Dems & Weed…

Rachel Lu writes a piece today titled “Why America will regret legalizing marijuana” and the first paragraph reads as follows:

The Democrats have a new moral crusade.  It’s youth-oriented and free of identity politics.  It’s got nothing to do with Trump, or Russia.  Today’s Democrats are fighting for your right to get baked.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has brought the Marijuana Justice Act to the party.  This, if passed, would decriminalize marijuana and also expunge earlier marijuana-related convictions.  Light up and enjoy without any law to thwart your fun.  He is part of a Democrat group that touts the economic and moral benefits that will flow from his proposed law.

Lu then goes on to help us all see this is not just a Democrat issue these days.  She reminds us that President Trump has declared his willingness to protect states that have legalized pot.  John Boehner, a former Republican House member who decried marijuana then, now sits on the Board of a company that markets cannabis.  Of course, the Colorado marijuana market that is now measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars in just the first 5 years is also mentioned.  Failure to mention the fact that in five years Colorado has seen the proliferation of ‘dispensaries’, a huge increase in pot ‘tourism’ and the growing numbers of homeless addicts.

Politicians can see where this all is going and they have never refused to climb aboard any vehicle that means more votes before this, and are unlikely to begin now.  Proponents point to the tens of thousands of jobs that have sprung up in Colorado as further ‘proof’ of why we have to get onboard before this train has left the station.

A solid majority of Americans now support the legalization of Marijuana.  The younger voters are very supportive and the politicos are not too keen on blowing up that marketplace consisting of more and more votes.

Our society today struggles with holding down jobs, maintaining healthy living habits, managing personal relationships and handling money capably.  The numbers of young marrieds are falling.  Given this backdrop, we find Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer using lines like ‘using pot doesn’t hurt anyone else’ or extolling the virtues of legalization in Colorado and Washinton states.  He seems to be unaware of Colorado’s significant increase in automobile accidents since pot became legal.

We are occasional visitors to Colorado and, given that, we see effects maybe more quickly than some residents might.  Especially if those residents benefit somehow from the legalization of Marijuana without thinking of the negative consequences it has on users and, then, on the citizens who have to deal with the potheads and the residue left behind.  The additional revenue may be nice, but the price that has for residents is not being taken into account sufficiently.

History tells us that as we increase the availability of opioids, the issues become magnified.  This is not some secret that has only recently surfaced.  There is little to indicate that this will not follow in the world of marijuana users especially when that doesn’t fill the need of the addict any longer and causes them to graduate to something stronger.

And those matriculation ceremonies happen every day in varying numbers of people who make that next move and forsake any hope they might’ve had at one time of being a normal, productive member of society.

Rachel Lu concluded her piece with this:

Here’s another lesson from the opioids.  When indigent populations are suffering, the rest of the nation can be awfully slow to notice.  Many thousands had died of opium overdoses before America started to consider that it had a bit of a drug problem. That’s not going to happen with pot, which is far less likely to kill you.  But if it took thousands to persuade authorities that OxyContin was a problem, how much havoc would marijuana have to wreak on indigent citizens and families before anyone would bother to reconsider the wisdom of legalization?  How many kids will have to be removed from their families because their addicted parents can’t quite get around to feeding them or taking them to school?  How many young adults will watch social lives and career plans disappear into the vortex of addiction, while their parents watch despondently?  These sorts of cases might not appear on Schumer’s radar, because he’s more interested in courting young voters and securing state revenues.  It’s these kinds of cases that should remind us, though, that there’s no such thing as a victimless, self-destructive habit.  Innocent people always get hurt.

 

Gowdy vs. Comey…

Fox’s Tucker Carlson interviewed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Thursday evening and got a different take on former FBI Director James Comey’s version of the truth, “all but calling him a liar” in the process of the interview about Comey being fired by President Trump.

Gowdy is one of my favorite Republicans and one of my favorite Congressmen.  As a former federal prosecutor, Gowdy has a certain sense about him that we might call a ‘falsehood sniffer’ (BS sniffer might also fit).  He senses when things aren’t quite being presented in total context and calls people out for playing those kinds of word games.

Among the things that provoked Gowdy was the denial that he, Comey, had engaged in “leaking” when he gave information in the form of memos he had written about his meetings with President Trump to a friend in order to have them published in The New York Times.  Gowdy told Tucker Carlson…

“the other thing that I will tell you, Tucker, that I learned tonight is Jim Comey has a definition of the word ‘leak’ that no one else has.  What he says is a leak is what the rest of us call a felony, Gowdy said.  Leaking is disclosing a confidential conversation which is exactly what he did.” 

Gowdy’s experience as a federal prosecutor puts him in a different league than most members of the House, and in a different league so far as being bamboozled (my term) by Comey’s pontifications.  While Comey has some allies with whom he can apparently be the schmoozer-in-chief, that does not seem to work well with Rep. Gowdey who has played hardball in that league before sitting in the House.

All this goes along in the world of “The Swamp”, the District of Columbia, where people seem to breathe a rarified air that makes lying okay if done with good intent, as that good intent is defined by the perpetrator.  Were you or I to make such statements, we would be assailed as we ought to be assailed.  If, however, a member of the Swamp Society who is held in good graces by the right people decides to lie about a few things or disclose things that were to be held in confidence, that ought not to be cause for any concern even though it adversely affects one or more innocent people.

The first real concern I have, and that I think is shared by many, is the simple fact that there are more people who gullibly consume this garbage as fact than anyone can count…and these people all have the same weight to their votes that you and I have to our votes.

Another real concern I have is that this is accepted as proper practice by the members of one political party.  That party has more skeletons in its proverbial closet than the other party has closets.  I also will continue to believe that the people in the conservative world of politics are significantly more capable of being discerning than are the members of the other political party, the people of the liberal persuasion. I am certain many will disagree.

All this misapplication/misappropriation of printer’s ink and TV airtime acts in collusion with the liberal element in our U.S. political world.  That is why it is so very important for conservatives to voice their opinions, and to do so repeatedly.  I have to constantly remind myself that members of the liberal persuasion are simply seeing things through their distorted lenses and are, for the very most part, really good caring people.

There are many shades of right and many shades of wrong in politics today; that is not any different than it was yesterday but the wrong message has been fed along with government largess to many who consequently do not give any real thought to for whom they’ll vote next election.  They get from one political party and they, therefore, vote for that party.  If that is to change, we have generations of changes to be made…and we are playing against a very tough opponent.

Redistribution of OPM is magic.  Other People’s Money!

Good Deeds & Blogging for Dummies

I picked up the library copy of Blogging for Dummies, thinking it might still be a little too deep for me, and then took an older lady and her husband to a medical appointment which was very beneficial, both for her and for me.  A point for those who know me well; I know that at age 76, I must be hanging around with people considerably older if I refer to them as older than me.  Point taken.

The waiting room was filled and the rate of patient reduction seemed stagnant for a good while, so I read my book Blogging for Dummies while trying to obscure the cover so that others in the waiting room wouldn’t knowingly look at me and sort of give me that sad and sympathetic head-shake and wonder why I was not in the waiting room of another kind of physician awaiting my turn at the counseling trough.

First, I think the _____ for Dummies realm is a real goldmine.  And, I think for those of us who can overcome pride and ego, there is a good deal to be learned from those experts who try their best to make some of this lingo translate into information even I can use; hence the “for Dummies” title.  I now know, for example, that my current accumulation of knowledge on the whole Blogging thing is pitifully lightweight; so, I’ll dig deeper and deeper hoping the words don’t keep getting bigger and bigger as well as simply more difficult to interpret.

I am using one of the top three or four blogging software packages, by benevolent accident I might add, that were designed to accommodate people like me who were tech novices and who thought they might have knowledge accumulated that ought to be made available to others…hence the blogging idea.  I have learned already that I am using one of the better host packages, as I said, which was comforting and that I am not quite as erudite on the topic of blogging as I might’ve hoped.

If you follow my blogs, you know that I usually publish a blog a day six days a week.  Now I learn that there are bloggers who publish double-digit multiple times per week.  I suspect their blogs are more snippets than tomes, but still, they have come up with the subject matter to fill spaces.  Those bloggers also have cultivated an active cadre of commenters; and, I don’t know which came first, but probably the hungry audience.

I learned that there are very successful bloggers who are posting multiple times per day albeit posting shorter snippets.  Many intersperse their words with pictures, charts, graphs, etc. which is not what I had wanted to do when I began blogging.  I learned that bloggers can be more effective if they encourage back-and-forth give-and-take with readers interacting.

I learned that I am using what to most would be one of the top three blogging tools (WordPress) as my hosting site, as mentioned above, and that there are a couple of others that I might want to explore a bit given added/different features.  I think, for example, that one of the other two in the top three would’ve permitted me to have avoided a problem I encountered two or three days ago.  Time will tell.

The idea of advertising on blogs is, of course, intriguing if I thought it could be done in good taste without me looking like nothing more than a money-grubbing blogger who is in it for a buck rather than because he is driven to write.  It would be great if the Blogs were self-supporting.  I also learned that bloggers with active commenters engaging in back-and-forth banter/commentary typically have higher levels of readership blog-for-blog.   I suspect that content would be critical in that area, so I am not overly concerned with my reader counts since they continue to improve regularly.

Finally, I was pleased to see a section devoted to blogging in the business world and to learn that those blogs often surpass regular blogs in terms of viewership.  I do some of that kind of thing and may think of additional clients provided I do not water down my available time and ideas for actual current clients.  Baby steps rather than giant leaps in this arena.  But it does pay off on both ends: the blogger and the client firm both benefit.

As always, your thoughts will be appreciated.  Leave a comment with an e-mail address or send an e-mail to alc@stonezephyr.com to reach me directly.  I suspect there may be a StoneZephyr blog in the not-distant-future since I learned there are a number of multiple blog bloggers working today.  I’ve had that site for some time but not made use of it other than as the source of an e-mail account for several years.

 

Things Aren’t Always Easy…

If you are anything like me, you probably prove out today’s title as I seem to on an all-too-often basis.  My blog redesign effort falls into that category, and my patience was stretched beyond the breaking point earlier this morning.  So, the redesign continues as a ‘work in progress’ although progress at the moment is moving very slowly.

On a more positive note, the world outdoors this morning is beautiful.  The sun is shining; the temps are climbing almost daily; and, snow seems to be something we can now refer to in the past tense for a few months.  And, I accept full blame in advance for the two or three feet of that white stuff we might find on the ground tomorrow morning.

My trials and tribulations are nothing compared to those of the majority of people on this earth.  I, as have most of us in this country, have gotten so spoiled that I/we tend to think that everyone on the planet is as well off as are we.  A good friend is stranded for part of the day in a southern airport since a plane was not available on time, but she sits in relative comfort, has been able to communicate her plight so that we can change our airport meeting plans accordingly, and is safe while she waits.

We take all this for granted because it is usually failsafe and we expect the world to be that way in all respects.  My little hiccup earlier today is not even so large as a gnat by comparison.  But, I needed a few minutes to remind myself of the realities and get back into a good mood and a thankful frame of mind.

I doubt that I am alone in my oft-forgotten life of ease.  Most of us are the same in this regard.  Most of us feel pity for self while ignoring all the sorrow and suffering around us.  Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin if we were suddenly put out on the street without more than the clothes on our backs and not knowing where our next meal was coming from…if it was coming at all.

We can be our own worst enemies with our pouting and anger when things don’t quite turn out as we wanted and expected.  We do not think of those who have such much greater issues in their lives since we are very much self-centered.  We slip a quarter into the slot of the container being held by an apparently blind person, or even a dollar bill if we’ve been terribly self-centered and feel the need to be quite apologetic through the treatment of the needier person.  Too often, we are likely to turn our backs or take a detour across the street to avoid the situation we’re finding disturbing to self.

My little personal ‘hissy fit’ should embarrass me and it did obviously given the subject of today’s blog.  How many of us are there in this country today who qualify to be self-examiners?  I know I am not alone though that doesn’t absolve me.

I can take care of self just as each of you readers can take care of self.  It is what we are going to do for others who have needs greater than ours that is important.  They have those needs even though we might have had a “bad day” from our perspectives.  They have fears and concerns that dwarf those we might have, given relative circumstances.

My blogging software is still not where I wanted it to be, but I have gotten over my pique, and the software permitted this blog to be written and published.  It’s not such a bad day after all.  I hope you have that same experience with your day and with all your days to come.  They are gifts from God and it is up to each of us to make the most of them.

 

Our Single Most Reliable Politician?

Why that has to be Bernie Sanders.  He is the perpetual Socialist in spite of socialism’s multiple disasters around the globe.  Bernie apparently thinks that his brand of socialism will work but that has yet to be explained to the majority of us…fortunately.

His story is a tempting one as we’ve witnessed around the globe.  There are always enough people for whom that “siren’s song” is enticing.  Take from the rich and give to the poor plays well with a majority of people, even some who are theoretically sufficiently educated and consumers of history so as to understand socialism’s fallacies.

There are always those who seem to be more favored than the majority, and those more favored justify their status by pointing to the fact they are the leaders, the bosses without whom the rest would certainly starve.  The masses continue, over and again, to doubt their own capabilities since they’ve never been permitted the luxury of proving to themselves their own virtues, their own capabilities.

We are obviously talking about the Democrat Party and its senior members being the leader/s of this movement since that party has the most-liberal thought leaders as members, as party leaders.  We have a very well-identified capitalist in the White House today and he serves well as the lightning rod for liberals.  He also serves well as the poster boy for capitalism.  Those who enjoy capitalism like him; those who despise capitalism, despise him.  It is quite simple.

That lightning rod, incidentally, presides over a rambunctious economy given his approach to governance.  He presides over a United States that has reasserted its dominance in the world.  His ideas are ridiculed but we find that those ideas spawn economic growth and essentially full employment.  And still, the siren’s song of socialism continues to come from the left.

We are able to see, on a smaller scale, what happens with the states in our union that are the perpetual Democrat states, the blue states vs. the red states.  If we look at Illinois and Wisconsin, we see where the biggest growth rate in new industry is found…Wisconsin.  That happens for a reason, and that reason is the form of governance and taxation in each state being measured carefully by businesses planning on new facilities and expansion.

In spite of the lessons readily available, we have members of Congress who still posit liberalism as the best form of governance.  And we, unfortunately, have ignorant voters…ignorant, not stupid…who continue to be suckered into the siren’s song of liberalism.

There is a reason for people wanting to be part of this country, who trek hundreds and thousands of miles in their efforts to become members of our society.  They see from afar what many of us seem unable to see up real close.  They literally risk life itself to attempt to gain entry to our country one way or another.  They do that because we are the beacon of liberty and we show others that our form of liberty, along with the absence of socialism, is a wonderful combination for its citizens.

And still, we have the staunch liberals in the Democratic Party that don’t seem to get it.  If they do ‘get it’ then they are disingenuous because they know they’ll be at the top of the social and economic order in a socialist society they seem to dream of for the United States.

Bernie Sanders has supporters in the Democrat Party.  Bernie Sanders has no supporters in the Republican Party.  It is that clear-cut, that black and white.  There are no shades of gray.

Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump?  Debate that choice if you wish, but that represents the difference whether or not you like it.

Reading Between the Lines…

A quotation attributed to Mystery writer Margaret Millar caught my eye this morning:

“Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don’t read the lines.”

Our nation’s Capitol Press has fallen victim to this malady if I don’t miss my guess.  These people spend so much time trying to figure out what wasn’t said, what was really intended or what ought to have been said, that they miss the point and often mislead us citizens as the result.

They just know that the President and his Press Secretary are dedicated to keeping the news away from the networks and keep nibbling away at the bone to get to the real truth, that they miss the substance of the announcements.

The “talking heads”, as they are known by most of us, have become the focal points in their own minds.  They are responsible for re-interpreting what is spewed as news in response to the press’ questions since they know this is nothing but obfuscation at best and simple lies at worst.  If they do not re-process what the government released as fact, we will be the victims…at least as the press too often sees things.

I think I am bright enough to work through the chaff in search of the kernels of wheat.  I also believe that I am a better judge of truth for myself than any of the members of that press corps.  I am a conservative; virtually no one in the press is a conservative…with very rare exception.

I may’ve lost track, but my recollection is that press conferences with Obama’s Press Secretary went much more smoothly.  There was not the niggling then that is present now.  Might that suggest that the press was more aligned with what they were hearing during those years than they could possibly be with this neanderthal we put into the Oval Office this time around?

If we dig a little deeper, I think we find that Americans today are too busy leading their lives to spend any time other than casually glancing at the headlines in the morning or evening newspaper.  Given that, we can reasonably conclude they are getting fed what the press wished them to be fed.  Given that the press is largely liberal, there is only one further conclusion that can be drawn.  The majority of citizens in this country have accepted shades of the truth rather than to dig deep to find the full truth which is often different than the bits that were originally fed to us.

I see largely liberals in our education system from Kindergarten on through college.  The young people who still think for themselves seem to be fine in terms of their ability to factually discuss the ins and outs of politics in the country, but they are growing fewer and fewer as liberalism seeps further into the sub-strata of society including in the ranks of educators.

If we continue to see higher-level educational institutions become more and more liberal, we will see the rest of society follow suit; the only question will be how long it will take.  We are on that long-dreaded slippery slope.  Those who do not see that we are on the slippery slope are either refusing to accept that fact or happy with that fact and therefore content with the direction of things.

Rather than reading between the lines, we need people who can read the lines, who can determine for self where we seem to be headed, and align with others of similar belief to turn the ship of state around before it is too late.

We will not get a second chance at this if we miss this time.

Changes Coming…

Changes are being made to The Curmudgeon’s Thoughts site and likely will become visible in the near future.  The site address remains unchanged at “thecurmudgeon.live” but the look will be changing.  WordPress continues as the engine of choice for any of you interested.

A digitized drawing of yours truly is being added courtesy of a good friend and local artist and member of our congregation.  Since I’ve not asked if he’d mind his name getting out, I’ll not mention that.  I still do not have much hair (understatement of the year), other than on the edges, since he insists on a reasonably accurate portrayal and couldn’t be bought off.  If readership falls off precipitously, I’ll pull the picture…maybe.

A second version of the blog named The Cranky Curmudgeon that, as the name implies, will have a bit of an edge to it is being added.  That version will be found on this same site and will alternate with the original Curmudgeon as content dictates…and as frustrations mount like pressure in an old-fashioned ‘pressure cooker’.  Daily subject matter will determine which of these Curmudgeon’s, vanilla or Hot Fudge with Sprinkles, is featured.

If you think of subject matter you feel would fit in the Curmudgeon’s world, please feel free to share those ideas.  Please do not be offended if they don’t materialize.  Part of the creation process is simply that whatever comes from my mind through my fingertips has to be something I feel, but that does not mean your idea wasn’t a good idea.  If you find yourself having a lot of ideas, the opportunity to blog is available to you, as well, and WordPress is a very solid place for people who want to start writing and posting.

Thanks to all of you who read the Blog regularly; I hope you’ll continue.  (Rechecking my notes reminded me that “Cranky” won out over “Frustrated”.  How frustrating is that?)