming on but in the meantime, I am with you … Please Lord, let us being coming to the bottom so we can begin to climb out.

  21. Excellent post. It’s the sad reality of this country. You have touched on so many points, right on target. I’ve though about “Rome burning” so frequently. I don’t see any way up … Going downhill fast. Hope land … no where to be seen. 😦

    • Yes, downhill fast is correct. Yet, still we are all out here and we all have the opportunity to raise our voices and demand better. We have to ask why and when will we finally begin to do so.

      Thank you my friend, for the reblog and the comment.

  22. Ah. . .but we must never give up hope. It has never been a great time to be a human on this planet–there is always some type of horrific turmoil (wars and rumors of wars, plagues, famine. . .) but then. . .the dawn always breaks. Hygiene becomes standard and hospitals start saving more lives than they lose, penicillin is discovered, women get the vote, Hitler is destroyed, Apartheid is brought down and Mandela becomes president after 29 years in prison, Women get the vote, we elect our first Black president–not once, but twice–and new generations are being born who will be as on fire as we were in our youth and colonize Mars! Keep the faith, my sister. Welcome back, and have a very prosperous and joyful New Year!

    • Hope is a tragic thing, it is a light that is dim in my heart today. But, I also hang my heart on it E.

      I am trying hard to focus on future hope despite the tragic and terrible of right now in the moment. Happy and joyous 2016.

  23. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Can’t be clearer …. “We, the people, get the government we deserve”!!

%d bloggers like this: