Up Jack Creek

Truth, Actions, Life, Power

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Global Community

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I had a conversation with a decidedly conservative older man yesterday and am still confused on how conservatives say “America First” with real conviction. The argument was that it was okay to tout the idea of growing American jobs by forcing companies to build factories here and hiring American workers. But it was still okay for Trump to import his products from overseas. The message is a mixed one.

If we are to “make America great again” by punishing companies who either move their production overseas or import from overseas, how can it be okay for Trump do the same? It does not compute for much of us who see how we interact globally.

We already live globally. With the internet and instant communication through computers, television, and phones, we find out about incidents that occur in real time. Remember Desert Storm and the Shock and Awe offensive? I do. We all watched it on CNN. At the time it was a groundbreaking news event, carried live for the world to see. We’ve only increased the ability to carry out world events live with instant reactions also available for the entire world to see and hear. To see what could happen without all that, just look at North Korea.

If the military did not have the ability to watch what North Korea is doing, we would not have any idea they were building bombs with the intention of striking whoever they choose. Right now it seems they want to threaten the U.S.  It could have worked because we do not have immediate access to any of their activities like we do in the rest of the world. Think of how that would affect us as citizens. An attack could come without any warning. Pearl Harbor comes to mind as an example. And although 9/11 happened, jets were scrambled much faster than happened at Pearl Harbor. The instant communication, and ability to respond immediately, was essential in that the White House was not hit. We do not know for sure how many other planes were planned on, but we do know they stood no chance on furthering that attack.

Since 9/11, there have been no more major attacks on American soil by terrorists that would lead to the number we lost on that day.  That is because of new internet capabilities involving the global community. Better ways of gathering intelligence that prevents many attacks from happening in the first place. It is because we are a global community whether conservatives want to admit it or not. If we become “smaller”, we open ourselves up to many more security issues because we cannot gather intelligence in the same way. We must have global allies or we cannot defend ourselves and we become targets.

The bottom line is that we cannot withdraw from the global community. It is too late for that and would be a huge security issue for us. We must build on making allies trust us and building on our trust of them. We cannot do that as an isolated country. It would be disastrous.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hello Again!

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I haven’t been on here much lately and I know I need to get back into the groove in order to keep up with where my life is. So here goes.

Many things have changed since I was on the My Mad Mind blog. It went by the wayside when my life became busier and more stressful. I am hoping to change that and become more active on here.  If you read previous posts on here, you will know that I have been working on what I wanted this blog to actually be. The goal is to be more current and try to put some logic into the world we find ourselves in these days. You may here a bit about what is going on in my life and be surprised by some of it. Some will just be plain old me. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to interacting with you.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Comey vs Trump

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The last couple of weeks have been a rather extraordinary time in our history. The last time we were in this mess was when Clinton was being impeached over lying about a White House intern. Before that, it was Nixon and Watergate. Let’s take a look at the differences here.

When the Watergate scandal happened, there was an obvious criminal act that happened with the knowledge of the President. There were others involved in a cover-up that included attempting to use our highest law enforcement officials to stop the investigation. In addition, there were those who lied under oath about those events. Some of those players ended up serving prison terms for their participation and Nixon resigned in order to avoid impeachment. He was then protected by Ford who gave him a full pardon. In other words, it was a full-fledged mess.

During the Reagan years, we had the Iran-Contra scandal which resulted in illegal arms-for-hostages trade to Iran. Although the Boland Amendment was in place, those arms were given. Boland restricted the CIA and DOD operations in Nicaragua. This would have, effectively made it impossible to get seven hostages out of Iran. This was circumvented by a back door channel. It failed to get all of the hostages out of there. In the end, only Oliver North ever faced any backlash from it although he did not go to prison over it.

The Clinton-Lewinsky affair was different in that he was not charged with anything regarding his office. He was charged with perjury when he claimed under oath that he did not have sexual contact with that woman. He was impeached for lying under oath. No one else was involved. But Republicans were determined to “take him down”.

We are now faced with something different. We are all accustomed to politicians lying and twisting the truth when speaking to us. It’s how they get elected. They say what we want to hear and then we follow the one we believe the most. Trump is decidedly different from the norm.

Very seldom in our history has someone won the presidential election without winning the popular vote. That is exactly what he did. In the popular vote, Clinton won. In the electoral vote, Trump won. It has created a huge divide in this country that does not seem to have an end. It has caused families and friends to divide and stop speaking to each other. It has caused a rise in hate crimes and open hostility to others. Why?

Because we now have a resident in the White House that openly mocks the handicapped, the poor, and others who have different religions. He has given those who have those thoughts to feel as though they have been given the freedom to act on their feelings. In addition, he has lied repeatedly about facts in order to boost his own ego. Lie after lie after lie comes from his lips to the point we do not know what to believe. Even if we disagree with a president, we should be able to believe what tell us. He has no credibility. The only people who believe him are the base. Even some who voted for him do not believe him when he says something. What does all this have to do with Comey?

It comes down to credibility. Who is telling the truth? Because there is a litany of lies that Trump has stated during and after the election, there is no question. He continues to state “fact” without any proof of actuality. He then attacks anyone who does not agree with him. He attacks anyone who questions him. Because he acts like a child who lies constantly, no one believes him and they want proof of what he’s done.

The bottom line is this. We do not know what is true and what is lie. He refuses to provide evidence of what he claims is fact. He has been doing this for as long as he’s been in the public eye. Come on! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shaking It Up

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I know I haven’t written for a while. Right now I feel like I’m “Up Jack Creek”.  Life feels like a rut. I do know that others have the same patterns in their lives so I’m not depressed. I’m just looking to shake things up a bit. How does someone do that?

The first thing you do is ask yourself what you want in life. That’s easy for me to respond to. I want a laid back sort of life. Time to relax is not something I really have now.

The second thing is find out who really wants you in their life. Are they making the effort or are you the one who calls, texts, and pays attention to their lives? If that’s what is going on, you need to narrow your list of contacts.

The third and final thing to do is take action. Well that’s what I’m going to do. I’m shaking things up and I’m starting today.

Never fear. I’ll make more political posts starting with tomorrow and my take on the recent events.  After all, I can’t change that. I wouldn’t really be me.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Face of Fascism

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I know this is a rather odd name for a blog but I think it’s fitting. If you look at the state we’re in, we are definitely in a pickle. The more that comes out about the happenings in the White House, the more I realize they have put us in a rather untenable position on the world stage. So I think we are Up Jack Creek without a paddle.

We need to understand the implications of the actions that are being made in the White House and in Congress. It is important to the future of our country. While Trump was elected through the electoral vote, he did not win the popular vote. That leaves almost 3 million voters who were not satisfied with the results. It definitely makes for a tough transition.

Too many of these actions are similar to what Mussolini started in the 1930’s which finally led to murder of 6,000,000 Jews and countless others in Europe during his reign. It started with continuous attacks on the media. Telling the masses that the news organizations that the news organizations were not reporting the truth, is discounting what the media were saying. It puts doubt in the minds of the people a government wants to control. It is repeated over and over again. Those who follow blindly will believe the news is trying to mislead them no matter how many times they are shown otherwise. This sets up the next step in the process.

There are the rallies that were held by Mussolini and now Trump. Mussolini used the rallies to persuade the masses that his message was the best there was. Those are the rallies we see in film reels from the time period. You know what I’m talking about. The films we see where the audience is standing up and cheering, we see the same pattern of Trump holding rallies after he’s already been elected. He knows what to say to get those attending on their feet and cheering. He talks about fake news, the raping and murdering Mexicans, and the radical, Islamic extremists. It is guaranteed to fire up the attendees. It sounds very much like Mussolini.

Mussolini took on a tactic that Hitler used brilliantly. Tell a lie so often that most people believe it. Create fear and untruths as reality instead of addressing them and using solutions to change what is wrong. That is the modus operandi of our current resident of the White House. He believes his own lies to the point he will not give up on any of them no matter what evidence is shown.

This is the face of fascism. This is the face of ruling by fear instead of intellectualism. Instead of being part of the global community, there is isolation and rejection of global ideas. Rejecting scientific data to prove what is real keeps control of fears that everyone has been spoon fed through the lies that are told. Insisting on repeating lies enough times to ensure that most believe them. Making the media the enemy by calling them fake news is part of this pattern. Because it continues, more and more people will follow his lead.

I have been told by his supporters that all liberals are just whining and should move on and get over it. For those of us who have learned history, the obvious problems are slapping us in the face. We understand the implications of his actions. We understand that this path we are is untenable in the world we live in.  We will lose allies. In fact, many of our allies are already making statements that should lead us to understand they are concerned about our current leader. It concerns me as well. It should concern all of us.

Our national security is at risk. The more countries unwilling to work with our government, the more open to security issues we face. Our loved ones abroad will be the first they attack. These actions put them at a higher risk of serious security breaches.  As someone who has family living overseas, I know I do not want to receive a phone call with horrible news.

We need to wake up and take action. We need to protest the current administration and send the message we want them to know. Keep protesting and contacting your Congressional representatives. We need to stand up before this country becomes the face of fascism.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Opposition Today

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With the recent ban on Muslims through an executive order, those of us who believe in freedom must be willing to speak out on behalf of our fellow human beings. This country was founded on freedom of religion, the right to free speech, and freedom of the press. All of these freedoms are being attacked as I write this. We need to speak up and act.

For those of us who are not in an area to participate in the marches, there are other avenues we can take.  Emails, phone calls, and Twitter are the most obvious tacks to take. And where do we start? Since he is in violation of the GSA’s requirements to divest of any part of the lease on the Old Post Office, we need start with the businesses he still owns.

Trump International Las Vegas - Phone: (702) 982-0000
Mar-A-Lago - Phone: (561) 832-2600
Trump International Hotel & Tower - Phone: (212) 299-1000

Because he still owns these businesses, we, the public, have a right to call and ask questions about policy. This can cause disruption to his businesses. I do not advocate badgering the employees who have to deal with phone calls. Calmly ask about the policies or actions that he has taken since taking office. There are more businesses that can be found online and I will continue to post those as soon as I can find them.
In addition to Trump’s businesses, we also need to hold our other elected officials accountable. Since we are all living in different areas now, we will need to call and email those officials that are elected in our state of residence.  Please keep the pressure on. We need to send a message that we will not sit back while they continue with business as usual.

Good luck and remember you are not alone in this fight.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Double Standards and Action

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Since the inauguration, those of us who are decidedly not conservative have once again been the subject of much ridicule by conservatives in our lives. We are supposed to stop crying and get behind the “duly” elected resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The last two days have shown we are not ready to lie down and accept what they are so rudely doling out. We cannot do that!

I want to use this blog to spread the word and find like-minded individuals and groups we can help and participate with. I will do my best to ensure everyone has links they can go to. We need to act. We need to show this new Administration we are going to be acting with others to hold them accountable. The marches were a great start but we need to continue the fight. We need to come together and show we are serious.

The first place I have found for contacting our representatives is on the www.house.gov . There is a link to find your representative. The Senate link is http://www.theorator.com/senate.html. They all have websites where you can read about them. I am still searching for more contacts we can utilize.

We can also contact the leaders of each party as they hold office in their respective organizations. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are those leaders. Please join me in this effort. We need to hold accountable those who are now in the White House. We cannot rest.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

We Liberals

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For those of us who are decidedly not conservative, this election has been one of those most trying times of our lives. The simple answer is that we lost this election. It is; however, much more complicated than that.

The time period before the campaign started in earnest was almost hysterical with all the people running in the primaries and vying for our attention. So many people wanted to run for president that it was like musical chairs. Which one was going to end up with the final seat on the final stage was up for grabs.

As a confirmed liberal, I have been aware that I really do not fit in with my family or many of the people I knew years ago. I grew up in a sea of conservatives who are now rather shocked at my political leanings. I am not sure why they should be as I’ve never really been like them. Always a little different in an introverted sort of way. In other words, I think a lot. But enough about me and on to the current subject.

True liberals are the ones who are labeled “bleeding heart liberals”. According to others, we think that this country should be a socialist country. That is very untrue, but is generally what I have heard over the last two years. We want everyone to be taken care of regardless of their lack of work, even if they are able to work. Again, not true. We are supposedly weak on crime and do not really care about the safety of others by former imprisoned felons. And again, not true. In other words, we live looking through rose colored glasses oblivious to the real world around us.
The fact of the matter is, we feel we are here to be stewards in many different ways. Most of us believe in kindness and harmony, both with humans and nature. We are human; however, and at times find we are at war with our inner selves. Which makes it very difficult to understand how we can have these differences with people we knew were similar. And they claimed to be Christian. 

Since the beginning of the election season after the primaries, we were left with two candidates, both whom have skeletons in their closet. But most of us do. The reality of both has become the source of much vitriol that has passed between the two sides of the coin. It has spilled into everyday life affecting friendships and family relationships in negative ways.

In my case, I have been accused of being someone who is pro-abortion, not pro-choice. Of being someone who wants a socialist country. Of someone who is not Christian. I have been insulted and attacked because of how I see our country should be run.

What conservatives need to understand is this. We liberals are passionate people. We truly want to live the life we envision our world should be. We support those who also feel the same. When we lost this election, we were devastated. Some of us still are. We are worried about the person who was elected.

We remember what was said about our current President when he was elected and what has been said since that time about him. We remember things that were said during the campaign about women, minorities, and the person running against him. We remember the threat to put her in jail when he won. We remember all these things and are now watching him appoint people who have said the same things in the past. The womanizing, racist, cruel followers he has had in the past as friends are now going to be part of his cabinet. They will be advising him in how to run our country, set policy, deal with foreign leaders, and control our financial future.

We liberals are frightened by this future. We do not see this person as the kind of change this country needs. We see a return to a time when civil liberties are tread upon, people are frightened, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, and we all stay angry with each other. All because he was given a microphone on the biggest stage in the world. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

When Hate Trumps Everything

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Hate crimes are on the rise since the election concluded. It is not just from one side of the political spectrum. It involves both and the trend is extremely disturbing. What is the motivation for this? Why is it becoming more common?
Many people have asked the same question and I am inclined to agree with their assessment. It is, in large part, due to the election season we have just experienced. It became “normal” to attack people with words used on social media. The problem with that form of abuse is that it can lead to physical abuse. In fact, it usually does. We have seen the result of that with the increase of hate crimes.
Human beings are led by a need to fit in. What they see as acceptable is what is shown them through the people around them and what they see in the media. With Twitter and Facebook becoming more main stream, those who want to get a message out can do so very easily and to a multitude of people. Every time someone shares a tweet or a Facebook post, it is shared by others and just creeps out across the country and the world. Next thing we know, it becomes vitriol that one uses to denigrate and humiliate others.
What we saw was someone running for president who used the world stage to show it was okay to attack those who disagree with you or say unflattering things about you. The whole world was privy to an example of the attack mentality that played itself out every day.  What can we do about it?
We have to understand this is what drives us apart. The freedom to say whatever we want can give voice to the anger we feel at that moment. It creates divides before anyone can start a conversation. It makes us adversarial and creates a wall between us. Conflict can start a conversation and give us solutions, but only if, and this is important, we do not start out attacking.

Recognize the possibilities and start with simple, kind salutations. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tolerance and Change

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Tolerance is a fickle thing. A great majority of people claim they are very tolerant of others, but the reality is much different. The election we recently had brought out the worst in people this country has to offer. I cannot say I am proud of this country right now and that hurts more than some will ever know. It comes down to the tolerance factor in all of us.

Something has been lost in the two years in this country. It is the ability to tolerate others and let them live in peace. Someone used a microphone on the world stage to give rise to the voices that are not tolerant of others. It gave permission to everyone to say what they wanted, to do what they wanted, no matter how they hurt others.

In a country that has been in existence for 240 years, women have only had the right to vote for the last 96 years, and we had to have a Civil Rights Act to effectively end segregation. We have been set back at least 50 years. The scars have been ripped open again and it is acceptable to pour salt in the wounds.

For everyone who wanted a change, I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs. For most of us it was a crushing defeat. We currently have president-elect that has made it okay to insult each other, hurt each other, and denigrate those who are not like him. I have, personally, had things said to me that would never have been before this election started in earnest.

Was it a worth all the turmoil? What do we have now? Gaining change does not mean leaving tolerance behind. We have to understand the world is watching. The more important thing is, our children are watching. Change should not mean the sacrifice of showing our children how to be real and kind human beings. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Human Nature of Politics

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This has been the nastiest election I have ever lived through. Accusations and innuendo has run rampant without real proof of anything. Name calling has been made acceptable because both major tickets made it the norm. Hypocrisy has become another acceptable form of campaigning for office. What a mess we have in this country at the very top of the government. Not the everyday lives we live, but the nature of the human in politics.

We are, by nature, a passionate part of the animal kingdom. We feel deeply, we react strongly, and we anger quickly. It explains the amount of vitriol we have seen for the last year and a half. And when it comes to what we care the most about, we defend it to the nth degree.

This has not been a “typical” election cycle. We have a president-elect that has never held a political office, nor served in the military, while his opponent has been in politics the vast majority of her adult life. It has caused extreme emotions and arguments ensued. The results have been devastating to some who were attacked by those who felt their opinion was the only right one. Friendships and families have been seriously tested and some have broken.

Since the election closed, the emotions still run high. Almost as many political posts on social media can be found across the internet as there were the last few months of the election. The vitriol is still being spewed and affecting the lives of everyone who was passionately invested in it. We are seeing protests, both peaceful and destructive. They continue to hurl insults at each other and try to tear the opposite side down.

We need to take a step back and understand this is the nature of our political process. We also need to understand that the ones who lost have the right to express their anguish at their loss. As long as they express it peacefully, they are protected by our Constitution. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Keep in mind they have that right. Not all of them are rioting and destroying property. Keep in mind they do not deserve to be vilified because they want to exercise their right to peacefully assemble.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Misnomer of Kindness

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Many people talk about being kind, but are they really? Kindness is not just an act. It is a way of being human. Do people live as kind human beings? I think they use the words more than they use their actions.

This election has been a very historically strange for many reasons. I believe that we have never had a straight businessman run for president. We have also never had a former first lady run who also served as a Senator and a Secretary of State. There is so much animosity between the two sides it is very brutal at times.
So here are the questions I have. When you are in a grocery store, do you help the older person reach something on the top shelf? Do you help others find what they are looking for even if you don’t work there?  When you are driving, do you show courtesy to other drivers? What is your first inclination when you see someone who needs help? So you watch people around you or do you only see what’s in front of you?

If we all are honest with ourselves, we may find out we need to do some fixing on ourselves. Perceptions can be deceiving. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What is Next?

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As we come to a close in this election year, I ponder the future of this country. We have seen dirty elections in years past, but nothing on this scale. We have one candidate who not necessarily trustworthy and another who has openly suggested violence. You can guess where I am going with this. How did we come to this?

There are some things about our election process that is absolutely amazing. We are the only country in the world that gives weight to each state in the union. In other words, each state is given two senators in order to make the Senate an equal opportunity institution. The change comes when we look at the amount of people in each of those states. That is where we enter the electoral process.

The remaining votes are based on the population of each state. Most states defer to the popular vote in their state. Not so with other states. Take Maine and Nebraska, for example. They are based on congressional districts. For them, the most populous districts determine who their electoral votes are cast for. Although Maine has few electoral votes, every one of these counts.

The biggest reason we are here are the primaries. Some states require voters to register by party. Some states are open and allow for multiple options. It comes down to how many people voted. One party may have more people who vote in the primaries than the other. That is how we got here. Of the Republicans who voted, the majority of them chose Trump. Of the Democrats who voted, the majority of the chose Clinton. Because primary voting is so much lower in volume than the election, we have these two.

We should all vote in each and every primary and election to ensure we have a better chance of getting the right candidates for our country.