People! 2014 Elections for Those who Did and Did Not Vote – We are SCREWED…

Okay, 2014 election results. Not good. Of course, it does depend on which perspective you are looking from and through which rose colored glasses you are looking through.

 It seems that people did get out and vote – that is, SOME people got out and voted. And yet again, another year where MANY eligible voters DID NOT GET OFF THEIR HINNIES AND VOTE!!

Am I ticked off, yes, I am. We, as a country, could have had much, much better results from our November 4, 2014 elections.

Now, we will continue to face horrendous voting restrictions for a great number of people, specifically where governors stated there have been many cases of voting fraud when in fact – it was not true.

We will still see many more situations where women will not have free choice with their body. And yes, say it – abortions and birth control measures. Planned Parenthood and other clinic shutdowns…

We will continue seeing K – 12 education highly screwed up – funding and quality of education – FOR ALL PEOPLE, not just the privileged, well to do and those of certain backgrounds and neighborhoods.

You do not need me to elaborate any more than that. We ‘may’ continue to see education dumbed down with no national standard. A standard ensures that if a family moves to any other state in the country, that family can be assured that their child or children can readily pick up where they left off back home, rather than going into a system where the students in the ‘new’ school district are further behind OR very far ahead of their own children.

 

Come on people, many more of you all were supposed to become more civic minded and vote. More of you should have been HIGHLY motivated to vote to change the abysmal or dismal conditions many of you find yourselves in.

But it seems that many of you DID NOT GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

This 2014 mid-term election cycle was supposed to be another catalyst for change from the way things are going in this country. We were going to work on the horrific amount of money going into all the various elections.

As you know, the amount of money going into politics has become unbelievable. The U.S. Supreme Court does not seem concerned enough to know that they may have made a mistake in sending Citizens United on with a pass and allowing virtually unlimited amounts of cash to slosh around politics via so, so many venues of open and dark money outlets.

Do not be mistaken, the average person with a decent education, job and background – that average person IS locked out of raising “a decent amount of money” to enter politics and win and be a voice for their constituents.

We will continue to see all these politicians spending so much of their time raising money for their campaigns (and lucrative war chest for AFTER they leave politics) rather than working harder for the people in their communities, districts and states.

People! You could have made an immediate impact from this point on by GETTING OUT TO VOTE – but, you did not. 

We could have started changing the sadly bad trajectory this country is on. But, instead, we now have:

  • A politician who cut taxes for the state, drastically to the point where the state is in a blood red hole – and oh yeah, the education system’s finances were gutted to stupid levels
  • Another politician who believes people should be able to take up arms against legally federalized officers of the U.S. government (kinda sounds like a Sovereign Citizen type individual instead of a clear headed politician)
  • Another politician in a southern state who implemented draconian voting restrictions
  • A politician who managed to get unions reduced to, well, nothing – no bargaining powers, no teeth to have any kind of effective negotiations for their members – all the while that state clamped down on what people can earn AND this politician has aspirational aims of someday running for president…
  • Another, sheesh, you get my drift – I could go on and on and on with other examples of politicians going back to the nation’s capital but they should have been booted out

We needed more people in office who are collaborative and willing to compromise to get things done.

And yes, we actually need to spend more money to improve things NOW instead of waiting another decade to spend the money when it is ALWAYS more prohibitively expensive to make changes and fixes.

 

There were quite a few people and organizations in this country that tried to get people out to vote and to vote with their head and what is right for the country, not just a few of the well to do or people of certain walks of life or even skin color.

But, it seems many people voted after paying more attention to rabble rousers who blatantly stoop to using a great deal of innuendo, veiled slurs and outright lies against others – just to gain YOU as a listener to their vitriolic conversations instead of truths and actual facts.

Again, yes, you can listen to whomever but PLEASE do your own research too. Listen to more and different viewpoints, different TV and radio stations – get as many DIVERSE viewpoints as you can, even if they are hard to listen to or to stomach.

Only by listening to multiple channels of information can you make an informed decision. Listening to one TV outlet or a single radical radio station or reading a niche newspaper is not the way to informed decision making.

It seems that many voted without using their own wonderful brain and critical thinking and analytical capabilities.

And, I am truly willing to bet that quite a few of those who DID deem it important enough to vote did not do their own fact checking and research. Nor did too many people (out of the eligible millions), I wager, debate things, not argue, with others around them. Debate and discuss with people who are of different make-ups, you know, different:

  • Race,
  • Age/Generation,
  • Gender,
  • Education,
  • Income brackets,
  • etc., etc., etc.

JUST others who are different and diverse from you for an open and honest debate… 

So now, well, again – WE ARE SCREWED for the next two years. That of course is just my own opinion but we, as a country, get those in office who have no head for:

  • Fairness,
  • Science,
  • Forward thinking,
  • Logic,
  • Equitable politics and
  • Getting the important things completed and not just getting the job done for those who pay the most or are the most vocal (read as extreme).

People! Take a truly critical look at who was voted into office and what they did for their states, their districts and what their endgame could be. There are many politicians who are not interested in fully representing their complete constituencies. Those politicians are really only interested in working on representing a small percentage of the total. The small percentage of the total encapsulates the highly vocal minorities and very well to do.

Many of us will be simply amazed if anything of a significant nature will get done in the next two years, after the past six years of blocking a President primarily because of his skin color.

What will happen to certain politicians if the next President is a woman…? Will you go ballistic and implode? Will you want to start the process all over again, that of taking your ball home and sulking in the corner instead of ACTUALLY WORKING on things for the future and progress of the entire country?

 

We, Americans, only gain the politicians who we vote for, that is, if you made the effort to vote and voting critically instead of selfishly.  

 

 

People! Please – Get Out and VOTE – Make a Difference…

It does not matter if you are conservative or liberal.

It does not matter if you are poor or middle income.

It does not matter if you are a high school dropout (for whatever significantly important reason you had) or a highly educated person with one or two PhD’s.

It does not matter if you are a woman, man, or teenager (of voting age).

It does not matter if you are blue, orange, black, brown or white or whatever color you are or represent.

GET OUT AND VOTE! And not just for a Presidential election but for all elections; in your community, your county and your state elections too.

Get out and vote and make a difference. If you wish to make a change in government; local, state or federal – get out and vote.

If you are disenfranchised for whatever reason, the only way change is going to happen is if you GET OUT AND VOTE!

 

If you are facing horrendous voting restrictions – get out and vote somehow and use your power of the vote to make changes for the future.

If you are facing situations where you cannot control your own destiny, your own body – get out and vote to change that situation.

If you are in a situation where education is or becoming compromised because of the way a vocal few dictates (or attempting to dictate) what you learn – get out and vote. Use YOUR knowledge and education to make a difference (check out the Colorado school district where the board wanted to, well, basically, water down our controversial and at times violent past and only teach the ‘positive’ things of the U.S.).

 

Come on people, how do we, as a community, get the vast majority of Americans (naturally born and naturalized) to become more civic minded and vote? How do we motivate you, even if you do have hardship conditions to vote in – how can we collectively get the vast amount of eligible voters to GET OUT AND VOTE?

 

If you want to change the way things are going in this country, such as the horrific amount of money going into all the various elections – GET OUT AND VOTE! The amount of money going into politics has become unimaginable. Ever since our U.S. Supreme Court saw fit, in their inestimable intelligence, to allow virtually unlimited amounts of cash to slosh around politics via so, so many venues of open and dark money outlets – it appears to be locking out the average citizen to raise money to enter politics and be a voice heard for their constituents.

Many in politics now seem to spend a great of time attempting to raise money for their campaigns rather than working harder for the people in their communities, their districts and states. That to me, seems rather a sad farce to all Americans – that many of our political leaders act out of tantrums because they cannot “always” get some issue their way.

 

People! Please, make a difference from this point on, GET OUT AND VOTE!

We need to change the sadly bad trajectory this country seems to be on. We need to make America stronger and not some divisive or fractured groups of people living in various parts of the country.

We need to bring people closer together rather than going further apart. We have too many militias who want to bring anarchy if they can. We have Sovereign Citizens who want their own strange world. We STILL HAVE Nazi wannabes in different communities of the country.

Education believe it or not will bring people together. We have to gain a society of more educated people, of all ages and eliminate all the many pockets of educational disparities. We have to bring better schools to all communities – hopefully this will stop the insane movement of self-segregation that has been occurring around the country. We were supposed to be moving forward, integrating people into all walks of life for a better future, yet we seem to be going in reverse in so many ways.

 

And vote with your head. Use your own brain and the great thoughts you have formed on your own.

Stop listening to rabble rousers who are not using facts but instead are using innuendo, veiled slurs and outright lies against others – just to gain YOU as a listener to their vitriolic conversations. Sure, you can listen to whomever but do your own research too. Listen to others of different parties, different TV and radio stations – get as many DIVERSE viewpoints as you can, even if they are hard to listen to or to stomach.

Only by listening to multiple channels of information can you make an informed decision. Listening to one TV outlet or a single radical radio station or reading a niche newspaper is not the way to informed decision making.

Listen to or watch or read: FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, Al-Jazeera, Washington Post, N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian, and several of the many news and talk show radio programs. Even if it is at times just flat out difficult.

Then do your own fact checking and research. Then, do your own critical thinking. Debate it with others around you – not just the like-minded who are the same as you (same race, same age, same educational level), but others who are diverse or different from you. I did not say foolishly argue or get into name calling but true, honest debate.

Then and only then, make an informed decision.

Because, otherwise, you “will” wind up with someone in office who has no head for: fairness, science or for equitable politics and getting the important things completed and not just getting the job done for those who pay the most or are the most vocal (read as extreme).

 

People! Do yourself and your great-grandchildren a favor.

PLEASE, GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

 

Sense & Sensibilities…? Shame!

Originally posted Oct 4, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Sense and Sensibilities Today was the day I had lined up to write about malware but with this current shutdown situation going on, I had to write about that instead – especially in light of the fact that it also affects me too.

I will not be calling out names, it is not my nature. I will not be calling out specific parties. Anyone who objectively watches, listens and reads more than one narrowly focused news outlet (TV, radio, websites & newsprint) will know what is going on. I say ‘objectively’ because too many people are not being objective about this shutdown and using emotion and religion instead. In light of this shutdown, what I really want to do is rant and use profanity so profuse that it will make the hand on the back of your hands burn off but that is not me.

Look, if you are not using your head and thinking through the daily and weekly political machinations for yourself but instead relying on one talk show personality, or radio personality or one politician who ‘may’ be distorting the truth – Shame on you. Go out and work your brain cells and verify some of that content for yourself – use that brain that nature gave you.

Gerrymandering / Re-districting We have to put a stop to gerrymandering; it just goes on getting worse and worse over time. Both political parties have got to stop that madness. I happened to be listening to the Rachel Maddow show one night this week and they were discussing the possibilities of having a professional non-partisan group work on the re-districting process, removing the bias that grows more and more over time. I like that idea, would it work? Could people in this country get behind this idea so we can have representation of all the people in that district rather than some of them?

To those people in certain congressional districts around the country, you need to think about more than yourself. You are likely in a district full of citizens that are overwhelmingly just like you but lacking any real diversity. There are many, many other people out there around the country from many different walks of life. These other people may not be like you in: == Race (we had an Indian-American woman win Miss America, so what, be happy for her), == Education (not everyone can go to college due to other issues in their lives, like caring for a seriously sick family member), == Affluence (not everyone is born into a family that had a head start in life decades ago (I’m not talking about rich)), == Political persuasion, == Religious or no religious beliefs (religion should not be playing any part in government) or even == Health (people who do not grow up in well to do families, have health problems that are not taken care of years ago) Because some people may hold a very narrow view on life, those people cannot and should not inflict that narrow view on others and try to force others to be like them. You simply cannot do that, life is not supposed to work that way – you cannot suppress and deny others as it was done centuries ago (think ‘Christian Crusades’) or even as recent as the 20th century (think ‘women’s rights,’ slavery (Chinese and Blacks). You have to consider others as well as yourself in how we live in today’s society and move forward in the 21st century. Other people may not have had the chance to obtain better education in order to get that better job and earn a better living. And when monies are taken away from some school district to finance another ‘better’ school district, you are in effect suppressing those others.

Politics So, when people in the various pockets of America think and act narrowly on things in life and transplant that to politics, those people vote for someone who also thinks narrowly. This starts moving to extremes over time, we see that today. People should be thinking long term in how we can make the country better for all American citizens, not just in those close-minded pockets of the United States. We can do better than that.

We should be looking at mechanisms that can help all of us in the long run, even if it does mean spending more money first. For example, take this Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or Kynect or Covered California or whatever it is called in your state) – this will start reducing costs immediately for reduced emergency room visits that many without insurance use for their standard health care. That is, due to not having insurance, they let medical problems become worse until they can no longer stand it and need some kind of treatment. In the meantime, in some form or fashion, the rest of us pay for those emergency room visits…

Politicians & Talking heads We seem to have quite a few politicians and talking heads who are saying that this shutdown is a good thing. Do not take my word for it; watch the repeated videos and news clippings yourself. These individuals, in talking about the shutdown are saying some of the following: == It is only a minor inconvenience == This is only a pin prick == People will see how much government we can get along without == Etc. Now, if you are paying attention to what is going on around the country, you, yourself, will know this is not a pin prick or minor inconvenience. Our embassies and consulates overseas will have to function sub-optimally if their current funds run out. Medical research is now drastically reduced. I know someone who is supposed to get married on the National Capital Mall this weekend but will now not be able to because of the shutdown. Etc., Etc., Etc. And if those people who are affected by the shutdown cannot receive pay checks due to their furlough, then the ripple effect starts and it will affect many more people around the country. These people caught up in that ripple effect will likely be someone you know – “IF” not you specifically.

To those politicians who are obstinate, close-minded and chose to force situations on people – SHAME on you.

Conclusion We can absolutely do better than what is going on with this shutdown. We are supposed to be world leaders but it seems like we are harking back to Newt Gingrich when he was supposedly snubbed by the President at the time and as a result, Gingrich (as Speaker of the House) shutdown the government in 1995. Take a look at the Daily News front page from back then of the image portraying Gingrich in a caricature of him wearing a diaper throwing a tantrum. (Jan 2012 article link with that caricature: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/01/newt-gingrich-crybaby-the-famous-daily-news-cover-explained) We need people in politics who will listen to their constituents, the well-meaning, level-headed constituents in their districts and bring those thoughts and ideas to congress. We need people in politics who are above board and honest in the message they bring back to their districts and informing their constituents of what is reality. These politicians must convey the message that their constituents cannot have everything only the way they want it.

There has to be compromise. We cannot force things on people, things like forcing: == A woman to undergo a trans-vaginal probe or == People who have voted for 50-60 years or more to get voter i.d.s to prove their identity == People to only marry the opposite sex (or become a freak show for marrying a same-sex partner)

We can do better than that. We have to. Didn’t we get women the right to vote (the hard way)? Didn’t we get blacks the right to vote (painfully)? Didn’t mixed race marriage come to pass? Didn’t we end segregation (well, this is still a work in progress due to the large number of bigots in the country)?Come on folks; let’s not allow the extreme people of the country hijack the rest of us. We should have compromise, level-headedness and better reasoning in politics. For that matter, we should have it around the globe. No one can have whatever they want, whenever they want it (that goes for the rich or the politically powerful as well).

Political parties and our future

Originally posted Aug 1, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Politics. At some point in the future, with the way things are nose diving in politics, we may wind up with a one party system for the country (maybe even one for N. American as a continent – but that is way off in the future).

So many politicians are in office nowadays primarily looking out for themselves rather than their constituents and the country. What happened along the way to get to this point where these selfish individuals want to line their pockets while in office or once they get out of office? What happened to those folks who went to Washington to do selfless work for the people of the country rather than completely toeing the party line, even if it makes no sense to them? Yet they kowtow to their party leaders, sometimes with no self-recrimination. What happened to those bold individuals who would stick up for things that were just and right, even if it did mean they were only a one term politician? But what they stick up for just may end up paving the way for new progress and improvements for those who follow them. What they do ‘might’ break the logjam that continues to hold us back from actually being the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

Is it that the allure of being in the spotlight brings out the worse candidates to public office? Or rather, maybe I should say that it brings out the worse of that candidate/political member… Or is it the allure of making buckets of money while they are in office and then after they leave office? We know that a lot of individuals go in to office with a modest bank balance but at some point along the way they seem to have millions of dollars in the bank and in investments. Is greed the factor that draws so many individuals to the highest public office now. Many individuals who should be running simply cannot afford to so, what with the steep, STEEP cost of running for office and/or remaining in office. We should not need to have candidates for president raise and spend $1,000,000,000 (billion). Neither should we be seeing candidates for mayors, governors, congress or senate now be required to raise millions of dollars for their war chest to run and compete against other candidates who might be rich or well funded. We need to somehow rejigger the methodology of how we get good and decent candidates to run for office, without all this massive amount of spending…

I favor no one party blindly but I will say that I am an independent who leans heavily to the democratic party. But, I don’t follow that party blindly just because they are democrats. So if you are of a different party that is your right, just don’t hate me or respond negatively just because of the party difference. We are supposed to be one country, one where we should be able to speak our minds – but not rabidly without commonsense and common courtesy. Be passionate but not bullheaded, stick in the mud or ostrich in the sand passionate.

We have to hear what all parties say and do “our own homework/research” to get more ground truth and complete facts. Not just one side of the story. This is what is killing us, so many people listen to just one side on a daily basis and they end up with this vicious bubble filter (actually, read Eli Pariser’s book on “The Filter Bubble ” and gain some insight from that). Then these folks stay in that filter bubble and close their minds to new, fresh, different ideas – all because they may be too unsettling for them to come across something different, even if what they come across may be more true. I would say, “to each their own” but this is too important for so many people in this country to get in and stay in those filter bubbles. It is flat out dangerous.

We have too many in the different political parties that already make it more expensive and dangerous to be involved. We have states and cities around the country that are sneaking in bills that are harmful to the people of the state. Rather than debating the topic at hand, these bill sponsors rename the bill with something esoteric and stash it in another bill and then sneak the bill in at the deadline…

Maybe we do need one party in this country, one that is for the people that treats all Americans with dignity and respect. Whether they are women, people of different races, have lower educational backgrounds – the point is, we are supposed to be helping each other, not making the “have not’s” suffer as they are. All Americans should be getting a fair shot, not because they belong to just one party (‘ours’ – not ‘theirs), because for sure if you suppress someone, you are not being fair.

Do we need to change the political party system? Because to me, this bicameral one is having far too many expensive and ineffectual issues. We have to stop all these stalemates and get things moving. We all know. sorry – I mean ‘many of us’ know that the longer we delay projects, they become more expensive. And we have to start thinking of the future, strategically and put things in place now (even if they are expensive) so we can reap the benefits and rewards down the road.

Okay, enough on this for now – I just get riled up hearing all these political fights that make no sense. Conservative or Progressive – we need to be fair and help everyone up.