A New Year

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

One more year has come and passed,

Our lives go on, these days of future past.

As we tread this world we share,

It spins no matter how much we care.

So as I go, I think on things,

And here’s those thoughts on things thought on.

For the years ahead,

I wish you peace

I wish you love

I wish you all the best from this world and above…

 

THE THINKLIST

Look each other in the eye for uncomfortable lengths of time.  Bonds will be forged.

Smile unwillingly.  The internal effect is astounding.

Watch Die Hard, It’s a Wonderful Life and WALL-E.

Forgive.

Always say a proper goodbye.

If the police ask to search your car, it’s because you have a choice; they won’t ask if they could just do it.

Use sunscreen.

Never sell the tickets, always go to the game.

Shovel the snow and brush off your car before it freezes.

Wear hats and dress like it matters.

Make yourself smile.

Relax in traffic, we’re all there anyway.

Read.  A book.

Learn to enjoy dancing or you may never get to dance.

Use the good stuff; get rid of the crap.

Vote.

Believing is seeing and faith without works lies dormant in its sleep.

Be nice to the dog, bother the cat; don’t be shy to talk to the owner, as well as the pet when walking by.

Watch Disney movies with a simple mind.

Love.

Be prepared.

Check your oil, tires and anti-freeze; know how to change a tire.

You get what you pay for.

Legality is not permission nor a reason to do or not do anything.

Know why you know what you know and absolutely know that you don’t know anything.

Take a look at yourself and make the change.

Do unto others.

(As much for myself as anyone else. Happy New Year.)

Walker 2024

FILE - In a Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker gives a thumbs up as he speaks at his campaign party, in West Allis, Wis.  Less than two years ago, party leaders solemnly declared after an exhaustive study that the GOP "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform." It was critical for the party's survival, they said, to address an issue that was paramount to the nation's surging Hispanic population. But as President Obama issued a sweeping immigration order last week, some of the Republican Party's most prominent governors — likely presidential candidates among them — described immigration reform as little more than an afterthought.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

And then there were… still a lot.

Yet, political reality has hit home for Scott Walker who, amidst public discussion of numerous campaign missteps, has left the race before he really got started.  The Republican field is now (slightly) smaller, probably not much wiser, and has seen the first of many “top-tier” candidates become the weakest link.

On a professional level, I like and respect the work of Scott Walker.  I pull no punches when it comes to my position regarding the damaging effects that public sector unions have on an economy and Mr. Walker is a public figure who recognized economic reality, faced up to the social pressure, and made changes to turn the fiscal situation in his state around.  Furthermore, Governor Walker stood up to a recall election not because of any professional misconduct, but because of his opposition to the demands of the union organizers.

And while it’s still a bit early for a real commitment to any one candidate, I genuinely believed in Walker’s longevity and saw him as a sort of “man to beat.”  I haven’t got “my guy” yet, but Walker had been towards the top since before any campaign announcement or onslaught of Republican contenders.  He has a fighter’s spirit and stands up to bullies with bad management skills.  Who knows where we will all be four years from now but my guess is that Walker will see the national stage once again.

The truth is that in a 2016 Republican field of over a dozen candidates, the risk lies not in stepping out of line but in becoming an indistinguishable part of the Republican collective, and not the Leader of the Free World.  The fine line has always lain between straying from the pack, risking the alienation of a solid base and fitting in so well that you become an anonymous suit.  Art imitating life, imitating art, I suppose.

Politics is about winning elections and the next year is going to be a long, bitter battle to Pennsylvania Avenue.  Better to get out now, preserve the resources and some dignity, and pursue national aspirations at a later date.

As we go through the next year of intense political discourse, remember that once past the bewildering fog of campaign promise, massive ego tripping and threat-provoking threatening, the president is neither king nor emperor.  This office has always borne the weight of both unjust praise and condemnation.  But whether Republican or Democrat, there truly are intentional limitations in place, restricting what this one individual can do as President, despite the claims of any candidate.

The greater lesson here, for the politically or ambitiously inclined alike: primarily, the importance of knowing thyself, remaining true to that integrity and possessing ideologically supported policy initiatives that extend beyond the commonplace, more of the same, business as usual.  To many, 2016 seems like the perfect year for a Republican candidate; the stars have aligned to anoint the great amongst us to the highest office in the land.  But much blood and many tears will be shed along the way.

I commend Gov. Walker for the good work he has done and has yet to do.  He got out this time, on his terms, and I look forward to the time when he runs for office once again.

Politics is Everything

debate-politics-440x198

“People are only exposed to what they already agree with…”  -Sen. (R-AZ) Jeff Flake (Interesting info on opposition politics)

Politics has a way of igniting passion in the human spirit.  While many will rightly cast aside such discussion as problematic, perilous and prohibitively precarious, personal devotion to an idea or belief is not so easily discarded in the name of social grace.  Individuals will still hold onto that which they deem right, albeit in deferential silence should present company warrant such a response.

Political conversations hit nerves, expose prejudice and ignorance, but they exist in order to create ideology, based upon the personal belief systems formed concerning the social and cultural.   Many folks will find that they are surrounded by the like-minded, which will only serve to reinforce, not examine or expose, preconceived ideas.  It is the hesitancy to offend in conversation, coupled with the complacency that comes with ideological comfort, that must be uprooted in order for an opinion to blossom into an informed ideology.

I have come to love, fear and respect the political world for the import that it’s dominating force has had on civilization.  This field, encompassing all others, requires that humanity, for its own survival, bring forth the wisest, most enlightened approach to life, and then impose directives by which to live onto the greater society at large.

Politics really is everything worth anything.  We only serve to dis-serve ourselves when we create socially safe zones where the mundanity of weather and traffic serve to prevent any conversational discomfort.  And in turn, a blind populace is easily manipulated.

Words and events are taken, transconfabrimated, and then delivered back to the public with fluctuating acceptance.  We live in a time when all communication can be recorded and accessed in myriad ways and yet the American populace still falls prey to the same sort of lackadaisical verification that’s evidenced in an elementary game of telephone.  Critical examination, an attribute of a vigilant electorate, is left undone.

As we continue on into the heart of political playoffs, I keep these reflective steps close to maintain nirvana politics:

– Take back the task of thought and place it upon myself.  When I hear what does not make sense, question the fact, the source and the nature of the claim.

– Recognize unsupported rhetoric in comprehendible language and thought processes, always strive to support belief with the evidence of reality.

– In politics, judgement is entirely appropriate, dare I say, essential.  Legislation and regulation that govern life will be imposed with the authority of at least one of the candidates running for any office.  Judge, judge and judge again… and base those judgements on fact.

– Restrain the certainty of principles and incorporate new information, current events while  acknowledge blinding, personal bias.  Know the reason for personal beliefs and know exactly why the opposing views run contrary.

– Read beyond the touted headline that can shield the truth from the exposure of reality.  Figure out what’s real and how things work.

We live in a divided nation.  Left and right, red and blue.  It would be dishonest for me to state that I only seek to promote involvement in politics, regardless of the chosen side.  However, the first steps in developing an ideology, and finding a candidate worth supporting, involve disseminating all of the information designed to compel the inattentive into a state of disgruntled indifference, characterized by like-minded ignoramuses existing in a fluctuating state of aggression and passivity.

“But in the end I couldn’t. For a simple reason, the same reason I left psychiatry for journalism. While science, medicine, art, poetry, architecture, chess, space, sports, number theory and all things hard and beautiful promise purity, elegance and sometimes even transcendence, they are fundamentally subordinate. In the end, they must bow to the sovereignty of politics.

Politics, the crooked timber of our communal lives, dominates everything because, in the end, everything – high and low and, most especially, high – lives or dies by politics. You can have the most advanced and efflorescent of cultures. Get your politics wrong, however, and everything stands to be swept away. This is not ancient history. This is Germany 1933… Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which lie the barbarians. Fail to keep them at bay, and everything burns.”

– Charles Krauthammer