Since I started my business and launched this site, I’ve made it a rule to refrain from discussing politics in this forum. It’s not that I fear voicing my opinion on controversial issues — just scroll through the archives and you will see that’s hardly the case. I just don’t think it’s appropriate.
But with Election Day looming — and two of the worst candidates in U.S. history seeking the single most important job in the world — I am officially diving head first into the cesspool otherwise known as presidential politics.
Unfortunately it’s too late to nominate my cat for president — but maybe I can organize a write-in campaign. Or maybe not.
But one thing’s for sure. It would definitely be worth a try… And no, I am not a crazy cat lady. There’s definitely a precedence for this.
According to a recent article on wthnh.com, a cat from Kentucky named Limberbutt McCubbins is “is officially registered to run as a democratic candidate for this year’s presidential race.” And apparently McCubbins has some competition — from a Louisiana crawfish named Crawfish B. Crawfish.
I kid you not. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Apparently, at least five other animals of varying species have sought public office over the years. And some of the bids have been successful.
Maybe Eli will join them someday. Maybe he won’t. But in any case, I think he’s content with the titles he already holds. You see around here, Eli is also known Sir Sheds A Lot, slayer of mice and guardian of the realm.
It’s been less than a week since alleged Dallas gunman Micah Johnson killed five police officers and injured seven in a hate-fueled rampage.
I’ve heard some people are angry because they don’t think some of you’ve said enough about the tragedy. Personally I think you’ve all said too much. And every time you open your mouths, things get even worse.
So please do me a huge favor. Just be quiet.
The immediate aftermath of a national tragedy is not the time to promote your personal and political agendas. Please show some respect. Give the victims’ families the time and space they need to grieve before you start pontificating about racism, gun control or any other relevant issue. There will be plenty of time to talk about that later.
Please remember that it’s not always about you — and that most of us couldn’t really care less about what you think.
“Our interest is staying out of the politics of the moment, and not to provide photo ops,” Bratton said. “If Mr. Trump wants to speak to me, I would be happy to brief him on what we’re doing. If Sen. Clinton wants to speak to me, I would very happy to brief her on what we’re doing. But we are not in the business of providing photo ops for our candidates.”
Perhaps you should all take the hint.
But if or when another tragedy befalls us and you feel compelled to say something about it, please consider the following suggestion:
My fellow Americans,
In the wake of the tragedy that has befallen our nation, it is understandable that you should seek comfort and reassurance from your elected leaders. Please know that we are monitoring the situation and will do everything within our power to ensure the safety and security of all of our citizens.
Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are refraining from any comments about the incident itself at this time. We respectfully request that the media directs questions to the appropriate authorities. We also request that the media respects the victims’ families need for privacy….
Thank you for your time and consideration with regards to this matter.
As I write this, most of you are no doubt counting the hours until the long holiday weekend. I am sure you are preoccupied with travel plans and dreading the drive to the beach or the lake or the mountains. I am sure you are looking forward to hanging out with family and friends. I have no doubt you are also looking forward to pool parties, parades, barbecues, and fireworks.
As I write this, I am pondering the wisdom of writing a “political” blog on my business site, especially given the political climate in the United States these days. To do so would be professional suicide.
So it’s a good thing this has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It has to do with us.
You see the true measure of American greatness has nothing to do with Donald Trump — or Hillary Clinton, for that matter. It has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders or anyone else who wants to be president. It has nothing to do with who is in the White House or who is in Congress or who is in charge of each state.
It has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats, or liberals or conservatives. It doesn’t matter if our leaders are progressives or populists. It has nothing to do any political label or political philosophy.
The true measure of American greatness lies in its people. It lies in each and every one of us. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care to admit it or not.
We The People Of The United States…
The undeniable link between American greatness and its people can be traced through history. In fact, it can be traced to a time before the United States as we know it even existed.
It can be traced back to the time when a bunch of colonists, fed up with British tyranny and oppression, decided to do something about it. They decided to fight back.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (emphasis added), — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People (emphasis added) to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
A similar sentiment is conveyed in the Preamble to our Constitution, which reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Note how these documents are written. They do not begin with “We, the leaders of the United States of America.” Nor do they say anything about “we, the politicians of the United States of America.”
Gee, I wonder why?
Together, We Can Make America Great Again
But seriously, putting all sarcasm and snarfiness aside, what does this really mean?
In the simplest terms, it means that as Americans we are in charge of our own destiny. It also means that our future will be shaped not by the decisions our leaders make, but the key decisions we all make every day. They are:
How to react to hateful political rhetoric
Whether to embrace politicians that engage in hateful rhetoric
How to handle our political differences
Whether to let those differences tear us apart
How to regard compromise (as a sign of strength or weakness)
How to react to the things we don’t understand
How to react to the things that scare us
How to handle disagreements
How to express ourselves
Whether to exercise our right to vote
Whether to do our due diligence so we are fully informed when we cast our ballots
Whether to let the mainstream media, educators and pop culture dictate what we think
Whether to let others dictate how we behave
When all is said and done, what we choose to do determines not only how others view us, but how we see ourselves. After all, it is easy to blame our leaders for everything that is wrong with our country. It is much harder to look in the mirror.
Dateline — Greenwich, Conn. As I write this, a winter storm is raging.
Howling wind. Freezing rain. Sleet. Ice. Snow. You name it, we’ve got it. Or we’re going to get it before the day is over. And then I will spend my birthday cleaning up the mess.
For now I am safe and warm and dry. In fact, I am tucked up on the couch with my favorite fuzzy green blanket and laptop for warmth. The TV is on in the background, providing me with the details from the third Premier League football match of the day. Across the Pond, West Ham is leading Manchester City, 2-1, but I’m hardly invested in the outcome. I’ve got other stuff on my mind.
It suddenly dawned on me while channel surfing between games that there ought to be a law on days like this. Make that several. First of all, there ought to be a law against extensive TV storm coverage. We get it. It’s snowing. It’s windy. It’s cold. Newsflash: it’s winter.
There ought to be a law against any politicians commenting on a storm. What in God’s name do you have to say that we don’t already know? Personally, if I want to know about the weather, I can look out the window. Peering through the glass, I can also tell if the roads have been plowed, or if my neighborhood has been affected by a power outage. Based on personal observation, I can also make an educated guess about storm impacts on local, regional and national transportation. Believe it or not, I can rely on common sense to decide whether or not it’s safe to travel.
There ought to be a law against snowplows shoving all the ice, sleet, slush and snow into private driveways. I don’t care where you put it. If you can’t think of an alternate location, I’ve got a few suggestions…
There ought to be a law against idiots in sports utility vehicles, or any 4-wheel drive vehicles for that matter. Just because you’ve allegedly got better traction doesn’t mean you can stop on a dime in slippery conditions. In case you haven’t figured it out, the added height of most SUVs equals a higher center of gravity. Turn that steering wheel abruptly at an unsafe speed and I guarantee you will flip your SUV or end up in a ditch.
There ought to be a law against rude and inconsiderate behavior. Calm down. Relax. It’s just another winter storm. It is not the end of the world. Or is it?
“Censorship generally is the deletion of speech or any communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a body authorized to censor.”
Apparently some Russian government-types have been burning some “undesirable” books.
Given the heinous and egregious nature of this conduct, I am sure the Russians would have been happy if this remained a closely guarded secret. Unfortunately (for the alleged offenders) some American media outlets discovered and published accounts of this disgusting behavior.
I found out about it when goodreads.com shared a link to the post on Twitter. Ain’t social media grand?
At any rate, I banged off a snippy response, which was something to the effect of, “And this comes as a surprise?” Not surprisingly, that Tweet didn’t amount to much.
But in all honesty, I wasn’t surprised. Angry? Yes. Disgusted? Of course. Sickened? Absolutely. Flabbergasted, gob-smacked, astonished, taken aback? No. Not at all.
Of course government censorship is alive and well. Let’s face it. In Russia, where Vlad Putin does whatever he wants with impunity, it probably never died. But what you may not realize – or simply refuse to admit – is that censorship is practiced with alarming frequency right here in the good old USA.
The restrictions on freedom of expression to which I am referring go far beyond rules and regulations put in place to limit potential exposure to “offensive” material and to hold those who engage in hateful rhetoric accountable for their actions.
I am referring to the vast majority of the censorship that occurs in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, which is condoned if not officially sanctioned by the politically correct crowd in the government and elsewhere. In an effort to combat the ignorant, misguided and hateful behavior of a vocal minority, the “polite police” are running amok.
Yes, some censorship is blatant. Some is passive-aggressive. Trust me. I speak from personal experience.
You see, I am the award-winning author of what could be considered a somewhat controversial book. In my memoir, Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey, I share how I met, fell in love with and married the man of my dreams. In vivid detail, I recount how I learned that he self-identified as and planned on having surgery to “become” a woman. I also share what happened after I learned the truth.
Some readers have loved my work. Some have hated it. Most have expressed their opinions in no uncertain terms — which is fine. I have very broad shoulders. There was only one occasion when I was truly insulted, and that was when a local library official told me they’d probably never shelf my book because readers here are “very conservative.”
I wonder what they’ll do if Caitlyn Jenner writes a book.
So here’s the official disclaimer: I am not “pro gun.” I don’t even like guns…
They scare me. I’ve never even touched one (unless you count the toy cap guns and water pistols I played with when I was little). The thought of ordinary, law-abiding citizens having access to, much less toting assault rifles and similar firearms makes me sick. That they’re seemingly the weapons of choice for all manner of criminals, terrorists and other “bad guys” is an issue I will touch on later. For now all you need to know is that absolutely no one outside of the military, para-military organizations (law enforcement) and similar groups needs or should have any access to those types of weapons. Period.
Having said that, I am not a “gun grabber,” either. I fully respect and support the right to bear arms afforded to Americans under the Second Amendment. I believe that most law-abiding citizens who have guns believe and engage in responsible gun ownership. I also believe that any laws aimed at restricting access to certain types of firearms – or limiting gun ownership in general – will always backfire. Ultimately these well-intentioned but deeply misguided laws will result in more criminal activity and more violence – not less.
The simple reason for this is one that President Obama and the rest of the gun control gang fail to realize: Laws only matter to those of us who choose to follow them.
Does anyone honestly believe that criminals will be deterred by tougher gun laws? If anything, organized crime groups, gangs, terrorists and their cronies welcome them. Think about it. It’s a simple question of supply and demand. Less or stricter access to “legal” firearms will create an even more lucrative black market. Unfortunately for the general public, the rush to claim the lion’s share of the revenue generated from illegal arms sales could easily result in more competition among certain people who couldn’t care less about who gets caught in the crossfire.
If you don’t believe me, all you have to do is find a U.S. History book and turn to the section on Prohibition…
Then there’s the matter of mass shootings. In their wake, much is made about how the perpetrator obtained his or her weapon(s). While it is largely a moot point, those who call for new gun laws claim stricter rules will reduce public access to the types of weapons used in the course of these tragic events. In a perfect world, that would be true. But we all know this world is far from perfect. Does anyone honestly think that someone desperate or angry or crazy or determined enough to commit an act of terrorism or a mass shooting is all that concerned about the law? If someone is truly hell-bent on committing such a heinous act, he or she will use any means necessary to do so.
So President Obama can weep and stomp his feet, gnash his teeth and threaten to take executive action on the issue as much as he would like, while the rest of the gun control gang sings his praises.