TV Reporters, grinning like a Cheshire Cat

cheshirecat_disneyGrowing up, my father would often use the phrase “grinning like a Cheshire Cat”, when he wanted to make the, not so flattering, point about a stupid, dim-witted  and otherwise display of adulation by someone, for someone else.

The display of adulation part of his use the phrase is the part I have long held as the most applicable definition when I look at and think about their grin, as one like that of the Cheshire Cat.

Advertisements

Joy Reid’s Important Question: Will there be checks and balances on Trump?

Photo Courtesy of MSNBC

Hell to the NO… Who’s going to do it?

The democratic leadership sure as hell won’t do it. Trust me, I understand how Washington politics works; in that, the party in power controls all of the committee assignments, and consequently they alone have the power to call and conduct hearings.  The minority party has to follow their lead, but they can use the platform to challenge the validity and tone of the hearings.

As an example, I love the spirited fight in Democratic politicians like Rep. Elijah Cummings, and many other up and coming dems, but we need more of them – a lot more.  Not bashing  Symone D. Sanders, Strategist & CNN Political Commentator, but she’s all over the place as the mouthpiece for the Democratic Party’s reflection and rebirth.

Consider the fact that Trump isn’t even in office yet, and the glaring conflicts of his businesses being intertwined with his “kids” roles as his advisors – who (seemingly) will be running the country’s domestic and international affairs – to his “in your face” nominees for National Security Advisor, to Attorney General, the Democratic leadership is basically silent.  We don’t hear a whimper from them.  No, they don’t have to wait for him to get in office before they “call him out” on the aforementioned issues, and if not that, then why not highlight his general recklessness with respect to his approach to foreign policy snafus.

We only need to reflect on how the Repugs obstructed everything the current president did, or attempted to do for the past eight years. The minority party can obstruct, using selective (Senate and House rules) rules and creative tactics to make life miserable for the majority party.

Let’s face it, the Republicans have a pit bull mentality, and they now have an incompetent clown as the head of their party. Give them credit where it’s due though, this dude was a fighter and he took no prisoners, and as a result, he won. Okay, he won at all cost. No one is suggesting a “take no prisoners” approach to winning in politics, but can the dems at least have someone in our leadership who is a fighter. Let me be clear, I am in no way criticizing Hillary Clinton for her campaign and her style. This (first ever) women candidate still is the most qualified person, man or woman, to ever run for the office of the presidency. She had to contend with some the most hateful, untruthful, derogatory, and yes, personal attacks as anyone who ever ran for the office. She had to navigate pass promising the world to young voters, to carefully trying to tell the “coal country” and “rust belt” idiots that those damn factory and coal mining jobs were never coming back, while at the same time – not losing their support.  This belief is backed by my personal knowledge of this woman, having followed he political career for the past 35 years, and backed by the most intelligible and honest appraisal of her politics by the Washington Post’s Editorial Board article, dated October 13, 2016 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hillary-clinton-for-president/2016/10/12/665f9698-8caf-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html?utm_term=.785c368e49f6

The only difference between me and many of the so called “experts” is that, I am saying to hell with changing course and go off chasing the “white working class voter.” This past election cycle, these voters voted AGAINST their own self-interest, party, because these angry white guys couldn’t stomach a women becoming the Commander in Chief, and partly because these same people “got a rise” out of the buffoonishness of this “tell like it is” and “the outsiderness” of this clown.  Again, we can agree or disagree if we like, but more people voted for him, in spite of Hillary’s qualification, because it’s basic human nature to like people who exude confidence.  Even (SOME) women, who on the one hand may cringe at his loathing and boastful talk about assaulting (other), seem to like the aggressive nature of this dude.

It’s really about having the spine to fight, and even though the (house) committee hearings are controlled by the majority party, and even though the majority party in the (Senate) controls their hearings and have the power to approve any and all presidential nominations to his cabinet, the federal judgeships, and the Supreme Court, the minority party can use those hearings and nomination forums to raise “holy hell” about the absurdity of the nominations and highlight to the voters just how flawed those nominations are and what (negative) impact they will have on their lives.

The Democratic leadership is too doggone spineless and seems to be more concerned with how they are viewed, than standing for the basic principles the party is founded on and should be exposing to be. I will never forget what Nancy Pelosi said immediately after she became Speaker of the house after the Iraq war.  Her first statement was, in effect, she would not waste the House of Representatives time investigating the war.  So, all of the war crimes committed by George Bush went un-investigated and possibly prosecuted, Now fast forward, when Hillary Clinton became a presidential candidate, every ignorant, absurd and baseless claim imaginable was front and center by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (a Republican from Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) and his minions on the House Oversight Committee.

So, the answer is no. There won’t be any checks and balances.

The Winners Dilemma, of Reconciliation

web-strongertogether

It has become acutely apparent, as voiced by so many of the self-serving political pundits, that if Hillary Clinton had won the current presidential contest, she would have had to court, appease and otherwise pamper those deplorable voters who so viciously supported the other side, and attacked her in some of the most mean-spirited, nasty and rabid ways imaginable.

These are some of the same political pundits and haters, that along the way, did all they could to disparage, demean and discredit her Most of them gave not a hint that they would even remotely extend an olive branch to her or her supporters should their vile candidate win the election.  Why then, would Secretary Clinton have been held to yet another (different) standard; a standard of being (expected) to heal the land and ease the pain of those voters and opponents – who I believe – will do something quite the contrary now  that it appears they will be in power.  Heck, Donald Trump had openly stated he may, or may not, accept the results of the election unless he won.

Never mind, that no where along the way did Donald Trump himself, even hint of reconciliation with the opposing party’s voters, or signal he would reach out to those voters, ethnic groups or factions who did not support him if he were to win.  Instead, he unambiguously and boldly stated the direful actions he would take, the type of post-election actions that are generally seen only in the so-called Banana Republics and dictatorships; things like jailing his opponent.  Even more spine-chilling, is when his deplorable rally goers often chanted very venomously chilling chants like, lock her up and electrocute her, he did and said absolutely nothing to quill their abhorrent and misguided fever and thirst for her blood.

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said she wanted to be the President of all of the people, even those who voted against her.  This is generally the mantra of the more sane, civil and reasonable politicians – even that of many republican politicians – leading up to, and after an election – win or lose.  This is just one of the many discernible, and yes, rational differences between Hillary Clinton and the dismal, hate filled and racist views of Donald Trump.  If anyone believes Donald Trump and his staunchest supporters would have demonstrated the calm, rationalism, courtesy and civility Hillary Clinton demonstrated the day after the election, they’re either outright lairs at best, or delusional at worst. Again, every indication by Donald Trump – through his rhetoric – was that this was not going to be the case if he had lost the election.

Then, there is the graceful and dignified offer by the current President to welcome and offer his, and his staff’s, full support to President-Elect trump to ensure he had a smooth transition into the white house.  Let’s not so easily forget that this graciousness of President Obama is being extended to the man who spent the last four years (at minimum), ridiculing him, and using a blitzkrieg of demeaning and demoralizing racist attacks against him – through his constant barrage of brither assaults – even to the point that our first black President was forced to produce his long form birth certificate. Through the eyes of those of us who are African-Americans, the descendents of slaves, was an unpleasant reminder of an act that was a throwback to the days when slaves had to carry (ownership) papers with them, showing their master’s ownership of them; thereby, allowing them (somewhat safe) passage through the maze of plantations, towns, back roads and pass the vicious  bands slave catchers.

One thing for sure, Donald Trump is a very vindictive person, and while he has been unequivocally evasive about his governance philosophy on so many fronts and, based on his actions and implied threats thus far, we can assume he will spend quite a bit of time performing acts of retribution on those he feels were against him.  Trump made it crystal clear he was test the tenants of our peaceful transfer of power y publicly stating he wouldn’t accept the outcome of the election – unless of course, he won.  There is an eeriness that hovers over Trump’s election victory and Hillary’s loss to him.

He was very transparent and luminous about his desire to jail Hillary Clinton, and often relished in the boisterous chants offered up by his supporters chanting “lock her up.” Photos of some of his rally goers with handcuffs began surfacing on various social media outlets. One can only wonder what she would have been up against, or what aggravating taunts and petty challenges she would have had to endure by him and his minions if she had won.  Not to mention, he being the one who exploited and fueled all of the ugliness of a sequestered racial divide, often referred to as the “elephant in the room.”

No sane or civil person would suggest that the winner of this – or any other Presidential election – ignore, punish or otherwise seek retribution against those who voted against them. Besides, it wouldn’t work in our system of government, where there are systems in place to put in check anyone who would attempt to exert such actions.  One could make the argument; however, that if Hillary Clinton were the winner of this political election, she would have every right to (at least) flirt with the idea that her opponent should have to soak in the sweat of his defeat for some undetermined period.

Why is it then, that if Hillary Clinton had won the election, she would have been expected to spend her valuable time consoling those bigots who voted for Donald Trump while they licked their wounds.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, I believe that if she had won, she would done just that, not because it would have been demanded of her, but because that’s who she is.  Unfortunately, win or lose, it seemed okay that Hillary Clinton was subjected to some of the worse insults ever witnessed by an unapologetic misogynist, she is called on by the pundits, before the ink dries on the election results, to take the lead in reconciliation.  Had she won, she would have been called upon throughout her tenure in office to appease and comfort the losers.

The dilemma of reconciliation maybe, just maybe, a headache Hillary Clinton will not have to contend with.

The Politics of Unfriending

unfriendReading the article posted on 09/24/2016, By JOHNNY SILVERCLOUD, entitled: “I’M LOSING TONS OF FRIENDS FIGHTING RACISM. AND I’M TOTALLY OK WITH THAT”, re-ignited my interest in the sprightly “unfriend” initiative.

Okay, so it’s an easy way out of a cyber relationship. Then again, it should be easy to move on from cyber relationships on social media sites in general and superficial “friends” on our Facebook pages in particular.

When it comes to Facebook friends, I am unlike a lot of people. I don’t fish for likes to my postings, nor do I seek to build a friends list so big, it has to be cataloged.  I have Nephew who has 900 friends.  It’s no doubt he doesn’t know all of them, but being a handsome young man, athlete and is of the millennial generation.  I use my Facebook friends list to stay in touch with people I consider friends and family only, or at the very least close acquaintances.

Some time ago, I did a major cleanup of my friends list. I unfriended dozens of people on my Facebook friends list. Conscientiously, I unfriended a number of people  for ancillary reasons, like posting to many food pics, pics of shoes, play-by-play of their daily activities, etc. I unfriended a cousin of mine for posting pics of his dead mother in her coffin at her funeral – go figure!

I have unfriended dozens of people over the years, particularly those invitations I have reluctantly accepted into my carefully selected group of friends; who, really were not real friends in the truest sense of the word. These were people who made friend requests (and I accepted for some unknown reason) for obscure reasons like, they knew someone, who knew someone, who knew me. I am part of a large family and some of these people never knew me, but knew of me through their associations with some of my younger siblings.  After some time passed, I realized I had nothing in common with these people.  There were no social, educational, religious, and yes, nothing in common politically with them.  Then, there are the ‘food posters’. The quickest way to be unfriended by me is too continually post pics of meals you have cooked, a pic of your meal while (eating out) at a restaurant, etc.  I do not want to see what you’re eating, and besides – and this is just my opinion – most food pics don’t look that inviting to me, unless of course, they are the ones professionally done by the ad makers.

Then, there are those I have not hesitated to unfriend because of differing political, or world views. An old proverb, “Eyes are the window to the soul”, is a perfect segue to an original of mine, “who you really are, is revealed in your politics.” Minor political differences are fine; however, those differences that cause me to scream when someone says or shares a political view that’s the polar opposite of something I believe.  I am convinced that people – I am no exception – are decidedly closed-minded and deeply passionate about their politics and world views, which reminds me of another adage: “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing, it takes too long and it irritates the pig.” 

The current election cycle – thought it started about 30 years ago – has highlighted the deep political divide in this country. I believe the primary reason this election, and that of the last three Presidents, is so evenly divided is because we have segregated ourselves along a political divide. Social scientists have concluded that politics, other than race and class, is the single most divisive factor that is now causing people to “choose sides” very early on in election cycles, and to not deviate, or deviate very slightly, as time goes on.

Social scientists further confirm people usually organize and align themselves in social groups, clans, cliques, tribes, etc., due to some degree of political affiliation. It’s believed that within families, fraternal organizations, religious and other social groups, people are further sub-divided based on their political and world views.  Most people do not share close friendships with people of different persuasions.  Through social media mediums like Twitter and Facebook, we generally interact and converse with people who share our political views.  Even in our family groups we tend to either refrain from, or limit our conversations regarding our political views.  The only topic that generates more passion than politics is discussions regarding religion.

The manifestation of this social divide based on differing political views is more pronounced in the current presidential election than ever before. This distinct political divide began, and has continued since, with the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H. Bush; where, Bill Clinton won the presidency with less than 50% of the popular vote. Every cycle since then, no candidate has garnered more than 52.9% – that honor goes to Barack Obama in 2008.  People on the right tend not spend time with, or have as close friends people on the left, and vice versa.  We tolerate each other in the workplace, but that’s where
the association generally ends.

None of us should be terribly surprised if we have found ourselves on the receiving end of the “unfriend” key.  Nor should we be surprised if we realize our contact with certain people has abated over time.  Like it or not, it may be because of the politics of “unfriending” them.

https://itun.es/us/HZezT?i=761548407

Inspired Source: https://afrosapiophile.com/2016/09/24/losing-friends/
I’m Losing Tons of Friends Fighting Racism. And I’m Totally OK with that.

Who I am and why I’m here

Of course I am here because I have something to say.  Everyone’s life is a story, mine is no exception, and that story should be told.

In the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, Morris Massey, a noted motivational speaker and sociologist, had a series of lectures based on the model: “What You Are Is Where You Were When.” In his lectures to businesses, “Massey investigated the role of the past by explaining the three self-programming periods each young individual goes through in developing a value system. These gut-level feelings guide our adult behavior, determine our world view, and influence how we feel about what is normal and abnormal.”

It’s often said that we’re a culmination of our life’s experiences. Everyone has an opinion about anything and everything, and I am no different. It’s not my intent to change anyone’s world view – not that I could if I wanted too – with my writing, as I don’t believe people’s opinions are shaped as much by someone else’s views, as much as their own life experiences.

Like most people, I have a local, national and world view on topics I am passionate about. Similarly, I enjoy reflections about things that are satirical, sarcastic, and nonsensical, in some cases spoofs, but still having some relationship to “Where I Was When.”    Sometimes I hold a “glass half empty” view, and other times I may take the view of the  glass being “half full.”  Either way my writings will be reflective of the deeper meaning of who I am.

While I believe our world views are not often altered or transformed by what others think or believe, I do believe – myself being no exception – we can be motivated, encouraged and even inspired by what we read.

I am a retired businessman living in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Born in 1950, I am of the Baby Boomer generation, which means I am among the largest group of senior citizens in the country’s history. Being retired, means I have lived a few years, and my life’s experiences will be reflected in my writing.

Thanks for stopping by.