Showing posts with label Problems in our society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Problems in our society. Show all posts

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Old Blog

Hello everyone,

I'm testing my troublesome  blogging system by reprinting an old blog.This is a repeat of an old blog of over a year ago. Since August, 2012, when it was fist published, my sentiments remain the same. Although we have had our presidential election, our national situation seems to have worsened - but whether  or not the problems I fretted about then, are a contributing factor, is a question I'd like to have answered.

                                                                       A Cynical Senior Citizen


     I’ve had all I can take.  The final straw has fallen upon my back. I’ve been beaten down beyond the point of fighting            back.  Almost.
     My problem? The news–the talk shows–the hypocrisy–the out-of-context quotes–the use of divide and conquer techniques, and the magicians’ tricks of distractions and delusions.
     Quiet a list, huh? Yet that’s what we’re being fed every day.
     Two days ago, I followed a link to an article reporting on the “lies” of a prominent politician. There were numerous quotes, each followed by a statement that this was “a lie.” There was no explanation of why that statement was labeled a lie. The truth was not explained. Therefore the politician has been branded as dishonest. Whether or not the reader believes these statements are the whole truth is not important. The tiny seed of doubt has been planted.  “Lies” has been coupled with a name.
     Recently, we have been shown that there are some very uninformed people running for public offices. People who are not even smart enough to keep their mouths closed about issues they know nothing about. And they expect to be a part of our governing establishment?  We are in deep trouble if the caliber of our potential leaders has sunk this low.
     Exactly, how do our leaders get chosen? We know that for most public offices the final choice is up to the voters–but who first supports or endorses these persons? What have they done to make them worthy of running our various governing bodies? And in today’s world of misinformation, what person wants to take the risk of having every misstep, from kindergarten forward, being publicized, exaggerated, and used as fodder for all the pundits’ high-paying shows?
     Even our heroes– our icons of accomplishments–are being destroyed. What is the point of pride in watching the gold medal awards of the Olympics only to find later the award is ruled to be undeserved?  Was it? Why this determined pursuit of winner who had followed all the rules and been declared a winner? Who appointed these judges and were they within their rights­–or was this a witch-hunt like those held centuries ago? And why is every word a sixteen-year old accomplished athlete speaks, examined so closely?
     We are facing some of the most important issues of our lifetime: How to handle our overwhelming debt; how to keep our freedom of choosing our lifestyle; how to be sure our children get a good education, and how to prepare for security in our twilight years. And to aid us in making our decisions we are facing political ads carefully crafted to influence our opinions. There are quotes from persons who may (or maynot) be qualified to judge the ability of their favored candidate–and there are our reporters, some of whom search for the truth and some who search for the scandalous.
     Last night’s late night coverage of the Republican convention seemed rather interesting until it veered off course and turned into an in-depth analysis of what was behind each sentence or why other words were not used; what was the motivation of the speaker and what was their personal agenda ––then it degenerated into a rather nasty round of accusations.  All it took was one small click and I put an end to the report.
     Despite all this, I will vote. And I will continue to fume over the pompous statements and opinions expressed by those who assume they know what is best for we ignorant peons. And I must remember, all politicians should not be painted with the same brush. Some deserve tar and feathering. Some merit a gold star.    
     When it all gets too tiresome, we need to remember our humorists from days gone by. They often spoke the truth  disguised as humor. From Mark Twain, Will Rogers and a former president, this one, attributed to Ronald Reagan, may best sum up the political game:

           “Politics is not a bad profession.
                If you succeed,
       There are many rewards
                               If you disgrace yourself,
               You can always write a book.”

Ho hum,

Yes. HO HUM.  Many of us have withdrawn from the news scene, and repeating this blog will probably accomplish nothing more than another attempt to successfully publish my blogs under this new system. Let's see what happens when I click on "publish."


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why Do They Hate

It has been less than one month since the scandalous behaviour of the Westboro church attracted public attention. Today, this group has again seized a tragic event to express their opinions in a sickeningly manner.

This group is apparently filled with hate toward many things and have chosen to express that hate in  unacceptable  behaviour of their own. Is it possible to hate everything but themselves? Apparently they hated everything about Elizabeth Edwards and her life and went so far as to assume that they were qualified to judge her state after death.

Now, with the death of six people by a shooter in Arizona, this group has the audacity to post on its website the words "Thank God for the shooter..6 dead."  Why are they saying this? What do they think this random group of people were guilty of to make their death a matter of thankfulness? How could they dare to include a 9-year old child in such a proclamation?

We need to know some facts about this church. How did such a church get established? What motivated its beliefs? Who taught this group their beliefs?  Who failed to teach them some basic rules of decency.

With the freedom of speech that our Constitution guarantees, there appears to be no ready answer to curtailing the methods these people use to express their hate other than using existing laws preventing their making a public disturbance near their targeted area of hate. We can, however, concentrate on  teaching future generations some rules of conduct. Who, among us, would want their children to be a part of such effrontery?

Combined with the tragedy of the circumstances of the shooting: the troubled shooter, his problems in school, his access to a gun, it is obvious that those in our present generation has years of dedicated work ahead of them.

 Leave your thoughts in comments below.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Tragedies of Harassment

The tragic results of harassment are becoming an almost daily news feature. My first thought was to write "extreme harassment" but whether or not the harassment appears extreme is not the same for every individual. Regardless, it appears that the instances have reached a critical stage and that, in general, people are getting aroused enough to take action.

Forerunners in coping with this problem are members of the gay community and they are now extending a helping hand to some of our troubled youth.  Sentiments on the subject are as varied as the colors on a color wheel, but think what you will, the harassment problem can be reduced to a very personal one: What kind of person do you become when your opinion or actions contribute to making a person feel so worthless or hopeless that they take their own life?

Harassment can take many forms but it is meant to hurt.  It is not all concerning gays; those in the workplace, school children, or those of various ethnic backgrounds are also targets. It can target physical appearance or lack of athletic abilities, a slow learner or the person who is brilliant. The list goes on and on.  Most of us have endured some form of mild harassment and we probably called it teasing, but teasing can be friendly or loving or it can turn into something that hurts.

A recent October posting by Michael Bratton created in my mind a very moving scene as he wrote about a harassment situation years ago in his school. His description is extremely thought provoking. What was the background of this child? Was there no one to care about her. How desperate was her situation? Could her family been living out of a car? And above all, why didn't the teacher notice more and what was the school's policy concerning needy children? The image of "Johanna" will not leave me and I wonder what eventually happened to her;  is she still living but in the same desperate condition or did some miracle occur and she has become your next door neighbor, or maybe that wealthy lady living in that ritzy house on the next street?  I hope you will follow Michael's link in the list on the right of this page... Writings of Michael B 

WHAT we can do is the question in our minds. Where is the starting point? What exactly can we do? I have always held the opinion that at some time, in some way, there is a place for each person to use their abilities to do their part. One might support a project vigorously with hard physical labor, in a quiet manner with background action, or if there were a need, perhaps financially, .  Speakers can speak out, writers can write, artists can express sentiments in moving art work, photographers will find opportunities to photograph scenes that will speak aloud.

Among us are politicians, news people, school officials and teachers, counselors...and above all,  parents who care.  Surely as capable adults with experiences in many fields, we can find a cure for this harassment epidemic.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


How many millions of dollars have you been offered in letters from Chad or Angola or some other far away country? Some of these spoke of the desperate need to get a fortune out of the country and begged for help (in form of cash) to expedite this complicated process. Another was notifying you of your fabulous luck in winning their national lottery. Of course, the taxes were your responsibility but once the money was received to cover the tax bite, the winnings were all yours. You don’t remember entering this country’s lottery? With that much free money waiting for you, does it really matter?
This week’s scheme arrived in the form of an eight page letter personalized by my name, relating my very unique abilities and charms had been discovered by some highly placed person. That there were any rare and hidden traits was a total surprise to me, as was the fact that knowledge of these traits had popped up in some stranger’s possession.
The writer was so excited for me. He had once been destitute but now was wealthy beyond description. The eight-pages continued to tell of how he had been discovered as a person like myself, with all these yet to be developed traits that created such success. After he was given a dusty old book containing the secrets to success in all ventures, all things had become possible to him. Now he was extending an offer of a reprinted copy of this book of secrets that made all these wonders possible. Free! Instructions couldn’t have been simpler. Place a check mark by your name on a form stating that you had been made aware of your possession of special and rare traits and were willing to accept a free membership in this exclusive secret association and receive a free copy of the book of secrets. There was a 3-day deadline for responding and a warning that there would be no future offers.
I read every word, hunting for the hook and line that was going to allow me to be reeled into something costly. The warning we hear often “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” was upper most in my mind.
The good ole Internet was near at hand; the book’s name was typed into Google. A long list of messages from others who had received identical letters appeared with various remarks describing their reactions and their hopes for the sender’s future.
Of course, it was “a come-on”. The information in the 68-page booklet gave no wonderful instruction. Complainants were told that the message was there but could only be absorbed by the sub-conscience. Another book to help interpret this first one could be purchased for less than $200 dollars. The hook!
Ignore these schemes. Keep your money. Toss the offers in the trash or read them to admire the various techniques used but don’t believe a word and DO NOT SEND MONEY!