The great conceit amongst the great unwashed (that would be us) is as follows, “If we can just get our guys elected, then everything will be Ok.”
Among the great things about the Internet is the fact that there is a site out there for everyone regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or political affiliation.
Being a retired person enables me to spend many of my days skulking the Internet from the way farthest reaches of the left to the way farthest reaches of the right and everything in between, reading the partisan nonsense that passes for thought.
I have come to the unhappy conclusion that the political parties that supposedly represent the interests of both the left and the right are rotten at their very core and neither can be trusted with the people’s business.
Further, there is no party that represents the majority of the American people, those that reside in the middle.
Liberal/Progressive Democrat types are always whining about a lack of “bipartisanship” within our elected governmental bodies. What bipartisanship of course means to your garden variety liberal/progressive type is that the right needs to agree completely with every thought they might have because they are good people and as good people they only want what is good for other people. And by extrapolation anyone who disagrees with any tenet that a liberal/progressive person might hold to must be a bad person because all liberal/progressives are good people who only want what is good for other people.
Those people who identify themselves, as Conservative Republican’s really don’t care that much about bipartisanship as they are fully convinced that the left is populated by delusional whack jobs lacking even the tiniest clue about what really works.
Each side has been able to maintain at the very least a modicum of political power and maintain their rancorous debate for the better part of a generation.
The result of course has been a decade or more of gridlock on practically any issue you can think of, with one notable exception.
The National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives by a vote of 283 to 136 having passed in the Democrat held Senate by a vote of 86-13 and was subsequently signed into law by Democrat President Barack Obama.
This bill includes a provision that enables the United States Military to arrest and hold without trial for an indefinite period of time any person the government deems to be a terrorist.
Now what you need to appreciate here is that opposition to this provision extends from the furthest reaches of the American left to the furthest reaches of the American right, from the ACLU to the Tea Party Patriots and beyond.
Test this out for yourself.
Ask anyone you know if they think it’s a good idea for the military to be able to arrest and hold indefinitely without trial an American citizen suspected of being a terrorist.
I’ve asked a raft of people, they mostly look at me like I’m an idiot to even suggest such a thing.
Yet Congress which exists to represent the will of the American people passes this bill with way majorities, and the President who ran on a promise of change signed it immediately.
In all my reading and what I find to be most interesting is that I can find no evidence that the American people's interest/concern about terror and terrorists even begins to approach that of our elected representatives.
With the exception of certain elements within the “Christian Right” who are pretty damn sure Islam is out to get 'em and in all fairness do have some evidence to support that notion, most Americans view “Terror” as an issue that pales in comparison to many other issues including jobs, healthcare, entitlements, deficits ..... you name it.
Yet both political parties remain terrorized and continue to sell “Terror” every time they seek to ...
And that is the very question you need to be asking yourself, "Just what exactly is it, that they are seeking to do?"
While we've gone through this before, this seems a good time to revisit our past and offer an explanation by way of a short history of how Just Thinking came to be.
Just Thinking enjoys two distinct constituencies. This thing began as a chain letter between a small group of friends that met and started out in life at the University of Michigan ..... or more accurately in bars near the University of Michigan. This group has grown over many years with the addition of new friends, and the subsequent partners, secretaries, associates, customers, clients, competitors, vendors, attorneys, financial professionals, bankers up the wazoo, the occasional judge, at least one ex wife (It wasn't me) and the many others that have come into our lives, during the course of our lives.
Some years ago I was sitting in my office reading one Saturday morning (as usual) while simultaneously debating something via email with Terry D. when I said, "We ought to get us a blog” Terry agreed enthusiastically saying, "Yeah. You need to get right on that."
So I did.
We already had the logo as many years ago I had decided that it probably wasn't smart to be putting some of my thinking down on the company stationary. So I spent a little money and had an associate of one of our vendors whip us up a logo. That logo will never be changed as the young man who created it died tragically right after he delivered it. There is reason to think it's the last creative work he ever completed.
I thought/think it's perfect.
The second group is made up of facebook types, of which I am one. As one would expect, this group is far more diverse in every way than the originals. In addition to Americans and Canadians of every size, shape and political affiliation, we now have close to seven hundred people who come around and visit our site in India and about that many throughout the nations of South America, along with a healthy scatterring from all over Europe and Asia. As you would expect, interests, tastes and opinions are wildly diverse, which was kind of the point.
We are probably going to open up the comments here so you no longer have to register to comment, which nobody does anyway as it seems much more fun to harangue me personally. I'll post a notice when it happens.
While I continue to whine about it I do appreciate and read all the emailed commentary and ideas. I am pleased to say that I have yet to fail to read a single message although I'm starting to bump up against thresholds.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year.
And please remember the immortal words of Sargeant Phillip Esterhaus.
That's still good advice.
We're going to be slowed down a bit over the next couple of weeks as I have agreed to take on kind of an open ended project and will be resetting up my setup yet again.
The minions as usual are a lot like the cops ... never around when you need em.
I was and am a Frazier guy.
Muhammad Ali may well be the greatest of all time, but Joe Frazier is the one true hero of my life.
I decided that I had something more important to do and passed on the field trip with F Troop to Cobo Hall for the closed circuit presentation of the "Thrilla in Manila".
Then I couldn't stand it and went down alone in order to get scalped at the door like you wouldn't believe.
I sat there on the edge of my seat along with the rest of the building completely astonished at the magnificent courage of these two men.
When Eddy Futch threw in the towel on the 15th round I had tears in my eyes.
I have tears in my eyes sitting here now just thinking about it some 35 years later.
People, mostly women but the occasional man as well, will sit there and tell each other, "Boxing is stupid. Look what it did to Ali."
Usually I mostly agree.
Boxing is stupid.
The UFC is stupid.
Hell, football is stupid.
If played at the highest levels, football takes years off a life and invariably negatively impacts to a greater or lesser degree the quality of the life that remains after football.
Except ....... and what these people can't possibly even begin to understand ..... there are few things in this life that bless like having stared into the mouth of the cannon, whatever that cannon might be ..... and lived.
For Joe Frazier, that cannon was Muhammad Ali, and for Muhammad Ali that cannon was Joe Frazier.
And for each, that was one big damn terrible M&%^#$ F*#$^% of a cannon (French, I beg your pardon).
One of the greatest exchanges in the history of sports occured somewhere in the middle rounds of this fight as Joe Frazier having been pounded early is now up in Ali's grill doing some pounding of his own.
Ali, "Old Joe Frazier, they told me you were washed up"
Frazier, "They told you wrong pretty boy."
Joe Frazier can no longer tell you having succombed to cancer last night at age 67, but Ali while he can no longer form the words has and will tell you straight out in whatever fashion he is able, that what boxing and Joe Frazier did to him can't even begin to detract from what boxing and Joe Frazier did for him.
"I always bring out the best in the men I fight, but Joe Frazier, I'll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I'm gonna tell ya, that's one helluva man, and God bless him."
Rest in peace tough guy.
Click on the photo above for the Mark Kram account of the Thrilla in Manila which is widely and rightfully acclaimed as one of the 20th century's greatest examples of sports journalism.
Seriously great writing even if you hate boxing.
Sheila P. messaged me straight out of left field or God's country depending on your point of view something to the effect that you don't want an airplane for Christmas, what you want is a horse.
Well ..... Ok ... not necessarily at this moment but yeah, most of the time.
Then she said, "You only post cutting horse video's. Why don't you put up a reining video?"
I can do that.
Here is Shawn Flarida and the great Wimpy's Little Chic, the National Reining Horse Association's all time leading money earner with $514,800, winning the 2007 NRHA Open Futurity.
Who, if she could be bought at all, might start at auction on the low side at about the price of that seaplane.
We've been having just the best time enjoying the haters on both the left and the right as they attempt to either dismiss or insert themselves into the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The trolls, media and politicians of the right religiously pursue the most cliche' ridden and ditziest possible occupiers for their film crews and interviews in an effort to portray the occupation as a gaggle of stupid, lazy, foul smelling, ner-do-well, hippy socialists.
The trolls, media and politicians of the left in a cynical attempt to ride it into electoral glory and in so doing provide themselves with yet another opportunity to plunder America for still one more election cycle, are now seeking to portray themselves as part of and ingratiate themselves into a movement that has correctly identified those very people to be a significant part of the problem.
Both will fail.
To quote anonymous,
"The abuse of corporations, banks and governments ends here."