Category: Politics

Worth watching

Grab a cup of coffee an watch this interview with a candidate for Congress in New York City. I worked in NYC 1984-1990 and while there spent a lot of time in Brooklyn and the Bronx. I thought when I left in 1990 I was done with reading about Trump and Guliani, which clearly was not the case, and while there I had some exposure to city political machines and I also spent a lot of time at the Fulton Fish Market (another long story). I came to love working in New York, the people, the energy, the scandals, the…life! And, for all the articles we read and hear about how today’s youth are spoiled and entitled, this interview demonstrates there are those now coming into their power who should give us all reason to hope.  It will be interesting to see how she does on the June 26th election, coming up. I know this, if I were registered in New York, of whatever party, she’d get my vote….


This Facebook Stuff

I joined Facebook years ago and never used it much. I tried to cancel my page, also years ago, and they made it so difficult I gave up, just let the site lie dormant. Then when it seemed a book was going to be published, Strong Heart, I followed the mantra of everyone, it seems, in the writing community  – get a social media presence, join Twitter, Facebook, etc….Get a web page  – this one here – and build a community. Your scribe is, he fears, old school,  a reluctant warrior, entirely unwilling to become a slave to feeding the social media beast….I spoke to a highly successful writer, who broke into the big time through a free Kindle approach and now has bestsellers, a few years ago at one of the two wtiter’s conferences I had the budget (and stomach) to attend, and after he told me he spends “only” two to three hours a day keeping up with his web page and social media messaging I felt a great cloud descend upon me. That cloud lingers, and, now this, these reveals about Facebook, how everything done here is known, how we are all just “products” and all we do is used to sell us stuff.  The article below sums up very well some of the issues facing each of us, and suggests the so called Facebook problem may be part of a much bigger agenda. It’s enough to encourage me to take deep breaths and, once again, start the arduous process of fleeing Facebook forever…

Interesting and Thoughtful Article about Democracy

The following article from Atlantic Magazine, “America is not a democracy,” is, in my opinion, a really good summary of where we stand today as regards some of the problems we face, concluding essentially that our government system has become corrupt through the lobbyist system (which used to be illegal in the 19th Century) and because we live in a highly complex society and system that demands highly educated, sophisticated, expert thinkers and decision-makers to serve as authors of legislation and regulations – skill sets that can only be found in elite groups in the current era where “elite” is a bad word. I don’t think much of the author’s ending conclusions, which appear weak, but the history and information is really good, and worth thinking about. What this author misses, as so many do these days when discussing America’s founding, is understanding that a major reason we formed a representative democracy instead of a direct democracy is because across the ocean at exactly the same time France was having their own revolution and showing the world the dangers of total direct democracy – mob rule, the guillotine, and in the end choosing an emperor for rule. These days we forget this – the reason we elected representatives instead of directly voting on bills and issues. We even had senators once removed – they were chosen by state legislatures, originally.

The return of the Dark Ages…..the end of science…

It is happening. I have feared for several years we face a time not long in the future when people will whisper back and forth that there used to be a time when society relied on the scientific method to reveal truth, rather than belief-driven and tribal-driven “facts”. As in, “Don’t repeat this but there was actually a time in human history, about 300 years,  called the Enlightenment, when people used a method of investigation – hypothesis, test, evaluate, and finding – to determine reality. Yes, really. I know, today this is blasphemy, but it is true. ”

“Fake news.” “Alternative facts.” “We will make our own reality.”

It is happening, right now, as the article attached here shows. We seem to be returning to a time of magical thinking, wishful thinking, and belief-driven “reality.,” Are punishments for blasphemy and witchcraft far behind?

Trump and Clinton spent $81M on US election Facebook ads, Russian agency $46K

This is the headline from Tech Crunch magazine, or blog, and supposedly uses as a source what a Facebook official told Congress the other day.  Is this headline accurate? So, if accurate, what percent of Russian Facebook ads was the Russian investment?  46,000 divided by 81,000,000 = .000567, or, and here I am challenging junior high math from 58 years ago, just over one-twentieth of one percent. Really? Must have been some impressive targeting for 1/20 of one percent of the total Facebook Ads taken during the election to produce the outcome.

Just sayin’…..

Trump and Clinton spent $81M on US election Facebook ads, Russian agency $46K

Something to think about….

This article raises some serious issues which very few people are speaking about, wish to speak about, or dare to speak about….Despite many valid arguments against the idea, drafting of citizens to fight in wars spreads the risk and pain throughout the population, including especially elected leaders, corporate titans, and media opinion-makers. It is impossible for me to imagine that we’d be engaged in a now-16 year war if we had a draft. The Afghanistan war won’t end soon, either. Members of the military stated just the other day before Congressional committees that we will “stabilize” Afghanistan in seven –  SEVEN – MORE years (a 23 year war?).  If the general population had to experience the consequences, instead of the extremely narrow percentage from those among us who now choose to serve and fight, for reasons of patriotism and also (sad to say)  because aggressive recruitment tells them that becoming a fighter is the best route to short term economic security , do you really think we’d still be over there?