Adios 2016, don’t let the door…

Back in the mid 1980’s, an activist friend of mind Dave Aldrich sent out a memorable Christmas letter that was definitely one of a kind.  In this short missive he astutely pointed out about a dozen things that are just wrong in this world, covering the gamut from wasteful military spending, the oxymoron of compassionate conservatism, greedy politicians, abject poverty, the decline of unions and the middle class, and tax cuts for the wealthy.  It was a pithy list of gripes and then he simply signed it –“Merry Christmas.”

At the time I grinned and though to myself “must have had a bad day”, but the point of it all was and still is, complacency bothers him a great deal.  I still remember a quote from a letter a few years later where he pointed out that we worry about these issues after we’ve swept the garage, washed the SUV, and spent out days reading and writing e-mails. We rarely ponder our existence or question the status quo.  I remember thinking to myself ‘guilty as charged’.  I don’t, but I should.

With that in mind and in the spirit of Dave Aldrich, I offer this summary:  2016 blew.

Not to go completely negative on you, there were some good things that happened during the year which I’ll touch upon, but overall, Donna and I were just talking about the benefits of getting this year behind us.

First, the good stuff.  Our two grandkids Kaden and Karter are growing into fine young gentlemen.  We can’t say enough good things about them.  Both competitive game players, both silly, both good-natured, and fun to be around.  I was going to say that we’re lucky but the more I though about it, luck has nothing to do with it.  Good parents have everything to do with it.  Great job Kelli and Kyle.

Donna and I spent about a week in Chicago and did a deep dive of the city.  The entire trip was scheduled around a Cubs home stand so that we could make sure to take in trip to Wrigley, but we also took in some incredible Blues, Jazz, improv, museums, Navy Pier, and an evening boat tour.  The Cubs beat the Dodgers an a sunny Memorial Day weekend and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.  Having invested in a jersey for herself, Donna became an instant Cubs fan and was glued to the set during the very exciting World Series finish where the Cubs pulled of an extra inning nail biter vs. Cleveland.  She was on the edge of her seat.

This summer the house got painted.  It looks great but it’s a huge time sink to get it done even if you’re not the painter ( see low-lights below ).

In October we traveled to sunny Sacramento, California for the wedding of my cousin Mike Eady to his new bride Shelly. Lovely wedding and always good to catch up with extended family.  We spent some time checking out Sacramento as well and were impressed.

We’ve been doing a new monthly-ish dinner / social gathering with some great friends and neighbor’s and sharing a lot of laughs.  Included a relaxing weekend trip to Manzanita where we ate, drank, played games, and golfed ( yes Glenn, Donna golfed ).

I’ve battled through some challenging health issues and am starting to get my musical mojo back a little bit.  I have a few recordings out on soundcloud and youtube, none of which are that good, but all were a lot of fun to do.

Donna keeps a schedule that I can only marvel at.  When she gets free time at home, stuff’s a moving.  It’s a literal beehive of activity with art and gardening projects.  She’s the ideas person of the family.  I’m the implementor – at least when it comes to the heavy stuff.  In addition to all this she’s got an aging parent to take care of.  Middle age comes at you from all directions.  She’s not a complainer though, she’s a doer.  That’s what I love about her.  The calendar gets pretty full fast, but no matter what’s on there, she just rolls up her sleeves and gets it done.

And lastly, if you know her you’ll understand why this is news.  I beat my sister Patty twice during 2016 at Words with Friends.  That would fall under the category of ‘exceeding expectations’.

So there, I mixed i some positive things.  Now for the overall 2016 Summary:

                          Major Buzz-Kill

Think Planes, Trains and Automobiles where Steve Martin’s wife is anxiously waiting for him to get home to an impeccably prepared Thanksgiving feast at an upscale Chicago home, followed by what it took for him to get there.

Words cannot describe the disappointment of November 8th.  It’s a gut punch when you invest so much time following the news for a year and a half thinking “no way”, and then see your worst nightmare come true.  Trying to hold the family together during a time where close family members feel personally threatened by the incoming administration is a challenge.  It’s emotional.  I’ll leave it at that.

At times like these, I wonder if the Jehovah Witnesses aren’t right after all.  Maybe we are getting near the end of times.  I’m only half kidding.

On the plus side, I feel less of a need to chime in and criticize what the current Mob Boss-elect is under fire for.  He’s perfectly capable of making my point for me with his twitter machine.  I don’t have to say a word.  Just sit back and watch the entertainment, and entertaining it will be.

2016 brought on some medical challenges for me that I was determined to conquer.  The biggest one is anxiety.  I spent about a year and a half not being able to drive on freeways, which is limiting and an added stress on Donna.  But after seeing several specialists, I think I may be getting real close to a solution.  I’ve driven to Eugene a couple of times recently.  It’s not perfect but it’s on the upside.  I look forward to having a less full calendar year of doctor appointments minus the added expen$e and trying to sneak in all these appointments while maintaining a busy work schedule.

The Ducks were 4-8 and lost to the Beavers and both Washington schools.  It doesn’t get much worse than that.  And the Huskies put up 70 on the Ducks at home.  Now I have to be quiet for at least another year, maybe longer.

I’m in my 4th year at Cambia and speaking of rapid change, 4th manager.  No complaints about the new job — great people, love the work, but it’s a ball buster.  There are days when I envy Ward Cleaver grabbing his briefcase and heading off to a job where he doesn’t have to worry about being outsourced every quarter, does a bit of work from 9-5 and the comes home to his happy family.  Such is not the case ( except the happy family part ).

Our go-to friends, Wayne and Tricia Wischmann moved to Arizona in June.  We understand why, but it sucks when your social network gets disrupted.   We have such fond memories of time at Haydens listening to Tim and Jim with them, among other events.  We’re planning a trip to Tucson in the February time frame to catch up.  We miss them.

There was the passing of several icons from my generation in 2016.  Gene Wilder, Prince, Mohamed Ali, and George Kennedy to name a few.  Seems like every time we turned around another one bit the dust.

Pickles spent the night in the ER ( that was more expensive than my trip to the ER ) with a really bad infection but is better now.  We were really worried about her but she made it.

So in the spirit of Dave Aldrich, this years missive just tells it like it is.  And it is what it is.

Merry Christmas!

( And bring on 2017, please ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Dave Aldrich

I first met Dave as a member of the choir at St. Mary’s catholic church in Marysville, Wa.  We both played guitar.  At times there were 6 guitars.  The church back then supported 2 Sunday masses.  The early 10 am mass was the more hip mass with more progressive music and while the 11:30 was for more traditionalist catholics who weren’t as keen on the hip music element of a mass.  Either that or they just didn’t like getting up that early.

We played a ton of music from the St. Louis Jesuits, who we found out later at a Saturday seminar that they weren’t from St. Louis, and they also were not Jesuits.  Didn’t bother us, the music was pretty hip.

The ‘choir’ consisted of guitars ( up to 6 ), upright bass, piano, and occasionally a flute + several vocalists, mostly women.  All good singers and fun personalities.  The piano players were top-notch sight readers and all we had to do as guitar players was strum some chords and belt out the tunes.

In typical fashion of me at that age, I underestimated Dave from the beginning.  He seemed like a nice guy, an ‘okay’ guitar player and sang good enough.  Better than myself which wasn’t saying much.  But as time went on and we changed leadership, Dave became the leader of the choir and it dawned on me that he was not only a solid guitar player, he was a terrific singer and leader as well.  He could pull off performances where he was the lead singer and player, and he sounded great.  So much for first impressions.  I was way off.  Before I knew it, I came to respect his playing and singing as he was doing things I wasn’t capable of.

Dave had a falling out with the priest at St. Mary’s in the late 1980’s, left, and never returned.  If I recall correctly, it mostly had to do with an overblown ego by the head priest and it rubbed him the wrong way.  So much so, that he checked out for good.

The 10:00 am choir was a fun very group of good-natured people.  Our annual ‘reward’ for rehearsing 52 weeks a year and showing up on Sundays was an annual dinner out at a nice restaurant, which we looked forward to with glee every year.  I just remember laughing an awful lot and enjoying the company at the annual dinner out, usually up in La Conner, Wa.

Dave was an outspoken critic on local issues including things like the Navy building a port in Everett, Wa.  His prose was frequently in the paper and he never pulled any punches.  He wasn’t afraid to call out local officials who had their own interests in mind over what he called ‘the rest of us’.  It’s perhaps an understatement to say that he had ‘a reputation’ that followed him around as left-wing Democrat with socialist tendencies.

In about 1997 his wife Toni, after having gone back to school to get her teaching degree, we held a party at our house in Mukilteo, Washington which included past and present choir members from St. Mary’s.  I remember writing a song for Toni who had just graduated but had not been hired yet which had the line in it “She’d probably have a job by now, if her last name, weren’t Aldrich.”  This of course endeared me to the Aldrich family as she knew exactly what I meant.

Since I had known Dave, and played with him for about 7 years or so, I kept in contact with him even after he left the choir.  He invited me to his ‘Sunday morning breakfast’ group at a local eatery in Marysville where we’d take on religion and politics and a wide range of subjects.  But mostly religion and politics.  It was this experience that turned the light bulb on for me at just how brilliant this guy is.

Berkeley educated ( in the 60’s no less ), with a degree in History and if I recall correctly, some background in studying the philosophers as well, Dave would articulate his points in convincing fashion at these Sunday morning breakfasts and leave my mind ready to challenge the old school of thought and re-think the basic tenets of the belief system I inherited at birth to formulate my own as an adult.  It was a transformation to say the least.

We talked a lot about why he left the church and come to find out, he had been an agnostic for a long time and was struggling with the church’s teachings but stayed a member mostly for the opportunity to champion social justice issues as well as reaping the benefits of being part of a church ‘community’.  I think it was the loss of the church ‘community’ the hurt the most for him.  The teachings he was struggling with anyway.

It was through this experience that I came to realize there are 2 types of catholics.  Those that are drawn to the social justice possibilities, and those that are comfortable with the repetition and look the other way at the church dogma that does not align with their political beliefs in the slightest.   I’ve written about this in previous posts .   In the 1990’s I used to participate in the local discussion through the Tualatin Times and this Soapbox comes to mind as one that was heavily influenced by Dave.  In fact, he may even find that a few lines in it were lifted from articles in his blog snohomishobserver.com .  I couldn’t resist.  He was just too brilliant.

Life has its changes and one of mine was moving back to Oregon in 1992.  I left a pretty secure job at Boeing to take on a new challenge in Portland, Oregon where I grew up so that both myself and my wife could be closer to family as well as the fact that we both liked the geographic location of Portland better than Seattle.

As a subscriber to articles published via snohomishobserver.com, I devoured every post with constant amazement at just how brilliant this man is.  I envied him to be so highly educated, so principled as to sacrifice material benefit for doing what’s right in his mind.  So passionate about social justice that he frequently excoriated foes publicly for their greed, selfishness, and stupidity.  I often thought of him as one of my main mentors.  The first person to really make me think.  How can you put a price tag on that?  You cannot.

This week I was shocked to get an e-mail from Dave’s wife Toni that he has stage 4 liver cancer and has about 3-6 months to live.  I was at a meeting over in an adjacent building near my usual office at 200 Market, downtown Portland when I felt my phone vibrate that a new message had come in.  The meeting was over so I decided to check it out on my way back to 200 Market.  In it, Toni revealed Dave’s health issues and prognosis.  I read enough to know this was one of those personally devastating letters you get in your life and between buildings let out a brief sob.   I couldn’t wrap my head around this loss and I still cannot.

A while ago I realized that each person encounters a few people in their lives who have a huge impact.  Top 5 I call it.  My father was one for me.  My wife Donna is another.  There are a few others I won’t mention who opened my eyes and gave me ‘aha’ moments that I am eternally grateful for.  They’ve had high impact.  Dave Aldrich was a high impact player for this smart guy wanna-be.  Reading his snohomishobserver.com posts I was repeatedly humbled at what a brilliant writer really is.  I am privileged to have known Dave Aldrich and his family.  He’s an incredible human being and I will never forget him or the causes he championed.  He’s shaped my thinking in ways I never would have imagined.

I think the best way to honor all the work Dave has put into his social justice causes is to grab a sign, get out there and start marching.  Question authority.  Be a champion for the poor.  Write about the hypocrisy that comes with individuals being born on 3rd base and complaining about the poor ‘mooching off me’.   The next 4 years will certainly provide some opportunity here.  Count me in, all the while remembering the incredible contribution of one David Aldrich.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Soapbox to the Tualatin Times circa 1996

The Tualatin Times afforded readers the opportunity to chime in with a Soapbox article — up to 800 words if you were so inclined.  It was basically a format for those who wanted to address a hot topic that warranted more than a “Letter to the Editor”, of which I had written many.  I’ve written a dozen or so Soapbox articles for The Times, but this is one of my better efforts and I would date it back to about 1996 or so.   At the time it was in response to a Letter to the Editor by a frequent conservative member of the community who often wrote bitter, close-minded opinions and I let her have it with both barrels.  I believe there was a reply the next week but I don’t recall it being very convincing.

==========================================================================

A wise man once said “Be careful about what you wish for, it could come true.” A recent letter to the editor “God needed in school more than a survey” suggests that our kids would be better off if only we could revert to the days when God was ever present in our classrooms.

 

Of course the first question is, which God? God as in the Jewish God of Abraham? God as in the trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? God as described by the prophet Joseph Smith? The “Jehovah” I’ve read about in The WatchTower? Allah as experienced by the prophet Mohammed?

 

In her best selling book A History of God, respected historian and former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong talks about how man’s idea of God has evolved from a pluralistic form to the modern day monotheistic God at the time of Abraham and Jacob. Jacob, ever a pragmatist, cut a deal with the God “El”. In exchange for much needed protection, Jacob agreed to worship El as the one and only God that mattered. Is this the God we’re talking about?

 

We have a cross section of all of these belief systems right here in Tualatin. Surely someone who would suggest God be re-instated back into the classroom would want to be inclusive of their neighbor’s belief system.   How do we do this? About the closest I’ve seen to a common denominator is the term Higher Power, but I suspect few would be satisfied with this watered down description of God.

 

Since the very definition of God it is a hard question, I’m in favor of using a little class time to explore what each of us means when we say the word God. In fact, while we’re at it let’s expose our kids to the concepts behind a variety of belief systems so they can make an informed choice.

 

There would be many benefits to a comparative religion study in public classrooms. Jews, Muslims and Christians might gain an appreciation for each other’s point of view and stop killing each other.

 

Kids would get the opportunity to do some critical thinking as they form their own belief system. As a parent of 3 kids, above all else I value giving my kids honest answers to their questions. They’ve come up with some whoppers over the years that are tough for me to deal with because I have more questions than answers myself. If God set up the universe as an experiment, and then gave us free will so he could then reward the faithful, couldn’t he have chosen an experiment that didn’t include so much human suffering?   If God is all powerful and all knowing, then he has both the knowledge that there will be suffering and the power to prevent it but chooses not to. Why is this? Eve takes a bite of the forbidden fruit and the price imposed by God is a human sacrifice? Sounds like sort of a vindictive God to me. Are you sure this whole thing isn’t just a cruel joke to get me to behave the way you want?

 

Talking serpents, plural marriage, child sacrifices, Jonah inside the belly of a whale for 3 days and living to tell about it? Virgin births, rising from the dead, purgatory, life beyond the grave, cannibalistic themes like “eat his body, drink his blood”? The salacious story of Sodom and Gamorrah. I’m having a hard time telling the difference between the Old Testament, a Stephen King novel, and Greek mythology.

 

Should the knowledge of the 1st century be considered the infallible truth of the 21st? Didn’t Nicolas Copernicus teach us anything about questioning the puerile beliefs of our time?

 

I see it as a dangerous practice to ascribe literal truth to a compendium of writings drafted over many centuries by scores of different authors with vastly different agendas and perspectives. I find it ironic that those who hold that God belongs in the classroom are usually the same people trying to keep Harry Potter out of the school library.

 

It’s clear a lot of good has occurred in this world due by people who have a strong faith in God. Unfortunately, history also has recorded the atrocities of The Crusades, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the IRA in Northern Ireland, and Al Qaeda to name a few, all in the name of God.

 

When kids ask hard questions about God, instead of giving the usual hand wave answers (my favorite eye roller is “God didn’t want us to be robots so he gave us free will”), sometimes I find the best answer I can come up with is “That’s a great question but a tough question, so I won’t pretend to have the answer for you at this time.”   Being a parent does not somehow make me an authority figure on God. But I do get to decide if my approach will be rationalism, which seeks to reach the heart through the head, or theology, which seeks to reach the head through the heart.

 

Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us inherited our belief system from our families. We did no study of belief systems followed by the process of making an objective choice. Someone we trusted made that choice, and in many cases, at infancy. Growing up we were allowed to ask a few questions, but as the questions got harder to answer, instead of admitting they don’t really know, the people responsible for our faith development fell back on that age old tactic that gets ‘em every time: Fear of eternal damnation.

 

When you’re an impressionable grade schooler, the idea of eternity in a place like hell is a tough thing to get past. Perhaps this is why many children just adopt the belief system that’s been brow beaten into their psyche and move on.

 

I admire many people who have a strong faith in God, especially those who walk the talk. But it’s been my observation that those in favor of re-instating God back in public schools are the same ones who would be marching down to the principal’s office if teachers were to engage kids in a conversation about God and find out the teacher’s definition of God doesn’t match theirs precisely. Perhaps this is why public schools avoid the issue altogether. They can’t win no matter what they do.

 

In any case, spending classroom time on the subject of God is fine by me.

 

Bill Toner

Leave a comment

Fair and Balanced

salon.com writer Simon Maloy recently submitted some eloquent prose about Fox’s bias.  I couldn’t stop laughing reading about how Trump went in for the “Deluxe Hannitization Package” to explain away his outbursts against Judge Curiel for not giving him a free pass on the Trump University investigation.

It doesn’t seem to matter which show you watch, the format is the same.  The moderator hack invites two guests on for a debate.  It rages on for about 5 minutes 2 on 1.

Fair and Balanced.  They even have it trademarked.

 

 

Leave a comment

Managing Uncertainty

The vast majority of company training I’ve taken over my 36 year career has been a pretty big waste of time.  However, every once in a while you run across a teacher you connect with and the take-aways really stick.

One such class was a an all day management class required by Tektronix by Dr. Ralph Katz.  It’s been so many years ago, I don’t recall what the name of the class, but he basically took us through the main points of his book The Human Side of Managing Technical Innovation.

Dr. Katz’s main points were all centered around managing uncertainty where;

uncertainty == bad

This point resonated with me personally, especially as it related to my years in the High Tech Industry prior to management.  High Tech is cyclical.  Today’s Google is tomorrow’s AOL.  You are never ‘set’ because change is happening so fast.  Combine this general trend with being in aerospace and printers while trying to provide stability for a family of 5, and  what you get is a fairly stressful situation because you’re always looking over your shoulder for the next round of cuts – wondering if you should’ve signed up for that 30 year mortgage or not.   Sleepless nights and overtime are a way of life.

I was a new manager at the time I took this class.  I was eager to try to be a good one in the sense of understanding the human side of the job and getting the most out of people because they were motivated as a team, not because of fear tactics.

When people are worried about their jobs on a daily basis and uncertainty is a way of life, some powers that be seem to think this is a good thing as far as squeezing more productivity out of people.  So what if they are scared, we got more done and met our goals.  What I’ve experienced is the opposite.

For 12 years at Xerox from 2000-20012, we were under constant pressure of cuts.  This is not the fault of management.  It had more to do with industry trends and decline of the printed page, but it was the hand we were dealt.  Senior management did make some horrendous mistakes along the way, but in general, it was just being in the wrong industry at the wrong time.

Be that as it may, Xerox is a big company.  They are spread over multiple continents and management chose a ‘distributed’ model for software development, which brings its own set of challenges.  In my role I had to collaborate with teams in Rochester, NY as well as Welwyn Garden City, UK, as well as 2 sites in India.  Apart of the time-zone challenges, the biggest challenges was, as Dr. Katz so adeptly pointed out in his book, managing uncertainty across these sites.

What management failed to recognize was that ‘team’ collaboration across sites in different organization was a recipe for territorial battles.  And we had them in spades.  Because of the back-drop of uncertainty in the workplace, peoples’ actions aligned first with protecting their site, and second towards team.  Oftentimes this was hidden in very subtle ways, but nevertheless, it explained a lot of behaviors I saw.

Here’s where Dr. Katz’s message could have been employed for much better results, but it was not.  Management failed to recognize the very existence of the territorial battles because they were worried about them themselves.  I often wondered what different results would have been possible had a Sr. Manager sent one email , genuine in nature, that set peoples’ minds at ease on the uncertainty question, and motivated everyone to work as a true team without the worry of territorial loss.

I do not think this was asking management to promise people that their jobs were certain.  Everyone knew they were not.  But a simple e-mail to let everyone know that hey, we need you to get these 3 things done as soon as possible, and nobody is going anywhere for the next 6 months for sure.  Let’s work hard together and get it done.  It’s not a message of relaxation, or promising things not possible.

Instead the rumor mill was always in full force, often at times when there was nothing to worry about.  This is not when people able to be their most productive selves.

I remember one time in particular when a rumor mill was hot for 3 months about an upcoming layoff.  The rumor was true, but at the end of the day they only laid off 10 people from our site of 1500 people.  That’s less than 1%.  There didn’t need to be that much fear and loathing over a < 1% cut.  I’m actually of the belief that most companies should go through and trim out the bottom 5% of performers as a matter of course, just to get rid of the dead weight.  Addition by subtraction and it’s good for business and morale.  But because they chose to be poor communicators and run a major clandestine operation of much-ado-about-nothing, a bunch of people ran scared who didn’t need to.

Another of Dr. Katz’s messages had to do with ‘what goes around comes around’.  For the better part of the last 2 decades, a poor economy has given corporations the upper hand when it comes to employee retention.  It’s not like we had a ton of options to move around for higher salaries, so attrition has remained relatively low.  That’s how it is right now, but it’s not always that way.

I remember in the 1990’s having an extremely difficult time getting the right people hired. They simply had too many offers on the table.  In my 36 years at this, I’ve only was one time in the late 1990’s where the management team had to huddle up with HR and have a serious discussion about retention.  People were leaving for startups and the impact was large.  Schedules were being missed. But it can happen and the tides may be shifting.  I’m starting to see more movement now than in previous years and funny enough, it’s not always about money.  A big factor is work environment and indirectly, level of certainty.

I exited management about 3 1/2 years ago and I do not miss it.  My favorite aspect of it for the 15 years I was in it was college recruiting, and there’s so little hiring that even that is not much of an attraction to get back in.  But I can’t help but remember Dr. Katz’s message as I see managers attempt to rule by intimidation and employ fear tactics.

At the end of the day, high tech workers don’t like to be treated like employees of U.S. Steele.  Often times when we do, what management gets is clock-punchers who aren’t motivated to care about their project beyond work hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Doubling down on bigotry

I have this friend Mike, who aligns himself with conservatives.  Good guy, just has different ideas than I do about what will work in politics.  A while back I made a sarcastic post on Facebook – something to do with the GOP and he replied “Don’t be a hater!”

You see that a lot of comments like this on web from both sides.  “Haters suck.”  Well, he’s right, they do.

I got him back today when he posted a comment about how entertaining it will be to watch Hillary get prosecuted.  Touché.  I only mention this because this post isn’t intended to be about hating on Republicans.  Nah, haters suck.  I agree.

This is more of a general observation about logic that escapes me.

I must admit one of my favorite television viewing experiences was right after the 2012 election when the pundits who predicted a GOP landslide were caught with their pants down on live TV.  As a result, some aren’t even welcome to opine on Fox anymore.  Dick Morris for example, has moved on to history documentaries and is nowhere to be seen.  Karl Rove’s “…but, but, but, it’s not over yet in Ohio” while Megyn Kelly held the microphone in his face was well, just too much entertainment to ask for.  I believe the word for this is schadenfreude.  Not one of my better traits, but at least I’m honest about it.

After a week or so came the GOP post-mortem.  I remember it clearly.  The failure to attract a higher percentage of the Latino vote was key to Romney’s loss.  Obama won the Latino vote 71% to 27% and worse for the GOP, this is a growing demographic they have to deal with in future elections.

We heard a lot of talk about “making a wider tent” and having policies that will attract Latinos to the Republican party as the strategy that will be addressed for 2016.

Well, that didn’t last long.

Enter the increasing influence of talk radio on the electorate.  Hosts like Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are inside the Tea Partiers’ heads.  The post-mortem strategy lasted about 5 minutes before the rally cries for deporting 14 million illegals back to Mexico!  That should play well with Latinos.

Now the top 2 delegate winners in Iowa are non-establishment candidates who signed on to this philosophy.  The establishment is cringing because Rove and Priebus both know that this is a disaster waiting to happen and there’s nothing they can do about it.  The religious right and tea partiers have hijacked the Republican party.

Perhaps the best part is, it doesn’t stop there.  Donald Trump throws insults at women and Muslims as if he can win the general election with the white-male vote.  How does someone who is so poor at math become a billionaire?  Curious minds want to know.

As far as I can tell, the adjusted strategy, instead of luring the Latino vote, the GOP is now focused on placing tighter restrictions on voter registration and gerrymandering.  We’ll see how this turns out.

I became an Independent right after we entered the first Gulf War and I witnessed the US and Iraqi governments rounding up Baath party members for a visit to the slammer ( or worse ).  After that I decided, who needs a party?   I don’t want my name on that card.  What if the guy ( or gal ) does something really stupid?  Like drop an atomic bomb on a foreign county?  Guilty by association?  Maybe.

I say this because I, like a lot of people have grown weary from the political dynasties of Clinton and Bush.  Apart from their legal troubles which I opined on here, I like Hillary as a candidate.  She’s a very smart woman.  And I think she’d fight for the middle class far more than anyone on the GOP side would.  But she’s too cozy with the super pac donors and I think that taints any candidate.  That’s why I’m rooting for Bernie Sanders in this election.  The biggest selling point for me is the average donation of $27, and not taking money from super pacs.

Bernie is seen as about as far left as you can get, but just because I support his candidacy doesn’t mean that I endorse massive government spending.  On the contrary.  I’d like to see all departments reviewed annually for places to tighten up.  There’s a ton of wasteful spending, there’s no doubt about that.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this on both sides of the aisle.  Democrats for allowing too many handouts unchecked, and Republicans for not closing loop-holes that ensure the rich get richer while the rest of us battle for the crumbs.

I’m not hating on Republicans here, just pointing out the irony of the post-mortem analysis from 2012 and wondering where it went.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Donald Trump

There really isn’t much point spending a lot of energy debating whether Donald Trump is qualified or deserving of the GOP nomination.  Of course he won’t be the nominee.  Any sane person can see this.

What I know about the media tells me that they love to build people up and then watch them come crashing down.  Let’s face it, the media has never seen a candidate with an ego this big.  Never.  It’s a once in a lifetime event.

So far this primary has been about giving Trump ample opportunity to put his enormous ego on display so that when he gets beaten in the primaries, the networks will win the ratings game again by being able to air Trump pounding sand at his loss.  Looking forward to an entertaining show.

 

Leave a comment