Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Midterms Are Coming! The Midterms Are Coming! But Do You Really Care?

There are a few things that I’ve learned since taking Political Science 101 so many years ago and one (expensive) educational nugget is that when Midterm Elections come around, too many people close the blinds, turn off the lights and go to bed early.

As with any election there are different stereotypes to the Democratic/Republican voter and for one of the Parties the thought holds true.

For instance, the average Republican voter wakes on Election Day and does the following: Reads the Constitution, has a slice of Apple Pie with an ice cold Coke while sitting under a velvet picture of President Reagan and as they walk out the door they salute Old Glory before jumping into their oversized SUV with Lee Greenwald’s “Proud to be an American” playing loudly on their way to the voting booth all before the workday starts.

Now in comparison, the average Democratic voter will wake on Election Day and perform the following: Pace by the window multiple times while listening to the morning weather report. And as they jump into their eco-friendly vehicle with NPR playing at a modest low volume, they again keep looking upward at the sky and say “Oops there’s a cloud, it might rain, looks like I’ll miss my chance to vote” all before pulling into Starbucks for their Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Now, can you guess which one is the exaggeration?

That’s right! The Republican voter analogy is far from the truth because I never mentioned anything about grabbing their concealed weapon when they walked out the door.

Yet unfortunately, as I learned so many years ago in Poli Sci 101, yes the Democratic voter is through and through a very procrastinating and will find more ways not to vote then to do so. However in today’s politically brewed society, they are not the only ones lacking any enthusiasm to “voice” their vote.

Sadly as generations pass, the “want” to vote in a Democracy seems to be waning

There are still countries begging to have the US model of government and yet of the roughly 206,072,000 eligible voters there are in the USA today, only 146,311,000 are registered. And a more disturbing fact that less than 89,000,000 found the “time” to vote in the 2010 Midterm elections.

That’s barely 40% of registered voters that took advantage of their Constitutional right to “voice” their choice as to how their County, State and Country shall run. That means 60% of registered voters that did not use their “voice” need to shut the hell up as too how and who to complain about until they bring their warm bodies to the voting booth.

Now according to the US Census, the following survey results happened to during the 2012 elections helps validate the above statement as to why so many decided to stay away:

Too busy conflicting schedule - 17.5%
Illness or disability - 14.9%
Not interested - 13.4%
Did not like candidates or campaign issues - 12.9%
Other - 11.3%
Out of town - 8.8%
Don’t know - 7.0%
Registration problems - 6.0%
Inconvenient polling place - 2.7%
Transportation problems - 2.6%
Forgot - 2.6%
Bad weather - 0.2%

So what will be your excuse? Hang nail? Sniffle? Excruciating long line at Piggly Wiggly for toilet paper?

To say “Didn’t Know,” “Did not like the candidates/campaign issues,” or “Not interested” are as useless of an excuse as saying “My dog ate my voter registration card.”

As the “Greatest Generation” passes away and “Generation X” being cast aside, the battle of the hearts and minds skew towards the “Baby Boomers” and “Generation Y” demographic for the politicians to win over.


Face it, “Great Gen” & “Gen X” crowds have nothing left to offer the Political Parties at this time. Both have been politically molested and extorted of their wealth, both emotionally and economically. Think about it, the “Great Gen” has little to over, their time has come and gone, while the “Gen X” have become anchored in their career and personal life. What money they do have is set aside for their child’s college education and there’s very little movement at this stage in career to break the corporate ceiling.

So it’s down to a generational rotation. Just as the battle was once for the “Great Gen” and “Gen X” prior, it’s now left to the “Baby Boomers,” who have now begun their mass exodus from employment and become empty nesters, all the while “Gen Y” are just beginning their career and personal means.

And both Political Parties are chasing their demographics in typical fashion; Republicans long for the “Baby Boomer” while the Democrats chase the tail of the “Gen Y” crowd.

Remember, the “Baby Boomer” generation was once yesterday’s hippie voice. A culture that pushed the notion that government was the answer which in turn is very much the cause for many of issues that are being fought today, that being the “Great Society” idea of the 1960’s; War on Poverty, Medicare, Education expansion just to name a few.

Now much of that very same generation now considers acts of “Socialism.” Gone are their Social Liberalistic ways and a massive rush towards Fiscal conservatism. Which there is nothing wrong in changing one’s belief, but the “Baby Boomers” feel a need for redemption of their past political prowess.

But where does this leave “Gen Y?”

Simple, “Gen Y” is not far from the “Baby Boomer.” The difference being is that “Gen Y” understands the cost objective of being Socially Liberal while being Fiscally Conservative at the same time. Yes, there can be coexistence of both political thought; it’s called being a “Moderate” or “Centrist.”

Yes one can support Offshore Drilling and Gay Marriage in the political arena!

And this is where the Political Pundits have stepped in and rid the scourge of the “Moderate/Centrist” from the halls of Government by using whatever means possible to blame them for destroying the republic.

The void of the dreaded “RINO (Republican In Name Only” and “Blue Dog” moderates in government has truly helped in the gridlock today. Much of that gridlock helps in rating grabs for the jesters, err I mean pundits.

But you, the voting public, need to use your voice and show up to vote. Do you vote the career politician out or stay with them because you know what to expect from them?

That’s it, slap the tap of your favorite political brew and make your way to vote this….. Squirrel!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Why do we thrive on a momentary sense of patriotism?

As we gave remembrance of the 13th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks a few days prior, I sat back and watched Social Media explode with meme, picture and individual word by the many expressing their sorrow of the day and pondered on two paths of thought; 1) Am I unpatriotic for not posting anything in remembrance of Sept 11?, 2) Why do we celebrate Sept 11 differently than that of Dec 7?

Well the first question is a simple answer of “no.” It does not make one unpatriotic or overly patriotic to post any reminiscence of Sept 11 and it’s acceptable to keep thought to oneself. No one dare face the verbal backlash by posting “9/11 Truther” or other anti-Sept 11 spiel on the day and leaving so for some other irrelevant debate and date.

As done so in years past, MSNBC replayed the Sept 11 “Today Show” broadcast airing at 8:51am after Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center North Tower until Noon even though the broadcast lasted almost 24 hours. While other cable channels broke periodically to show the reading of the names lost in between stories of ISIS and other terrorism accounts with nuggets of debate over the latest NFL gossip.

It doesn’t make MSNBC anymore patriotic then the other channels, regardless if there is not a constant US Flag flowing in the corner of the screen. No, it is just their way of letting everyone relive the day and what we know that has happened since.

We have this momentary sense of patriotism around US historical events. US Flags are placed porch view around the July 4, Memorial Day, and now Sept 11, only to be removed the following day and replaced with Seasonal, University and Sports team flags. Only Sept 11 has yet been commercialized like the rest of our holidays. I can only imagine years from now, if Sept 11 does indeed become a legit federal holiday, will someone find a way to commercialize the infamous “Freedom Fries” or “Liberty discount rug sale” to capitalize on the patriotic theme of the day.

Prior to Sept 11, 2001 there was Dec 7, 1941. A day we were told “would live in infamy” by then President Franklin Roosevelt, yet as sad as it is too bear, that date by so many is fading into obscurity.

Hate me for saying so, but in today’s attention lapse generation, the day is yet a blip in our short history. This, too me, is sad as I do believe as generations come and go, Dec 7 will become just a footnote in our US history books to many school children. And I question why?

On Dec 7, 1941 2,403 Americans had perished in a surprise Japanese attack. However today, Media’s remembrance is all of a 3 minute filler spot with footage of the laying of a ceremonial wreath at the USS Arizona memorial. If one wants to remember Dec 7, they have to watch History Channel 6, because the upper History Channels usually have a Pawn Star marathon scheduled.

How did Dec 7 become “forgotten” by so many? Is it because those 2,403 (68 civilian) that lost their lives were doing their duty in our military in the US territory of Hawaii while 2,977 (55 military) perished in 3 different US mainland locations?

Are we of a “generational” anamnesis, as those of the baby boomers and prior generation slowly fade, history pulls away from their trace.

Or is the difference between the two dates of remembrance based on victory?

The US entered the second theatre of World War II against Japan with vengeance of the Dec 7 attack. Within four years and 100,000 US Soldiers lives, victory was had with celebration and parade. We were safe, victorious and war had ended. Rebuilding the US had begun immediately and those that returned were praised and returned to an expanding life.

But some 73 years later, after Dec 7, many of today’s youth only know by what’s read in books or taught in class.

Yet 13 years after Sept 11, the fight goes on even though the Taliban have been removed from Afghanistan government and al Qaeda’s spiritual and financial backer Osama bin Laden had been terminated in 2011.

A recent poll states 47% of those surveyed feel less safe today then on Sept 11, 2001. Why?

We are reminded almost routinely of Sept 11 by journalist and politician alike in partisan talking points, pro and con. Words of terrorisms constant growth and trillions of dollars poured into security of the nation with a view of the Freedom Tower standing behind them. Yet many still feel fear that victory is not near.

I guess I actually have a third question to all this. Could the worst attack on US soil in what can be considered modern US history be replaced if it happens again?

What is to say that if another attack should happen on March 23, 2023, could Sept 11, 2001 relevance be substituted by another generation’s conscious?

So I say prove me wrong, return Dec 7 1941 back to its proper relevance amongst our daily lives. We cannot predict a future to remember, but with good conscious we can remember our past and give praise to those innocents that were lost.

That's it, slap the political tap, and raise a toast to all those innocents that have lost their lives in freedom's name.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

US Middle Eastern Foreign Policy or "The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Booty Call"

I’m trying to decide if the US’s current foreign policy path should be considered “willful ignorance” or “willful negligence” when considering the current state of the World. I say this only because many in our government still have the mentality that the Cold War is still being sought.

OK, ok stop with the Romney and Palin were correct about the Russians fist bumps.

Ever since WWI, there’s this great notion that when tyranny rises that the US will always gallop to save the day. Yet that action is of yesteryear because today’s evil is not a standalone country with one political ideology we are trying to stop as we attempted to stop the spread communism in Southeast Asia and Korea.

We simply cannot go it alone in the battle against Islamic terrorism and be the Guardians of the Planet any longer, especially when the enemy is not landlocked.

What many outside Washington DC understands is simply that this idea that if “we cut off the head of the snake, it will die” is incorrect because the snake still moves and can still bite!

I know it’s just a saying, but an incorrect saying that is repeated by Washington DC way too often.

Our foreign policy in the Middle East has been a calamity since the 70’s. Just when you think it’s getting better, the rug gets pulled out from underneath and we fall flat on our face. As much as it pains to say this but the Middle East was calmer when Saddam Hussein was dictator of Iraq.

The path of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is more fortune cookie then reality when dealing in the Middle East. “The enemy of my enemy is my worst enemy” is more viable statement, yet Washington DC would rather deal with both sides just in case.

Look at Egypt, as for decades we turned a blind eye to atrocities committed by President Mubarak, offering millions of dollars in aid since 1949. Those dollars never changed, regardless of a Democratic or Republican playing in the White House, yet we talked tough ever year just hear ourselves speak while Mubarak gleefully smirked.

And when the Arab Spring happened, we waited to see who’ll come out on top. Whether it was the Muslim Brotherhood or some other group, we still supplied our monthly aid payments just to be “friends” in the area.

We are so worried about trying to integrate the Middle East to Western Civilization that we’re standing with our pants down looking for hugs from those that despise us.

We never got far with Syrian President Assad and his crimes against the Syrian people and rebels because it became an international game of chicken between the United Nations and Syria, with Russia backing Syria. Sure, President Obama kept redrawing the red line of action against Assad’s regime and we even held secret talks with the Syrian rebels to try and form a “friendship” of sorts.

OK, it was more like “not-so” secret meetings with Senator John McCain playing the jester as in those meetings stood members of al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL. Even though it was in plain sight, so quick was Senator McCain to show weakness in President Obama’s foreign policy, that the vetting of the so-called rebels was lax.

Now the old school thought comes into play when our government wanted to give arms to Assad’s opposition, which just happened to be al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL. Now here’s the best part, we also gave aid to their opposition, who in time will have used our aid, both monetary and military against us, with the only exception being Syria.

Did you get that, we gave aid to Syrian rebels who were fighting both Assad’s regime and ISIS/ISIL, too which ISIS/ISIL also received some of the aid as they were against both factions.

Now here we are, with a new threat to the World that is far from old school tyranny. Nope ISIS/ISIL is the new improved form of terrorism that leaves al Qaeda scratching their head wondering how they lost their #1 spot.

The fact that ISIS/ISIL are the new age outlaws of terror networks. ISIS/ISIL is a billion dollar camp using income comes from oil piracy from the large southeastern Syrian and northeastern Iraqi oilfields that they stole in their June 2014 juggernaut that has currently come to a snail’s pace yet still spreading.

As well as using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook with Hollywood style productions for recruitment that could win Grammy Awards for Cinematography, Film Editing, Visual Effects, and Makeup and Hairstyling.

Now we wait and watch as President Obama request from Congress $5 billion to combat ISIS/ISIL while Congressional leadership wants to sit till after the mid-term elections to make a decision. Currently the US has spent close to $7 million/daily on actions against ISIS/ISIL, actions including drone strikes, intelligence and social media memes.

Wait! So to counter ISIS/ISIL social media propaganda, we’ve created our own social media propaganda? Good lord, why not get a bunch of 13 year old girls to film themselves berating ISIS/ISIL, because everyone knows there is no meaner person in the world then pubescent 13 year old girl.

So while the US decides to write bad things on the bathroom stall about ISIS/ISIL, we’ll still send the monthly check to our friends and enemies, both current and future.
Only to be held to some sort of debacle of international trade agreement just so we can have a seat at every table around the World, even with Kim Jung Un coming in April 2015.

That’s it, slap the political tap of your favorite political brew to quench your willful intolerance to tomorrow’s political hangover.