Memorial Day 2014…

All gave some. Some gave all.   Never forget those who have served and given “the last full measure of devotion” to their country.

 

boots flag rifle helmet

election time fun set to continue …

2014 has arrived!!!   Let the election games… continue!!!

What?  Thought they hadn’t started yet?  Sure they have… just not all as publicly as they will very soon become…

I can’t wait…

All that extra (junk) mail to fill my mailbox, that I will just throw away… All the lies that people will tell to get votes, or keep their opponents from getting votes… All the half truths that will be told as people play on the fears of others, so that they can get votes or keep their opponent from getting votes… All those conspiracy theories that people will come up with…

Boy, won’t it be fun?!

NOT…

Government by Extorcracy…

I bet you thought we lived in a democratically governed country…

You know, a country where duly elected representatives of the people who live in the country go to a place and meet together to propose ideas, debate those ideas and then vote on those ideas in order to come up with laws, regulations, agencies and programs to serve the people and improve the lives of the people who live in the country…

Of course nowhere in the concept of a democratically governed country is the promise that any one representative’s specific idea will be totally accepted by the other representatives… There is no promise that any one representative or even group of representatives will get their way on an idea…

No, the concept is that the ideas are hammered into shape by vigorous debate… and usually there is some give and take from those representatives of differing opinions… So that the best possible services, programs, laws, regulations and agencies are created for the benefit of the people who live in the country…

After the ideas are hammered into shape, they are then voted on by the duly elected officials, and if they pass with the needed number of votes, they become laws or regulations or agencies or programs… whatever it was that they were designed to be…

Of course, there may be those who still vigorously oppose the new laws (or regulations or agencies or programs)… and there is nothing wrong with that.  After all, we live in a country where citizens are allowed to think whatever they want, and there are ways built into our constitution that allow for changes to be made to our laws…

Our laws can be challenged in the Supreme Court… whose members will rule on the laws’ constitutionality… and, if a law is deemed to be unconstitutional, it will be struck down – no longer a law… and all elected officials have to go back to the “drawing board”, so to speak…

Another way that people who vigorously oppose a law can legally get rid of it or change it in some way, is for elected officials to use debate and vote to attempt to repeal it or re-write it… and if successful, the law can be repealed or just changed in some way…

This is the way things are supposed to work in a democratically governed country…

But it seems that there are those who want our country to be governed by extortion…

I guess they want us to become an Extorcracy…

An Extorcracy…

Where our elected officials, if they don’t like the outcome of a vote that created a law, or they don’t like the ruling that the Supreme Court of the United States handed down regarding the law they don’t like, or they don’t like the President of the United States, who signed the law into existence, after it had been passed by our elected officials…

Where these elected officials, if they are unable to change the law they don’t like by the legal, constitutional means available to them, then proceed to hold the entire country fiscally hostage, by “shutting the government down” until they get their way…

Putting the reputation and faith of the country at risk in the eyes of the entire world…

Putting thousands of people out of work (even if only for a short time)…

Causing needed government services to be unavailable to people in our country…

Causing…

Well… by now, we know at least some of what the government shutdown caused to happen… and perhaps we know specific people who were affected by it in some way…

And who knows… maybe there are some of you who are reading this, who think the government shutdown was a terrific idea… that the elected officials who led the charge and succeeded in shutting government down did a wonderful and courageous thing as they boldly stood against the onslaught of public opinion and their fellow elected officials, because they stuck to their principles… or for whatever reason you might think it was a good thing to happen to our country and the people in it…

But be warned… the idea of government by “extorcracy” instead of by “democracy” is a bad precedent to set… and a worse one to admire and encourage…  it opens the door for any group of people in (or maybe even out of) government to use as a tactic to get their way…a shortcut, if you will, instead of using the ways and means built into our constitution…

I for one, prefer government by democracy…

 

 

Now another war for U.S. Troops?

Our troops have left Iraq…

There is supposed to be a plan for a drawdown in place for our troops to be moving out of Afghanistan…

But now, there is Syria…

Please don’t get me wrong…I do not approve of the use of chemical weapons at any time, by any individual or country, either against an enemy’s military forces during wartime, or against civilians during a civil war or a country’s political unrest…

But does the United States have to be the only country in the world that seems to want to respond to atrocities carried out in other countries by governments against their own people?

Why is it that we never hear in the news that the governments of England or France or Germany or Greece or Spain or any other country in our world, are incensed about atrocities carried out by the government of a foreign country against its own peoples and so want to respond either militarily or some other way to protect the innocent civilians and stop it from happening?

I am so tired of our country being at war…and the cost in human life that war brings to bear on all affected by it…

Where’s the outrage?

George Zimmerman’s trial in Sanford, FL has begun…  it has, in fact, begun its second week…

This morning, I was thinking of this tragedy, the death of Trayvon Martin at the hand of George Zimmerman (a tragedy for both the Martin and Zimmerman families), as I was remembering a Facebook post I saw yesterday.  The post showed a link to a blog posting whose author copied a couple of short paragraphs from a second blog…  It was a posting where the headline read:

Black Teens Beat 50 Year-Old Man With Hammer Near Sanford, FL… Media Silent

Along with the headline, were pictures of the two African American youth who were arrested in connection with this crime…  and above their pictures, the questions:

Where’s the outrage?… Where are the protesters?… Where are Al and Jesse?

This blog post had originally been posted (to the blog) on April 3, 2012…  And the person who was sharing it on Facebook, shared it yesterday, June 30, 2013… and it was shared with the comment:

Where is the outrage? Hey! Al Sharpton! Oh… That’s right… The victim is a white guy! Who’s a racist?

Some thoughts:

The crime headlined in the blog post was originally reported on April 2, 2012 by WFTV.com, tv channel 9 news, out of Orlando, FL, and does not mention the victim’s race…  but does mention the two suspects’ arrest, charges and the fact that they were jailed without bond.  It was a good short story, and I must say that if there was enough evidence to link these two young African Americans to the crime and to charge them, I am glad they were being held without bond…

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office apparently did a good and quick job of investigating the crime and apprehended the suspects fairly quickly…  two African American young men, accused of attempted homicide and a few other things, apprehended and jailed quickly… I’m guessing this all happened within a few days of the crime…

It did not take weeks of protest by people of all ethnicities, and a special prosecutor appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, for these African American young men to be arrested… the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department just did their job like they should have…

Maybe, if the Sanford Police Department had done their job, there would have been no need for the weeks of protest and the appointment of a special prosecutor before the individual who admittedly shot and killed Trayvon Martin, would finally be arrested, charged and, in due time, as he has been this past week, brought before a judge and jury for trial, according to our laws…

All that being said, I really hate it when people compare and contrast the details of separate crimes… especially when race is involved…  you know, “Black men charged with attempted homicide of a not-sure-what-race-but-assumed-white man” versus a “Hispanic man who shot and killed a young Black man”… and because there were weeks of protests, led primarily by African American activists in the one case, and not in the other, the activists are supposed to be racists???

Really???

And we wonder why there is still a problem between the various races and ethnicities in the United States…

As long as these types of comparisons and statements continue to be made, fueling the prejudice, anger and hatred that some people have for those of other races and ethnicities, healing and reconciliation between the different ethnicities and races will never happen in our country.

My “outrage” in this instance is not against the accused perpetrators of these crimes… oh, don’t misunderstand… I believe that what happened to the victims of the crimes was wrong, and those who are finally judged (by law) to be responsible should be held accountable… but in this instance of comparing the two cases, my outrage is really for those who would use such tragic situations and stories to try to continue to fan the flames of prejudice, anger and hatred between different peoples in the United States…

But… sadly, I do know that there are those people in our country who do not want such things as prejudice, anger and hatred between different peoples to go away… more’s the pity and the shame…

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