Monday, September 26, 2016

A lot of opinions out there but this is a different one

This link was interesting to me. I don't plan to comment on it unless someone here comments, but it was interesting to me as to his reasoning.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

issues and candidates

I was going to post this comment on another blog, a political blog, and then realized, that I was writing a LOT and I wanted it here as to how I am feeling right now about the issues and candidates. Being a moderate, an independent in how I see many issues, I won't suit either party and am fine with that. The photo is Ranch Boss and me taken in July :). Level headed, gun toting, truck driving, often leaning left, country folk!

Currently, I am thinking of voting for the libertarian (something I'd never have done in the many years I've voted) as the more that comes out on how Clinton ran the State Department, the more she looks intolerable to me. Her carelessness with her laptops and phones, along with her lies, seem more irresponsible and even ignorant the more we learn. Her secretiveness has been a character trait since the Clinton Presidency and it's nothing desirable in a President-- at least not in my view.

I know libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson was a Republican and have heard him speak a few times but the alternative parties never get much attention from the media. I am looking for a candidate with honor and they do exist... just not many of them. They don't generally make it far in a run for President. Even though I disagreed with Bernie on many issues, I voted for him in the primary based on my belief he was authentic-- and that based on hearing him on radio over many years speaking on issues. It's funny how even the left went after him on buying a beach house (after his wife sold a property that had been in the family) but never seem to worry about all the Clintons have and how they got it.

Hillary got into the senate out of a combination of sympathy and support of the Democratic party. If she had not had Bill Clinton as a husband, who knows what she'd have achieved. If charisma is required, she doesn't have it on a large scale although I guess she can be charming to those she wants to be around. I have read she worked hard in the Senate, but we know she intended to be President from the time Bill was out; so it all had a purpose that would get her what she felt she deserved.

Then she got the Secretary of State because of Obama. As Secretary of State, I am not that impressed by what she did, as the Arab Spring turned out to be a big mistake in assuming that countries, long ruled by dictators, would gain from rebellions and civil war. Libya is a good example of how disastrous it turned out for the Libyans. The question of Africa and the Middle East is a long way from settled.

With what's been coming out, it seems most likely that Hillary wanted that private server as part of her secretive nature and to keep off the record the connection between her role as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation. For big donors, she allowed access to herself and important leaders. How many times does that also happen after a Senate/Representative campaign when the donations to help the politician win now enable someone access to make a pitch. We have a pay for play system and Americans should be enraged over it and yet get more upset as to who wins one of the TV shows. Most seem under-educated as to what's going on and for some that's purposeful-- done for mental health.

The Clinton Foundation makes its accomplishments murky. I've read they employ 2000 people-- some at high salaries. They have causes for which they work. So did reforesting Haiti actually happen? How much money did it cost of the vast amount available-- often from foreign entities? My guess is that it'll take many years to figure out the value of that Foundation, whether it really saved lives as Carville claimed or gave the Clintons a lush lifestyle, which by all accounts they have-- whether connected to it or the speeches they give because of their connections.

Some of the claimed Trump's 'lies' are misstatements by the press (they twist what he says a lot) or sort of irrelevant like the cheering New Jersey Muslims after 9/11. Match that one with Hillary under sniper fire and you ask yourself-- why do those two say such things and don't they know about video tape??? If someone listens to Trump in context, it often sounds nothing like what the press reports.

Nevertheless, I can't see myself voting for him based on just Scalia as his idea for an archetype of a desirable Supreme Court justice. Trump to me is a wild card as to what he'd do once he got the power. Could he be a great president? Maybe. Some of the things he favors, like making sure Muslims are not connected to extremist groups before they are allowed to immigrate here-- that's not racist despite how it's been painted and actually, as i understand it, Homeland Security is supposed to be doing that now but failed with the San Bernadino shooter/wife who was connected and allowed in. I also would like to see our immigration policies be responsible regarding where Visas can't be overstayed and when someone enters here illegally, we do what Mexico would do... well, we don't arrest them but we do deport them.

As to how we deal with those here for 20 years, I see that as the fault of Americans who wanted cheaper labor, allowing businesses too often to mistreat in the workplace, and now a moral dilemma without easy answers. Those who tried to do things legally have not been rewarded. That fence by the way was passed by Congress some time back, but whether it would keep anybody out is debatable (for wildlife on the border it seems bad) but the border regions (we have a second home in Tucson) have changed a lot from when we lived down there and my husband was in grad school. You go into the rugged country north of the border with a watchful eye as the coyotes who bring across drugs and workers are tough and can be ruthless. The cartels, that have spread up here, behead Mexicans who stand against them. Due to the drug trade, those cartels are in most of our big cities now.

To me, for foreign workers, better would be workplace enforcement of valid papers and allowing in needed worker with cards to protect their rights. Possibly with ways to earn the right to remain if they so wish but when they don't, the card lets them go back and forth without the coyotes. If amnesty meant legal rights here but no voting for 20 years, how interested in it would Democrats be? Democrats seem to feel they'd get those new voters-- they could be wrong.

On Hillary and guns, which she makes no secret of her desire to make it a big issue, she wouldn't need to get laws changed. The Second Amendment is so easily interpreted-- either way-- that a Supreme Court could change whether Americans had a right to own guns or even would be forced to join state run militias (it happened in our early history)...

As a gun owner, I am all for well-regulated. I would be fine with background checks and getting rid of the right to own easily modified semi-automatic rifles and extended magazines. For home and ranch protection, they aren't needed. But a Supreme Court against gun rights could change a lot as we have seen with other issues that people thought would be legislated and instead were judicially decided. Of course, the Supreme Court is also why I don't like the idea of Trump as president. Sarah Palin on the court? lol It's funny but not impossible to imagine him doing.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Turning it around

My father died in 1980, but we used to talk politics. One of the things he said would come to pass someday was a war between the have and have-nots. He believed people would shoot strangers just because they were enraged at what they regarded as unfairness. We have seen a lot of that come to pass-- sometimes using religion or race as an excuse. He had lived through the Great Depression and understood tough times, but the problem he saw was an unfairness gap.

We are currently seeing an odd time where we have political candidates that so divide people that they end friendships. Not that this has never happened before but with an ever-present media, we know so much more and maybe too much. Is there such a thing as an unbiased media? I don't personally think so. Facts always are interpreted and there is where bias comes in.

This article by Peggy Noonan described what I also believe we are seeing, but it's not just wealth as another kind of elitism. She describes a situation of elites who have no loyalty to country but only to class.


We hear it in this current political campaign in the US where Trump calls out for nationalism and the media tears him apart for being a selfish racist and Hillary talks up globalism and she's praised as sensitive to reality. Which is reality? She says she won't support Obama's TPP but who believes that once she gets in office?

Elites don't have to be wealthy. They can be intellectual elites. They are those isolated from different ideas and those who aren't from their 'class' with the end result a widening gulf. 

In any interview program, before someone opens their mouth, we know what side they will be on and their ability to explore problems in their own side ain't happenin'. Last night I watched a cable news channel where the host tried to get one of the partisan defenders to discuss a problem their candidate had. At every attempt, the defender turned it around-- everybody does it or that other candidate is worse. Never once did they explore their own candidate's problem. I still don't know if they recognized it but refused to discuss it or simply didn't see it.

If there is no way to turn this around, with elites running things and having zero compassion for those who disagree, where do we end up? Can we have a nation without borders or rules? If we have rules, who makes them?

Yes, this is a rant and it's worse for having no idea how to fix this as I see both candidates for the US Presidency to be flawed-- and not one worse than the other. Both in different ways. The more I learn, the worse I see this all as being. Whoever wins in November, I think the American people are screwed and along with them a lot of the world. What is happening here, as the example of Germany makes, is happening elsewhere-- sometimes with not just emotional but physical violence.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

on the other side

Currently we have at least two and maybe more Americas. Where you get your news is a lot of how you see whatever might've happened. I think that the cultural divide is even greater than the partisan one.

An example is what I read last night: 
 

The Obama administration says this is all coincidence, as it was part of $2 billion owed for downing the Iranian airliner by mistake-- That might even be true... but the timing looks like it's not and you can bet the right doesn't see it as coincidence since it was hidden.

Shouldn't the Obama administration have been a little careful at how things look given the hate and distrust that is spinning around? And if it's only reparations, why do it so secretively (read the article)? Don't they know by now that nothing stays secret forever-- especially not that big??? 
 
The right considers this revelation one way (Obama is a sneaky dictator and lies all the time) and the left the opposite (coincidence or he did it that way because of the nasty right, who would never understand), and so the divide grows. 
 
Frankly, I don't see how either, of the two major candidates for the Presidency, will be changing this. If Trump really got immediately impeached, unlikely but who knows, and Pence got the office, it wouldn't be better since he is an extreme rightie with very fundamentalist views on our laws.
 
When you see no hope for a solution, that is depressing.

Monday, August 01, 2016

lesser of evils

I have a question and would appreciate any answers. I am no fan of Donald Trump, but the latest kerfuffle involves parents who claimed that where it came to immigration Trump was going against the Constitution. The father waved the pocket Constitution as evidence of this. Where does the Constitution have a section that claims there cannot be standards for allowing immigration? I went looking and must have missed it.

This father has gotten more publicity for his claims because of Trump's attacks on him. His judgment in such situations is lousy. Some think, on the right and the left that it will be the one thing to bring Trump down. Now I might want to see Trump lose, but doesn't it seem there should be truth on both sides to do it?

If you only read the left wing side on sites like Huffington, you get one view. If you are on right wing sites like The Hill, you get another-- smearing Donald Trump. The thing is, from the beginning, Trump did not say all Muslims. He said the ban would last until we could assess which ones had ties to terrorist organizations. Who objects to that? 

It turns out, after some research, that Mr. Khan is in favor of calling out those with terrorist ties. When he says he and his family would not have been allowed in, he's not being honest-- since I assume they had no such ties given what I've heard him to say.


 My frustration is, as I see it, we have two ethically challenged people running for the Presidency. Even Hillary's own side knows she lies and pathologically like when in the recent Sunday morning show she claimed the FBI cleared her on the emails. That was not the truth. Is she, like Trump, unable to discern truth??? Is she a pathological liar or does she just assume her followers actually won't check facts?

She was right when she said you can't trust the nuclear codes to someone who is unable to control his need for revenge whenever someone attacks him. He shows his immaturity over and over, and just did it again; but she's not a lot better. She is some, but not a lot. Voting though for a third party, even if one of them is ethically better, just guarantees it's going to be Trump or Clinton.

Some who read here are thrilled with one of these candidates. I wish I was. It'd make the next months a lot easier to take. As it stands, I'll have to vote for Clinton, but I won't be happy about it and don't believe she will stick to what she says she'll do, or not milk being President for all the money she can get as she has before. Sorry, but she is not a woman of the people. She's just the less bad. I'll be interested in seeing if anyone who reads here has something to say that might make me feel better about my vote.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

convention thoughts

I do not watch political conventions although it's impossible not to get a few clips from them. I see them as all about manipulation, propaganda and stirring up emotions. 

For those who just watched the two political conventions, excited over American power and might, over how exceptional we are, this is a link worth reading.


America loves to toot its own horn, remind itself how great it is, but how does that play elsewhere? Do most Americans care-- since anyone who sees us other than we promote ourselves is obviously an ingrate...

I wish I could walk along the Yellowstone River right now. Need a little of the peace I have found there even in troubled times. This photo was from 2008.

 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

heartburn

Anyone with any interest in the current political race for Presidency in the United States has already read all the articles they care to about why Hillary Clinton skated on a charge that would've and has led to others being prosecuted. She got off because she is Hillary Clinton. She is doubtless jubilant about now. She should not be. She should be ashamed, but I have a feeling, as much as Donald Trump is a pathological narcissist, as some claim, so is Hillary. 

For those who like her, she can do no wrong and accusations regarding a private, secretive email server and lying about what she had on it is just a right wing conspiracy. For those like me, who can barely stand to hear her talk on anything, it's seen differently. 


When someone posts a piece by the extreme rightie, Allan West (no, I am not linking to that one), and I agree with him, there is no joy in Mudville. Pretty much any analysis by someone unbiased says the same thing. She walked on a technicality that didn't exist in the law. Maybe she will win the presidency that way. Maybe.

The bad part for me is I cannot possibly vote for this woman now. I used to think I could but no way. I get phone calls from anonymous and hear Clinton's strident voice as she asks for money. Excuse me but don't you have any pride in it being you? How dare you try to trick people into picking up the phone? Anybody honorable, business or person, has their name show up with caller ID. Not her.

But I can't vote for Trump either. So that leaves me one choice. Since I began voting at 21 (that was back in the dark ages), I've voted for one of the two major parties. This year, it looks like I'll be voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian (a social liberal and fiscal conservative based on his stand on the issues). He can't win. I am equivalently avoiding responsibility, but I won't vote for Clinton and have no idea what Trump would do if he got in. To be honest, right now, I'd worry less about that than her. 

It also leaves me uncertain how to support Senate candidates. If she gets it and she has the Senate behind her, what kind of damage could she do? If Trump got it with the Senate behind him, what kind of damage could he do? I guess there are a couple of Senate candidates I can trust but if I don't know them or I do know them (that means you Ron Wyden) I am giving no dollars out. 

As an old woman, I've seen a lot of elections and always voted. I have never seen one as disappointing as this one.