Tag Archives: news

Who said it?

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

This does not describe our current president, who seems abnormally focused on not just winning. He wants others to feel like losers.

I’m not a liberal. Well, I don’t think of myself as being a liberal: though I do admit to liberal views on some topics. One thing I believe is:

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).


Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.

And I believe our current president has made a mockery of individual rights.

I also think he is the latest in a line of presidents taking us down a dark road:

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

All these quotes are from the same person. A person in my opinion who would oppose Trump. This person values rational discussion:

“When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.”

Our president does not.

At the end of the day I believe:

Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.

And finally a note to many who have “demonstrated” against our president since his election:

Rights are not a matter of numbers – and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.


I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.

Another Sad Day

Well it looks like we have another sad day in the world. The forces of evil have struck out. And if we are not careful we will feed the flames of hate and violence in response. I’m not sure what we do to stop this terror. I believe you cannot use terror and violence to counter terror and violence. But, at the same time we aren’t going to hug this out.
There is not enough love and compassion in the world. What we can do is create as much love as we can. And maybe it won’t end the violence. We can’t end violence in the world all at once But maybe a smile and a friendly word can change hearts one person at a time. It is in the human heart where acts of hate and love are born. It sounds trite to suggests terrorists blow up airports because no one loved them. It is clearly more complex. But what are the hearts who turn to hate? And are they given the choice of love?
There must be a path which leads us away from doom. One person at a time. We don’t know the people we meet on the street. The people we cross paths with on the subway. Smile and send loving energy into the world. Offer everyone a spirit of warmth. If one person can smile and bring some peace to a persons souls. Maybe two people can bring love to their heart. Three people, or four people, or five can chase the darkness out. We are one human race. The clear message of events like this is we cannot isolate ourselves. We are not islands living within our own perfect worlds. We are souls living together in a troubled world. A world which needs healing. What can we do to bring healing to the world today.
Striking back with bombs, terror and violent acts will not heal the pain in our world. Even if not a single innocent person was killed. But in every war inoocent people are killed and hurt. Families are torn apart. Communities left without working men. The bombs falling after one attack become the seeds for the next. We have to find a way to love each other more.
We are talking about people who choose to die. People who go to their deaths to kill others. If we believed we were one? And we made everyone feel a part of the whole. How could anyone choose to blow themselves up? Who would choose to die if they could choose to live? Who would choose hate if they could choose love? Would you?
We are living in a rapidly changing world. On ourside of the map we have Donald Trump. He has became the face of what people fear. Many people who are afraid of the changes in our world turn to him. For them he has become a guiding voice. But he has blamed the others for our problems. It is the fault of rapists from Mexico and terrorists from the Muslim world. On the other side of the world things are also changing. Cultures are being overturned in part by western influence through the internet. People over there like over here may be questioning their place in this new world. Their leaders blame the west. The evil imperialistic west has caused their problems. The bombers who blew themselves up in Europe were puppets. Their strings being pulled by people with their own agendas.
I believe it is isolated, lost, hurt and lonely people who turn to terror. They are being led and direcred by people who fear the changes in their countries. Maybe they believe if they could stop the tide of change the world would return to the way it was before. But they can’t turn back the clock in their countries. Anymore than we can turn back the clock in our country. They like us need to find ways to adapt to the new world we are living in today. And it isn’t going to be easy for any of us.
We have a choice to make ourselves in this world. We can choose more hate and anger. Watching events on the news makes these easy options. But if we think in our minds about how evil “those people” are, we are not going to be sending them loving energy. Not in the abstract – and not in the concrete daily one on one interactions. If we can try to understand, and have compassion, we are moving in the right direction. Maybe we can see how they struggle in the same world we struggle in to survive. Then we see them as brothers and sisters on the path. And we love our brothers and sisters even when they haven’t made the best choices. It will take a total change of our own hearts and minds away from fear and hatred. To love and understanding.
Love and fear cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Remember only love is real. The Course in Miracles tells us everything is either an act of love or a call for love. It isn’t easy for me to explain how these acts are calls for love. But I believe it is true.


So lets look at the field.

Jeb Bush: I never thought I’d say I hope he wins. He is one of the sane ones. Along with Chris Christie and John Kasich. Bush has an optimistic solid message. His focus is on small government.

Ben Carson: Has little chance. And has done nothing to show me he could be president. He also goes off the deep end.

Chris Christie: Would be a strong second choice. But haunted by scandals. I believe he could work with people. Make deals with both sides. I’m not sure I trust Christie. Defunding Planned Parenthood doesn’t win my vote.

Ted Cruz: One of the crazy four. I don’t trust Ted Cruz. His trick in Iowa was a theft of the election. A lot of rhetoric and extremism. Cruz like a couple of the others are too negative. He is focused on attack.

John Kasich: A friendly guy. I am sure he would make a good president. But on the one hand he comes across weak. On the other he leans towards the crazy side of the party. He best stance is immigration and economics.

Marco Rubio: Is inexperienced. Is too extreme. Is a slippery politician. More than anything I don’t trust him. I disagree with her stands. He focuses to much on Obama.

Donald Trump: Wrong on so much. I doubt he would be a good leader. His stand on immigration is wrong. And what he said about Muslims is wrong. Trump would be bad for America. He would harm our standing in the world.

I am growing more conservative. But not on social issues. When it comes to gay rights. Candidates like Carson, Rubio, Cruz lose my vote. Them plus Trump are the crazy four. On social issues Bush and Christie are better. On abortion, I don’t agree with anyone.

RIP David Bowie


We have lost a great artist. A great mind. A humanitarian. A dreamer. A lover. A hero. A true legend. Take a moment to reflect on everything David Bowie has given the world. Now ask yourself, what did David Bowie have, which you lack.
The answer is courage. Be a hero today, in honor of David Bowie. Anyone can create something unique. We all have the same creative potential sleeping inside. Take it out, once. The best way to honor his death, is to honor the way he lived.

Read: U.S. attorney statement on Oregon standoff – Chicago Tribune

The evidence at trial convinced the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hammonds were guilty of the federal crime of arson; that is, maliciously damaging United States property by?re. The jury was neither asked if the Hammonds were terrorists, nor were defendants evercharged with or accused of terrorism. Suggesting otherwise is simply ?at-out wrong.

Source: Read: U.S. attorney statement on Oregon standoff – Chicago Tribune

Based on this document a lot of misinformation has been put into this discussion. The criminals who took over the wildlife refuge aren’t standing up for the Hammonds. But trying to lead a revolt against all federal power. The document states the sentences delivered, the longer sentences, were set by congress. If we are to survive as a nation, we need to abide by laws. And we need a national governing body. Armed revolt is not the solution when this body takes actions with which you disagree. There is an electoral process. An imperfect one to be sure. But not one I am ready to  give up in favor of a system established by criminal occupants of public land.

Land Theft and arson

The remote high desert of eastern Oregon became the latest flashpoint for anti-government sentiment as armed protesters occupied a national wildlife refuge to object to a prison sentence for local ranchers for burning federal land.


I don’t think it is an accident they choose to attack a wildlife refuge. Many of the people behind this movement would rather run cattle on land than have it saved to support wildlife. The government manages the land for the public as a trust. And it is in the public’s interest for species to be protected. Maybe not the ranchers’ interests.

Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page asking for militia members to come help him. He said “this is not a time to stand down. It’s a time to stand up and come to Harney County,” where Burns is located.


They are calling for an armed insurrection against the government. We still live in a democracy. A flawed system to be sure. But not flawed enough to replace it with the type of militia rule tearing apart countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Any number of countries around the world would have responded with over-matched violence and exterminated the threat. I am not suggesting violence is the answer. But these people are criminals. They aren’t using a political process to address their grievances. They are turning to the power of their guns. And in a democracy this is not how things are done.

This is no different than rioters in the streets protesting police shooting. No different than a lunatic shooting people at Planned Parenthood, no different than terrorist who resort to violence to solve problems. This is still a democracy. The land in question is not owned by the government it is owned by all of us. The public as a whole owns the land.

Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit the fires on federal land in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.


Honestly I can understand their concerns. But if I live next door to someone with a ranch. And they never maintain their property. It doesn’t give me the right to go over and set fire to their land. It may be a measure to protect my own land. But it would still be illegal for me to burn their property. This is not the way things are done in a country ruled by laws. The process can be slow and frustrating. Maybe it even needs to be changed. But taking the law into your own hands by burning property which doesn’t belong to you is wrong. It would be wrong if I burned your land to protect my own. And it is wrong for these people to burn out land. Period.

The two were convicted of the arsons three years ago and served time — the father three months, the son one year. But a federal judge ruled in October that their terms were too short under U.S. minimum sentencing law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each.


This is where I agree with the Hammond’s. They should have been given the longer sentences. But there was an error. Someone made the mistake of giving them the lighter sentence. Well, if they served the time, let them go. It isn’t fair to call them back and force them to serve more time. A court of law gave them a sentence. And they did the sentence. If I pay a bill with a company, and they agree it is settled. It wouldn’t be fair for them to come back later and tell me they made an error. And expect me to pay an extra amount they just figured out I owed. I would expect the company to take the loss. And I expect the court system to accept they made a mistake. And due to the mistake these two criminal got off easy. Now, if there is a repeat of the crime. Then the original sentences should be enforced.

Now for a discussion of what I believe is at the root of the issue.

These people are suffering real losses. They are hurting and struggling in their businesses. I can understand the natural desire to target the Federal Government and public lands. It would be tempting to believe expanded range could save the business. And understandable why people would feel the need to take illegal actions to protect a business already facing so many risks. This applies to this case, but also the Bundy Ranch case in Nevada.

As for the Hammonds, they hope to keep the family business going with help from relatives. Maybe, Dwight Hammond said, when his son gets out of prison, “he can still have a family and a ranch to go back to.”


I feel bad for these people.

Landlord Lets Reporters Into San Bernardino Suspects’ Home – The New York Times

The images of journalists going through the belongings of the shooting suspects raised questions about what arrangements had been made with law enforcement officials.

Source: Landlord Lets Reporters Into San Bernardino Suspects’ Home – The New York Times

First of all this makes me sick.

An approach to news like this was one of the things I hated the most about my last job. Part of my job was covering traffic accidents. And my editor once told me I should be more assertive in talking to people who had just been in the accident.

Well, excuse me. But as a human I find it rude, intrusive and insensitive. Someone who has just had a traumatizing experience may want to talk about it, but most would say no.

What is the point? Gathering details about something which delayed people by 20 minutes getting home? Information which is forgotten almost as soon as heard. What does it contribute? And just because people want it, should it be provided.

So they rummaged through the apartment. And what did they find? They found children’s book. Toys, a crib, photos of people, a state ID, two Korans and a prayer rug (which they walked all over). What is the news value in any of this stuff?

We already knew they had a child. Did any of this bring a deeper understanding to a sad event? Is there any lasting value to the information?

Now, I do want to add I understand the reporters. Being on a hot news story is like being on a drug. There is a rush, and the more information you get the more the rush. Like any drug it is going to impair your judgement. I can’t say I wouldn’t have gone in the apartment had I been given the chance. In the case of the TV reporters someone along the line should have pulled the plug.

In addition when you see a mob doing something, it doesn’t feel as wrong. This is how people who are normally law abiding turn into rioters.

What were they looking for in the apartment? This is just my opinion. But I think they were looking for something to allay their fears. These acts were committed by what appears to be a normal family. How scary to think normal looking people can become mass killers. What they didn’t find was something which made them unusual. A way in which they were not a normal family. Something like a giant Daesh flag covering a bedroom window.

On a larger scale people want to see these images. It is the same reason why people slow to look at accidents on the freeway (and cause further accidents). There is something about people who wants to know the details of a family who lost their home in a fire. And I don’t know if it is right. But they want to see the inside of a mass killer’s apartment.

But just because they want it, should it be provided? Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.


Rubio counters Trump: Blame Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, for failing to prevent 9/11 « Hot Air

“He doesn’t have a fundamental understanding of what caused 9/11.”

Source: Rubio counters Trump: Blame Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, for failing to prevent 9/11 « Hot Air

My first thought when I heard Trumps comments regarding 9/11 were basically the same as Rubio’s. While Trump stated he could have prevented 9/11 by keeping the terrorists out of the country. My understanding has always been they came in while Clinton was president. Which isn’t to blame Clinton. But to say, if Trump had became president on the same date as Bush 43, he would have been just as powerless as Bush was to stop the attack.

That being said. In this election cycle picking a fight with Trump is the best, and maybe only way to get attention. This fight works for Jeb in two ways. It will upset and offend people out there with a loyalty to Bush 43. But it also draws attention to Jeb in the race. And it draws attention to the political experience he brings to the table. It is a reminder of the steps his brother took, which many on the right still support.

I am starting to feel like Jeb would be my second choice candidate. I only hope the Trump balloon deflates soon.

U.S. Aims to Put More Pressure on ISIS in Syria – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State has begun preparing to open a major front in northeastern Syria, aiming to put pressure on Raqqa, the terrorist group’s de facto capital, according to military and administration officials.

Source: U.S. Aims to Put More Pressure on ISIS in Syria – The New York Times

Am I the only one with questions about what is really going on inside Syria? This terrorist group seems to be holding off some major armies pretty good. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as being a little odd?