Friday, July 24, 2015

Why don't we just quit this "dog and pony" show called Democracy?

This morning I read that President Obama feels "most frustrated and most stymied" by the failure to pass "commonsense gun safety laws through Congress, even in the face of repeated mass killings.  He blamed it on the political clout of the NRA. 

Does the NRA have more political clout than all of Congress?
Yes it does.  It has more political clout than the 100 Senators and the 435 voting members of the House of Representatives.  The NRA and most lobby groups have way more power than even the president of the United States of America.

What does that mean?
It means the National Rifle Association can bully 100 Senators and 435 voting Members of the House into voting for its interests even though the outcome fuels senseless and heartbreaking mass murder.

How can that be.  I didn't elect the NRA.  You mean the NRA is more powerful than my precious democratic government?
Yes.  And not only the NRA.  The Dairy Lobby, The Phramaceutical Lobby.  Big Agra. Big Pharma.  AIPAC.  Almost every industry or special interest group has a lobby and all have political clout.  They can and do bully the congress into doing what they want.

Are you saying  that although billed as a democracy, the USA is run by a shadow government that is killing its citizens with guns, with antibiotic infested chickens, with radiated milk, with high fructose laced food, with plastic water bottles that leach poisons into our bodies, with drugs that create more havoc than they alleviate disease.

Don't we rail against governments that kill their own people? Aren't we trying to sell them on democracy?
Yes.  That's our mission. 

Why aren't the citizens outraged by this shadow government?  Why isn't there an outcry?
Because the press and elected officials keep the citizens in a frenzy over things like animal rights, transgender rights, racism, inane political correctness, abortion, immigration, the Kardashians.

But aren't those issues important, too?
Of course, but if the press devoted one tenth the media attention to the totalitarian bully tactics of the shadow government of unelected thugs that run the Congress, as the air and print space they allot to Caitlyn Jenner, we would be raging at the door of the Supreme Court to outlaw lobby groups or impose campaign spending limits so we can make this obscene rape of our government a punishable act.

How do the lobby groups get so strong?
They dangle a lot of money in front of the Senators and Congressmen.

Whuck? You mean they buy them off?
Yes.  They buy their allegiance.  They buy their vote.

Are you saying my elected congressman and my elected senator are not really working for me but they are working for the NRA and the Dairy Lobby, and big Pharma and Big Agra and AIPAC and god knows who else?

Then what's the sense of having elections and spending all that money.  Why don't we just quit the dog and pony show and call ourselves a totalitarian government.
There is no sense.  No sense at all.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

There is a purity of intent in our president.

Yesterday I changed my mind about two things:  President Obama and sports.

Normally, I would not watch a presidential news conference in the middle of the day but it interrupted one of my favorite game shows (yes, I know, you think less of me now).  Instead of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" there was our fabulous looking president telling us in a sure, strong voice why the Iran deal is much better than no deal because the alternative is to blow Iran up into smithereens (little bits and pieces.)  The president didn't say that last part.  He said war was the alternative.
The president also mapped out all of the safety nets that were in place in the deal in case Iran wanted to sneak around and build nuclear weapons behind our back.  The president also said that a nuclear plant is not something you can put on a dolly and wheel out of sight.  I was astonished at the reasonableness of his remarks considering that this initiative is a major game change in the way we deal with the Middle East. 

There is a new note in our president's voice. He is calm and sequential.  There is a purity of intent that comes across when he lays out his reasoning.  There is a purity of intent when he challenges the opposition to be courageous enough to embrace the alternative view which would be war. 

Normally, given my penchant for grand irony, I should have been madly in love with a president named Barack Hussein Obama II.  Holy Toledo, is this a joke?  In the early years, I was not a fan. I didn't mind that he was not as pure as advertised.  I didn't mind that he was backed by Wall Street money or had to repay lobbyists like the unpure presidents. Remember the $536 million sunk into that trainwreck Solyndra? I particularly didn't like the stealthy way the health bill was passed, cobbled together with possibly non-constitutional legislative tricks. I didn't like the way the press was slobbering (yes, slobbering) over him because I considered it democratically unhealthy.  I had a hunch that Michelle had a chip on her beautifully toned shoulder.  After all, she was a brainiac, too, and why should she be demoted to issues like childhood obesity instead of making the big decisions.

My respect for this president grew slowly and is now complete.  I began to pay attention toward the three quarter mark of the first term. He was publicly stubborn.  He would not be bullied by the press to provide answers before he was ready.  He had his own way of dealing with the world outside of the USA.  We didn't have a puppet in the Oval Office.  Maybe the president grew, too, and I'm appreciating the man he has become.  Either way, we are the luckiest country on earth to have this intelligent man who has nothing political to lose, leading this country as best he can.

My second awakening is about sports.  I have only a passing interest in sports.  I know from the headlines that sports figures sometimes do very dumb things.  Two of them blew off a finger over the July 4th holiday.  A couple of them have shot people.  Dead. Many of the men marry gorgeous women and then divorce them.  Those were my default thoughts about sports but last night I changed my mind.  I watched the entire Espy awards show and not for the reason you think.  I did see Caitlyn's good speech but that came late in the proceedings.  I watched the entire show because I was riveted to the men and women who received awards. The clips of their feats were fantastic and showed tremendous physical talent.  The recipients were modest, thoughtful, grateful and gave short interesting speeches. Two of them made me cry.  Yay sports!

And by the way, have you noticed what a brilliant and interesting man Mike Tyson has become?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Three Daughters paperback 40% off now to 8/13

Are you one of those people who still likes to read a physical book?

Yes.  And I object to the phrase "one of those people."

Calm down.  I have good news.

I doubt it but go ahead.

If the price point for paperbacks has kept you from reading my bestseller, Three Daughters,
Amazon has reduced it by 40%.

If I had wanted to read Three  Daughters I would have bought it by now.

Some reviewers say it is one of the best books they have ever read.  It has over 800 5-star reviews.

Are you talking about some of the nut jobs who review on line?

I guess so.  But the Washington Post also gave it a good review (and that was before Jeff Bezos bought the paper).

If you stop pestering me right this minute, I might go over there and take a look.