Politics.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read a social media update that says, “Just because I voted for Trump doesn’t mean I support his ideals”. Actually, these people are supporting his ideals by putting him and his incompetent, racist, unqualified ass in the Oval Office.

I have no tolerance for excuses.

I still maintain we had weak choices for President in 2016. Inexplicably we ended up with the weakest. And we are paying the price for it.

I have little faith in the American public to do the right thing in 2020. I have little faith in the Democrats to do the right thing. And we all know the media is going to frame anything and everything in most dramatic, contentious, confusing way possible to guarantee themselves as much ad revenue as possible.

And that’s why I’m not blogging much about politics these days. There’s actually too much to say.

Voting.

Today was Voting Day in Chicago. According to the results coming in this evening, today had one of the lowest voter turn outs in recent history. They’re thinking less than 35% of eligible voters in the city of Chicago voted today.

Earl and I made the trek to our voting location, which was just down the block in a vacant storefront. The lighting was sparse, the process was uneven, and the placement of the voting booths and machines was tight, but we did our civic duty.

The mayoral race is going to end up in a run-off in early April. I’m happy the candidate I voted for made it to the run-off. I haven’t seen what happened with the race for Alderman yet; I’ll be checking that out as soon as I finish this blog entry.

I think folks are soured on politics, even more so than usual. The constant bleating from cable news (which seems to be piped into every restaurant that has an early-bird special), the constant chaos from the White House, and the constant pearls clutching from the Democrats is exhausting. It feels like people want to escape from the cacophony of idiocy. Unfortunately that’s a dangerous thing because then our elected representatives don’t represent the will of the people. They represent the crazy, the determined, and the passionate.

Sometimes we need more even keeled individuals in public office.

I don’t know what we need to do to get more people involved with the voting process. Whatever we’re doing now is barely working. I hope it gets better in my lifetime. It’d be nice to exit stage left on a high note.

Disconnected.

I felt like today was a good day to start taking a break from Twitter again. Normally I can thread myself through the flames from the dumpster fire and make the experience enjoyable, especially when I concentrate on my connections with geeks and pilots, but after wading through some especially robust idiocy this morning I decided enough was enough.

I started out my Twitter experience by blocking the keyword “Trump”. but that went against my belief that if you’re going to Twitter, you should Twitter all the way. So the keyword blocking lasted for just an hour or so. During that time, the idiot in chief went ahead and said we had to build the wall before a caravan of immigrants arrived at the border, and his bots and followers all chanted yes in unabandoned idiocy, so I decided it would be best to just step away for a bit.

By the way, this post will still auto post to Twitter because I haven’t turned off that connection. I’ll be doing that after I finish this post.

I would like to think that I’m stepping away from Twitter forever, but you know and I know that won’t be the case. So I’m stepping away from Twitter for now.

At least until I have the mental capacity to deal with it again.

Cold.

I snapped this photo during my walk this morning. It is currently a third of the temperature it was when this photo was taken and it was 15ºF during my walk. Right now it’s 5ºF. On the bright side, it’s above zero.

Wednesday is suppose to have a high of -5ºF.

Snow doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind snow all that much, even when we have feets and yards of it. But cold? Yeah, I’m not a fan. I don’t like the feeling of cold out there. It’s better than oppressively hot, but I’d be happy with a nice 68ºF year round. I guess I’m finicky.

With all the stuff going on during the Government Shutdown for a wall that no one wants, I really worry about the folks that are working their full-time job but will still get a paycheck of zero tomorrow because President Coulter dictated she wouldn’t support the idiot in the seat unless he got his wall built. I worry about the unpaid government working staying warm, I worry about them feeding their families, I worry about them having a roof over their head. Despite the fact that Trump thinks you can buy groceries on a line of credit, I’m pretty sure even Ike Godsey stopped that practice some time during World War II.

The United States of America is a very cold place right now. It’s a shame I’m not talking about the weather.

Truth.

Just imagine how wonderful society would be if demanded honesty, integrity, and morality. The hearty abandonment of these things, by the most self-righteous of the GOP of all things, is absolutely mind-boggling.

We just keep spiraling the drain.

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Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Mashable.

Yesterday, Twitter part-time CEO Jack Dorsey announced the reasoning for not following the lead of other tech and social media companies and removing Alex Jones’ from Twitter. For those not familiar, Alex Jones is most associated with Infowars, a conspiracy/”alternative-facts” website known for spreading disinformation and perpetuating several conspiracy theories, including that the Sandy Hook school shooting was either staged or faked and that all of the grieving parents are paid actors. Parents of killed school children have relocated hundreds of miles away from their home in high security residences to avoid the loonies threatening them for being paid actors of what Jones calls a staged shooting. I’ve avoided Megyn Kelly and her schtick since she featured Jones on her Sunday night talk show on Father’s Day 2017.

Part-time Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the platform will not suspend Jones’ account because he hasn’t broken any of Twitter’s content rules. By the way, I say “part-time CEO” because Dorsey’s ego also allows him to be the CEO of Square. When the president of the United States is tweeting nuclear war threats at North Korea on your social media platform, running the platform is truly a part-time job.

I’ve been on Twitter for over a decade. Since the 2016 election I’ve really struggled with the platform. Admittedly, I’ve probably tried to quit Twitter at least a dozen times but like any well-trained tech addict, I’m addicted to the stream of information flowing from Twitter, as plagued with negativity, lies, and dumpster fire chic as it has been for the past year and a half.

I think @Jack’s asinine behavior has finally pushed me over the brink and sobered me up from my addiction to Twitter. Dorsey’s focus on profit for the fledging tech company, and his allowance of perpetuation of outright lies and dangerous conspiracy theories is doing more harm than good for society today. There will always be negativity in the world, that is very much apparent in what has honestly turned out to be thus far a horrible century for the world, but there’s a line of morality and I believe Twitter has crossed to the dark side. We wouldn’t expect someone to investigate if there really was a fire if someone yelled “Fire” in a theatre.

I firmly believe that the growth of tech, and especially the Internet, has outpaced society’s capacity to control, contribute, and consume much of value with all the technology we have at our fingertips today. We are behind what we are capable of, and all of this tech at our fingertips is being weaponized by bad actors in the world. This weaponization is being willfully perpetuated by greedy, power hungry people like part-time Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. When he and his Facebook counterpart Mark Zuckerberg say they’re trying to connect the world in good faith, don’t buy a word of it. Jack and Mark are greedy, power hungry men, with little regard for society, morality, or even a quality human connection.

It’s time for me to say goodbye to Twitter. It will not be easy for me. I’m an addict and I will have my struggles. I have grown reliant on some of the good information that comes from the platform. But I can’t pollute my well-being with the negativity that is rampant on the platform any longer.

I hope to maintain the quality connections I’ve had with folks that I’ve met on Twitter over the years. Godspeed to them as they try to wade through the muck.

Godspeed to all of us.

Truth.

A friend from high school posted this on Facebook. People need to read this:

Okay, I have resisted fb for weeks, but I just need to state some truth that many of you are not aware of.

1) Our Big (her husband –J.P.) is a federal attorney, not an immigration attorney, but someone who knows his way around federal court. He is trying to reunite children with their parent, and we are in TX. Children have been moved all over the country without any records being kept. There is a federal court order to reunite these children with their parents, but the administration is unable to find these children.

2) Under international and federal law, any human that sets a foot on USA soil is entitled to due process. For you morons who do not understand what that is, look it up. Google is your friend.

3) 90 percent of these parents were seeking asylum. For you morons stating seek it from your home country, one cannot seek it from one’s home country. Political and religious asylum must be pursued from inside the United States. That is the law. A woman and her five year old son were seperated AFTER once she crossed the border, she flagged down border patrol and asked for asylum. Not someone looking to buck the system. But someone looking for a better life. That is what America is. Why would people flag down Customs and Border Patrol if they were not trying to do the right thing?

4) 99 percent of people let out of custody, follow through with their court appointments. If they are not granted asylum, they are deported.

5) yes there were children detained under the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. They were UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. Also, children that were with adults who may not have been actual cbildren of the adults crossing the border….meaning sex trafficking or kidnapping. They were detained as well.

6) Whatever you think is okay, think if your child was taken from your arms. Think about it. Think long and hard. Think about being in a situation that was so desperate, that you decided to travel 3000 miles with nothing but the clothes on your back and a couple of bucks in your pocket. I am a mother. I would never move my children unless their lives were in danger. These mothers are heros.

7) Before you complain, UNDERSTAND THE FUCKING LAW. AND UNDERSTAND HOW THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING IT

8. ) If you are a mother, and accept this, shut the fuck up. You have no right to speak. Any mother that accepts this is despicable.

Defriend me, hate me, whatever you want to do but you are dead wrong.

9) It is easy to be white in this country. So many of you are so afraid. White people not understanding white privilege is like a pretty girl saying, “Why is everyone so nice to me??”

10) I can always understand conservative viewpoints. I get it. But this broke me. Kidnapping children for political gain is not only disgusting, but evil, and people will pay.

11) The real haters will never get this far. The people who accept this despicable, hateful treatment of children will never read this. Why didnt they? They are cowards, and do not care about the lives of BABIES. Cowards.

Think, Part 2.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of “Madam Secretary”. The show is in its fourth season, and is on CBS on Sunday evenings. The show hit its stride early in its run and is continuing to offer up compelling storylines. This past Sunday featured the episode “Sound and Fury”.

I’m not going to get too far into spoilers of this episode, but they may be sprinkled here and there in the rest of this blog entry, so let’s say you’ve been warned.

Yes, you’ve been warned about potential spoilers.

This particular episode of Madam Secretary should be required viewing for high school civics classes. It examines how the 25th Amendment works, why it would be considered and what is really involved with invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. A temporary medical issue comes into play here, but the result of the medical concern feels very familiar if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all since the latest administration took office. Phrases like “overwhelming force and ferocity” are bandied about without consideration. Diplomacy is set aside in favor of ‘tough guy’ displays of strength. On the show this is very uncharacteristic for fictional President Dalton. I wish the same could be said about the man in the Oval Office today.

The scenes around debating invoking the 25th Amendment are very honest. It all felt very believable. If anything, it made me think of how that debate would carry out in the real world today. Are there meetings taking place in D.C. to discuss this exact thing?

I’m inclined to think so.

The are two lines in particular that struck me rather hard (and I’m paraphrasing): 1. “We have the greatest system of government the world has ever known, but it’s only as strong as its people” and 2. “We took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not our political party”.

If only the folks in Washington would get on the script.

The tribalism, and the divisiveness behind the tribalism, is what’s deeply hurting our country, and I fully believe the news media continues to pour gasoline on this raging dumpster fire. Tribes saw one candidate as a movie villain and reacted as if they were watching a WWE tournament. The tribe continues to do this today. Trump purposely stirs up the tribe to keep a “villain” in the news. And the news outlets eat it up. It’s the tribalism that is killing objectivity. A good number of elected officials are putting party over country. I have little faith in most of our elected officials; the charade of “serving the people” died years ago.

If you haven’t had the chance to see Madam Secretary or if you don’t even have the interest to follow the show, I still recommend that you watch the episode “Sound and Fury”. It works pretty well as a standalone episode and I think the mechanics are sound to help one understand how the 25th Amendment works.

And how officials should always honor their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Comparison.

I just tweeted that one of the most frustrating things about 2017 is knowing Republicans that are much better people than those that are controlling things in Washington, D.C. today. The Republicans I know, friends from all facets of my life, family members, etc., are good people. What we see today from our leaders is not compassion. It’s not about doing what one believes is right for the country, it’s about winning. And not just winning, it’s about annihilation. Win at all costs. Party over country.

I’ve struggled with blogging in 2017. There’s so much I want to say, so much I want to share, but the fact of the matter is, the state of our country has consumed way too much of my life in 2017. What I have to say seems so insignificant to the constant struggle, turmoil, and chaos that we are fed via every possible avenue. Social media, the news, conversation with friends, overheard discussions in a restaurant, people screaming at each other on the road, the chaos has consumed us and this frustrates me. And part of that frustration is the anger and sadness I feel when I see how much a reality show television host has influenced my existence. I venture to say that I have cared too much for the welfare of the United States. I want to see people thrive, all people thrive. The wrong people are making sure the wrong people get ahead. It’s frustrating to see so many people blind to that fact. The tribes of the political parties are killing our country.

Long ago I gave up trying to change people’s minds about politics. Heck, given another GOP candidate on that ballot back in November 2016, I could have easily voted for a person that showed at least a little bit of compassion. I believe in many of the GOP ideals my father’s GOP believed in. And honestly, I will be the first to admit that I’m a pretty selfish person, but I don’t believe in taking things away from other people. Everyone should give more than they take from their community, their city, their country, but we shouldn’t make it impossible for folks to find their way through life. Everyone deserves a chance.

Everyone deserves a _fair_ chance.