My Son The Marine

A beautiful article about the son of a wealthy New England father and his son who elects to join the Marines. Having been a former Marine, I always feel remorse over the many sacrifices my brothers have made. Here is an excerpt:

“Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry…”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/john-my-heart-bob-jenkins

 

Steve

The Rich Tap Out

Even though Connecticut is considered one of the richest states  in the US given the amount of hedge funds in the state, tax revenues are continuing to decline. But lawmakers this time around are acknowledging there is a limit to how much they can keep on demanding from the wealthy.

See the article here at the Wall Street Journal

 

Steve

Confession of A Baby Boomer

I’m depressed. Is that politically incorrect to share? I’m sorry.

 

Would you rather I post puppy photos or an inspirationally uplifting poster on Facebook? Would that not offend your sense of well being as much as having to deal with my momentarily dreary reality? You know, Facebook, where everyone is either celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary or thoroughly delighted with their total acceptance of the solitude and peace that they’ve attained in their non-relationship life?

Am I the only person willing to publicly share a less than stellar moment of my life? Well, if I’m not the only I’m certainly among a dwindling minority. Depression, or circumstances that lead to it, is one of the last truly taboo subjects. You can come out of the closet and beat your chest while proudly proclaiming you are one of the 61 “gender” possibilities that Facebook lists but you better not say you’re in a slump.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not always like this. In fact, I teach motivation and inspiration. Its just that in the real world, not the fake worlds of social media or virtual reality, people get depressed, sad, even dare I say, angry. Not being able to speak to this fact just makes it all the more difficult. In fact, it makes people feel isolated, alone and as if there is something wrong with them that others do not have similar periodic misfortunes.

Nonsense.

Everyone suffers…we just all do it differently. Some suffer silently and others cry out like a coyote at full moon. But suffer we do. So where’s the shame? In fact, a society that makes someone feel shame for having a slump and daring to share is has lost its compassion. I think we’re there and I blame two things: the absence of God and abundance of technology.

Every generation has its challenges and difficulties with the upcoming generation and the technological advances biting at its heels. But in the past, what was true that is no longer is that change occurred within a framework of basis principles and values that were commonly held and time tested: God, family, friendship, neighborhood, charity, compassion and national pride. Think about those. They’re all gone or so grotesquely distorted as to be unrecognizable.

Now, when I or anyone else comes upon a rough patch, there is no real world embrace to hold us. We can have 580 friends on Facebook but, in a pinch, none of them can hug us. We can’t even be sure any of them would if they were close enough to be given the chance. So aloneness has become an emotional, as well as physical, fact of life.

As if my personal challenges were not enough (a recently damaged nerve in my ankle that kept me sofa-bound and on crutches for a month…oh, sorry, was that more “negativity” than you wanted?) there is North Korea, Democrats and Republicans at each other’s throats, black lives hating white lives, sanctuary cities, a government in denial about unemployment and inflation the middle class is suffering, measles outbreaks in U.S. Syrian immigrant communities and…and…and…

So, I’m having a bad week or two. I know all the positive, self-help things I can say or do to deny how I feel. I know how to practice Transcendental Meditation. I know how to listen to my daughter when she tells me “Mom, go do laps and swim it off.”

I simply choose not to.

I am a real person and real life has its ups and downs. Fake life…Facebook, Instagram, e-harmony and all the others do not. But that’s it, isn’t it. They’re not real. You and I are. So, if you’re having a bad day, month or year you’re not alone.  I’m here.                     

Carole…contact@carolegold.com

Political Idol Worship

In my Facebook feed, I have lots of friends that have a picture of the First Family as a way to honor them and show their love for our previous president. I suppose their reasoning is that the Obama’s are a great example of what a family should be. Sorry, but the whole notion disgusts me.

The whole adoration of a President and his family sickens me because it implies that they are somehow superior to us, know more than us and should therefore be granted more privileges to govern in a manner they see fit. The fact is all tyrants believe they are somehow superior to the people and, once given unlimited power, tend to act in the cruelest and most oppressive manners.

It reminds me of the British propensity for endlessly fawning over the royal family. It takes no hard earned talent to become a royal. It a simple case of winning the genetic lottery. At least today it is. In centuries past, to become and remain a member of the royal family, one had to be willing to be ruthless, deceitful and the willing to use unrestrained physical force. The members of the royal family today are the direct descendants of some of the most vile people to have ever governed. They lived and prospered off the backs and works of others by benefiting from their ability to control, kill and enslave. Think I’m wrong? Henry VIII was just one example. He ruled England from 1509-1547 and was directly responsible for over 72,000 executions during his reign. This number does not include the numerous citizens he killed during wars with France.  Ironically, the premise of the television show  “Game of Thrones” is how European houses ruled their countries. The show’s popularity is partially based on the cruelty and depravity of its rulers.  Still, the British love their royals!

In the U.S, there is a movement called “reparations” which demands that African-Americans  be compensated for the crimes committed against them by their government. The hard part of reparations is determining a suitable payment plan for a group of immigrants with no long lineage to speak of.  Yet in England, there is no call for “reparations” even though those alleging wrongdoing could, in fact, trace their own lineage and that of their oppressors, back to some past King or Queen who committed great atrocities. There are no calls by the British people or their heirs for lands or lives lost as a result of the actions of past royals. There is only love for their descendants because the British people are committed to tradition and awed by the mystique of royalty.

The irony of political power is that people who would be best at its use avoid it like the plague…while those who seek it tend to be flawed, twisted individuals such as Hitler, Stalin and Castro: leaders who killed millions of their own through misuse and abuse of power. In modern U.S. history, aside from perhaps Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower who I would argue were called to power, the majority of U.S. Presidents have taken steps within the political system to amass, deploy and in some cases, hold on to power during and after leaving office. (Obama is so soon after office globe trotting for hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees in order to remain in the limelight and keep a firm grasp on the illusions of fame and relevance). Returning to a life of ordinary citizen, as exemplified by George Washington, is simply not in Obama’s playbook.

My outlook, generally, on politicians is that they tend to be some of the most unprincipled and immoral people around. Bill Clinton remains beloved by Democrats but I doubt any of them would leave their teenage daughter alone in a room with him. What bothers me are the rose-colored lenses with which the Left looks upon its chosen leaders, especially Obama.

Like any other political operative, Obama should be closely watched and monitored lest he destroy our country even now, out of office.  When he first ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, his competitor Jack Ryan, had his sealed divorce records mysteriously released and was forced to withdraw from the race as a result. During his time as a community organizer, Obama spent most of his time working with Acorn; but, that organization had to be dissolved once they were caught engaging in major voter fraud. These are actions we should we should condemn, not condone, and certainly not ignore. Yet, for the Left nothing negative can be associated with Obama lest it be racist…and nothing negative about him gets media traction.

People have mistaken me as a Republican based upon my criticisms of Obama; but, I am not a Republican.. I am for any politician that believes in my Constitutionally protected freedoms, less regulation and less taxation.  Given that criteria, I am able to support very few politicians.

Barack Obama’s treatment of the Tea Party, the Justice Department’s investigations into their tax status and his use of the IRS to silence his critics makes Richard Nixon’s crimes pale by comparison. For many, Nixon will always be considered a pariah while Obama continues to be cast as a saint. Both of them should have been treated with scorn for their abuse of power. Yet, the Left’s vision is obscured by blinders as it continues to adore a President who ignored the Constitution, used government agencies as political weapons, and set back race relations to the 1950’s.

The Tea Party was created as a grass roots movement to stop many of the policies Obama wanted to implement. In Kim Strassel’s book , The Intimidation Game, the author details the vigorous enforcement and harassment of individuals who tried to create legally permissible political action committees supporting The Tea Party between 2010-2012.  Political Action Committees (PAC’s) are the best way for citizens to address their grievances towards the government. It is the ultimate check upon public servants by individuals. The effective silencing of the Right during this period essentially shut down The Tea Party. Kim Strassel’s conclusion is that Obama silenced them because they represented a real threat to his reelection. Had they been allowed to freely operate, the 2012 election might have turned out differently.

We live in challenging times of radical and rapid change.  We also live in sad times when the Left can view The Tea Party as being more of a danger to their well being than the threats posed by radical Islam. This fact alone should tell you how far we have fallen.

If we are unwilling to view all politicians, regardless of party affiliation, with a general sense of distrust and confer upon them the degree of scrutiny they deserve from us, we may well look back upon these difficult times as having been “the good old days.”

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com