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Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

Political-Promises-4d3a109a90464

Do you remember high school election campaigns when many presidential hopefuls promised free ice cream on Friday, more school dances, relaxed dress codes and other pie-in-the-sky promises?

Such highfalutin promised were not limited to high school political candidates.  Who can forget when Herbert Hoover campaigned on a promise that if he were elected he promised “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

His promise hit a bit of a snag when shortly after his election the Great Depression left most Americans without a pot to cook the chicken and no garage to park the car.

When I listen to Bernie Sanders talk I go back to my college days when my kumbaya generation believed in peace, love and all that shit. Our idealism was only matched by our fundamental immaturity. Not that the lofty goals were not something to aspire to. I still believe in those lofty goals, but while I believe that many changes can be legislated, we can’t pass laws to make people less selfish and more compassionate.

That brings me back to good ol’ Bernie Sanders…a man after my idealistic heart, with particular attention paid to his Hooverism of promising all Americans free public higher education.

I’m all for education for a lifetime. I also like free.  And to be truthful, funding free education through taxation, doesn’t even bother me because the history of American education shows how “we the people” realized how important that education was that we first introduced free mandatory public elementary/grade school education and then extended it to free mandatory high school education…and then to state supported community colleges with low tuition.

My problem is not with a free college education, but with this notion that every American student is ENTITLED to the free ride.  If the motivation behind the Sanderesque concept of free college is to create a highly competitive work force, I suggest that we begin that process in the lower grades.  Bring back vocational education as a viable path for young people. That would call for a complete overhaul of our archaic educational curriculum.

But to develop education tracks, one being vocational and the other being academic, I fear would be considered elitist.

For a moment, let us imagine the day when EVERY students goes to college. Where would that get us? The common denominator would not only be common, it would be so commonplace that tomorrow’s college degree would have as much value as today’s high school diploma.

I’d like to offer Bernie Sanders a suggestion.  Make a college education free, but not to everyone just because, but to any student, regardless of his/her economic demographic, who, by virtue of his/her accomplishments in high school, is DESERVING of a free education.

If we raise the bar in high school we will separate the wheat from the chaff and the deserving will be like the cream that rises to the top of the milk.

(How do you like that? Two clichés in one sentence.)

 

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If you have a mailbox, own a phone, or drive around town, you know that it’s election time. And unlike Christmas, it’s not the most wonderful time of year. The political campaign “literature” is cheap, pathetic, tasteless, and worst of all, bull shit. It’s a shame that our politicians, both the home-grown variety and state and national candidates, only reach out to us when they want our vote. Following is the text of a speech given by the Cowardly Lion who is not afraid to speak his mind on political manure:

“Candidates of all parties, gender, race, creed and color, lend me your ears. What the hell is wrong with you?  Do you think we’re all stupid?  Your flyers, mailers and television ads are an embarrassment. Maybe blind political party followers believe the crap that you are shoveling, but the majority of us say enough is enough!  If any of you office seekers actually did a small fraction of what you claim you did, then why are we stuck in a quagmire? And, if your opponents only did a small percentage of the things you accuse them of doing or failed to do while in office, why aren’t there more investigations and arrests?

When are you going to get it through your thick, manicured heads, that in the end, the winner is sent to represent “all” of us…not just those people who voted for you.

Don’t you realize that every slur you make about your opponent might come back to haunt us if he/she wins? If you have done a job convincing the electorate that your opponent is an idiot, but you didn’t do “a good enough job” to get elected, you have essentially sent a jerk into office.

Do us all a favor. Be honest and avoid slinging the mud. Let us decide.

I approve this speech.”

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hero

If the tension in the Middle East, the barbarism of ISIS, the world economy and the breakdown of security in America weren’t enough for us to deal with, we can now add Ebola to our plate of concerns. While Oz was known to have its problems…houses fallng from the sky, bad witches making serious threats, flying monkeys, etc., our problems are weighing down our fragile spirits.

What we are in desperate need of is a hero. Perhaps more than one is needed, but other than going to our favorite deli and ordering one, where in the world are we going to find the perfect hero? In the White House? In the halls of Congress? In the corridors of the Fortune 500? Among religious leaders? In Hollywood?

You know the lyric from the pop tune “looking for love in all the wrong place?”  Well, if we going looking for a hero in some of the aforementioned places, we’ll be looking in all the wrong places.

It’s very important to understand that while we think of our times as “the best of times and the worst of times<” we are not alone in our thinking.  There has never been a time in human history that did not try men’s souls. Humanity seems to have a pretty crappy track record in many regards.  In the last century alone there were over 270 wars, civil and otherwise, around the world, with a los of over 77 million people.  How many of those who were casualties of war might have been the hero the world was looking for?  And as fearful as we are of the possible spread of Ebola, consider the millions of people who died during the raging spread of the Spanish Flu (1918/19). How many heroes did we bury in early graves?

Today Americans are looking to the man in the White House for the hero we want to save the world.  Guess what?  The hero we need is not living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And that’s not meant to be an attack on President Obama. Considering the number of problems he’s facing at home and abroad, it is totally unfair for us to expect him to wave a magic wand and make all our problems go away.

Diseases, a bad economy and internal strife can all be dealt with if we put aside our prejudices and political beliefs. We can help turn the course of humanity in the right direction if we follow the yellow brick road…a raod paved with kindness, consideration and compassion.

But, it’s going to take a lot more than that to end the hatred the seems to be growing like a cancer around the world.  We will not find a cure for this cancer if we attack it with closed minds.  That doesn’t mean we have to condone any of the heinous acts committed in the name of religion. What we have to do is face some hard, cold facts.  Religion is, in my opinion, the cause of most of our problems. Not that religion is wrong, per se, but it is the stringent list of doctrines and sometimes archaic beliefs that instead of opening our hearts, bind them with heavy chains.

People are continually debating over wether or not the Koran calls for the blood of infidels. The debate is futile, because if even only one person is a “believer” of such an inhuman doctrine, there is a chance that such a belief will be embraced by hundreds, thousands and even millions.

Wanting a hero is a noble belief, but we have to be careful for what we wish for, because the perfect hero might not necessarily be an American, nor might such a fantastic hero actually be on board with everything we believe.

Alas. Our journey for the perfect hero is more than likely going to end up the way it did for Dorothy when, with the help of Toto, unmasked the less than great and powerful Wizard of Oz.

The real hero is inside each and every one of us. Every opportunity we have to be selfless and act for the good of others with no expectations, is one small step in finding the perfect hero. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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A political campaign commentary by A. Munchkin

It happens around this time every year all across Oz.  The emerald green lawns stop growing as the nights grow colder, but something else sprouts up at night in full bloom. Campaign signs. Those unimaginative signs in truly patriotic colors that bear the name of someone running for one office or another.  One day you’ll drive by a green patch of land and see one or two of these signs, but by the end of the week you can’t even see the green patch anymore.

The only thing worse than those “clutterful” signs is television campaign commercials. They fall into one of two categories. You have the one kind that extols the virtues of the candidates. You know the ads I’m talking about.  The voice-over usually goes something like this.

BoyScouts

“He was born of a virgin in a stable. Wise men from super powers recognized him as the one leader ordained by a supreme being. These wise men traveled miles to present him with the gifts of brains, a heart and courage and he has used them to eradicate poverty, abolish the common core, provide free health care for every living creature, raise the minimum wage to $2,678.50 an hour, and reduce our carbon footprint by 600%.

From such humble buildings A. Hole has become a world leader that every gosh-darn citizen of mother earth loves and adores. As a junior state assemblyman he was the first to solve the great debate over plastic or paper.

And now he seeks your vote to put him in the White House where he can continue to work for you.

Vote for an A. Hole.

‘I am A. Hole and I approve this message.”

And then there is the other ad lovingly known as the attack ad.  It goes like this.

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“If you think we need another A. Hole in the White House, go for it. But before you pull that lever on election day, here are a few things you ought to know about him.

While in the state assembly, A. Hole voted 637 times to turn abandoned schools into casinos.

A .Hole is a member of a group of people who want to eliminate daylight savings time.

A. Hole went on record to say that anyone who disagrees with him is an ass hole. (Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black.)

A Hole is pro anti everything and flip flops like a dying mackerel.

As the puppet of a CEO of a large toxic waste dump, A. Hole wants to turn dumps into play grounds.

If you want to poison the White House, A. Hole is your man.

Paid for by the friends of B. Shit.

Not only should we expect a lot more from the men and women running for office, we should demand it.  Don’t go to the polls on election day. Make your non-vote count!

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