Monday, February 20, 2012

Politics Rant - The Curse of a Nation

Politics!

   Poly from the Latin for many; and Tick a common parasitic blood-sucking insect.

   Politics: Many Blood-Sucking Parasites. Boy, if ever there was an appropriate term for politicians!

   I think that I speak for tens of people when I say that the political season (that point in time when men and women vie for political office so that they can "Help" our nation to become stronger and their bank accounts to become bigger) is a real pain in the arse!

   We suffer through the television commercials where each candidate proclaims themselves to be better than their wife beating, child molesting, money grubbing, porn watching, drunkard opponent. Then we are subject to the irritating telephone calls at all hours asking us to participate in a 30 second poll about who we will vote for and why.

   This ad, proclaims every candidate, was approved by me except in the case where it may be too controversial or harsh, then it wasn't approved by me and must be the work of my slime-ball opponent.

   This nation is in the throes of such a season even as we speak (read). The Republican Party is trying to find a candidate who will have a chance to defeat our current Democratic President in the November elections.

   Here is my take on the contenders:

Mitt Romney: Big business proponent. Rich. Seems to know what he is doing but hasn't yet stated a clear and concise agenda to the American people. To me, he's just too slick. Reminds me of a high pressure used car salesman. Tries too hard to look like the common man but fails. Would probably do a fair job helping the economy but is seen a one dimensional.

Rick Santorum: Younger than Romney and has a lot of good ideas. Comes across as squeaky-clean so obviously he must be hiding something. Currently a US Senator so he has some time in Washington DC under his belt. Probably wouldn't be too bad as President.

Newt Gingrich: Washington insider. Former Speaker of the House under Ronald Reagan. Seems to have a good idea of how to do things once he is elected President but doesn't have a clue how to get from here to there. Seems to go through a lot of wives and girlfriends, not that it matters.

Ron Paul: Medical Doctor. Very pragmatic. Looks at a problem and can come up with a workable solution. Scatterbrained though. Just once during one of the televised debates would I like to hear him answer a question without having his train of thought derailed. Can't seem to stay on track. Don't know if I'd want him as my doctor, let alone as President.





   In my opinion our President, Barak Obama, has failed us as a nation (Of course your opinion may vary). He ran on a platform of "Change". "It's time for a change", he said, and we believed him. We DO have change. At the end of the week, "change" is all we have in our pockets. He changed this country from being a world leader to one that is just barely hanging on, financially. Jobs are down, unemployment is up, the country's credit rating is down, the National Debt is up. Our Armed Forces are shrinking and our National Security is in doubt. We have a haphazard foreign policy. No other country knows what they can expect from us in an emergency.

   Sure, he was president when Osama Bin Laden was killed but he didn't track him down and pull the trigger his own self. Others did that, he was just President and took the credit. I look for him to take credit for this during his upcoming campaign. I'll be really surprised if he doesn't. It seems to be the only high point of his term as President.

   Who would I like to see as our next President? Honestly, I don't know. I'll probably vote for the Republican candidate just because we need a change from the "Change".

   Folks say that they don't want a "Washington Insider" in the White House, but look what a Washington "Outsider" has done in the last 3.2 years. Can we take another four years of this? Like President Reagan asked: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" No. I don't think we are.

   We send billions of dollars to China as foreign aid then turn around and borrow it back from them with interest. We export a big percentage of US oil to other countries and pay big bucks to buy foreign oil at the pumps here in the U.S.. What's wrong with this picture? We should be keeping our foreign aid until we no longer need aid at home. Foreign aid should be doled out to those countries that need it but only when we receive an annual report (with proof) of how that country spent what we gave them during the previous year, and then ONLY if it is deemed that it is truly needed. We should be buying and using U.S. oil instead of importing from OPEC. We have enough domestic oil reserves to last us another 250 years or more!

   It's frustrating and headache-making to even consider the twists and turns of politics and the convoluted workings of a national government. Many things just don't seem to make sense. I guess that Common Sense just isn't that common anymore.

   "If the cat could talk what tales he'd tell, about Della and the Dealer and the dog, as well. But the cat was cool and he never said a mumblin' word." .... Hoyt Axton

As The Geezer I believe that we no longer need a cool cat in the White House. We need someone who will run the country without running the country into the ground.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Walking it Off

   Back in the olden days before the turn of the century I was a kid. To me, it was like yesterday. According to the calendar it was more like fifty years ago.

   I remember participating in school sports while in Junior and Senior High School. I'd like to be able to say that I was the star quarterback or the team captain or some such nonsense but I was just playing sports as part of your everyday average Physical Education class.  We'd play flag football or basketball or whatever else was in season.

   Even though this was your mundane school sports class eventually someone would get a sprained ankle or slip and scuff a knee. The reply from the "Coach" was, "Walk it off".

   Walk it off. This magical phrase was the best advice I ever learned in any school that I ever attended.

   As we walked it off we discovered that whatever it was that we had complained of was magically receding into our memory and that our 'injury' wasn't as dire as we had first imagined.

   Memory is a wonderful thing. You can remember what your first kiss felt like. You can remember the smell of the smoke form your first campfire. You can remember the taste of the best meal you've ever eaten but did you know that you can't remember pain? You can remember that you had some pain at some location on your body but you can not, through memory, re-experience or 'remember' that pain in all of it's severity, no matter how hard you try.

   Pretty cool, huh? Once you live through a certain pain you are secure in the knowledge that you can survive it again if you have to. If this were not the case, we would all be an only child. Moms just walk it off.

   Life often throws us some real curve balls. Injuries to body and mind that are severe enough to cripple us for years or even a lifetime. Physical injuries are sometimes so severe that they will often leave a person immobile for a lifetime, yet we see and hear of the most amazing people who overcome even this severe an injury.

   Emotional injuries are invisible to the naked eye but can be the most debilitating to a person. The death of a loved one, living through a traumatic event or witnessing a horrible tragedy can sometimes lead to this type of injury. 

   We hear of Military combat veterans who come home with the emotional scars incurred in battle. I have friends who came home from Viet Nam who have suffered from this kind of injury. The survivors learn to walk it off. Sadly, some never learn to do this.

   I am inspired by a person that I know on an online forum that I attend. He goes by the handle of "One Legged Josh". Josh has one leg. I don't know the details of how he lost his leg and I won't pry, but he sure doesn't let the loss slow him down. He attacks life and is more active than I was at his age. Josh has walked it off, with one-legged style.

   Walking it off seems a simple remedy to life's pressing problems and it is, in most cases, just that simple. We are faced with setbacks on a daily basis. Professional, personal, emotional and physical challenges face us all. We can't go back in time to prevent the bad things from happening to us.

   We shouldn't dwell on what we could have done to avoid these bad things or worry about how we could have better prepared for life's little stumbling blocks. All we can do is go forward and try not to make the same missteps we did in the past.

   We can't go back so we must go forward. We have to work with what we're given or what we have left. In the event of a physical injury, take stock of what you have left to work with. Find out how to overcome that limitation, whether it be something minor or even more debilitating, walk it off and move forward with your life.

   If you have suffered a mental setback, do what you must to put the past behind you and move on with your life. Mental injuries are difficult for a lot of folks to deal with. Learn to compartmentalize. Ask a mental health professional what this means and learn how to do it. It works! Walk it off!

   Being a Geezer means that I have a lot of baggage but I have learned to travel light. Bad memories go into one room in my mind to be revisited at my leisure for when I'm in the mood to feel sorry for myself. Physical ailments plague me every day but I deal with them as they arise. Walking it off is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

   Take it from The Geezer, when you have a hurdle to cross or an ailment to overcome, remember:  Walk it off.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What the Heck is Going On Here?

   I went to the cinema a few days ago and saw the film Red Tails. Not a bad flick but I honestly expected a bit more. While there I saw a poster for an upcoming movie: "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter"!

   I couldn't believe it. I went home and Googled it. It turns out that Abe's mother was killed by a vampire (The things that get left out of the history books!) and Abe spends the rest of his life hunting them down. He apparently does this in his spare time while working as a Lawyer and later as President of the U.S.A., fighting the Civil War and freeing the slaves. Abe was a busy guy.

   Now, I am ready to suspend my disbelief for a couple of hours for a film but this just rankles beyond reason. I promise you that after this film is shown there will be more than one teen aged idiot who will actually believe that Abraham Lincoln hunted vampires in his spare time. A sad commentary, but very likely to happen!

   I know this because after I watched the film "Inglourius Basterds" I overheard a grown woman remark, "I thought that Hitler committed suicide at the end of the war. I never knew that he was killed in a movie theater by a Jewish girl". This was from a grown WOMAN! Someone who actually knew better but was convinced by this film that what she had learned in school was all wrong!

   I wish that filmmakers would not screw with history. There's way too many semi-educated people out there who will totally believe them.

   There are already too many people that believe that the Holocaust was all Zionist propaganda and that the U.S. didn't actually land men on the moon but filmed the event in a studio in the desert and that the Great Pyramids are actually landing ports for UFOs. (Bigfoot is real, but that's another post).

   Mark my words: There will come a time when the majority of the population will believe crap like this and sane individuals (like me and maybe you) will have to steel ourselves whenever we enter into a conversation with a New Age airhead whose main sources of information are the movie theater, television and the Internet.

   The next time you hear someone mindlessly babbling on about so-called "Facts" that you KNOW aren't true, ask them to tell you what were the last three books they read. This will give you an accurate assessment of what's going on in his/her head. If the books are only available in soft cover or include cartoon pictures or include the words "New Age" or "The Real Truth About..." just turn and walk away. Mark them as a lost cause. Listening to them will only cause you to develop a brain hemorrhage or maybe, if you're lucky only your ears will begin to bleed.

    We live in a free country and everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion but really! If the entertainment industry keeps throwing crap at us like a bored monkey in a zoo we'll soon be buried under so much of the stuff that we won't know which way is up.

   As a Geezer I have to hope that the generation following mine is a whole is smarter than I currently believe them to be. But they're probably not...